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Old Feb 17, 2010, 5:20 PM   #11
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...with all your research, what would your recommended setup be?

I've been hunting the online retailers for the best deals on the GF1 and various lenses, and I'm still not 100% sure about going for a 'kit', although from what I read, the Panasonic lenses are actually pretty good. There's always the extra 130 or so for the 4/3rds adaptor, and the fact that no third-party lenses would benefit from IS...... however the Sigma 18-50 Macro f/2.8 is appealing as a single starter lens (constant f/2.8, macro-ish, 36-100mm equivalent)?

I do wonder if this would be a bit unbalanced though, and generally with standard 4/3rds lenses whether these aren't really too big for the smaller GF1 (and PEN) bodies.
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Old Feb 17, 2010, 5:33 PM   #12
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I shoot jpeg the oly has the best jpeg engine on the market. The AF speed was not a big concern for me as my wife and I shoot landscapes and macro. So for me the EPL1 with the 35mm 3.5 macro for true 1:1 and the kit zoom made the most sense. I may move up to a 14-150mm later down the road. With the Pen's we have IS on every lens. Also the EVF of the oly is so much better then the evf of the panny.

But if you get the panny, I would go with a mf lens. As the sigma will be super slow. So I would save the money on a AF lens and get a used MF lens. However Sigma would work on the Pen's better. But the kit lenses on the oly and panny are quit good, and cover pretty much the same range. Also you have to remember that adding the adapter will add bit more size to the lens. The only 4/3 lens I would consider is the 35mm. The others would defeat the purpose of the small compact camera with lens options.
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 2:17 AM   #13
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As to using "older zeiss, voigtlander and leica lenses" on m4/3.

Well yes you can, but you need an adapter which is not especially cheap.

Secondly some of those "old" lenses are very expensive. Leica lenses in particular don't really depreciate very much after they lose the initial 10% by being not new. Sometimes they even appreciate over time.

Also the high angle of incidence from some of the adapted lenses does lead to some pretty severe vignetting and image degradation as comparisons between images shot with the same lens on M8/M9 v m4/3 show.

But to balance that the live view magnified focussing on the m4/3 helps to get focus pin-sharp and on the Oly cameras at least you get IBIS. The whole m4/3 + adapter thing is all the rage amongst camera collectors and enthusiasts.
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 2:44 AM   #14
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Cheers peripatetic - I thought that was the case.... it's a balancing act then? Uber-cool expensive glass not necessarily giving ultimate performance.

It sounds like it might be best to stick with 'system' lenses from Olympus and Panasonic then (or others designed specifically for 4/3 or m4/3 fitment).

My main concern is that I know I was unhappy with my old Canon 17-85IS, and had been looking to upgrade to an f/2.8 17-55 before financial difficulties hit.... it appears that the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 would be a similar proposition for m4/3, but it sounds like it might not perform great on either the E-P1 or GF1.... There is perhaps the 14-54 Olympus 4/3, which may or may not be a substantial upgrade to the kit lens option, but nothing with constant f2.8 unless you can afford silly money!!
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 2:58 AM   #15
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But I don't understand why you are fixated on a constant f2.8 on a zoom lens?

The GF-1 with the Panasonic kit or the Olympus with their kit lenses are perfectly fine lenses, both with stabilization.

For low-light work there is the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 which has universally been reviewed as fantastically good. And of course being a pancake it makes the whole setup very small indeed - which is exactly what you want from m4/3. Trading a bit of IQ for the tremendous convenience of reduced size. Putting a bit zoom lens on seems to defeat the purpose.

If you aren't too bothered about the size issue, then why not look at the Panasonic GH-1 which has the best m4/3 sensor and comes with an absolutely brilliant 14-140 lens with a ton of video features in the lens.
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 3:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
But I don't understand why you are fixated on a constant f2.8 on a zoom lens?

The GF-1 with the Panasonic kit or the Olympus with their kit lenses are perfectly fine lenses, both with stabilization.
LOL!! Yes, I sound a bit fixated... it's just that I know that I wanted the wider aperture on my 40D outfit.

Quote:
For low-light work there is the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 which has universally been reviewed as fantastically good. And of course being a pancake it makes the whole setup very small indeed - which is exactly what you want from m4/3. Trading a bit of IQ for the tremendous convenience of reduced size. Putting a bit zoom lens on seems to defeat the purpose.
...like I said, the 20mm f/1.7 is exciting - I had f/1.8 to play with on my Canon 50mm, and I would hope this would allow similar low light performance.

My quandry is that, considering the cost of the standard kit, plus the pancake, I wondered about replacing both with a single zoom with a reasonably wide aperture.... More of a consideration perhaps with the Olympus 'kit' whereby the pancake is only f/2.8 to start with.

Quote:
If you aren't too bothered about the size issue, then why not look at the Panasonic GH-1 which has the best m4/3 sensor and comes with an absolutely brilliant 14-140 lens with a ton of video features in the lens.
Size not a problem, but it's a bit more than I want to spend right now...... I can get a GF1 with 14-45 and 20mm for 789, less the current rebate, that's only 739.... alternatively, the E-P1 with 14-42, 17mm, free flash and bag is only 719 - both options save me about 250-300 on a GH1 outfit.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 7:42 PM   #17
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I would see where the epl-1 comes out with price. It has a flash, but is not a stainless steal body, al and plastic.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 8:13 PM   #18
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I've been fighting this decision and going back and forth for a while now. I'd love to have an even smaller take everywhere camera, and m4/3 would seem to fit the bill. I use my nikon D5k (my d300 is to big for everyday use) but it is still too big to take everywhere. I have a Canon g10, but it doesn't easily fit in many pockets, and it does a poor job in low light. I really want to like the EP-1, but am just too hung up on the poor AF. The EP-2 isn't much better, and is more expensive. The Epl-1 is too lacking in control..I'm not a big fan of menu diving for everything, but is the right price. The panny's are also too big. I'm not a fan of using adapters to attach my current stable of lenses because the size of the kit would increase dramatically. I think I'm just more inclined to wait it out, and see what Nikon (or Canon) has to offer in the future. I've used and owned an Olympus DSLR for a short period of time, and liked the output, but never adjusted to the controls and never got comfortable with it, so i don't know that they will ever be able to offer a solution that would work for me. Either way, I think the future holds some good things for m4/3(or mAPC), and I see myself owning one eventually. I know performance wise they'll never live up to DSLR's (and I don't need them too), but I still think more improvements are necessary before I buy one.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 8:23 PM   #19
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If you put a panny lens on the oly, the pen will af allot faster
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 8:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
If you put a panny lens on the oly, the pen will af allot faster
I have heard that, but even still, AF still lags way behind. Granted I won't be shooting sports or action with it, and might even be happy manually focusing in a lot of instances, but the poor lcd takes that option away from me. I just think the system needs more refinement to hit the mark for me. The bad part is, if Oly doesn't fix the many nits the camera has (specifically af and handling, and to a certain degree lenses) they will lose their advantage in being one of the first to market. The big two (Canon and Nikon) and probably Sony too, will be coming out with their own version soon and if they do a better job of getting it right, it will be tough for Oly to keep up.
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