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Ed P
12-10-2009, 04:35 PM
Hi gang, I posted a similar query in the Canon and Nikon SLR sections... I'm comparing lens selections for the Canon 500D (T1i), Nikon D5000, and Olympus E-620.

With my old film SLR (which is an Olympus :) ), I have a 50mm f1.8 that I used to use a LOT. Inside work, portraits, semi-macro. I loved how bright it was, and how shallow I could make the depth-of-field.

So for the Olympus E-620, what is the best fast (aperature of 1.4-2.0), fixed-focal-length, that will result in something in the 28-50mm range (actual, which I know is something like 17 or 30 in today's cropped-sensor world)? i.e. I'm looking for something that will result in 35-50mm (fixed) if full-frame.

In other words, something to augment the kit lens.

I'll add the other end (telephoto) later.

My biggest priority is IQ and detail/sharpness.

Thanks!

jekostas
12-10-2009, 08:20 PM
I'll be straight up, if you're looking for Primes, Olympus really isn't the system for you. There are plenty of fantastic zooms, and that's what Olympus has focused on.

The three primes in the 4/3s system that would fall in your needs are (in order of ascending cost):

Olympus 25MM F2.8
Sigma 30MM F1.4
Panasonic-Leica 25MM F1.4

The Olympus is mostly a "gadget" lens, but raven really seems to like it. The optics are good, but there is some noticeable distortion (which can be fixed in PP).

The Sigma is very highly regarded, and gives a film-equivalent 60MM F1.4, and the Pana-Leica, well, Leica quality and Leica price.

If you wanted to stretch it a little, you could also include the 35MM F3.5 Macro, which at 70MM equivalent is a little bit long, but it is a brilliant lens by all accounts.

Other than that, if you don't mind manual focus, the Olympus system has a very short register depth. This means you can pick up and use just about any older film lens with a $10 adapter off of eBay.

raven15
12-11-2009, 05:54 AM
The Olympus is mostly a "gadget" lens, but raven really seems to like it. The optics are good, but there is some noticeable distortion (which can be fixed in PP).

It's good at f/5.6, otherwise I wouldn't go that far! The biggest reason I like the pancake is because camera + pancake = fit in pocket. Camera + any other lens = not fit in pocket. At various times I thought about selling my 25mm pancake and using the lens cap instead. I think I have finally talked myself out of that though.

Don't forget the Sigma 24mm f/1.8. Many people seem to think it is better than the 30mm, but most end up with the 30mm because of size and aperture.

The Leica 25mm is definitely the pick of the crop at double the price.

Ed P
12-11-2009, 03:36 PM
I would want it to be small(ish), and around $250 or less...

I'm a little leary about 3rd party lenses (focusing issues)? Or should I be?

jekostas
12-11-2009, 04:50 PM
I would want it to be small(ish), and around $250 or less...

I'm a little leary about 3rd party lenses (focusing issues)? Or should I be?

You're looking at the 25MM F2.8 or the 35MM F3.5 Macro.

As for 3rd party lenses, I can't speak for the entire range, but the the 24MM and 30MM Sigmas are pretty highly rated lenses.

For the range and speed you want with a cropped format camera, you are really going to have a problem finding lens in that price range in any manufacturer's lineup, not just Olympus. The only one I can think of is the Nikon 35MM F1.8 DX G, and that, by all accounts, is NOT a very good lens.

raven15
12-11-2009, 08:30 PM
Why don't you consider the Pentax K-x as well? It looks like a competent camera with in-body IS, and Pentax makes a few nice primes in that range.

r3g
12-11-2009, 09:28 PM
The only one I can think of is the Nikon 35MM F1.8 DX G, and that, by all accounts, is NOT a very good lens.


How do you figure? Its sharp wide open, focuses fast, and has nice bokeh. Only thing to really complain about is its a bit more distorted than other lenses of the same focal length and has CA problems wide open. Its not the best lens but its definitely good especially for the price.

jekostas
12-11-2009, 11:46 PM
How do you figure? Its sharp wide open, focuses fast, and has nice bokeh. Only thing to really complain about is its a bit more distorted than other lenses of the same focal length and has CA problems wide open. Its not the best lens but its definitely good especially for the price.

Having to stop down the lens to get good performance kind of defeats the point of having a large aperture to begin with.

r3g
12-11-2009, 11:58 PM
You don't have to stop it down to get good performance. It sharp wide open and the CA is only an issue in high contrast situations.

raven15
12-12-2009, 03:58 AM
While I'm certain the Olympus 35mm macro would be better image quality-wise at apertures f/3.5 and up (or down?) for less money, I think I'd agree that I would prefer the f/1.8 and fast focusing on the Nikon. Unless I needed macro :D. I sorta wish Olympus would make more smallish widish aperture primes, at least to the extent it's possible. I'd be happy to buy two or three more more ;). Maybe 11mm f/ 2.4, 22mm f/1.4, and 44mm f/1.4, or anything thereabouts.

TheWengler
12-12-2009, 10:24 AM
I'm a little leary about 3rd party lenses (focusing issues)? Or should I be?

I think Sigma does have some focusing issues. But if you can get a good copy, then they're good performers.


The only one I can think of is the Nikon 35MM F1.8 DX G, and that, by all accounts, is NOT a very good lens.

I haven't heard anything like that. It's supposed to be a quality lens, especially considering the price.