Which wide lens?

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  • 10-02-2009, 03:39 AM
    Georgeo
    Which wide lens?
    Ok, only a newbie to the SLR world I have the Oly E620 with the 14 - 42mm kit lens and the 70 - 300mm telephoto lens. I would like to upgrade to a wider lens for general shots and landscape shots. I'm currently looking at the 12 - 60mm and the 9 - 18mm lenses, is anyone using these and can anyone recommend a wide lens that would fit in with my current lenses?

    I would like to fill the gap between the focal length of my current two lenses and have also thought about getting the 40 - 150mm lens which is fairly cheap to buy, or would I be better off saving my money on this one and getting the 12 - 60mm? any recommendations would be appreciated.
  • 10-02-2009, 09:27 AM
    Greg McCary
    Re: Which wide lens?
    The first upgrade from a kit lens that I would suggest would be the 14-54mm. It is a heck of a lens for the price, fast and weather sealed. I think that the 12-60mm was basically designed to help the E3 best the fastest focusing camera. Don't get me wrong it is a great lens but I just feel the 14-54mm would be the best bang for your buck on a E620. If you want to go wide the best lens is the 7-14mm. I have never heard anything but good about that lens. I think it would be to wide for day to day shooting because of the distortion.
    The 14-54 will also do marco where as the kits won't. The 14-54mm is a heavy lens, it weighs as much as the camera but it makes the camera fell like a pro camera, if that makes since? I also think the 9-18 maybe just to wide for every day use. But if you plan on keeping the 14-42mm then go wide by all means. In that case I would go for the 7-14mm. There is not enough gap between the to lenses you have to go for the 40-150mm. I actually traded my 40-150mm off after getting the 70-300mm.
    Be sure and come back and tell us which way you went and how you like your lens. We really need some lens reviews here so please write a review for us on all gear you have. Thanks, Greg
  • 10-02-2009, 03:49 PM
    Georgeo
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Thanks Greg, I never really considered the 14-54mm as I wanted to close the gap between my current lenses more with the 12-60mm, but the 14 - 54mm would just fine I think. It is much cheaper than the later as well. The 7 - 14mm is also fairly pricey and might have to hold off on that end of things for a while. How much wider is the 14-54mm compared to the 14-42mm?
  • 10-02-2009, 04:07 PM
    Greg McCary
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Georgeo
    Thanks Greg, I never really considered the 14-54mm as I wanted to close the gap between my current lenses more with the 12-60mm, but the 14 - 54mm would just fine I think. It is much cheaper than the later as well. The 7 - 14mm is also fairly pricey and might have to hold off on that end of things for a while. How much wider is the 14-54mm compared to the 14-42mm?

    It has been so long since I have owned the 14-42mm so I am really not sure. What you get with the 14-54mm more than anything is performance. It focuses Fast. Much faster than the kit. It is also built like a tank and can take it like a man.LOL I don't really think you will miss the focal length between the 54 and 70. The 70-300mm also makes for a nice portrait lens. The 40-150mm also will not do macros. I am not sure what the minimum focusing distance is with the 14-54mm but it is around four inches. You can really take some great flower pictures with it.
  • 10-02-2009, 04:21 PM
    Georgeo
    Re: Which wide lens?
    I'm in no hurry to upgrade but I am thinking about when I go to Europe next year I would like a better wider lens mainly for landscape and architecture (if that's how you spell it) and general photography - better macros would be awesome too. Would the 14-54 be best for my situation?
  • 10-02-2009, 05:30 PM
    Greg McCary
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Georgeo
    I'm in no hurry to upgrade but I am thinking about when I go to Europe next year I would like a better wider lens mainly for landscape and architecture (if that's how you spell it) and general photography - better macros would be awesome too. Would the 14-54 be best for my situation?

    Yes it would. IMO of course. It really makes a good all around lens. You might try and get a good ND grad filter too if you are going to do landscapes. Or a tripod and learn how to do HDRs. Me I prefer the old fashion way and I use a Cokin ND graduate filter.

    I might add too that the 14-54 is a little sharper than the kit lens. When I enlarge pictures in processing I see more detail.
  • 10-02-2009, 08:12 PM
    Atomic2
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Actually, although the 14-54 is an awesome lens, especially for the price... if you want more wide angle, then the 12-60 will be even better. those 2mm dont seem like a lot but they make a big difference,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3Xv7dz3Huc
    see video for examples of 12mm vs 14mm at 3m 40s

    So for the money, the 12-60 will not also give you a wider angle, but also a much better walk around zoom lens... so two birds with one stone. Even though its more expensive than the 14-54, it might just be a better deal for you.
  • 10-03-2009, 01:12 AM
    Georgeo
    Re: Which wide lens?
    I've read some reviews on the 12-60mm lens and it looks like a pretty awesome lens - ok now I really dont know what I want...
    Does anyone know any good links to how do HDR's and what software are you guys using to do HDR?
  • 10-03-2009, 03:26 AM
    Greg McCary
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Georgeo
    I've read some reviews on the 12-60mm lens and it looks like a pretty awesome lens - ok now I really dont know what I want...
    Does anyone know any good links to how do HDR's and what software are you guys using to do HDR?

    You can download a free trial version of Photomatrix and try some HDRs. It has been a long time since I have. Basically just put your camera on a tripod and take three exposures changing only the shutter speed.over expose one a stop, correct exposure on the second and under expose the third and then put the three pictures in the software. Shot everything in manual including white balance and manual focus, it works better. If you have CS3 you can use it.
  • 10-03-2009, 03:31 AM
    Atomic2
    Re: Which wide lens?
    What I like to do is take 3-6 photos in RAW at different exposure settings [tons of guides out there on the internet] and combine with Merge to HDR in photoshop [its an automation]

    Then I save the whole thing as a TIFF file and use Photomatix to open it and customize it that way. Get the best results like this
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2663/...72a277ce_b.jpg
  • 10-03-2009, 03:59 AM
    Greg McCary
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Thanks for the tips Atomic. That is a heck of a shot.......
  • 10-03-2009, 05:24 AM
    Georgeo
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Nice pic Atomic! I've read some tutorials that say to take three shots at different exposure levels (usually 2EV) at a constant apature value then some say to adjust the shutter speed - which is the correct (best) way to do it?
  • 10-03-2009, 08:39 AM
    Greg McCary
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Georgeo
    Nice pic Atomic! I've read some tutorials that say to take three shots at different exposure levels (usually 2EV) at a constant apature value then some say to adjust the shutter speed - which is the correct (best) way to do it?

    You want a constant aperture and change shutter speeds.
  • 10-03-2009, 10:15 AM
    rubeel
    Re: Which wide lens?
    you can use bracketing but Oly only has maximum of 1EV bracketing. but i have read that gets some good HDR, what's important is that choice of the scene for HDR

    here is a good discussion on flicr about Oly 510 Shots and HDR
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/e510/di...7605205949615/

    http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/Tags/hdr,olympus
  • 10-03-2009, 03:45 PM
    Georgeo
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Yes the bracketing would be good as well as the sequential shooting set at 3 shots ('L' setting) in the event you didn't have your tripod with you.
  • 10-03-2009, 06:13 PM
    Atomic2
    Re: Which wide lens?
    There is no one-size fits all way of doing it for HDR. The final reaction you want to get from the photo, and the lighting elements in the shot, will determine the amount of shots you need.


    Also bracketing is usually the best way to do it, however sometimes its not. For instance in the shot I posted, I was shooting INTO the sun which was in frame [sort of] so to take advantage of as much dynamic range, I made sure to take a shot with the fastest possible shutterspeed I could and slowest ISO [for me ISO100 1/8000s] to get as much detail out of the bright sun area as possible. After that I proceed as usual and bracketed the rest of the shot, under the normal conditions. 5 shot bracket at 1EV. [so -2,-1,0,+1,+2] so that shot was a 6 shot HDR. Dont forget to go through the shots afterwards and make sure that even the darkest shadows were exposed properly in at least one of the shots. Of course there was nothing I could do to make sure the brightest highlight [the sun] was any more exposed since I already took one shot taking in the least amount of light as possible.

    3fps IMO I think is too slow to do HDR handheld properly, however photoshop is pretty good at pulling it together if its not perfect.
  • 11-01-2009, 10:34 PM
    SwampNut
    Re: Which wide lens?
    I have the 11-22 and really love it. I've rented the 7-14 and it was great also, but $$$$$ and less useful all around. The 11-22 is pretty useful in so many situations. I also have the 8mm which is fun but not as useful. Image quality is phenomenal on all of them.
  • 11-02-2009, 11:26 AM
    Justintoxicated
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Does the E620 Support SWD? My 520 does not, so I went with the 14-54. Its a great lens for the money. The 12-60 IS supposed to be better, but was not worth the cash to me for a camera that does not support SWD. However I have a bunch of lenses, the 12-60 has to be the best walk around lens if you have the cash for it. 60-70% of my photographs are taken with the 14-54, but when I want to photograph something that is planned and when possible, I shoot with the 50mm prime lens. I also rarely use the 14-54 for macro, but thats because I have the 50mm prime.
  • 11-02-2009, 02:59 PM
    Greg McCary
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Justintoxicated
    Does the E620 Support SWD? My 520 does not, so I went with the 14-54. Its a great lens for the money. The 12-60 IS supposed to be better, but was not worth the cash to me for a camera that does not support SWD. However I have a bunch of lenses, the 12-60 has to be the best walk around lens if you have the cash for it. 60-70% of my photographs are taken with the 14-54, but when I want to photograph something that is planned and when possible, I shoot with the 50mm prime lens. I also rarely use the 14-54 for macro, but thats because I have the 50mm prime.

    What is the performance difference between the 14-54mm and 12-60mm?
  • 11-02-2009, 06:14 PM
    Justintoxicated
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    What is the performance difference between the 14-54mm and 12-60mm?

    In terms of quality or speed? I don't have experience with either, but the SWD lens should focus faster for sure, and it should have greater range. It costs nearly twice as much though, and I don't think it offers twice the performance. If you want the best you gotta pay the price!
  • 11-05-2009, 10:11 AM
    rubeel
    Re: Which wide lens?
    I use the 14-54 and i love it, 12-60 gives u little more wide angle 12mm and reading from other people, it is one of the best lenses Oly came out with.
  • 11-06-2009, 01:28 AM
    Georgeo
    Re: Which wide lens?
    I've pretty much decided on the 12 - 60mm for that extra 2mm at the wide end and plan just using that along with my 70 - 300mm for the sake of a few hundred $$. Would this lens be a waste on my e-620 since it won't handle the superfast AF like it would on the E30?
  • 11-08-2009, 11:06 AM
    Atomic2
    Re: Which wide lens?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Justintoxicated
    Does the E620 Support SWD? My 520 does not, so I went with the 14-54. Its a great lens for the money. The 12-60 IS supposed to be better, but was not worth the cash to me for a camera that does not support SWD. However I have a bunch of lenses, the 12-60 has to be the best walk around lens if you have the cash for it. 60-70% of my photographs are taken with the 14-54, but when I want to photograph something that is planned and when possible, I shoot with the 50mm prime lens. I also rarely use the 14-54 for macro, but thats because I have the 50mm prime.




    How exactly does the E-520 NOT support swd? I think there is some confusion. The lens still focuses phenomenally fast on cameras that ARENT the E3 or E30. Since I upgraded to the E-3 from the 510, I havent even seen all that much of a difference in focus speeds of my 12-60mm.
  • 11-08-2009, 11:28 AM
    imacd
    Re: Which wide lens?
    I recently purchased a 12 - 60mm to use on my E-510 and focusing speeds are lightning fast compared to the kit lenses. If you can afford it go for the 12 - 60mm you won't regret it!