Lenses for Olympus 4/3 system

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by charles_sallee, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. I just bought my first digital camera (a DMC-L1) and I'm thoroughly enjoying
    it. I'm having no trouble obtaining accurate focus with my Contax leneses (on
    an adapter) using only the viewfinder (without using live view). I've always
    used small prime lenses whenever possible and the DMC-L1 mounted with a small
    lens feels great to me. It's what I'm used to.

    Unfortunately the Leica 14-50 Zoom feels more like a log (rather than a lens)
    is attached. I'm wondering if I can ever get used to it. Will this feeling
    pass? I'm considering selling/trading it and looking for focal lengths around
    25mm and shorter (since my Contax lenses begin at 28mm). Although I'd prefer
    two manual focus primes of 12mm and 22mm; primes or zooms, fast or slow, manual
    or auto-focus aren't as important as the feel (size and weight).

    The Olympus 11-22 has the perfect focal length range but is too big and heavy.
    It looks like the Olympus 14-42 may be my best bet. How is its optical quality?
    There don't seem to be many choices. Any 35mm lens that can be used on an
    adapter would be OK but those short focal lengths in 35mm normally mean
    big,heavy, and expensive lenses.

    Any advice/recommendations will be appreciated.
  2. i am an E500 user. And the choices here in 4/3rd system are veery limited. I believe you can look for the 14-42 lens. I have heard it is sharp, never used it though. also there is this 35mm 1.4 prime by sigma. This is around 400$. check it out.
  3. The 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 is sharper than the 14-42 f/3.5-5.6. I don't know what your budget is, but Panasonic makes a 25mm f/1.4 (50mm equiv) for the 4/3 system. Since you don't mind doing things manually, you can always use OM lenses with an adaptor.

    Here's a link to the 4/3 lenses.

  4. I put up an eye chart (like in a doctor's office)and tested the lenses. With a weighted tripod, MLU,and Live View at 10X magnification, both the Leica zoom and my Contax primes (at the same focal lengths) were equal in performance and both impressed me. Handheld however, the zoom with AF and IS was the clear winner. That log of a lens is growing shorter and lighter by the hour.

    I bought that camera specifically to finally go digital while maintaining the familiarity and feel of my film cameras. However these tests demonstrate that I really should try to get used to that kit lens if I can.

    I think i'll hold it a while longer. I'll continue to use my Contax primes when I need the speed or longer focal lengths, and with a tripod but shoot the Leica zoom for handheld shots.

    The Olympus 21mm OM lenses are intriguing. I have an Olympus 35 SP rangefinder (my beach camera)and have always loved that 42mm focal length.
  5. Charles,

    The Leica Vario-Elmarit D 14-50/2.8-3.5 ASPH OIS is a superb lens. Grow into it. It felt
    somewhat big and awkward to me at first, but 4000+ exposures with the L1 later, I
    wouldn't want anything else as a "standard" lens.

    I also have the Olympus ZD 11-22/2.8-3.5. It proves to be equally superb for a shorter,
    wider field of view. It is almost the same size as the Vario-Elmarit, takes the same filter
    size, and makes an excellent alternative with the range from ultra-wide to wide-normal.

    There is a dearth of compact primes for the 4/3 System mount, particularly in short focal
    lengths. The one to have is the Olympus ZD 35/3.5 Macro. This unassuming, inexpensive
    lens is a *stunning* performer. The Summilux-D 25/1.4 ASPH is also superb, but it weighs
    about a pound and is marginally smaller than the V-E 14-50mm, and does NOT have OIS.
    There's nothing else shorter than that.

    Trying to use adapted Nikon and Pentax mount lenses, I've fitted a Nikon 20mm f/2.8 AF-
    D and Pentax DA21mm Limited. Both of these lenses are superb performers, but focusing
    such short focal lengths manually, particularly with a manual-operation iris, is
    challenging. I find it much better to use the 4/3 System zoom lenses ... sold the Nikon
    lens and put the DA21 back into my Pentax kit bag.


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