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Lens Advice

Scratch

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Hi everyone, yes, another one of those lens advice questions! At christmas I bought an Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkIII with a couple of budget lenses. I love the camera but am considering upgrading the lenses to a 12-100mm F4 Pro which i think will meet all my needs for this camera. It gets very good reviews and seems highly regarded by Olympus users, but I wondering whether I will see the benefit of a Pro grade lens on the more budget orientated E-M10 Mk3 body. I would appreciate your views.
 

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I couldn't say for certain but just about every thread one reads about cameras and lenses it's the lens that creates the better quality.

So on this premise, although I couldn't say for certain, I'd say yes, you would see a benefit.

As an aside, I'd love an OM-D - too far out of my budget at the moment but if/when I do I'll dive straight in for the pro lenses.
 

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As an aside, I'd love an OM-D - too far out of my budget at the moment but if/when I do I'll dive straight in for the pro lenses.
Thanks for your thoughts, that’s what I was thinking.
I’m really a Canon user through and through but fancied something different and a bit more compact but with a viewfinder to supplement my DSLR’s when I want to travel light. You might be surprised what you can pick them up for as there are some good deals at the moment.
 

loki

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you can never go wrong with a better lens. i'm not too familiar with olympus, 12-100mm seems to cover an awfully large range of focal lengths and normally the more they try to cram into a lens the worse the quality gets. is it really sharper than what you already have? if it is sharper then go for it.
 

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I don’t know for sure but I would expect it to be a lot sharper. The budget lenses I have cost £100 and £130 and the 12-100mm F4 is £1,000 new. My concern is whether I would get the best image quality the lens can deliver on a mid-range body to justify the cost?
 

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I doubt you'll find much image quality difference between your current cam and the higher models with any of the lenses. The difference in bodies will give more usability options than sensor differences I would think.
Do you have the option of hiring one. Could save you some money.
 

SeanNeedham

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If you've got concerns about investing in a lens like this, and there will be some differences to what you already have because the design of the thing (may show different distortion characteristics, may be less sharp at one end of the range than the other) the best thing to do before deciding is finding your nearest Olympus dealer and booking an appointment to be able to test one alongside what you've already got but from where you are it may be a jaunt in to Liverpool or Manchester.
 

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Yes, could possibly find somewhere to hire one from. Definitely worth looking
 

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There’s an Olympus dealer in Chester which is where I bought my camera from. Hopefully they will be re-opening soon so could go and try one
 

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in the meantime you could always go download some sample raw files taken with this lens. like taboo said, you won't see much difference between the bodies, it's the lenses that make the difference.
 

SeanNeedham

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There’s an Olympus dealer in Chester which is where I bought my camera from. Hopefully they will be re-opening soon so could go and try one
That'd be the best thing to do, take your camera and lenses and take the same things side by side at the same settings but don't make a decision there and then; go home and have a look at the images quietly and calmly.
 

MikeB

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The lens is always more important than the camera.
 

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in the meantime you could always go download some sample raw files taken with this lens. like taboo said, you won't see much difference between the bodies, it's the lenses that make the difference.
Good idea. Where would I be able to find some samples?
 

loki

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Good idea. Where would I be able to find some samples?
google zuiko 12-100mm raw sample files and you should get some. i know when a new fuji lens comes out i can usually find raw files in with some of the lens reviews.
 

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google zuiko 12-100mm raw sample files and you should get some. i know when a new fuji lens comes out i can usually find raw files in with some of the lens reviews.
Ok thanks will give it a try.
 

al1967

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Hi everyone, yes, another one of those lens advice questions! At christmas I bought an Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkIII with a couple of budget lenses. I love the camera but am considering upgrading the lenses to a 12-100mm F4 Pro which i think will meet all my needs for this camera. It gets very good reviews and seems highly regarded by Olympus users, but I wondering whether I will see the benefit of a Pro grade lens on the more budget orientated E-M10 Mk3 body. I would appreciate your views.
Pros:
Optically 12-100/4 is very good - sharp, contrasty with nice natural colour rendition.
Sync-IS is incredible on bodies supporting Sync-IS. Took a few shots at 25mm and 3 seconds shutter speed handheld (without a tripod or additional support).
Splash/dust/freeze proof - you can rinse it with running water - not very useful if your body isn't weather sealed.
Manual focus clutch is great
On lens function button can be useful

Cons:
Quite large and heavy by micro 4/3 standards, on your E-M10 III will be a bit front heavy without an add-on grip and there aren't many grips for your body to choose from. Size wise it's about the same size and weight as Canon 18-135 STM.
Filter size - 72mm
afaik your E-M10 III doesn't support Sync-IS, unless they fixed it in firmware updates
the lens function button won't work on your camera, unless they fixed it in firmware

All in all, 12-100 is a fantastic landscape/travel lens, but you need an E-M5 II or III, or E-M1 (I, II or III) to use all the options.
Even with the limitations of your current body you will see an image quality jump from your current kit lenses and the focal range is very versatile.
If you can afford it - go for it, and start saving up for a better body. Handling and balance on E-M1 II or III is near perfect.
Other options are Oly 12-40/2.8 pro or Pana Leica 12-60/2.8-4. Both are cheaper, smaller, lighter, but optically very good.
Yet one more option is the new 12-45/4 Pro zoom - smaller, lighter and cheaper than 12-40/2.8, still pro-quality IQ, but no manual focus clutch and a function button.
On my E-M5 II I prefer 12-40/2.8, 12-100/4 lives on E-M1 II most of the time.
If you have any questions - ask away.
 
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Thanks for the really helpful reply al1967. I’m now pretty confident I will see an improvement in image quality but not sure whether this alone justifies the cost. I can afford it but I’m also thinking that the lens may be too big and heavy on the fairly small and lightweight body (one of the main reasons I bought it). Sought of defeats my initial objective but I keep getting tempted. GAS is a terrible thing!!
 

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12-100 is great, but I agree, it will feel a bit large and heavy on a smaller E-M10 III.
If you want a better image quality than your kit lenses, go for either oly 12-40/2.8 or panaleica 12-60/2.8-4. Both are smaller, lighter and cheaper. Obviously, both are shorter, but at least for me the wide to normal range is more important than 60-100mm range.
Even smaller, lighter and cheaper option, but still optically very good is the new Oly 12-45/4 pro. I would get it, but already have both 12-40/2.8 and 12-100/4, so it doesn’t make much sense for me.
 

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12-100 is great, but I agree, it will feel a bit large and heavy on a smaller E-M10 III.
If you want a better image quality than your kit lenses, go for either oly 12-40/2.8 or panaleica 12-60/2.8-4. Both are smaller, lighter and cheaper. Obviously, both are shorter, but at least for me the wide to normal range is more important than 60-100mm range.
Even smaller, lighter and cheaper option, but still optically very good is the new Oly 12-45/4 pro. I would get it, but already have both 12-40/2.8 and 12-100/4, so it doesn’t make much sense for me.
Yes, think I’m changing my thinking as I mostly use wide to normal range. I was leaning towards the 12-100 to give the option to use longer zoom without having to change lens and travel lighter with one lens but not realising how much bigger and heavier it is.
What is the 12-40 equivalent to in full frame? At the moment I can get the 12-40 F2.8 about £30 cheaper than the 12-45 F4 Pro although it would likely be a grey import. With this in mind which would you go for?
 
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Scratch

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Also just found a used 12-40 F2.8 in excellent condition for £469 (£100 less than a new grey import). I have a Canon EF 17-40 F4 (as new) which is surplus so could trade in. Mmmm
 

al1967

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Yes, think I’m changing my thinking as I mostly use wide to normal range. I was leaning towards the 12-100 to give the option to use longer zoom without having to change lens and travel lighter with one lens but not realising how much bigger and heavier it is.
What is the 12-40 equivalent to in full frame? At the moment I can get the 12-40 F2.8 about £30 cheaper than the 12-45 F4 Pro although it would likely be a grey import. With this in mind which would you go for?
the closest FF equivalent would be 24-70/2.8 zoom, Oly is a 24-80mm FF equivalent with a nice semi-macro close focusing (0.3x magnification at all focal lengths).
Imho F/2.8 can be more useful than about 120g weight difference between 12-40 and 12-45.
Personally I would go for a 12-40/2.8, it’s really good and versatile.
If a lighter weight is critical for you - go for 12-45.
 

al1967

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Also just found a used 12-40 F2.8 in excellent condition for £469 (£100 less than a new grey import). I have a Canon EF 17-40 F4 (as new) which is surplus so could trade in. Mmmm
Just do it. Never liked 17-40. Used to have 2 copies and both were soft
 

imagesBV

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I had a spell using Olympus...Pen EP1 then an EM5...started with the 14-42zoom and 17mm pancake.....I upgraded to the 45mm prime and the difference was amazing....the Panasonic/Leica 25mm f1.4 was also excellent along with the Lumix 20mm f1.7....stunning quality especially the 25mm.....way better images than the regular Olympus zooms.
The 75mm prime is also excellent.....as for zooms I had the Pro 12-40 f2.8....very good but I didn't find it as good as the primes.
Often pro grade lenses are better build quality for everyday use and robustness....sometimes not optically much better.
Better lenses will give you much better images on any body. I've got an A2 canvas on the wall from the original EM-5 and Panasonic 25mm.....the detail is amazing.
My recommendation would be to try primes...the 20mm, 25mm and 45mm are great value. The Panasonic 25 was the first lens I had where I thought I didn't need to apply any post process sharpening.

Just sold my 17-40 too.........invested in Canon R and RF lenses.
 

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Just do it. Never liked 17-40. Used to have 2 copies and both were soft
Yes, think I’ve made my decision. 12-40 F2.8 it is.Just need to decide whether it will be new or used and whether to trade in the 17-40 or sell it privately and get a bit more for it. I’ve just upgraded to the Canon 16-35 F2.8 Mk III for full frame.
 

al1967

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Yes, think I’ve made my decision. 12-40 F2.8 it is.Just need to decide whether it will be new or used and whether to trade in the 17-40 or sell it privately and get a bit more for it. I’ve just upgraded to the Canon 16-35 F2.8 Mk III for full frame.
I stopped selling privately- takes too much time and hustle, prefer trading-in, it’s a bit less money, but a lot less head-ache.
 
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