During our trip to Dublin I took my 14-42mm kit lens with me and used all weekend.
I like the LUMIX kit lens, I also liked the equivalent Olympus lens (which I sadly broke a couple years ago). Both are great lenses but when I was at the Old Trinity College Library last week I had the added difficulty of having to shoot in low light with no tripod or flash.
The kit lenses have a variable aperture and only open up to 3.5 at its widest. This meant that the camera wasn’t as quick as I’d like so I couldn’t get in a lot of light or shoot with fast shutter speeds.
In order to do this I had to increase the ISO but that adds noise to the final photograph.
I’d been thinking about our upcoming trip to the USA and Canada and really want to capture the best photographs I can. I also want to ensure I have the best options in all circumstances (and travel light).
British Columbia is probably going to be inclement and the light will change constantly so a fast lens is key.
My camera is weather sealed and the Pro Olympus lenses are also weather sealed and freeze proof! This will be perfect for the various locations we are visiting.
I did some research and the Olympus Pro Digital 12-40mm (equivalent 24 – 80mm), receives lots of great reviews and many people recommend if you could own one Pro lens for Micro Four Thirds, this is the lens.
The issue is, a new 12-40mm lens is £1,000! This is a very high price for a lens and far more than I have ever paid for a lens before.
We visited Norwich yesterday and whilst there we stopped at Wex Photographic. They have a huge camera warehouse and have the full range of Olympus gear. I had a look but was not sure about spending that much money.
I spoke to one of the salesman about the lens and he had a number of perfect or near perfect secondhand lenses in stock.
I decided to try it on the store EM5ii and could immediately see the difference.
The lens is very bright, sharp and incredibly fast. The auto focus is unlike anything I’ve had on my camera previously. It’s so quick.
The lens also has a manual clutch ring that you can pull back and set the lens to manual focus. Very smart.
As this is a Pro lens the construction is solid and the lens is much bigger than standard kits lenses.
I took a few shots in the store and was very impressed with the results.
It didn’t take me long to realise that this was a good deal and the lens I tried in store was in very good condition.
I had looked on eBay etc for a secondhand lens but the prices are about the same and at least I got to try this lens first. So I decided that the deal in Wex was worth it and bought the lens.
This is my first Pro lens and I am very impressed. I haven’t taken many photos with it yet but have a captured a few snaps to try it out.
You can see the level of detail and sharpness in these two shots. The lens is sharp at all points of the frame at 2.8 regardless of whether shooting at 12mm or 40mm.
1/250 f/2.8 ISO 200
The lead image of Tilly was shot 1/13 f/2.8 ISO 200
I plan to keep this lens on my camera all the time as it will be a great all round lens for landscapes, portraits and close up work. I’m really looking forward to breaking it in.