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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:24 AM   #1
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AF100 Lens purchase advice

I am in the process of purchasing the af100, with the price drop and rebate to $3500. In the past, i have only owned fixed lens cameras, so i have no knowledge of external lenses. I need some direction on what to purchase. I video everything, including sporting events, plays, interviews, etc. Will not need for photos.

I would like to know if there is one good lens that can do the following: ability to zoom, good in low light, autofocus, and has the ability to get good DOF. With any suggestions, please let me know if lens requires any kind of adapter ring..

If no such one lens exists, maybe some suggestions on a couple lenses.

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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:54 AM   #2
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Re: AF100 Lens purchase advice

The kit 14-140 is a decent all-around lens. It's slow, so when working indoors or at night you'll have to work at higher ISO's constantly, but the lens has good range, good OIS, and decent zoom action. It's also one of the best autofocusing lenses for this system. I use it for plays, sports, doc work, pretty much anything where I don't have precise control of the situation and there's at least enough light to get a decent exposure.

There are few good fast affordable autofocus zooms for the AF100. The best options are the Olympus 14-35/2 and 35-100/2, but these run about $2k each and need a 43-m43 adapter - and actually, I'm not certain they autofocus. The Leica D 14-50/2.8-3.5 and Olympus 12-60/2.8-4 are also good 4/3 system carryovers, and less than half the price of the Olympus f2 zooms, but I'm certain the 14-50 doesn't autofocus and suspect the 12-60 won't, either.

Better options for speed and shallow DOF are any number of legacy normal to wide zooms in the 28-105 range, or any number of prime stills lenses. There are a ton of affordable options, and a ton of not very affordable options. Generally you get what you pay for here.

There is repeated talk about forthcoming Panasonic Lumix X 12-35/2.8 and 35-100/2.8 lenses... these will be great options whenever they become available, and the pair should cover most practical needs. When they're slated to be released is anyone's guess.

A great choice for plays and such in the meantime is a legacy ~70-200/2.8 zoom; it's fast enough and usually about the right range to capture closeups in stage and sports. Also works as a dandy interview lens if you have the distance. The catch is that most of these will need a little rails support, as they tend to be on the heavier side of what the m43 mount can handle. Good selections here are the Vivitar Series 1 70-210/2.8, Sigma 70-200/2.8 macro, and Nikon AF or AF-D 80-200/2.8

In short, it's nearly impossible to find a single lens to do everything you need (and why should it be? Its an interchangeable lens camera after all), but it's easy enough to find any number of specialized solutions and even easier to go completely bonkers and buy too many lenses (as I have).
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