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Old August 19th, 2011, 11:01 AM   #1
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Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

I really like to play with the 14-42, but realistically it's too slow for 90% of what I do (weddings). I can't afford to carry it around in my bag, because I'd have to swap out lenses too often, and I don't have time for that most times.

I'm looking at the Olympus 14-54 above even though I have a Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 because I am imagining the Olympus is less soft when wide and better overall quality. I also like the idea of the 14 vs 18 at the wide end.

Anyone using the Olympus? I can find no direct comparisons between my Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 and the Olympus lens, but I am absolutely wanting this lens, but am concerned the differences will not be enough or that I'll be disappointed.

While the only way to truly find out is to buy the danged thing, I wanted to run this by you guys first.

Yes I do understand the loss of the f/2.8 straight thru, but with the remarkable performance of the 14-42 I've seen I wonder if I would not be thrilled with the Olympus as well, as this lens has a stellar reputation.

I find my Sigma too soft wide open, and too warm as well, and I'm also thinking the Olympus will be more accurate/neutral, which is what I prefer and need to match my other lenses.

I almost had it overnighted yesterday for this weekend, and decided I was being impulsive, and decided to hold out for more information before deciding.
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Old August 19th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

With the number of lenses you've tried over the past few months, I'm almost convinced you're best off just coughing up $2K for a Oly 14-35/2
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Old August 19th, 2011, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

I don't have it but Gay Hanna does and there have been many times he has extolled its virtues to me. There has been more than once that he suggested I dump the 14-140 kit lens for the Oly. The only drawback, which I am sure you are already aware of, is it is noisy when it focuses. Gary used it on his GH1 while he did his unboxing of his GH2. Every time he bent over and readjusted focus, you could hear it in the clip.
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Old August 19th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #4
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

Nice idea Kevin, no way, that price puts it out of my range, and the the zoom range is too limited to be worthwhile, especially at that price.

My goal in obtaining new lenses now is in matching them up more than anything. I have a 50mm F/1.4 that is not contrasty enough, the Sigma which is too soft wide open, and a Tamron 28-70mm F/2.8 that is too cool. It's a presently very time consuming color correcting 12 hours worth of footage in a 4 cam shoot. I just bought color fixer pro, which helps, but man, the differences in these lenses color's is really a bear. The Tamron is the most difficult to fix, but it does take a nice image if you aren't trying to match it up with a 20mm F/1.7 or Sigma.

I'm hoping to build my lens kit around the look of the 20mm F/1.7, which is a nice reliable performer.

It is my hope the Olympus will look more like the 20mm F/1.7, which is really what I should have titled the thread.

Gary, if you're out there, do you find the two lenses have similar characteristics?
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Old August 20th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

I have it. It's my main walk around lens. Great glass just remember you'll need a $200 adapter to fit it. Focus is slower and noisier than my 45-210 lumix. And no IS.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

Jeff, color correction is just a natural fact of life. I recently took this picture on the GH2 with the Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4 wide open in my kitchen using the fluorescent light fixtures in the ceiling (This wasn't a serious shoot, just messing around). I think I just used auto white balance, can't remember. The lens is a little soft wide open, which I don't like. Anyhow, you can see the big difference before and after. If you want more contrast you're better off editing than finding a lens that gives you an unnatural high contrast. I wouldn't call any photo or video finished until it's been graded. Perhaps you could change the contrast setting in your picture profile? I have mine at -2. I don't know if you'll gain a lot going from the FD to the FDn, but who knows.
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Old August 21st, 2011, 12:39 AM   #7
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

Patrick, thanks for your input. You don't understand my situation. First, the 50mm I have is a low contrast image producing lens, it's 30 years old and the most inferior of the FD 50mm F/1.4. It is not SSC and has much poorer flare control. The newer FDn lenses are not unnaturally contrasty, they are more accurate and have a more pleasing image. In "most" situations I may not see a differences, but in certain situations I likely will see some improvement.

On color correction, I understand it happens, I've shot at least a couple hundred weddings, but mostly with video cameras such as the FX1000, Z1, FX1, and whatever else I have used. Always done multicamera shoots and so I've color corrected hundreds upon hundreds of video tracks trying to match things up. I say this simply to point out I am not new to the concept that color correction is a necessary step much of the time. For every wedding I shoot there is always color correction involved at some point.

What I didn't understand until recently about shooting with multiple cameras using interchangeable lenses is that different lenses, particularly differing brrands can give you very different looks. Simply setting white balance, etc. does not automatically give similar images from camera to camera when you're using different brands of lenses. Remember I'm running four at a time. I ran the Tamron today, and my assistant and I spent 20 minutes trying to match the camera to the others, and it was impossible. The colors are very different with the Tamron. Not bad, but so different in some strange way that I cannot match them in post, though I do my best.

I discussed this issue with my friend Pete at the local camera shop, and he explained for me the reason for this, but I forgot the details. But he says this is the reason some people will not use third party lenses.

On the other hand my Sigma 18-50 F/2.5 and 20mm f/1.7 are relatively similar if I take the time to adjust the color balance to where they come close to each other.

The two Canon primes I have are the oldest versions, they do not have the SSC coatings, and it shows. Under "just right" conditions they do look great, but they are not reliable all of the time. They both look pretty darn nice much of the time, but put them in certain situations and they look like crap, where my other lenses are consistent.

I hope I explained this better. Brian, thanks for the heads up on the adapter, I have two already. I found mine for closer to $100, thank god.
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Old August 21st, 2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

I have two of the FDn lenses, and neither is very contrasty. My 100mm f/2.8 also produces a green cast, which I don't care for.
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Old August 21st, 2011, 03:51 PM   #9
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

Patrick, my 135mm F/2.5 is weird also, and has a warm hue. Supposedly some of the FD lenses are radioactive which sounds bizarre, but I've read that on more than one site.

My 135 looks nice outdoors, but is useless indoors much of the time.

That's good to know about your FDn lenses, and I'm extremely happy I didn't order one the other day. Since then I have found the new Zuiko 45mm F/1.8 for M/4/3 and I'm about to order it I think.

I just ordered a the 12mm Zuiko and it is an exciting lens, I'm very pumped about it. I'm going to hold off on a zoom altogether, there are at least one for two possible impending releases that would make me sorry to order now. I have decided I am going to try and be patient and hold of for upcoming m4/3 releases and forget 4/3 thirds for now.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; August 22nd, 2011 at 04:35 AM.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 05:48 AM   #10
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
I have it. It's my main walk around lens. Great glass just remember you'll need a $200 adapter to fit it. Focus is slower and noisier than my 45-210 lumix. And no IS.
Actually the Olympus adapter is $200,

PANASONIC has a $130 adapter, which is half that price usually on ebay used.

The olympus is great for "macro" like shooting and 14 is wide enough, I don't consider 18 adequate as your widest on a four thirds camera. Ideally I'd like zooms to start at 12mm.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 12:49 PM   #11
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

Gary, you shot with the 12-60mm F/2.8-4.0? Your thoughts on it? I wonder when you reach 3.5 in the zoom range?

Some say the 12-60mm is a better lens overall, and I've read that some folks that have had both lenes liked the 12-60 better for IQ.

I'm torn about it, but am thinking about going ahead and getting one of them.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 08:10 AM   #12
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

Never shot with the 12-60. It didn't autofocus with the GH1 so I chose the 14-54 Mark II (The first version of the lens didn't AF with the GH1 either). But I have no clue if firmware upgrades or the GH2 corrected this.

Also what 135 do you have? Got the F2 135 FD and it's great, though you need a good tripod and fluid head to avoid jitters
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 08:26 AM   #13
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

Hi Gary, I have the FD 135 /F/2.5 which pushes concept of "creamy" images to the extreme. It is waaay soft. I had been looking at a 135mm FDN mount but due to Patrick's comment thought maybe they would all look the same.

After I'm done with my current crop of purchases I will look into that again, as I need a good long lens indoors, thanks for the recommendation Gary.

I'm frantically searching the net about the autofocus thing as I found a used 12-60 here but had hoped for auto focus.

Is the autofocus with your 14-54 pretty slow, or is it useable for live situations?
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 08:53 AM   #14
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

af is fine for photos, not continuous for video.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 08:57 AM   #15
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Re: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II?

Thanks for your reply Gary, I knew the continuous wouldn't work from the chart, but I know the auto focus with my Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 is barely useable much of the time, it rarely gets things right, and when it does it takes a few seconds as it figures thing out, very slow.
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