f4 is too slow

Cederic

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
560
Location
Nottingham
I'm planning ahead to next year, when the 150-400 is released. It wont fit in my camera bag unless I take other lenses out, so I'm already looking at the best blend of lenses to carry.

On a recent 88 day trip I kept just 1 photo taken with the 35-100, so that's gone. I kept 751 photos taken with the 12-40, 296 of which were at 12mm. I don't want to go wider than that, but it seems that's a sensible wide angle to retain.

Another 215 were at 40mm. It's unlikely that this was my preferred focal length for most of those, suggesting that I just didn't have time (or was too lazy) to switch to the 35-100.

So the 12-100 would be a sensible option instead. Except.. 125 of those 751 photographs were taken at f2.8 and another 56 at f3.2 or f3.5. Almost none of those were intentionally trying to achieve shallow depth of field, the light levels meant that this was a sensible aperture. (Almost all of the sub-f4 shots have 1/100 or slower shutter speed).

In the UK (where it's generally less sunny than the places I visited on that 88 day trip) approximately half of my photographs with the 12-40 are at f2.8.

So I can ditch the 35-100 but I really would like that extra flexibility, yet it just doesn't seem to make sense to buy a lens as slow as f4.

I'm not sure how I'm hoping people will respond, just wanted to share a personal source of frustration, uncertainty and indecisiveness.
 

StefanKruse

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 28, 2015
Messages
531
Location
Denmark
Real Name
Stefan
One thing to consider is that, depending on your camera, the dual IBIS of the 12-100 could make up for the one stop difference between 2.8 and 4, but that is only relevant if you are shooting static objects and that's not clear from post.
 

pdk42

One of the "Eh?" team
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
6,555
Location
Leamington Spa, UK
One thing to consider is that, depending on your camera, the dual IBIS of the 12-100 could make up for the one stop difference between 2.8 and 4, but that is only relevant if you are shooting static objects and that's not clear from post.
Exactly. I swapped my Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 pair for the 12-100 and was initially worried about the f4 bit. However, the 12-100's IS is superb. Unless you want to freeze action or get shallow DOF, I doubt you'll find it an issue to drop down to f4. In fact, the 12-100 is probably the perfect travel lens.
 

MPrince

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Dec 2, 2017
Messages
83
Location
West Virginia
Real Name
Matt Prince
What is the ISO setting for the shots taken at apertures faster than f4? If they are mostly at base ISO you can compensate by bumping ISO up, but if the ISO is already at or near the maximum you're comfortable with then f4 may indeed be too slow for your needs.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2012
Messages
1,882
The superb IS of the 12- 100 Oly will make up for aperture. Taking pictures at 100 sec with a 100 mm lens is not what I try for. I want maximum lens speed compatible with the lighting and usually push the ISO to get it. There are no hard and fast rules but you will be surprised at how much you can push this and you get much better image stability. So.you may need to resort to post processing,but excellent processors are available,. Also you could go full frame. You are dealing with many parameters for which there are many approaches. A blanket statement about one will have have consequences for the other factors you must deal with.
 

ac12

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,640
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
A 12-100/2.8 would be nice, but big, heavy and expensive :(
Everything is a compromise.

I am currently debating between the Olympus 40-150/2.8 and the Panasonic 35-100/2.8.
One big issue is weight; the Olympus is 2x heavier than the Panasonic. Is the extra 50mm of the Olympus worth the 2x greater weight?
Second, is the ONE stop faster speed at f/2.8 worth buying, over the 12-100/4 that I have? A TWO stop difference = yes, a ONE stop difference is close enough that it is hard to call.
Third, the Olympus 12-40/2.8 + 40-150/2.8 is 2x the weight of the 12-100/4.
So is carrying two lenses at 2x the weight, worth the extra one stop of speed?
To me, the max aperture requirement, depends on how bad I am fighting the low light.
In very low light, where I would otherwise be at ISO 12800 or 25600, then YES, every stop of extra light helps, as I can shoot at a lower ISO.
In cloudy weather, it may be a harder call. But I have no issues shooting with a f/4 lens in cloudy weather, I just raise the ISO.

When I travel or have to carry for any significant distance, I leave the big heavy pro lenses at home. I cannot handle the total kit weight when carrying for significant lengths of time. I need a much lighter kit for vacation/travel. So I use the slower but smaller and lighter P-Lumix 12-60/3.5-5.6, and maybe the Olympus 40-150R/4-5.6. For low light I bring the 17/1.8. And that is my 2 and 3-lens travel kit.
With the slower lenses, I let the ISO go up, to whatever I need to get the shot.

BTW, besides weight and speed, the 12-100/4 has another issue, POWER DRAIN.
On my EM1-mk1, my normal battery life with the P-Lumix 12-60 and IBIS, is about 4 hours. With the 12-100/4 and Sync-IS, it drops down to about 2-1/2 hours. :eek: So carrying spare batterIES (note the plural) is mandatory.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
1,789
Location
the near far nord, eh!
Last trip... 12-100/4 + 25/1.2 + 7-14/1.2 + 40-150... considering the number of shots taken with the 40-150 it will stay home next trip, and the 25/1.2 will be replaced with the 17/1.2...

I could easily get away with just the 12-100/4 and 17/1.2... range and speed combo needed for most shots when weight is a concern. Might take the 60 macro... just cuz it’s so tiny... but rethnk Not that cuz it’s so tiny... and I’d be afraid of leaving it so,where without noticing it was missing

While admitting there is no such thing as an all in one, I do think the 12-100/4 is as close as it comes in my kit
 

Reflector

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
2,107
Could you post examples of your photos that you believe would require faster lenses since you're not DoF limited? If you're motion limited, you're pretty much going to bump ISO up but if you're talking about any daylight photography and low motion low light photography (that you want to freeze) the 12-100 is one of the nicest walk around lenses you can have on the camera.
 

Bushboy

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
873
Location
Aotearoa
Real Name
Charlie
I would ditch the 12-40 and the 35-100.
Get the 12 100 and the new tele zoom, if I had the money.... which I don’t. I would be surprised if you notice the slower f stops.
 

speedy

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
2,071
Personally, I could't do it. I primarily shoot faster primes, & it's quite a big shock to the system when I shoot with an f/4 lens. Your own statistics back this up, for your shooting style & conditions. You can only try, & see how you get on. It's only money after all.
 

Cederic

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
560
Location
Nottingham
Lots of interesting discussion and some more things to think about, thank you.

I had forgotten the 12-100 has IS (and the 12-40 doesn't). For street photography or when shooting people indoors (e.g. dancing) IS isn't going to help but for landscape it's a valid point.

I did some more analysis:
Of the 215 shots at 40mm, 34 of them were cropped in a way that would've been unnecessary with a longer focal length.
Of the 181 shots with an aperture wider than f4, 28 of them were sensitive to shutter speed (animals, birds, etc) so IS wouldn't have helped.

That's helpful. Spend money to get a larger heavier lens that'll be better for 34 photographs (out of 6855 taken) but worse for 28. I think plan B is going to work better for me: 12-40 and chuck the 60mm macro into a corner of the bag.

If I didn't already own the 12-40 I think you'd all have just convinced me not to buy it though :)
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
1,938
Location
Maryland
Real Name
Loren
I love the 12-100. Since I bought it, it is my most used lens. I find my images are sharper with it than the 12-40, but on paper they are about the same, and the real reason is probably the Dual IS mitigating camera shake a little better. But, f/4 can't do everything. I switch to a Pro prime if I need greater background separation or light gathering. I still have my 12-40 and 40-150, and will still use them instead when I think I need the extra stop of light in a zoom, and/or need them together for more focal length coverage.
 

Cederic

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2012
Messages
560
Location
Nottingham
The O75 has been sorely tempting for many years already. I just can't justify it when I already own a 35-100 f2.8 and a 60mm macro f2.8. For 'single prime somewhere between 40 and 150' I'd prefer a 90 macro, but the 75 isn't sufficiently longer than the 60 to justify the loss of macro. I did miss having a macro lens during my trip :(
 

fader

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
871
The O75 has been sorely tempting for many years already. I just can't justify it when I already own a 35-100 f2.8 and a 60mm macro f2.8. For 'single prime somewhere between 40 and 150' I'd prefer a 90 macro, but the 75 isn't sufficiently longer than the 60 to justify the loss of macro. I did miss having a macro lens during my trip :(
There is no reason to buy something that you’re not missing. Sounds like you e got plenty of great lenses already. Take a deep breath and forget about the GAS attack :)
 

ac12

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,640
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
. . .

At these speeds and considering the cost, I'd rather just change lenses because there are a bevy of slower and perfectly sharp enough zooms. I've been eyeballing a Lumix 12-60 f3.5 and Panasonic's older 45-175 f4 power zoom combo to use with small bodies because the lure of the GX9 is growing stronger, even with the crummy EVF. Combined, these two lenses are still 120 grams lighter than the Oly 12-100 and I'd argue that they're just as sharp. It's also 175mm extra reach over the 12-100, and even buying them new they're still than half the cost. While on the camera, it's 1/4 of the weight and half the size.

View attachment 759368
The P-Lumix 12-60 is my GP travel lens, for exactly what you said, small and light.
IQ is "good enough" for me.
Took it on a 2 week vacation and only once had to switch to the faster 17/1.8.
I could have used the extra reach of the 14-150, but then that is more weight to carry "all the time."
So for me, the P-Lumix 12-60 was a good balance of size, weight, lens speed, and zoom range. No regrets.
 

fader

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
871
The P-Lumix 12-60 is my GP travel lens, for exactly what you said, small and light.
IQ is "good enough" for me.
Took it on a 2 week vacation and only once had to switch to the faster 17/1.8.
I could have used the extra reach of the 14-150, but then that is more weight to carry "all the time."
So for me, the P-Lumix 12-60 was a good balance of size, weight, lens speed, and zoom range. No regrets.
For sure - it's a really small package for such a useful range. The feature page for the Lumix 12-60 could use some lovin' - I can't believe there's only 7 pages or so in there given that most reviews I've read put the Lumix version on par with the PL 12-60 f2.8 in terms of sharpness. It seems like the best kit lenses available for m43.
 

ac12

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,640
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
For sure - it's a really small package for such a useful range. The feature page for the Lumix 12-60 could use some lovin' - I can't believe there's only 7 pages or so in there given that most reviews I've read put the Lumix version on par with the PL 12-60 f2.8 in terms of sharpness. It seems like the best kit lenses available for m43.
AND . . . it has the best zoom ring of all of my m4/3 lenses. SMOOTH and LIGHT. Easily worked with my fingers.
I don't like having to grab the zoom ring with my hand and turn it with my arm, because it is stiff/has lots of drag.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom