Prime Lens for my new Olympus Pen E-PL7

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Cameras' started by iKokomo, May 10, 2017.

  1. iKokomo

    iKokomo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    I just got an Olympus Pen E-PL7 for my vacation camera because I have some nice glass for my Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera!

    The question is, I am looking for decent priced (nothing fancy) prime lens. I currently have the amazing Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 and a cheaper wide angle Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens.

    I would like one that would be good for portraits! (remember nothing too fancy)

    Thanks a lot!!


     
  2. BrentC

    BrentC Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,976
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Location:
    Brampton, Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Whats your budget? The Oly 75 f1.8 would be an excellent portrait lens. You can do the Oly 60mm f2.8 macro that also does well as a portrait lens and get the added benefit of macro idf your into that. Both Oly and Panny have pretty good 45mm.
     
  3. iKokomo

    iKokomo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    I ran across some Sigma Prime M43 lenses! How do these compare to the Olympus lenses? :)
     
  4. BrentC

    BrentC Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,976
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Location:
    Brampton, Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have never used the Sigma lenses. From all reports they are very good for the price. Whether they are better the Oly's counterpart I can't say. But just google sigma vs olympus and there will be tons of reviews and article. I believe all there lenses are f2.8, although I think they have one 30mm f1.4. First decide what fl you want then look for comparisons online against Panny and Oly for price and quality.
     
  5. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    5,351
    Likes Received:
    1,399
    Location:
    Cork Ireland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The sigma m4/3 lenses are nice, I think there's a 19 a 30 and a 60, they are f2.8 and good value.

    However, it's hard to look beyond the Olympus 45mm f1.8. It's a very nice not to expensive lens that is a good length for portraits
     
  6. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2016
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    3
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    [2017-0816: I came back to this topic to use the link I posted, but when I re-read my post, I decided to re-write it to make it clearer. I have not added anything substantially new to what I posted before so if you understood the original version you can skip it. If what I wrote before confused you, then this version might be better.]

    I got to thinking about this a few months ago, and I did some "light" research (ie not much) and came up with this pair of articles:

    "Best lenses for portraits: 5 sensibly priced options tested"
    by Matthew Richards May 24, 2017 [Techradar]


    "14 portrait photography tips you'll never want to forget"
    by "Digital Camera Magazine, Mar 17, 2017 [Techradar]


    But I thought I would add something to think about. What I am writing is stuff I read many years ago in photo magazines (probably Modern Photography or Popular Photography) and I do not have the original articles, so I might get some things wrong -- maybe a lot. Hopefully someone will correct me. :)

    The idea of a "portrait lens" goes back at least as far at the 4" x 5" cut film camera days. Back then a photographer could make a significant income from shooting various types of portraits, and one of the big money makers was a standard "head and shoulders" composition. The lens used for this particular, very common, composition got to be called a "portrait lens".

    Picking a lens for a portrait can be thought of as coming at the end of the composition process.

    It starts with the assumption that you want a "natural" picture of a human face. And that "natural" picture means "un-distorted". If you take a picture of a face too closely, then you get "big nose distortion", and if you take it too far away, then you get "flat face distortion" -- also known as "Fat face distortion" or "big ears distortion".

    So we start by finding out what distance gives a natural view. I think this turns out to be around 6' - 8'. My memory might even be wrong because I am trying to remember something I read a long time ago. Also, even if my memory is correct, a lot of portrait photographers today would dispute this and say it is a bit farther. You can check it for yourself by sitting someone in a chair and move your camera nearer or farther and look at the view screen. And if you do that, you might as well take the pictures and print them too.

    For the target composition for this theoretical portrait, we are looking for head and shoulders, including some of the chest, and a little above the head, but not necessarily the shoulder width. You can find examples in todays news papers in larger cities almost daily in "corporate announcements" -- not the "hard news" photos taken on the run by the newspapers, but the announcements that say "Our Corporation is pleased to announce that Joe Bright has take a position as corporate accountant" etc.

    When you chose the lens focal length you are chosing an "angle of view" that gives you the rest of the composition, which is the background crop, at the "natural view" distance which you have already established. Since the distance that gives the "natural view" for this composition is generally about the same for this composition for most subjects (people), the focal length that gives this composition is generally going to be about the same. For 35mm film cameras, 85mm was often the choice.


    The big modification is that when you go to full height portraits, you want to stand back a bit further because that close a distance gives an "unnatural" full height image. So maybe a distance of around 12' - 16' might be better. I always felt that a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera gave a good "full standing height" portrait (this is too "telephoto" according to the approach I have described, but I like it).

    Also note that if you check an old textbook from 4" x 5" cut film days, the focal length will not convert to 85mm on a 35mm camera. The angle of view based on the frame 4 x 5 format got altered, and I think the shoulders (width) got cropped more, resulting in the 85mm focal length for 35mm film cameras.


    The Result:

    After all this, really, I agree with "jaomul" about the Olympus 45mm 1.8. Because this is a "Micro 4/3" camera, the 45mm is considered equivalent to 90mm on a 35mm film camera. Actually, in the 4:3 formats, I think that I would prefer an 80mm equivalent lens (40mm actual focal length), but that's just me being picky. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. katsrevenge

    katsrevenge No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    PA, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    I love the Sigma ART lens that I have. I have the 30mm one... well, here is my cat taken with it.
    [​IMG]Zarcat by Kat M., on Flickr

    And here is an old lady in a sunset.
    [​IMG]Sunset Woman by Kat M., on Flickr

    I'm budgeting for the 19, the 60 is a 'one day, maybe' lens. Hope this helps!
     

Share This Page