04 Jan That Sticky Question
And this time it’s not the maple syrup – it’s the vexed question of what lens to get whan you have no idea – no idea what you you will be taking pictures of, what your camera can do, where you’ll be going, or why you want the pictures. If this sounds a bit vague…it is…but people front up every day with just this sort of confusion and it would be nice to have an answer for it.
Of course, you can also say that the camera makers do provide very simple zooms for just this sort of situation – the classic is the APS-C camera with an 18-55mm lens. Wide enough for group shots and long enough for single portraits. If its mount is made cheaply enough it can still contain decent glass, and if the user is going to be dilettante about the use it will probably last him or her for as long as the body is current. None of us want to use the phrase ” throw-away lens ” in case someone thinks that is what you are supposed to do…
And note also – in a number of maker’s ranges that same focal length zoom is represented by a very good, very heavy wide-aperture zoom that can do as much professional work as the photographer can find. It will be at a professional price. Some of us, in our system choices, have lucked upon a lens with a combo of good build but bargain price and we are fortunate when we recognise the deal.
But what of the Panasonic GX9K user who has come to the micro 4/3 system dazzled by the features of the camera – the post focusing, focus stacking, video shooting, etc. but is still back in the first paragraph of this column as far as lens choice. Herewith a suggestion:
The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f:3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS lens. This big short:
This big long:
The stabliser is fully capable of dealing with the shake at the long end of this lens – the thing focuses to 30cm. – the camera that it goes upon has good hogh ISO ability. You can put this lens on your GX9K with a clean sensor and never take it off. It comes with a flower petal lens hood and will jigger up flash shots taken with the on-board pantograph flash, but a bigger gun will reach over it. It is fast to focus and doesn’t make a lot of noise doing it. It is also light enough with the modest aperture range so as not to be a shell-handling exercise.
While it doesn’t have the prestigious ” Made In Japan ” mark like the 20mm Panasonic lens, it is still a superb performer in the enthusiast class of glass.
It will go to the school fete, the surf beach, the wedding, Bali, Broome, Brno…It will take flower shots and arrt shots. It will chase airplanes at airshows and dogs at dog shows. It may well be the answer to your sticky question.