The Ongoing Battle Between "Need" and "Want."

I was intrigued when Olympus announced the 45mm f1.2 Pro lens a little while back. I asked my local dealer to put one on "hold" for me when they came in. He called me last Friday to let me know that a small number of the lenses had arrived and that one had been set aside for me. And all at once I was grappling with the same old conundrum: Is this something my business desperately needs? Or, is this something I think sounds really cool that I would really like to play with?

I did the logical thing. I put the 42.5mm Panasonic lens on my favorite GH5 and went out for a long walk through downtown this morning. I pointed my camera and lens at lots of stuff and made lots and lots of photographs. Now I have just spent some quality time looking at the images in Lightroom. Between this much cheaper lens and the older, manual focusing 50mm f1.7 Zeiss Yashica/Contax lens collection (we have three) in the equipment case I think I'll be okay. If a windfall comes in I'll capitulate and indulge in the new 45mm but for now I'm happy with the coverage I'm getting from these two (in house) focal lengths and the added comfort of also having this important focal length range covered by both of my existing Olympus Pro zoom lenses. 

Cleaning out the accrued mess of 20 years in my current office space. Man, we hold on to stuff for way too long....


  1. I am pretty much in the same boat of too much wanting before I needing :) . Actually I just bid on another video project for TFal. Hopefully I will crack their code. For my idea I was exploring how (aside from a Gopro) to put a camera inside a frying pan with a wide angle. I discovered the wonders of the "snorkel lens". Laowa was going to release what I would imagine would be a cost effective option this year but might have given up on it as there isn't any more info on their site.

    So I went thinking about a m43rds Z cam, an inexpensive G7 plus the 9-18mm, possibly just buying the Panasonic 8-18 and risking its destruction.

    It has been a fun exercise. I should find out monday if I get the project.

  2. A timely post. Sometimes I wonder if I do the reverse - turn practical needs into wants to justify a less expensive purchase - and later wish I had spent more up front.

    One example: I need (or should have) a fast zoom for event coverage. But I don't want to pay more than a fast prime. Later that year I have 2 or three primes that I'm furiously twisting on and off the camera, and curse my priorities (I love small primes for personal use).

    I've moved to m4/3, and am looking to round out my kit with a tele option. My brain says that zooms are practical choice since it's often hard to change perspective when far from your subject.

    Kirk, do you still have the 40-150mm Pro zoom? Are you fairly happy with pressing it into portrait duty when needed?

  3. Oh Craig, dont mean to chime in here but the 40-150 is a brilliantly versatile lens. I use it for product and portrait photography.

    A real gem.

  4. Kirk,
    I was disappointed in your decision not to get the Olympus 45mm for selfish reason. I was looking forward to your analysis before I decided to my own purchase. It sounds like in your analysis you feel the Pano 42.5 and the Olympus 12 to 100 is sufficient for your work.
    Dan Walker

  5. As an amateur/non-pro, all my gear aquisitions are always 'wants', not needs. So I really have to ponder every purchase ad-nauseum. I wish I could justify each new gear aquisition as an actual 'need', simply to expedite the decision process. But let us admit, the process (shopping) can be satisfying...classic GAS, at least from an amateur's perspective.


  6. Can you please elaborate on your experience with the Contax 50 1.7, including adapting to m43, metering, and focusing.


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