|Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm F/2, Panasonic/Leica Summilux 25mm F/1.4 & Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm F/1.8|
Undoubtedly the three most significant lenses to grace the Micro Four Thirds format in the last 4 months are the prime lens offerings from both Panasonic and Olympus. These three lenses (in my opinion) make the perfect trio of primes that suit this format. The Olympus 12mm F/2, Leica 25mm F/1.4 and the Olympus 45 F/1.8 (you'll fine my personal review of each lens on SLRGear.com under the user comments of 'kinematic').
|Olympus Pen E-P3 with the 12mm, 25mm & 45mm.|
Small enough to all fit on a window sill
I've never been one to buy into the idea of the 'Trinity' of lenses mostly because I tend to just collect lots of lenses on a whole, each for their different purposes and different attributes or a good quality zoom that covers all sorts of ranges. But in my evolution into the Micro Four Thirds system the biggest thing I appreciate is being able to keep my system very compact, but having the flexibility to do lenses changes that don't weigh down my shoulder or back on an outing.
|Leica 25mm F/1.4 w/fill flash.|
I've seen arguments about bokeh or equivalent field of views compared to full frame, and frankly I think some people are just too hung up on justifying the systems that they have invested in, rather than opening up the perspective and possibilities of something more compact. I can tell you I certainly was one of those types until I got my hands onto the system and really worked with it (and I don't mean just trying it out in a store or even using it for a day).
|Olympus 45mm F/1.8|
In the past couple of months, I've been pushing and challenging the system in all sorts of scenarios, and for the most part, it has met my expectations and then some. Bringing it along on all sorts of shoots as a back-up to my bigger bodies, I have ended up using it as a primary camera in some cases. The image quality and flexibility of the system quickly became apparent.
|Olympus 12mm F/2|
|handholding detail shots are a snap!|
The 12mm didn't disappoint me. It had little to no distortion and the corner to corner sharpness matched what my Canon EF 24mm F/1.4L II lens produces (one of my favourite lenses to use).
Of course most important in this whole mix is the price of this entire system. My 5DmkII with a 24mm lens runs around $4,000 USD. The E-P3 with the 12mm runs around $1,600. Certainly the resolution is a huge difference (21mp vs 12mp) but 12mp is more than plenty for a single full page magazine ad. All three lenses and the E-P3 still came in under $2600 which is what I sold my 7D and 100-400L to finance this system.
|Olympus 45mm F/1.8|
Each of the three lenses are a blast to use on the street and each one have their pluses and minuses. Being prime lenses means you have to be aware of the field of view you're working with, but once you set your mind to what you're hoping to shoot, you can easily fit the session to a single lens. However the convenience of the other two lenses still remain at pocket's distance, getting yourself into the idea that you don't need to change lenses a lot is actually quite liberating.
|12mm using the 'Snap-Focus' for zone focus|
|Leica 25mm F/1.4|
Even if you're a bokeh snob you'll be hard pressed to get this kind of image quality in a compact system from a zoom lens. Certainly one could argue that you could easily cover this entire range with something like a 24-70 F/2.8 and similar depth of field equivalencies but even that still runs nearly $4,000 again while the Pen and all three lenses are still well under that and far lighter.
The thing that many critics seem to overlook about the whole depth of field equivalency or the whole crop factor thing, is simply from a light transmission point of view, regardless of depth of field equivalency, an F/1.4 is still going to see better in less light than an F/2.8 and is the only real combination that can be used efficiently handheld in low light. That is certainly the difference of getting the shot or not.
|Leica 25mm F/1.4|
|45mm F/1.8... at the end of the day, relax and enjoy.|