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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 17 of 32

Olympus Lenses

John Greengo

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

17. Olympus Lenses
Pair the camera with a lens that's just as good. In this lesson, gain lens recommendations for the E-M1 Mark II, including M.Zuiko lenses from Olympus. Learn the different controls available on the lens.


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:05:29
2 Camera Overview Duration:10:21
3 Photo Basics Duration:04:10
4 Top Deck: Mode Dial Duration:16:27
6 Mode Dial: Manual Exposure Duration:08:46
7 Top Deck: Shooting Modes Duration:22:35
8 Top Deck: HDR & AF Mode Duration:05:58
10 Backside: Viewfinder Display Duration:07:15
13 Backside: Super Menu Duration:20:50
14 Backside: Playback Menu Duration:06:15
17 Olympus Lenses Duration:05:05
18 Camera Menu Settings Map Duration:03:03
19 Shooting Menu 1 Duration:08:30
20 Shooting Menu 2 Duration:20:18
21 Video Menu Duration:17:41
22 Playback Menu Duration:09:04
23 Custom Menu A & B Duration:22:01
24 Custom Menu C1 & C2 Duration:11:24
25 Custom Menu D1-D4 Duration:19:31
26 Custom Menu E1-E3 & F Duration:13:35
27 Custom Menu G Duration:04:11
28 Custom Menu H1-H2 Duration:07:20
29 Custom Menu I Duration:05:04
30 Custom Menu J1-J2 Duration:05:45
31 Setup Menu Duration:05:32
32 Camera Operation Duration:12:52

Lesson Info

Olympus Lenses

We've been talking about the front of the camera and a little bit about lenses. So let's talk about the lenses for a moment or two. So this is the 12-40, it's one of the more popular lenses because it's a good general range, nice fast aperture, and well built good optical lens. With any of the zoom lenses you're gonna have a zoom ring, and most of the lenses will have a focusing ring, there might be an exception out there. So, as I said, a lot of their Pro lenses, and you'll see that says Pro down there in the bottom right hand side, they'll often have a Lens Function button. They'll all have an Alignment mark, some of them will have Distance Scales but not all of the lenses, in fact, most of them do not. The hood mount on there is for mounting up the specific hood for that lens, now, every lens has its own designated hood. It's, of course, highly recommended that you use that as much as possible, and make sure that you have the correct one for the correct lens. Most lenses you'll be a...

ble to hook up filters too, there will be a specific size filter that you'll need to get, they're not all 62 but this one is 62. If you don't like the way their focusing ring works. If you come from Nikon, if you come from Canon, the lenses focus in a different direction, as far as which direction you turn for infinity. So if you wanna customize the direction that the focus ring turns, yes, you can do that within the very depth deep field of auto focus customization that we are gonna be getting into, in an upcoming section. Alright, let's just look at a few of the lenses that I think are really good, that I think are notable lenses. The 12-40, as I say, is one of the most popular lenses, their new 12-100, is when they seem to have been subtlety pushing quite hard, it's an f/4 lens, which I like and has a very nice range, it has their Dual Image Stabilization compatibility, so that's when you're gonna get six and half stops of image stabilization, combining the stabilization of the lens and the stabilization built already into the camera. The other kind of main Pro lenses that you will see being used out there, the 7-14 ultra wide angle lens, it's so wide it does not accept standard screw and filters, so filtration is a little bit challenging on that, but fast aperture, good for after work, any sort of low light work, their 40-150 is an incredible telephoto lens, great range, fast 2.8 aperture, really good lens. Now you'll notice a number of letters like ED, and PRO, and each of these little letter designations in there has some sort of significance with Olympus, and this is just, kind of, a few of the more common letters that you're likely to see with any of the lenses. Now, a few of the other lenses that I wanna talk about are some of the other Prime lenses. They have an 8mm Fisheye, a normal superfast 1.2 25mm lens, and their new 300mm super telephoto lens, which it also has Dual Image Stabilization. These are some of the other really high quality lenses in their Pro style of lenses. But you don't have to stick just to their classification of Pro lenses, there's plenty of other very, very nice Sweet Primes as I like to call them. And so, the 12, 17 and 25, have reasonably fast apertures: 1.8 f/2. The 45, 1.8 is not a real fast lens, but you know what? It's a nice portrait lens, and it's really small and light weight. The 75 is a, I mean, I don't know if it's been out long enough to classify officially, but it is a legendary lens. It is a great super sharp optic, very good for portrait photography, if you have large working distance, so if you're working outside, that's a really good lens. But Panasonic also has compatible lenses and I really like a lot of the offerings from Panasonic. So they have their own fast normal lenses like the 12-35 and the 35-100. They also work with Leica, that have lenses that meet many of the Leica standards and they use a lot of their design ideas and techniques in their lenses. They're ultimately made by Panasonic but they have a lot of Leica influence in how they're made. So they have a number of very good options including a fairly compact 100-400, for all of you wild life shooters out there. I'm a big fan of the Panasonic Primes, they make some really nice fast lenses, the 25 1.4 I own, I'm really happy with. The 42.5 1.2 is kind of the ultimate portrait lens for the micro 4/3 system if you want that shallow depth of field, gives you that 85mm traditional focal length with a fast 1.2 aperture. And so those are just some of my favorite lenses and if you're gonna own this camera, my bet is that you're gonna own a couple of the lenses that I talked about on there, because these are the ones that most people are choosing.

Class Description


  • Adjust your camera's exposure
  • Take sharp photos with a solid understanding of the autofocus system
  • Use the camera's advanced modes, like High Res and focus stacking
  • Customize your camera's controls
  • Easily find different options in the complex menu system
  • Uncover the camera's hidden features


The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is one of the best lightweight Micro Four Thirds cameras on the market -- but the menu system is one of the most confusing and the camera's advanced tools can be hard to decipher solo. Ditch the instruction manual and maximize the potential of the E-M1 Mark II by learning from expert photographer John Greengo.

The Fast Start class covers the camera's controls, features, menu system and more. From basics like taking your first picture to advanced topics, by the end of this class, you'll be able to expertly use the E-M1 Mark II's many features. Learn how to use the advanced features like the High Res mode and in-camera focus stacking and find shortcuts for the most frequently used settings.

Customize your camera to your shooting style by setting custom controls and settings. Walk through the different options and learn John's recommendations for each setting. Finally, set up a pre-shot checklist and learn how to adapt the camera to different types of images.


  • Photographers just picking up the E-M1 Mark II for the first time
  • Self-taught photographers that want to see what they're missing
  • Photographers considering purchasing the E-M1 Mark II



John Greengo is a travel and landscape photographer with more than 30 years of experience. When he's not traveling and shooting, his straightforward teaching style helps new photographers learn the basics and become better acquainted with their gear. He's taught dozens of Fast Start classes on different interchangeable lens camera systems, including the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, the E-M10 Mark II, and Olympus PEN F along with cameras from Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Panasonic.


a Creativelive Student

This is exactly what I was looking for - I really feel like I'm not able to control my camera, rather than the camera controlling me! :) I really learned a great deal - some of it was a great review, some of it was crucial information that will (hopefully) make me a better photographer. Thanks for a great class, John!!

Spyro Zarifopoulos

Great and very informative class.... John has done a fabulous job explaining all the simple and intricate details of the very sophisticated EM1 II. Thank you !!!

John Epperson

This is a great course on learning about the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. I have watched it many times to get to were I know it by memory the best I can. I like to go over it as much as possible because there is a lot to learn. I do wish that John would do an updated version since now it is up to Firmware 3.1. It is like a whole new camera with the new settings.