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45mm 1.8 vs 40-150mm

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Liquidvamp, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. Liquidvamp

    Liquidvamp Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2014
    HI guys I would like to know your opinion regarding my dilemma.
    I'm currently choosing between these two lenses.

    These are my thoughts:

    45mm 1.8
    +portrait lens (I'm sure my friends and family members will be pleased with the shots coming from this lens)
    --limited range
    - more expensive but I think I can afford it.

    +Flexibility and zoom range are the factors what makes me think about getting this lens instead of 40-150mm
    +if I watch ball games, go to a zoo or something that may limit my movement getting close to a subject this lens will get my shot instead of 45mm
    -+ not sure yet about the image quality

    I currently have the 17mm 1.8 prime on my ep5 and I'm thinking about choosing between these two.
    Please help out.
    I shoot landscapes, friends and family photos. Some close up shots.
    here's my flickr to get an idea.
  2. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 22, 2013
    My vote definately on 45/f1.8. It's a marvelous nice little tele. 40-150 is not bad, but there's nothing you can do for its slowliness. And if you are already shooting with 17mm prime, this will fit nicely to your gear.

    Why not get this 45mm prime new and save little money and buy later 40-150 refurbished/used, if you really feel you need it.

    (I used mine 40-150 only once, so sold it few weeks ago)
    • Like Like x 1
  3. zucchiniboy

    zucchiniboy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco
    I have the 45 and a similar zoom (45-175), and had the 40-150 before. I definitely vote for the 45. Smaller, sharper, better complement to your 17, better in low light. I think you'll be happy with it.

    Unless you know for sure you'll want the reach, but even then, the aperture really slows down limiting the zoom's use to bright light only.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Easily the 45mm. In fact the 17/45 combo is what I'd consider the standard 2 lens Olympus prime kit. From there you can build your kit around those two lenses!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    The 40-150 is a nice lens, very good up to 100mm and still good after. Have a look to this thread:


    The 45 has 2 stops advantage at that focal length and that can often be compensated, if needed, with ISO. During the day and with 1600/3200 as an higher ISO limit I think this is not going to be a real difference. It would be more common to find yourself unable to shoot at 1.8 without an ND filter.

    The perspective, for the same subject, at 45 is different from the one at 17 but even more at 150. This means to have pictures that looks different in the content and not only in contrast or sharpness. I mean that having a longest focal length is not only about getting the monkey on the tree shot.
    But it is also about the monkey shot, because 45mm, in my experience, was too often not enough for wildlife, or running dogs.

    If you shoot in low light or if you care a lot about IQ the 45 just wins. Also it's going to give you a lot more background blur then the 40-150 at the same focal length, that gives you a similar blur only on the very long end.

    To get a headshot portrait with the 45 you have to get close, like 1.5 meters. Not that good for candids. But the digital-teleconverter of the camera can give you a 90mm 8MP cropped file that is still usable for most situations (giving you the different perspective too).
    • Like Like x 1
  6. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    • Like Like x 2
  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I have both and they are used for 2 completely different purposes. The 45/1.8 is a fantastic portrait lens and excels in low light shooting. It's auto focus should not be overlooked either as it is blazing fast.

    The 40-150, is a good, inexpensive mid to long documentary type lens. In good light, they are both very capable.

    Some examples of the 40-150:

    At 116mm
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    A Boy From Town - B&W by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

    At 150mm
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Union Officer - B&W by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

    Examples of the 45mm:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Abe and the Banjo - B&W by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    In And Out Of The Store by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Woman and Bunting 2 - B&W by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
    • Like Like x 4
  8. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    I have both, got the 40-150 first though as it is more flexible. If I had to lose one it would be the 45mm. My other lenses are 14mm and 20mm.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 mobile app
  9. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    Have them both. 40-150mm is sharp enough although 45mm is better. Yeps i'm also use this for different purpose. 40-150mm, i use it to capture wildlife, concert and live stage events.

    45mm for portrait lens. In terms of sharpness i feel 45mm is better one but doesn't mean 40-150mm is bad either. In fact i my kit lens less sharpness than 40-150mm.
  10. dccase

    dccase Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 25, 2014
    Massachusetts, USA
    That is a tough choice. I have both. If I could only keep one lens for my camera, it would be one of those two.
    But which one?

    The 45mm makes everything you point it at look beautiful. I got mine refurbished and on sale for about $229. Keep an eye out for sales.

    Shots from the 40-150 look pretty darn good too, and obviously covers a huge range. It needs more light. Not an issue outside in the sun. Mine came with the camera, along with the 14-42mm, and I still bought the 45mm despite the overlapping focal length. But I probably wouldn't have spent full price for it. But now I'd hate to give it up.

    But if I could only have one of them? I guess I'd give a slight edge to the 40-150 because of the flexibility. And also because it's a bright sunny day. Ask me again in the evening.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    For roughly the same money as the 45, you could have the 40-150 AND the Sigma 60. Yes, the Sigma is a little slower than the O45, but for my purposes (family, friends, travel) maybe even a little sharper and very nice bokeh. I still have my 45, which I used a lot, but I think I prefer the 60.

    Look up the sample images threads here, that should help.
  12. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    For me the Pany 14 and either the Sigma 30 or the 40-150 make a great kit (I have all three). For cost and performance and SIZE this is my dream team.
  13. Liquidvamp

    Liquidvamp Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 7, 2014
    Thanks for all your comments. Well I was thinking if 45mm will be enough for my "zoom/tele" range aside from being a portrait lens. I don't normally shoot in lowlight and if i must I think I will use my 17mm instead especially indoors.
  14. I have both, but I'll wait for the new 40-150 f/2.8 before I decide which focal range is better.
  15. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    I also have both. 40-150 is very good to me, but is slower than 45mm obviously. I bought 45mm for concerts where light matters..
    40-150 is very sharp (but 45mm is slighty sharper in my opinion), if you need more than 40mm, to use also as macro with a close-up lens, is a good way for cheap.

    I'm also tempted to sell 40-150 and use a +4d on my 45mm for macro shoot, I have to see if I can live without 50-120 lenght range, but for me, at the end, use more 45mm cause it is faster, sharper and smaller
  16. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    There is no "versus" with 45 and 40-150. They're complementary, excellent tools, but designed for different purposes. You need both to round out your kit, so the question you should be asking is, "which one should I buy first?"
    • Like Like x 1
  17. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I like this option. The 45mm is a great lens, but for outdoor things like the zoo, the 40-150mm is going to be more versatile simply due to the longer FL. While not as fast as the 45mm, the 60mm gives plenty of subject isolation for portraits and has a very nice rendering as well. The 45mm is certainly better for low light, but you already have the 17mm which is a much more versatile focal length for interior shooting where space is often at a premium.

    I've owned all three of these - the 45mm, the 40-150mm and the Sigma 60mm and while I currently only own the 60mm - if I had $300 to spend and these were my options, I'd get the 40-150mm and the 60mm as opposed to just the 45mm.
  18. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    45mm is a legend

    objectively the 75 might be better...25mm better looking and more useful FL.... but 45mm is a must-have lens.

    also more useful than the range of 40-150
  19. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    The 17/45 pair makes a great combo, you might go with that first and see if you find the 45mm focal length too limiting (keep in mind it's plenty sharp so you have a bit of room to crop). If so, the suggestion of Sigma 60 and Oly 40-150 would make a good alternative at a similar price or you could just add the 40-150, it can be found on sale or used out of kits for not much more than $100 from time to time.

    If you buy used/refurbished you can sell most m4/3 primes down the road for not too much loss.
  20. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I was pricing used gear the other day, and if you shop around you can get a used 45/1.8 and used 40-150 for the price of a new 45/1.8

    You could have the best of both for the same price.
    • Like Like x 1
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