45mm f1.8 or not

MuBear

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I have a dilemma. I already have a Nikon 50mm f1.8 adapted to my MFT camera and I love taking portraits and I love the shallow depth of field this combination of focal length+ aperture produces. But with my adapted Nikon lens, the bokeh is not very nice and focusing is hard especially at 1.8. Plus it looks kind of awkward(but that's not really a concern) and I'm sure the sharpness and IQ of the native 45mm f1.8 is much better. Anyone here with experience with both native and adapted lens? Please advice.

#FirstWorldProblems
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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Yeah.
I was happily manual focusing with various 50mm and 45mm old lenses until one particular day I could'nt get a sharp picture which annoyed me muchly.
Ordered the M.Zuiko 45mm that evening. I hate paying retail price, but the frustration was strong.

Great lens! Point and click : Easy fast results and a very pleasant feel to the pictures. Looks good too.

I still use my manual lenses on other bodies like 4/3rds and fuji X-E1.
M.Z 45mm stays on my e-P2.
 

MuBear

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Can you tell me more about the "pleasant feel"? The frustration is definitely strong here as well... but for $100 more I could get the Oly 25mm and I will have a wider selection of focal lengths that I can play with.
 

Steven

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Most old lenses need to be stopped down to get a decent photo that is not too fuzzy or unsharp. So, if you use 45mm wide open then right away you win some. This is especially important if you need to use it in low light situations. That said, for a long time I held out and used various 1.4/1.8/2.0 lenses of similar focal length and it was ok. 45mm autofocus is really efffortless in comparison though . If you don't do a lot of portraits, it may be a waste however.
 

walter_j

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I got a canon fd 50mm f1.8, and have been very frustrated with it. So much so, I put it aside. The bokeh wasn't very nice and not easy to focus. I also have a Canon FD 135 F2.5 which is a pleasure to use, so I'm not sure what the difference is (same adapter).
 

MuBear

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It must be the lens build. The Canon 50mm f1.8 is known to be the amazing plastic for good reason! The focus ring is similar to the Nikon. It's cheap, loose, making it hard to nail focus.
 

Narnian

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I had a Pentax 50/1.4 which, though fun, was difficult to focus and was definitely not as sharp as the Olympus 45/1.8 at similar f-stops.

I pretty much stopped using adapted lenses once I got native equivalents.

Plus the size is much smaller.
 

MuBear

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I am not doing the amount of portraits I wish I was doing! My subjects tend to shy away whenever I point at them with my camera, sometimes I wonder if it is my face that's not helping...
 

CiaranCReilly

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My old OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 had character, but the 45mm is just a much better lens to use on micro 43 cameras. In terms of "feel" yes the 50mm was very nice, I really liked the mechanical aperture ring and I could fairly much focus by feel, getting to know how far to turn the focusing ring. I sold the 50mm but should probably have kept it, but I have no regrets at all for getting the 45mm.
 

fredlong

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I love my Summicron 50/2. It's one of the reasons I went with u43. Since getting the 45/1.8 it is either on the camera or in the bag all the time. The Summicron isn't.

Fred
 

fin azvandi

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I also used several adapted 40-50mm lenses, including an SMC Takumar 50/1.4 that I really loved. But for portraits the bokeh was never as nice as what I saw with the Oly 45 samples, and manual focusing at that length and wide apertures was sometimes a hassle. So I sold the Tak and got the Oly, big improvement in terms of ease-of-use and overall sharpness at wide apertures. Stopped down I guess I didn't notice a huge improvement over the Takumar.

Recently I traded the 45 for the 60 macro as an experiment, but now I'm thinking about repurchasing the 45...so my advice is for you to get one!
 

MuBear

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Great posts guys, this 45mm must be a real gem. Gosh I never thought I would go full MFT, after this, there is no turning back.
 

pellicle

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My vote is that the OM 50mm f1.8 is very sharp on the m43 cameras. If you do not have an EVF and use focus magnification you won't get the focus accuracy needed. If you for instance work off the back of the screen its almost impossible.

When I bought mine there were no native lenses available in that focal length. Today if I didn't have it I would perhaps be more tempted to get the 45mm f1.8

However there are times when I really always use manual focus (like working closer) so as to get the focus exactly where I want it. Relying on the AF in those situations disappoints. For instance just relying in AF may not have got this shot just right.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


So my advice is to buy it used at KEH and try it. If you like it then ... well perfect :) if you don't like it you can eBay it for almost what you paid for it and are wiser for what will work out to be less than rental.

BTW I first bought a FD50mm f1.7 and it was unacceptable. I bought a OM50f1.8 soon after and it was chalk and cheese. Having since tried a few of those lenses I am convinced its not manufacturing variation but that the FD50f1.8 is poor.

http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2009/06/comparing-legacy-35mm-adapted-fifties.html

I did not find the same with the FD 50f1.4 which is a nicer lens for sure.

Keeping your existing legacy 50mm is now also a great way to get into macro with a few extension tubes :)

PS Oly 45 is $313 on KEH at the moment
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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Can you tell me more about the "pleasant feel"? .
The DOF and background blur at F1.8 is just right, natural-looking while the subject sharpness is good without being snarly.
If I could change anything at all about this lens : I'd add a bit of metal to the outer barrel so it feels as proper as it looks.
The front element is also small enough that people are not scared of it ...
 

lrlebron

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The 45 is a little gem. Well worth the cost and not only for portraits

Here's a landscape I shot

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BigTam

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Agree 100% with the comments here. However, you should check to see if you prefer a looser or tighter view, that is, 45 or 60mm. The Sigma 60 is superb optically and the longer focal length makes up, more or less, for the slower aperture as far as depth of field goes. Nice bokeh, too.

I have both and find it difficult to let either go, but if I had to choose, I'd keep the 60.
 

pellicle

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I have both and find it difficult to let either go, but if I had to choose, I'd keep the 60.
Those are good points. If starting from zip then the sigma is also cheaper to buy. I wonder why the sigma drops off the radar so much?

I find that I prefer my 70mm Pentax lens for portrait over my 50mm, as it allows a bit more working distance. But if needing to be physically in close then 42 has its arvantages
 

WT21

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Slightly different view. I dropped m43 and went to NEX. I liked the colors a bit more on NEX and the fact that I could use my legacy glass so much more easily. The NEX6 has been great to use with legacy glass. But I'm coming back to m43, because the native glass on NEX is just the pits. So, for me anyway, NEX for manual focus, but m43 for AF. So, if you want that FL and AF, then get the O45 on M43.
 
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