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Exceptional bokeh lens for MFT?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by ArticFox, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. ArticFox

    ArticFox Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2012
    Hello. I am spanking new to Mu-43 and the MFT format. I currently use an LX5 w/EVF. I plan to break in MFT when the GX2 arrives.

    I prefer the broad range of portrait focal lengths, and I am curious if an enthusiast in this focal length range has experienced an amazing bokeh lens, native or adapted for MFT.
  2. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Welcome! The most cost effective portrait lens that produces outstanding bokeh is the 45/1.8 offering from Olympus. It does not have OIS but it's small and short enough that it's normally not a big issue. In fact, the Panny Leica 25/1.4 is bigger than this. The PL25 is a great environmental portrait lens and obviously also produces great bokeh. It also renders colors excellently. Voigtlander has an expensive adapted f/0.95 counterpart at 25mm but I believe it's manual focusing. But the cream of the crop portrait lens thus far is the newly released 75/1.8. Extremely sharp at wide open and the bokeh is exquisite.

    There are image threads for all these lenses if you search the forum. It's best to see for yourself. Again, welcome to MFT.
  3. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    The Voigtander Nokton 25/f0.95 is a native Micro Four Thirds with manual aperture and focus. It is not adapted. That said it does have amazing bokeh, as does the m.ZD 75mm you mentioned.

    The m.ZD 45mm has very clean bokeh, but it's a bit clinical to my eye.

    Just about any adapted SLR 50mm f1.8 or f1.4 with give good bokeh if you're on a budget. They also make a good portrait focal length on MFT.
  4. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Oops. You're right. What I meant was third party lens.
  5. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Why wait for the GX2? You can get started with a very capable G3 or GX1 for a good price. Use the money you save for a good lens or two.

    Also, what do you consider to be 'Exceptional Bokeh'?
  6. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'f your on a budget, Rokinon 85mm 1.4: cheap, sharp, with a beautiful bokeh. Only problem people find with it is its rather long min focus distance of 1.1 meters (Rokinon says 1 meters, but thats measured from the tip of the lens barrel. My tape measure confirmed 1.1)
  7. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    Well in terms of "adapted" lens without native m4/3 mounts, I'd say a good number of wide aperture lenses out there. I personally am partial to my SMC Pentax-M 50/1.4, but I've seen nicer results out of the likes of older Olympus OM Zuiko 50/1.4 or Nikkor 50/1.4 lens. (or the much more expensive Canon FL 85mm f/1.2).

    On my E-P3 I love the Pentax-M 50/1.4 and my Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 1:1 macro.

    Personally I'd check out the adapted lens database for the variety of "fast" lens in the 35 to 90mm range and take your pick.
  8. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    hehe, probably 1 from the edge of the glass :p .
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    That's a super subjective question since there's no standard for bokeh. I guess when it comes to bokeh and out of focus backgrounds, my favorite lenses for m4/3 are:

    Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95
    Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4
    Olympus 45mm f/1.8

    Couple newer ones I've not used as long:
    Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro - harder to get a shallow DoF with the f/2.8, but I find the transition to OOF areas really pleasing on this lens, nice smooth look.
    Olympus 75mm f/1.8 - this one has tons of shallow DoF capability, but I have found that a few shots have produced strange looking swirly bokeh artifacts.

    I'll note though that I've also gotten some beautiful bokeh out of the Panasonic 14-140 and 100-300 telephotos, depending on the background/subject distance (and obviously only when there's enough light for a smaller-aperture lens). Naturally, fast lenses are easier to produce pleasing subject isolation and OOF backgrounds, but most of the native lenses do a fine job in my experience given the right subjects.
  10. ArticFox

    ArticFox Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2012
    Exceptional Bokeh

    Spatulaboy, you know better to ask me to define exceptional bokeh - that is a loaded question subject to anyone's whims. I disqualify myself to define it, but there are conditions when the background is really cool.

    I have samples, but I am trying to load my Jpeg images to this site. Their sizes don't fit the forum.
  11. CUB

    CUB Guest

    I would have said that the only problem with that lens is that its focal length is about twice as long as you need for classic portraiture.

    On 35mm film or full frame digital, classic portraits are best shot with a lens with a focal length between 85mm and 105mm. In Japan and the far east, a slightly longer focal legth such as 135mm is sometimes preferred.

    To get the same angle of view and subject-to-camera distance with m4/3, you need a lens with a focal length of half the above figures, say 42mm to 52mm. An 85mm lens is far too long for classic portraiture on m4/3.
  12. CUB

    CUB Guest

  13. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    I still love my Leica Dual-Range Summicron, 50mm f2, with adaptor on either my GH2 or EP-2. Fantastic resolution wide open [one of the best normal lenses ever tested for such — 100+ lines per mm in the old parlance] and via the range-finder "goggles" you can focus closer [0.5m instead of 1m] than normal Leica M-series lenses. It is the only M-series Leica lens I retain after about 40 years of analogue photog. Working totally manually also gives one a certain discipline to fit into. What you see is so important. A way or learning that never ceases. Colour rendition is fantastic. And bokeh.... legendary!
  14. OpenCS

    OpenCS Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 16, 2012
    I like what the Sigma 30 f/2.8 does personally (couple of examples behind the flickr link in my signature), although may be a bit close for portraiture. I'm using a legacy OM 50mm f/1.8 as well, which is also beautiful.
  15. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    It's not the focal length, per se, that is important in portraiture. Instead, it's the shooting distance. Portraits should be shot at a distance around 6ft/2m to 10ft/3m. Focal length choice should be solely to achieve the desired framing at the proper distance.

    For loosely framed "classic" 3/4 length portraits, lenses in the 25-40mm range (on m43) are appropriate. For tighter head-and-shoulders and face-only shots longer lenses in the 50-85mm range (again on m43) are needed.
  16. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    If you can't describe what you are looking for using words then your only hope is to look at pictures. I suggest that you browse through the image sample archives here at Mu-43:

    Native Lens Sample Image Archive - Micro Four Thirds User Forum

    Adapted Lens Sample Image Archive - Micro Four Thirds User Forum
  17. TonyB

    TonyB Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 6, 2010
    The bokeh on the ZD 50mm F2......

    is very nice, as is the overall performance. These were taken on a 7.5mp camera (The E-330).

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

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 1
  18. ArticFox

    ArticFox Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2012
    Nice Bokeh

    Yes, those images do convey nice bokeh. I wish I could load my images, but they are too big for this forum.
  19. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I love those swirly looking artifacts and wish they were more pronounced :smile:.

    I find that all of these primes have great bokeh quality: Pana 14/2.5, Oly 17/2.8, Pana 20/1.7, Pana Leica 25/1.4, Pana Leica 45/2.8, Oly 45/1.8, Oly 75/1.8

    Although all of those have very pleasing bokeh (out of focus blur), you aren't going to often notice much bokeh in most of them because of the relationships between focal length, f-number, and depth of field. If you want nice bokeh that you'll see often, then I would include all of the above except for the first two.

    Other lenses I don't own now which render nice looking bokeh include the two Sigma primes and the two Voigtlander primes for our system.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. marcl

    marcl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2012
    What is a good source for this database and is there one that indicates a rough range of used prices?
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