I'm in two minds about what to do with my Oly 45mm...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Andym72, May 22, 2016.

  1. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    On the one hand... I bought it over 3 years ago and have used it a total of twice (!) Once at a wedding, and the other time was taking photos of the ceiling of a quite dark cathedral when there was some cherubic detail that couldn't be captured with a wider angle.

    The whole rest of the time, it has sat on a shelf, inside one of the OM Lens cylindrical pouches I got as hand me downs, just doing nothing... I just don't seem to take a lot of shots at all in the 30mm to 60mm focal length range, not even with my superzoom.

    But on the other hand, the 45mm is now only £180 new, the going rate for them preowned is £125 which isn't a lot, and I just know the moment I sold it a situation would come up where I could use it (a variant of Murphy's Law). Oh, and it was a birthday present from my late wife.

  2. I think I'd agree with the above, although saying that I've bought and sold several 45mm lenses now, but usually to fund another purchase. Maybe this is a chance to try and use it more? It's great at what it does, it just happens that I don't often take those photos with that lens. I tend to stick to my 35-100/2.8 because one fixed length prime just won't do, although no doubt I'll buy a 45mm or 42.5mm if one comes up cheap!
  3. NoSeconds

    NoSeconds Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Just throw it on and force yourself to use it and it alone, for a month...
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  4. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    The 45/1.8 is a wonderful portrait lens, go hang out with some people you enjoy and take photos of them, if that doesn't make you warm up to the 45/1.8 I don't know what will.
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  5. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    I don't use this lens all that much and have considered selling it many times. But ... I like to take photos of my indoor cats, and while my much more frequently used 25/1.8 is better for close-ups, the 45/1.8 lets me capture my kitties from a greater distance.

    I bought mine on Ebay from Korea when the lens was $400 and used copies were scarce. My nitpicky complaint is that it has that silver paint job I hate. So I just picked up a second (used) copy in black. Now to sell my silver version, as I certainly don't need two! It's now an inexpensive lens with great optics, so even with seldom use, it's a good lens to keep around. The sentimental value of your copy adds to its overall value, I'd think. But what do I know? I went from thinking of selling my only copy to purchasing a second simply for its color! :dash2:

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
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  6. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    I'm not at all questioning how wonderful the 45mm is at what it does.

    The thing is, when I take portrait photos of people, I've found I hardly ever do head and shoulders shots. I much prefer to have a feel for "where they are" in the image. I tend to take waist up shots in landscape aspect, and try roughly to "rule of thirds" it and get their eyes at 1/3 down from the top of the image. Standing back at around two metres so that you get a natural looking perspective in their face, no oversized noses etc, you end up in the ballpark of a normal lens for that kind of framing - 25mm. If the background better suits a portrait aspect, then I'm at around 30mm.

    I was just looking through all the photos I have of Maria (my wife) the other day, taken with zoom lenses and they are pretty much all smack bang on either 25mm or 30mm. I was amazed that I'd pretty much hit one of these two focal lengths every time, without me knowing at the time what focal length I'd chosen (it's just stand a couple of metres back, frame it up and zoom to taste...).

    So it is just me, I just instinctively gravitate to Normal lens for portraits, then for things like architectural details on buildings, or shooting at events from the audience area, I go much longer. I just don't seem to use the focal lengths in between those all that much.
  7. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    It's a classic portrait length, but the length and aperture give some of the best bokeh you can get on any system for £200. If heads and shoulders aren't your thing (and these are classic photos that are great to have in your repertoire), how about finding images where you really need to separate your subject from the background. The quality of the oof areas will be creamy and smooth.
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  8. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I am with you there. I once did a survey of all my shots from the last two or three family vacations we took (so well over a thousand shots, if not close to 2k, over a wide variety of subjects, distances, etc.). Of the shots that were shot with my 12-60mm lens (my main lens for 80+% of those shots) the vast majority of them were in the 12-24mm range or they were completely racked out to 60mm (indicating I really should have popped on something longer).

    I too have the 45/1.8 and have not used it a lot, but I haven't had it very long so I am still trying it out. But I will go against the majority on this one and say SELL IT! Sure you won't get a ton for it, but if you never use it, then even something is better than nothing rather than have it sit on the shelf forever collecting dust. Use the money and put it towards something you do not have and try something new (do you have a fisheye, an external flash, etc.).
  9. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    If you leave it on the shelf, how can you use it?
    Break your self-constraints, add some variety to your photos - put it on the camera and go shooting. The lens is good at a whole lot more than just portraits - see some examples in the last three pages of 45mm native lens photos post.
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
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  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa

    if after this time, and using only it twice, it does nothing for you the move it on and put the price loss down to "education". Clearly you're not tempted to pull it out more. I often call buying a lens to "see if its me" educational price ... you pay to learn.

    also, move it on before it gets mold on it ... you are storing it in the best possible situation to get mold as those old OM cylinders have every attribute going for them to harbor and transmit mold to a lens.

    Unless you're storing it in a "dry cabinet" which uses a electrical system to remove humidity and stop mold spoors from germinating that it. Add to that I see you are in the UK .. damp place at the best of times. Old lenses do not "age like a cheese" they often become cheese.
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  11. BorisB

    BorisB New to Mu-43

    Jan 24, 2016
    I have the lens and now tend to leave it on the camera. It is constraining but when you get it right, even on some landscapes but especially with people, it is brilliant. Mine cost about £130 new (with an Olympus cash back offer) so remarkable value for the quality. As per other comments I would try but if definitely not your thing you may as well sell it and move on (then kick yourself when a wedding comes up!).

    PS looking for a 25 1.8 in black if any one bored with theirs!
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  12. Ben Russell

    Ben Russell New to Mu-43

    Dec 15, 2015
    West Cork, Ireland
    Ben Russell
    My carry around kit is E-M1 with 12-40 attached, and the 45mm 1.8 ready for specials. It's such a good, tiny, sharp, inexpensive, oof background producing gem that it's a great companion. It gives good perspective for full length portraits (better working distance than the 75 1.8) even if you don't use it for head and shoulder portraits (for which it's absolutely perfect). I agree with Clint's advice — stick it on and go for a walk about, you just need to get used to it. I bet you'll surprise yourself with some superb shots. Give it a chance — I don't think it's a good idea to sell it!
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  13. JohnnyK

    JohnnyK New to Mu-43

    May 12, 2016
    f1.8 lens are also great for taking pics of young kids who can't stop moving around :)  i love the faster shutter speeds in these situations
  14. Hmm the DoF is too tiny for actually moving kids at 45mm f/1.8. You have to time it right when they're not moving so much. The fast aperture then allows faster focussing thanks to more light gathering, even if you need to stop down for more DoF latitude.
  15. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    And the other issue is that the 45mm focal length is a difficult one to use inside a typical house. You can not often get back far enough.
  16. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Unless your subject is small and you want portraits. Works great for shots of my cats inside my 1950s 1200 sq ft house. Otherwise I agree with you. :) 

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  17. johnvanatta

    johnvanatta Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 5, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    I know how you feel. If I have the 45 on the camera, I usually frown and check my footing whenever I raise the viewfinder--it just isn't a perspective my brain likes. Which is not a good thing for a prime.

    Definitely one I'm considering selling/trading.
  18. crossen

    crossen Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2014

    Probably a good decision for you. For me, I like to travel with few lenses and not switch them much. What I find if I use a standard lens, say a Pan 20 f 1.7 exclusively, all my shots come back with the same moderate wide angle perspective, which gets boring.

    So I use the 45 sometimes as a standard lens, with the 20 mm in a small case in my pocket as a backup. I like the variety of perspectives (actually angle of view,not perspective) a lot.

    if I have the 20mm on the camera, and have no time to change lenses, I use the digital zoom for variety, it's about equal to cropping in terms of quality, I find.

    I am sure this is infra dig but it works for me.
  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    IMO, if you haven't needed the lens by now, you won't need it. These aren't appreciating assets, so no reason to hang on to them when they aren't being used.

    It just depends what you are after. It's nice for half-body to headshots indoors. The extra focal length helps blur out busy backgrounds better than a 25mm, too.

    I do use my 25mm indoors more often, though. Or even 15mm (but definitely not for headshots!). I use my 45mm (well actually 42.5mm now) outdoors as a "front porch" portrait lens most often.
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