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Is 45/1.8 good as all purpose?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by rkhndjr, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. rkhndjr

    rkhndjr Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    I am looking at the Oly 25/1.8 but wonder if the cheaper 45/1.8 would be as good for general shooting. Any help will be appreciated.
  2. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    no, the field of view is simply too tight as an all-rounder. the 17 or 25 is better for that.

    shouldnt be your first lens BUT should be your second
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rkhndjr

    rkhndjr Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    Thank you. I felt that to be the case but was not sure. The 20mm/1.7 gets great reviews but I have never cared for it.
  4. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Unless your second is a wide angle, in which case it should be your third ;) 

    • Like Like x 1
  5. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Why no 20? If budget is a concern, the P20 is a winner EXCEPT if you need fast AF.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    for me 45 is a bit tight for general ... I'm also curious why you find the 20 f1.7 not attractive, as its actually a great general purpose lens. If you have not owned and used the lens yourself and have instead only looked at what other people have done with it you simply can't judge. I avoided buying it for some years (principally driven by price) and after getting a used Mk1 am wondering why I didn't buy it earlier. Its not as tight as the 25 f1.4 but its actually more a general purpose lens than an effective 50 is (which is often not wide enough nor tight enough).

    I mean if you want "general purpose" there is a reason why the (effective) 28-70 zoom has become ubiquitous ... its a great coverall for general use. Why not consider the 12-32mm zoom?

    I (back in the film daze) used essentially a 24 and a 50 as my "pair" for 90% of everything.

    Since buying the 20 I'm more than pleased with it. Some "general images"

    middle distance
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    still has some ability to focus attention with DoF

    close up works nice
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    general scenery at a distance
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    Personally I couldn't ask for more
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Tadgh78

    Tadgh78 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 25, 2013
    While it depends on exactly what your purpose "generally" is, 45mm wouldn't be considered general purpose by most people, as it yields a relatively narrow a field of view. 45mm is considered short telephoto on micro 4/3. The general purpose focal range is more like 15-25mm

    I'd say if you want a cheap general purpose lens either the sigma 19/2.8 or the panasonic 14/2.5 would serve better. While not as fast as the 45mm both are sharp and quick to focus and either one can be had used for around 150 euro. If you want a faster general purpose lens then the panasonic 20mm 1.7 (mk1) is about the cheapest at about 200 euro used. Its extremely sharp, and if size matters to you its about the smalllest as well. It's only failing is that it can hunt for focus a bit in low light. I have owned both the 20mm and the 14mm and they are both good lenses and I would recomend either. Of the two I'd give the 20mm the nod for general purpose as its that bit narrower which is better for portraits and has a wider aperature which is good for maintaining a high shutter speed to freeze action and blur the background out the bit more than say a 2.5 or 2.8 will.
  8. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I also fall into the 20/45 camp. I find the 45 to be a perfect focal length for almost anything outdoors, and the 20 works for indoors.
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    45 is too tight to be my all-around, every day lens. However, I could go out with the 45 as my only lens on any given day and find lots of interesting applications for it without wishing I had brought a different lens. And there are lots of folks who use a telephoto more than anything else, including many thousands (if not millions) of people whose first introduction to fast lenses is a 50/1.8 on APS-C.
    • Like Like x 7
  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I'd be one of those last ones ;)  I think using a nifty fifty on my D40 taught me a lot about composition, but it did result in frustration pretty often. But then, I think my native FOV is somewhere in the range of 35mm.

  11. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Me too. I spent months with a Canon 50/1.8 on the Canon 300D (original D Rebel). It was that or the 18-55 kit zoom, and I got more of what I wanted with the fast prime.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Likewise! The kit zooms back then were pretty atrocious, at least stacked up against the image quality of the Nikkor. I had the added handicap of no AF, as the D40 removed the focus motor from the body, and the 50mm D lens had none in-lens. Focusing through the tiny VF of the D40 wasn't easy even half a dozen years ago before my eyes got worse! But when the results were good, they were a real thrill for me.

    • Like Like x 1
  13. If the 45 had a closer focus, I could be happy with it as my only lense.
  14. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    There's always the PL45 Macro. Of course you give up some speed for it. Or you could get a set of close up filters for it.
  15. rkhndjr

    rkhndjr Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    Thanks to all for this info. I learned a lot here.
  16. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Well, let me step in a bit late and disagree. Of course there is no right and wrong in this, because it depends on how you like to shoot.

    The 45mm is my everyday go-to lens. It stays on the camera 90% of the time. It is my single favourite lens amongst all those I have tried for M43, with the best "bang for the buck". It is perfect for still life shots, street shooting, portraits and landscape.

    I recommend the Panasonic 14mm as a second lens, since it takes up next to no space, and is ideal for those times you want to take a wide shot, and for interior spaces.

    To get even more extreme, I also use a fish-eye and the 75mm, but likely these account for less than 5% of my images.

    Unlike some of the other respondents, I have little use for anything in the 20mm to 25mm range. This corresponds to a FOV of 40-50mm on 35mm, which I also never much liked in film days. So at least my tastes have been consistent for 30 years!
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    And there ya have it. :2thumbs:

    I 'grew up' using a 38mm on a half-frame 35mm body and got used to the "normal" view. My "glued to the camera" lens is the Panasonic 20mm and I find it quite capable. I have a 45mm and it doesn't get the use it deserves, mainly saved for portrait usage.

    However if I shot differently (say, more street shooting where I might not want to be too close to the subject) a 45mm would be right up there and could suffice as a "daily carry" lens.

    Like Rparmar says - "It depends on how you like to shoot".


    • Like Like x 2
  18. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    "General purpose all-around" and fixed focal length is an oxymoron IMHO. Long gone are the days when all-around zooms were mediocre and real photographers used primes. Use the 12-50 or 12-40 if you have the pesos.
  19. Huff

    Huff Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 30, 2014
    As an old-school film shooter, who had a 50mm 1.4 glued on my trusty K1000, I think the 25mm/1.8 is an ideal all around focal length on the m4/3 system. It's next on my list to add also have started diving deeper into this format. I have the 12-40 pro and love the versatility but the smaller size and slightly faster advantages of the 25 are clear to me.

    45mm (meaning 90mm FOV) is a bit tight for many people. I think you would find it challenging in indoors situations or similar tight spaces unless you are the type that likes to just capture details and abstracts

    CPTKILLER Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2014
    Austin, Texas USA
    Jim Phipps
    I have one and it is a good lens but too much of telephoto (albeit great for portraits) for general purpose use.
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