Keep the Oly 45, or get the Oly 60?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by silversx80, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    A fair warning, I'm just trying to externalize some of my nonsensical thoughts.

    Every time I purchase something new as a result of GAS, the GAS doesn't go away; it gets worse.

    Let me 'splain... no... there is too much. Let me sum up.

    I was browsing the Olympus 60mm image thread and was just blown away. It got me thinking. I recently picked up the PL25 and it's everything I hoped for. Before that, the underrated 17/2.8 lived on my camera, even though I had the Oly 45. It's a great lens, but I just don't use it much. I get it out mostly for portraits, or shots where I want a short-tele with a small DOF (I usually stop down to around 2.8, or more, anyway). I rarely use it for low-light.

    When I sold all my regular 4/3 gear, and HG lenses, I imagined I could suffice with the 12-50 for my macro fun. It's just not cutting the mustard, since the ZD50 and ZD35 have spoiled me. Other than that, I really do like the kit lens.

    So my thought is, why not sell the 45 and get the 60? I can add 1:1 macro and weather sealing at the loss of about one stop. Also, being a bit longer than the 45, it seems that it may fair a little better for portraits (I can tone down sharpness in post).

    I can't afford to keep both at the moment.

    Well, that's probably incoherent, but I tried.
  2. JasonA

    JasonA Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 26, 2013
    I bought both of these with an EM5 because of the lens rebate that was available. Now I've decided to return the EM5 (ergonomics... that's another discussion) and one of the lenses. So I've got the same dilemma.

    If you don't use it in low light or more open than 2.8, I think the 60 would be the way to go. The image quality is superb, and while it focuses slower I don't think it's that big of a deal.

    For me, I like the smaller size of the 45 and the ability to limit the DOF more. I'm not a real macro guy, though it is fun to use. So I'm leaning toward the 45, but that 60 will be hard to let go of...
  3. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    I think you make perfect sense. It's really all about knowing yourself and realizing which focal lengths work for you. If anything, we're on the same boat as I have never really liked the 45mm (90mm effective) focal length that much either.

    I sold mine as well and have the 60/2.8. I used to pull it out a lot for portrait work (with my dog) as well but the 75/1.8 has since taken over that role. Nonetheless, you won't go wrong with it for macro work especially since it's weather-sealed.
  4. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I have the 45. Love it. It is sharp (wow), small, fast, and fast. I can't imagine toting the 60 around, much less attaching it to a small body.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  5. OhWellOK

    OhWellOK Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Can you swing buying the 60 but still hold onto the 45 for a little while and evaluate the two? See which one you end up using more? Or maybe rent/borrow the 60 for a day or 2? Good point about the 45 above, it is really small.

    I've recently resigned myself to getting both.
    I have the 45 which I haven't used much yet - but have some upcoming travel and a collaborative project I plan on using it for. While with the 60 - I'd like to upgrade the IQ from the macro ability of my 12-50, which I've been using a fair amount for small tabletop shots.

    And then there's the PL 25 that I'm getting first! :redface: - fortunately I've been squirrelling away store credit and rebate money, so it's almost like that one will cost me $0 (sorta).
    I'm probably not much help here ::rolleyes:
  6. cdmicha

    cdmicha Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    What do you plan on shooting most with it?

    I shoot mainly portrait style shots, and for me the answer was.. both. I love the size of the 45, especially when I don't have the grip on the camera. It feels right. Also, I can get some nice portraits in closer spaces- sometimes 60mm is just too long, especially when you're trying to get more than 1 person in the frame.

    The 60mm is what goes onto my camera whenever I've got some room & I have the grip on. I imagine eventually I will replace this with the 75mm for long portraits, but for now it does an awesome job. If you limit the focusing, it is very fast (focusing), and at 2.8, extremely sharp. It also doubles as my macro lens (so much better than the 12-50!). While AF is completely possible in macro mode, I find it is sometimes an exercise in frustration, so I'll use the limiter switch to set it to 1:1, then switch into manual for fine tuning. Again, it does a superb job- and the DoF is so shallow that I frequenly stop down to 4 or 5.6. The fact that it's weather sealed is just a bonus. I think for what it can do, this is one of the best values in m43 lenses.

    So, which one should you get? That's a tough call. If you really enjoy macro and have tons of room to move around to get portraits, the 60mm is a great option (although I still content it looks rather funny on an OMD without a grip). If you want something a little less conspicuous and able to get shots in a little tighter spaces, stick with your 45mm. They are both great lenses and can each help capture amazing shots.
  7. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    I had the 45/1.8 & 60/2.8 at the same time for a while. I found myself using the 60 more: It's such a versatile lens and sharp as a tack. Due to Tele compression, I'm able to get similar defocus as the 45/1.8. I sold off my 45 today. Cheers.
  8. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Keep the 45, get an extension tube later if you feel the need to do macro stuff.
  9. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    Well, keeping both isn't in the cards at the moment. I'll have to sell the 45 to fund the 60.

    Also, extension tubes are not something I'll be purchasing. For the cost, I don't get that much. Only 0.67 magnification, while the 60 is 1:1 for a smaller difference in cost.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
  10. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Are we talking about the kenko tubes? Yes they're a little expensive, at about £100 here in the UK, whereas the 60mm is about £400, which is about £200 more than I could get for my 45mm if I sold it. So at least in the UK, getting the tubes is the cheaper option.

    I'd like to know how you arrived at the figure of 0.67 magnification. I would agree that would be a fairly disappointing figure for macro photography.
  11. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    Made a small mistake in calculating the new magnification. The amount of magnification increase from extension tubes is equal exactly to the length of the extension, divided by the focal length. Since the Kenko tubes are 26mm of extension (the 10mm + the 16mm), and the 45mm has a 0.11 magnification factor, the new magnification factor is just about 0.69 (0.68777...). Now, putting them on a 60mm would be interesting. Almost a 1.5:1 magnification.

    Across the pond, the tubes cost approx. $180 US. And since VAT isn't included in that price, I'll be out of pocket $192. About £120. Anyway, for my current lens stable, I just don't see the price in the cards.

    I figure that I can get about $300+ US for the 45mm on this site, and MSRP for a new 60mm is only $499. If I can find a used one (I think my local camera shop may have one), the difference will be less than the cost of tubes.

    Well, it's still a debate in my head, but it does help to write these things out and get feedback. I hate to miss some perspectives when I make a decision. :smile:
  12. cdmicha

    cdmicha Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Well, certainly, if I *had* to choose only one and macro was somthing I'm interested in... the 60mm is the logical choice.

    There are just so many great primes for this system it's tough to choose sometimes, huh?

  13. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Extension tubes do increase magnification, by increasing the focal length. However, they also change the focal point in doing so. You can see this principle in action in some lenses also, namely those that don't use fancy floating elements to focus. The 20mm f/1.8, for example, just moves all its glass outward in order to focus more closely. The optical elements remain fixed relative to one another.

    I expect there would be no way of knowing until you actually tried it yourself though, so the 60mm may be a safer bet. You could buy the tubes, then return them if the combination wasn't satisfactory, possibly? If you do go for them, I often find ebay is the cheapest place to get relatively esoteric photographic items like this.
  14. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    I found some far cheaper ones for £30! Cheap enough for an impulse purchase for me, I think I'm going to buy them and report back. They seem to be made of metal which is comforting, I guess the tolerances may be poor though. They have electric contacts and, well... extension tubes are fairly simple, their ugliness notwithstanding I'm not sure what could go wrong.
  15. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Interesting alternatives to the Kenko set. I'd be interested in hearing how well they fare in use. Please report back!
  16. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
  17. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    There are also some far nicer looking ones available from a manufacturer called Fotga for not much more. However, they seemingly only ship from Hong Kong.
  18. MrPhotoBob

    MrPhotoBob Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 16, 2012
    With the rebate last month, I ended up purchasing the 45, 60 and the 75 and I find use for all three of them. The 60 is a great macro lens and the 45 and 75 are great portrait lenses as well as I use them both as a very sharp walk around lens once in a while.
  19. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I have both. Optically both are really good and both are a pleasure to use. I don't think my old eyes are good enough to say one is better than the other optically. I really like the output from both. I use the 60 considerably more, but I don't do a lot of typical portraiture or people pictures. I do more nature/landscape type stuff. I really wanted a macro lens and for much of what I do the 60mm focal length is better than the 45. But if I was doing more shots of people I think the 45 would be my choice. And I think the 45 is generally more useful inside in relatively low light. The 60 is really pretty long for that kind of stuff unless you have some space. The 45 is also tiny and light. If I were picking one I'd pick the 60, but that's only because it's a better fit for ME. Both are really nice lenses.
  20. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
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