Longer portrait lens in the 60-85mm range

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I've been itching for a portrait lens a little longer than my Oly 45 f/1.8. for a while now but I'm also cheap. I kind of want the Oly 75mm f/1.8 but I don't think I'm willing to put out that much cash.

I've been looking at the Sigma 60mm f2.8 DN as I've heard it called the "poor man's 75" but before I did that I started to look at alternatives. That led me to the Olympus Zuiko 85mm f/2.0 OM mount lens.
  • Price-wise it's between the Sigma and the 75.
  • It's a stop faster than the Sigma and close to the 75.
  • Manual focus is growing on me.
I was wondering if anyone had experience with it and what their thoughts were in comparison to these two other lenses.
 

3dpan

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I've been itching for a portrait lens a little longer than my Oly 45 f/1.8. for a while now but I'm also cheap. I kind of want the Oly 75mm f/1.8 but I don't think I'm willing to put out that much cash.

I've been looking at the Sigma 60mm f2.8 DN as I've heard it called the "poor man's 75" but before I did that I started to look at alternatives. That led me to the Olympus Zuiko 85mm f/2.0 OM mount lens.
  • Price-wise it's between the Sigma and the 75.
  • It's a stop faster than the Sigma and close to the 75.
  • Manual focus is growing on me.
I was wondering if anyone had experience with it and what their thoughts were in comparison to these two other lenses.
I don't have any of those, just the OM 100 f/2.8
And, based on buying the 100/2.8, look for the later version with the improved lens coatings, ie with just ZUIKO on the front of the lens, not ZUIKO MC, or E-, F-, or G-Zuiko.

I think @Bytesmiths would have a better idea on the merits of the 85/2.
 
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junkyardsparkle

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If you're willing to go manual, the Samyang/Rokinon 85/1.4 is quite nice, if you don't mind the bulk. Used copies aren't terribly rare by now, so you could probably find one for less than a good late-model OM Zuiko.
 
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My suggestion would be for the Sigma 60mm - for about €130 it's one of the best value lenses you can buy in the m4/3 system, rubbing shoulders output-wise with both the 75mm and the 56mm at a fifth of the cost. Not only is it cheap, but it is tack sharp, fast to focus and has great contrast in output. It'll give you a taste of a longer portrait length without breaking the bank, and later you can move on upwards from there if you like the length.

The people who you share your photos with will never know the difference, trust me :) Have a look at the showcase thread for some samples.
 
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Not to hijack the thread, but if you ever score a copy of the Oly 60 macro, I hope you'll share some comparison shots... in particular, the OOF rendering for portrait-ish subjects, been curious about that.
I am definitely going to end up with an O60mm at some stage, and look forward to doing some comparison shots myself for various purposes :)
 

junkyardsparkle

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There is also Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.8. It's slightly slower than f/1.4 version but it's already pretty sharp from wide open (f/1.4 isn't). It's also smaller than f/1.4.
Looks nice, doesn't seem to be many of them floating around yet. Size does seem more reasonable... of course, being that it's for mirrorless APS-C mounts, you can't throw it on a focal reducer or tilt adapter or any of that fun crazy stuff... ;)
 

SpecFoto

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I've been itching for a portrait lens a little longer than my Oly 45 f/1.8. for a while now but I'm also cheap. I kind of want the Oly 75mm f/1.8 but I don't think I'm willing to put out that much cash.
That's too bad as the 75mm f1.8 is the BEST portrait lens in the Oly lineup. I shoot outdoor portraits and even though I use my Nocticron 42.5 f1.2 lens about twice as much, the rendering and bokeh on the 75 is simply the best. Puts the 40-150 Pro I own, with its funky and busy background at times, to shame.
 
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DenverDutchman

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I agree that the Oly 75 f1.8 and Sigma 56 f1.4 are probably the two best longer focal length options for M43 at the moment. Can't go wrong with either option, and you can easily find them in the $400-500 range slightly used, mint.

I believe the original question was asking about the Oly OM 85 f2.0 - it's a superb manual focus option. Below an example (this is at f2 or 2.8, don't remember exactly).

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Untitled by jphsmits, on Flickr

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Untitled by jphsmits, on Flickr
 

rloewy

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Another vote for the Rokinon/Samyang 85mm 1.4 - it is a serious piece of glass. BTW - I also have the Sigma 60mm 2.8 - it is a very good lens as well, but the output I get from the 85mm is just on another level imho.
 

davidzvi

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I prefer Auto AF. I'd vote for the Sigma 56mm as my first choice. Then the Oly 60mm macro or the Sigma 60mm, I've owned both over the years. I'm not a big macro shooter and enjoyed the Sigma more between the two 60mm options.

It's not that much longer in focal length, but the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 is noticeably sharper than the 45mm and blurs the background just as much as the 75mm can. Worth considering.
11mm / 22mm EQ may not seem like too much, but noticeable enough for me. I picked it over both the 75mm and 45mm, I've always preferred the 110 - 120mm EQ range for portraits.
 

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