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My gosh the 45/1.8 is an odd duck

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dixeyk, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    It has excellent sharpness and terrific bokeh. The images look good (albeit a bit clinical for my tastes). The AF is flakey bordering on terrible because at one moment it's lightning fast and then it can't focus at all on something easy. The FL is nice for portraits but the working distance feels like it's about fifty feet. The lens is wonderfully compact and light and I cringe whenever I attach it to my camera because the build quality very reminiscent of my old Fiat 128.

    I know it is much loved and for the level of optical goodness it is quite a bargain but honestly...is this really the best Olympus could do? I look at my P14 and it is lovely to use and despite being barely larger than a lens cap it feels very well made (and wonder of wonders hit focus almost every time). I'm making a point to use it and I like what it can do but the experience leaves much to be desired.
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Bhupinder is not going to like you talking to his baby like that.
    • Like Like x 4
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I know I'm in for it now. In all fairness it is an excellent lens optically. It really does remind me of my old Fiat sedan. When that thing was running it was just so fun to drive, but it was ugly as h*ll (looked like a yellow hat) and stuff would randomly stop working but when the planets aligned and everything worked it was great.
  4. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Maybe others could shed some light on this hit-and-miss focus issue. I am wondering if that happens only on Panasonic body. I only have Olympus camera bodies, and I don't think I have experienced much focus hunting with the 45/1.8. I did experience missing focus on small targets when the 45/1.8 was coupled with the E-PL3 because of the small LCD display and large focus box, but this was pretty much fixed with reducing focus box size.

    As far as the FL is concerned, I much prefer the PL25 over the 45/1.8 as I often find the crop too tight for my liking, and having to back up to get the shot that I want, but for those occasions when the 45 FL is needed, the 45/1.8 usually delivers with flying colors...
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I found the AF weirdness was at its worst on my E-P3 and slightly better on my Panasonic bodies. Sometimes it works like a charm but other times it really struggles and sometimes it simply will not AF at all (second copy of this lens to do this) The smaller focus box helps. Even my P20 had better AF. It was slower but almost always locked. The O45 is a lot quicker but seriously flakey sometimes. It very well may be the subject matter or I am asking it to do something that overtaxes the system but I can't imagine what. That said if you're patient you will be rewarded.

    I have a PL25 on route.
  6. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I have yet to experience any serious AF issues with E-PM1 & Oly 45 after thousands of clicks made with this combo. In general, in low light AF is much worse on Oly bodies (perhaps except E-M5). Oly 45 is definitely much faster and more precise than my Panny 20mm in any light (as mounted on E-PM1). I also have PL25 and I really can't say it's faster than Oly 45. Also, Oly 45mm is faster during video in C-AF on E-PM1 body vs PL25 (much longer refocusing lag in C-AF) while Panny 20mm is totally useless for video (except MF).
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Things I don't like about the 45/1.8

    - It's weird looking on a black E-M5 or Panasonic G/GH body.
    - The narrow barrel diameter still doesn't look quite right, although it does make it more compact.
    - I could take or leave the trim ring. I usually leave it...
    - Occasional mis-focus at or near the minimum focusing distance. Some of this could be attributed to me attempting to focus at what is probably less than minimum focusing distance :redface:
    - Colour. I get what they are trying to achieve, but I'm still not totally sold on silver (see also No. 1 dislike). Not sure how well the finish will stand up to any possible jostling around in a camera bag.


    - Optics. Just about everything really.
    - Speed and accuracy of focus in every other set of conditions other than that mentioned in my dislikes. I haven't experienced any inconsistency as yet (E-M5, E-PM1, GH1. All using the smallest focus box).
    - Size and weight.
    - Looks great on an E-PM1 and pretty good on an E-Px

    In summary: I bought it under the assumption that I wouldn't get a massive amount of use from it, but will now make a point of getting as much use out of it as possible as a faithful No. 2 lens to the PL25/1.4.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    I found if to technically be a great lens, but ugly and too long, yet too short for my tastes.

    typed on my phone, sorry.
  9. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I wonder if you have a bad copy?

    I have noticed a few misses, more so on my E-M5 now that I have started using it more for non-portraits. That said, each time I have seen a miss, it has been when the focus box was at default. As soon as I bring the box down to the minimum size, it is very accurate.

    No hunting at all on mine (nothing like the 20/1.7 does for me).

    I can't argue with the build quality... the trim ring is cheesy and it is plastic. Of course, that also means it is very light.

    I know what you are saying about clinical, but if you want softness or pixie dust, that is what PP and/or filters are for! :biggrin:
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I don't have my P20 anymore to compare to but as I recall the P20 never was squirrely when it came to AF...but is was noisy and really slow (albeit a bit faster on my Panasonic bodies than my Olympus bodies). I think what I find annoying is that sometimes the 45 is fast and accurate and I love it then suddenly it loses it's mind and can't AF on the simplest thing. Today I couldn't get it to focus on a flower with not much behind it and it kept trying to focus on the background. I have to manually focus it first to get it going then it'll correct itself.
  11. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    I opt for a silver E-M5 instead of a black one because of all these silver lenses that Olympus came out with! I think it looks fine on a silver E-M5 or E-P3, but I'd never put this lens on a black GH2 or GX1...

    Mine already had a few bumps and scratches from all those jostling around the camera bag, but fortunately, the silver color doesn't seem to come off. It looks like the plastic is silver in color, rather than just some coating...

    As far as AF is concerned, I guess this lens really need the smaller focus box to nail focus...
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I doubt it's a bad copy...I've had two and they've both done it. The smallest focus box helps a lot. Mind you I don't hate the lens. I find it frustrating but you can't argue with the IQ. The sharpness is great even wide open, bokeh is very nice and when it works it's a nice lens.

    The build quality...well it's light and it's to be expected. I have always found the build quality on the Olympus gear to be a bit less than I'd like but I understand why. They are tying to hit a price point and something has got to give. It's remarkable that they managed to squeeze such nice optics into such a low-fi package.
  13. Ryan

    Ryan Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    My silver coating came off on my scratched from my rangefinder rubbing against it in my bag :(  its black plastic underneath. My lens works beautiful and thats on a epl1, i think your lens may have a AF issue
  14. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    I had a bad copy but no one really believed me. Olympus blames Panasonic needs firmware update. Panasonic blames Olympus needs firmware update.

    Some odd behaviour of my copy:

    1. Focus on a regular object A, it is able to focus.
    2. Then you try to focus on something difficult, and it can't focus (which is ok). Do this a few times and leads to 3. It can no longer focus on object A again.

    Only fix is to turn off and on camera or press the lens release button. I got so fed up with it cause it sometimes occur at the perfect moment where you need to take the shot and it fails. I re-purchase a new copy and that one was fine.
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I've had 1 and 2 happen but not 3.
  16. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I haven't used mine enough to notice any problems! :wink: Perhaps some of you guys just use the lens too much. :rofl:

    Actually, so far, I like the look it can achieve and the IQ. But truly, it's not a focal length I use much, unless I'm specifically shooting portraits... and I haven't been doing that much at all. I like the lens, but don't seem to need it much.
  17. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Just a crazy suggestion if you're shooting RAW: set your picture mode to the most vivid option you have ("Vivid" on Olympus bodies) and your contrast setting to the maximum it will go to. Since M43 uses contrast focussing and both of these options increase the contrast of the display, you may get slightly better auto focus operation. I don't guarantee it but I do think it's worth a try, but only if you're shooting RAW. If you're shooting JPEG I think you're better off leaving your settings at whatever gives you the output you want.
  18. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    I actually notice a lot of focusing issues with my Oly 45 as well. Many missed focused shots. Sometimes I've used it and the focus is lightning quick but in random moments it never works that way. This is on the GX1 fwiw. Can't complain about IQ it is quite stellar. Build quality is pretty lousy, I already have a few marks in the focus ring, which I can't figure out how they got there. I don't feel like the thing will break down or anything however.
  19. DaveL

    DaveL Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Rhode Island
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Hahahhha Oh Kevin here you go again :rofl: But this time I am with you actually , Oly 45 mm 1.8 is an excellent lens and I don't have any problems with this focal length as we here in Australia have enough space and intact it suits us . I agree with Kevin that this lens has a personality disorder and I would say IT HAS A BORDELINE PERSONALITY lol..It does have FOCUSING ISSUE but occasionally . I move focus and the refocus on what I wanna focus and it just works . Having said that If I have to live with only one lens along with Kit lens , I would happily chose Oly 45 mm 1.8 . This all doesn't stop Oly 45 mm 1.8 from being a magnificent jewel in MFT Crown lol lol hahahhhaah
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