Olly 45mm or 40-150mm R??

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Alireza, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Alireza

    Alireza New to Mu-43

    Nov 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ontario
    Real Name:
    Alireza Hosseini
    Hi folks,
    A few month a go I bought an E-PM1 with the kit lens and now want to improve it with a second lens as a portrait lens.
    I've two options:
    1. Olympus 45mm 1.8 for $399
    2. Olympus 40-150mm for $179
    To be honest I don't no wich one will work for me. In fact I've heard that 45mm is a magic lens for portrait, But the difference is $220 and I don't know if I really need 1.8 and should go for 45mm (since I'm not a professional photographer) or 40-150mm would give me an acceptable result at 40mm and I should get that one, save money and spend it on something else (like a flash or...etc).
    At the end I need to mention I don't need a telephoto lens and I'm considering 40-150 as a 40mm lens (I feel at 40 it's much better than the kit lens. Isn't it?)
    I'll appreciate if you guys kindly give me some advise.
  2. Geoff3DMN

    Geoff3DMN Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia
    Real Name:
    I have both the 45mm and the 40-150mm. I love the look of photos taken with the 45mm but I find myself using the 40-150mm more and to be honest I was surprised by how sharp it was.

    However the 40-150mm and EPM-1 combo suffers from that known double image issue at certain shutter speeds and focal lengths which is annoying.

    The EM-5 doesn't but your EPM-1 may (I gather not all of them do it).
  3. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    The 40-150 is a kit lens too and like all zooms including the 14-42 it's sharper at the short end than the long end.

    If you're going to use the 40-150 as a portrait lens, I don't think you'll get much advantage over using the 14-42 at its long end. You'll gain about half a stop in speed, not enough to really make a difference in terms of speed, and a little bit of sharpness but you're spending $179 to do that. I've got both and I use the 40-150 at the 150 end for bird photography. I rarely use it at the 40 end.

    I also have the 45mm. Yes, it's twice the price of the 40-150 but it's noticeably sharper and does a nice job with portraits the few times I've used it for that. It's also faster and that translates into shallower depth of field if you want to isolate your subject from their background and/or a much greater ability to use lower ISO setting in low light situations. Both are big benefits in my view.

    If you want a portrait lens I'd go for the 45 most definitely. If you want a more general purpose lens and you want the ability to shoot telephoto at a much longer focal length than 45mm as part of that package, go for the 40-150mm. If you want to take portraits you can use your 14-42 to get some experience while you save the extra for the 45mm. When you get it you won't regret having done so.
  4. Geoff3DMN

    Geoff3DMN Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia
    Real Name:
    That's a valid point and one I hadn't thought about, I to use my 40-150 more at the longer end more than the shorter end.
  5. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I have both, I use the 45mm far more often. As far as I can remember each of them was about £200 UK. That may not be the list price but by frequently checking the websites of reputable suppliers split-kits and the like show up from time to time.

    Last holiday I went with only my 14mm Panasonic and 45mm Olympus and produced my best results to date. Getting that zoom lens steady (hand held) at the long end is quite a challenge.

    I bought it for capturing birds at my local loch but it is not nearly fast enough.
  6. kevitra

    kevitra Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 26, 2012
    The 40-150 is a sharp lens for the price. The 45mm is a lot sharper though and it is a great portrait lens. They are quite different and you need to decide if you need the zoom vs 1.8 aperture.

    Here are some recent 40-150 shots. If you click on them and then view the larger images you can see the detail.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceyandkevin/8176089464/" title="Gorilla - Animal Kingdom by kevitra, on Flickr">[​IMG]"640" height="480" alt="Gorilla - Animal Kingdom"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceyandkevin/8176052181/" title="Wood carving - Animal Kingdom by kevitra, on Flickr">[​IMG]"640" height="480" alt="Wood carving - Animal Kingdom"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceyandkevin/8176075672/" title="Animal kingdom - giraffe by kevitra, on Flickr">[​IMG]"640" height="480" alt="Animal kingdom - giraffe"></a>
  7. Alireza

    Alireza New to Mu-43

    Nov 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ontario
    Real Name:
    Alireza Hosseini
    Thank you so much guys. I think should go for 45mm. Extremely helpful comments.
  8. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    If you don't need telephoto capabilities (at least you don't think you need a tele), then the O45mm will also open up an entire new world of low light photography. Toss your flash away because the 45mm will make you an available light guy.


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  9. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I think you're getting good advice. Really depends if you want the flexibility of the zoom or the much faster aperture and smaller size of the 45. Having a fast aperture lens really opens up a lot of options and you'll be able to get much better subject isolation (at least at 45mm) with the f1.8 45. It's 2 1/3 stops faster at 45 mm than the 40-150 is at 40. That's a huge advantage in low light. I think if your goal is really had and shoulder type portraiture the 45 will be the better option. I have both. I use the 40-150 more but I use it more as a general purpose walk about lens. I know not a conventional choice for that but I seem to see in longer focal lengths. The 40-150 is a wonderful value lens, IMO. It's remarkably light, small (though it extends quit a bit when zoomed in), and I think the IQ is very good. I think the output is sharper than I get from my copy of the 12-50. That said, the IQ from the 45 is a step up.