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oly 45mm vs legacy lenses for portraits

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Guavaboy, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Guavaboy

    Guavaboy New to Mu-43

    Feb 28, 2013
    Looking for a nice portrait lens. Just bought into the OMD system and have the 14mm and 12-50 zoom.

    I have some old legacy glass I'm using with adapters, the Olympus 55mm 1.2 and Takumar 50mm 1.4. I hear great things about the 45mm 1.8 but how does it compare with I already have if autofocus isn't really an issue for me.

    I really like the smooth buttery type bokeh. I actually prefer the look of the takumar 1.4 over the oly 1.2

  2. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2011
    I too have the OM 55/1.2 but the Olympus 45/1.8 looks amazing on the m43!
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    As long as you don't require (or covet) AF, I'd recommend just using the lenses you've got to cover that focal length as long as they're giving you the desired results. In terms of bokeh, the O45 is no more "buttery" than good examples of either of the fast 50's you have.
  4. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    • Like Like x 1
  5. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    I'd describe the 45mm 1.8 as neutral. It's extremely sharp with a nice non-distracting fall off, but not butter. I personally think it's got nearly the ideal DOF wide open for head and shoulder portraits (personally is stressed here).

    I really like this lens for portraits, a lot. But it's not a butter lens, if that's what you want.

  6. Guavaboy

    Guavaboy New to Mu-43

    Feb 28, 2013
    That comparison of 45mm lenses was really interesting. I like the bokeh of the 45mm best. The others looked busy almost like oly 1.2 wide open, not very buttery.

    Thanks for the replies guys. Hard to justify $399 for a lens that won't give much better portraits than what I already have.

    Any other advantages of the oly 45 1.8 that I'm missing?
  7. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2011
    Small size + autofocus
    • Like Like x 1
  8. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    For what it's worth, I'm probably selling my Oly 45... after more than a year, I'm looking back on my photos and think I prefer the results I got from my C/V Color-Skopar 50 to it and for what I shoot (static subjects on tripod), the lack of AF isn't that much of an issue. For portraits, I'd want the 45... AF is just too useful for shooting people... people actually move around more than you think, even when they are posing.

  9. mintchoco

    mintchoco Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    I have the Oly 55mm 1.2 and love using it at 2 and above if you get the focus spot on. I actually like the softer look for dreamy portraits of my toddler.

    That said, I also have the 45mm and love it for the moments when my toddler won't sit still.
  10. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    The Olympus 45mm 1.8 is great, but adapted 50s are cheap and they're still decent!
  12. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I prefer the 'look' from my adapted Yashinon 45mmF1.7, but after a day of sudden hopeless focusing I caved in and bought the mZuiko 45mm : wide open it is much sharper than my older lenses wide-open, and it's autofocus is very good and very fast.
    It was worth £230 to me.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I'm going to differ in my opinion of the 45mm f1.8 as a portrait lens. Yes it is the right FL, yes its AF is quick, yes it has high quality optics, but for my application it was simply too sharp for pleasing portraits. I couldn't simply take a portrait of a woman for example and use it SOOC without retouching skin. The rendering also seemed very clinical, which wasn't was I was looking for. For that reason I sold it and use adapted 50mm lenses (Zuiko and Super Tak) as well as a Fujian 35mm f1.7. Honestly, out of the 3, the Fujian is my favourite. Obviously YMMV.
  14. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    The extra stops and wide-open sharpness can be really nice with the O45/1.8, but I really hate everything else about that lens. Build quality is not great, it's almost too small to support with the off hand, and it only comes in silver (why, Olympus, why?!) The PL45 feels like a much better lens (obviously, it's supposed to) and just looks right on the black E-M5. I don't really need the macro ability and sometimes f/2.8 just isn't fast enough (even at ISO3200), but I can't bring myself to sell it.

    You should do an O75/1.8 vs. Minolta 85/2 (or other similar adapted lenses) comparison for head/shoulder portraits. The 85/2 is another lens that just feels and looks right on the E-M5.
  15. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I love the 45mm focal length and it does a great job at portraits. Shot at f2

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50527022@N02/8548503772/" title="Dolly by iconindustries, on Flickr"> 8548503772_6db4ac50bc_c. "800" height="600" alt="Dolly"></a>
    • Like Like x 2
  16. BLT

    BLT Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    I think this whole debate represents the exact reason the Oly45 is one of the cheaper primes in the system. There are simply too many fast 50mm lens out there that can be had cheap and adapted.

    I personally love the 45mm because having the AF means I can get a lot of 'covert/stand-off ish' portrait shots that I would otherwise miss.
    When your subject isn't aware that you're taking the photo, you rarely get the time to manual focus accurately.
  17. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I've been eyeing the MD Rokkor 85mm/1.7 for a while now. I just can't bring myself to spend over $300 on a legacy lens when I can use that money towards a modern lens. Besides, the Oly 75 would still out perform it. :wink:
  18. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    The problem of unflattering detail for portraits is one I've had many times before with my film cameras with my Tamron SP90mm macro lens and now i get with my 45mm. At least with digital you can cover this in PP or resort to the methods used on the Tamron that is a soft focus filter or the really low cost method of a piece of a pair of tights with a hole in the middle and an elastic band the over the hood!! ( just stretch the hole size to adjust the effect)

    To add warmth use flesh coloured, black or grey for neutral and colours only for effects.
  19. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    How's the flare control on the Olympus 45/1.8? Is a hood necessary? Thx.

    EDIT: Nevermind, found my answer. It's indeed prone to flare.
  20. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I agree, the 45 1.8 is so sharp it's almost ridiculous. I shot some portraits last week and found that a little push of the Clarity slider in LR4 to the left works wonders. Another option (fewer pixels, I think) is to use the art filter for dreamy portraits, or whatever it's called. Shot one this way that is very nice.
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