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Olympus 45mm f/1.8 bad copy?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Silicon, May 6, 2012.

  1. Silicon

    Silicon New to Mu-43

    May 6, 2012
    Hi all, I own a GH2 and amongst my lens, I have the Olympus 45mm. I've seen the images posted by other owners and must say mine does not match the same sharpness. I'm rather disappointed and suspect that I own a bad copy.
    I've tried manual focus and although it helps slightly, I'm not struck by the WOW bat like I was before pulling the trigger.

    Can anyone offer suggestions? I've tried using a rubber and cleaning the contacts near the mount. I believe this only helps with AF.

    I've attached my reference photo from my setup. It's OOC jpeg with no PP.
    Viewed at 100% on the eye lashes, it's rather soft. I'm comparing this to:
    Robin Wong: Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 Review: Chinese and Hindu Temples

    P.S I'm local to Liverpool (NSW). If there is an owner of this lens close to me, I'd be appreciative if I can test another copy of this lens on my camera.

    Attached Files:

  2. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2012
    Lancs., UK
    Agreed it does look a little soft.......have you ruled out all the other likely problems....slow shutter speed/camera shake etc. Have you also tried it with raw files?
  3. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    That's a pretty tough target you've chosen to test the lens out. Try again with something easier to lock focus with plenty of shutter speed. Take out the variables.

    Good luck.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Silicon

    Silicon New to Mu-43

    May 6, 2012
    I'm currently shooting jpg+raw and am comparing this lens with my PL45 with OOC jpg's. I've also suspected that it's due to the lack of OIS that could be contributing to it, but I've yet to yield a single shot where I'm happy with it via hand held. On a tripod with a remote shutter release and a non moving subject, it's the same as the PL45.

    I've just realised that I've yet to take a photo with flash. I'll give that a go and see if that makes a difference.
  5. Neon

    Neon Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    North Wales,UK.
    "On a tripod with a remote shutter release and a non moving subject, it's the same as the PL45"
    Do you mean its as good as the PL45 or the PL45 is as bad as?
    I,m confused here.
    I am thinking of getting the PL45 next,is it as good as I am hopeing ?
    Not sure why you have both ?
  6. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    It's very shallow DOF but you should consider shooting raw and use a tripod and making more tests before you write it off as defective.

    Also comparing your photos to someone else's photos and different photos is never a good idea and only adds many factors to further complicate your problems.

    No lens is ever at its sharpest wide open and ones are are pretty sharp wide open cost thousands of dollars. My experience with this lens is that the sharpness increases greatly at f/4 to f/5.6.

    Test properly, shoot raw or raw + jpeg and post your results.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Try shutter speed of at least 1/200s in good light. The lens is extremely sharp wide open and doesn't get much sharper stopped down. It softens up quite a bit at lower shutter speeds even with IBIS.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    It looks like the point of focus is on the edge of the nose. With the shallow depth of field manually focusing on the eye would do the job. Or stopping down to about f/2.8 would probably do the trick.

  9. Silicon

    Silicon New to Mu-43

    May 6, 2012
    As it stands with my copy of the OLY45, I much prefer the PL45.
    Why do I have both? I take photos of my son and I want the best possible image. The web seems to rate the OLY45 above the PL45. I enjoy macro and purchased the PL before the OLY. Intrigued by the reviews, I thought I'd give it a go.

    The PL has OIS, the OLY doesn't. At first, I was blaming the lack of IS. After more testing, I'm almost resigned to thinking I have a dud.
  10. Silicon

    Silicon New to Mu-43

    May 6, 2012
    Thanks for your suggestions. I'll give it a go with further testing. I'm only comparing the sharpness wide open with other users experience at the same aperture.

    My reference shot is from the Robin Wong linked above of the baby. The detail of the lashes appear quite sharp. I struggle to get that level of detail at f1.8. Admittedly, I've not used a flash with this lens. His image appears to have a lot more lighting that I have in my comparison photos.
  11. Silicon

    Silicon New to Mu-43

    May 6, 2012
    Definitely going to give this a go. Thanks!
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I think you may have just missed focus a bit, placing the focus behind the eyelashes which look a bit soft. Tough to tell in a resized image.
  13. robsonj

    robsonj Mu-43 Rookie

    May 20, 2011
    It looks like camera shake, quite possible given you are at 1/80th for a 90mm lens (35mm equiv), as someone above suggested try again with 1/200 or faster
  14. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    I have found that for some reason I can reliably handhold the 20mm lens (40mm EFL) at 1/15s, but I can't reliably handhold the 45mm f/1.8 lens (90mm EFL) at 1/100 :(  Otherwise, the lens is awesome in terms of sharpness and the quality of bokeh.
  15. Silicon

    Silicon New to Mu-43

    May 6, 2012
    I'm inclined to agree here. Of all my lens including the former 20mm, I've had no problem with shaky hands. I'm quite conscious and always review my photos before I move on to the next shot. I've managed to tell if an image needs to be retaken at a quick glance.

    I tried 1/200 and higher as my son was being bathed. Out of 30 images, I've found this one to be the sharpest yet it still isn't as good as I'd expect or have seen from other people.

    Attached Files:

  16. Neon

    Neon Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    North Wales,UK.
    But this is wide open,why not stop down ?
  17. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2012
    Lancs., UK
    ...unless my eyes are giving up, that (the eyes) looks sharp to me. Great pic btw!

    Edit... on re-evaluating , now I'm not so sure. I presume the point of focus is the nearest eye, which is definitely the 'sharpest' of the whole pic. Which obviously doesn't mean its the sharpest it could be. Is this image straight out of the camera with no pp?
  18. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    looks sharp to me, but without seeing the latest photo bigger, it is hard to critically see just how sharp the eye truly is, but on my 13-inch MacBook Pro, it looks good.

    I think you might me confusing the narrow depth of field with sharpness, as this lens, wide open, falls off fairly quickly.
  19. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    In my experience the 45mm is quite sharp wide open, but I still stop down to f/2.8 most of the time when using it, or even f/4. I'm sure some of you have noticed that the aperture is perfectly circular at f/2.8, which is a really nice touch. f/1.8 should really only be used for applications where sharpness isn't crucial, or maybe not even desired, like portraiture.

    It's a 90mm equiv lens, so you probably have to shoot at 1/100 or higher to know your shots are going to be sharp. It may well be that you are mistaking shallow depth of field for low sharpness. To test this, shoot a flat subject. Your son is more interesting to take photos of than a brick wall, but unfortunately not as useful for testing edge-to-edge sharpness.
  20. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    Sorry to hear your problem... I had my fair share of problems with this lens. I end up selling it and getting another one and everything is good now. My problem was different from yours though. Mine would just not focus after a while. It would not focus on things that was to focus before. It was so frustrating. I do think the photos are soft. I get very good results shooting at f1.8.
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