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Olympus 75mm f/1.8 Official Samples, Specs Posted. Previewed by DPReview

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, May 24, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    [​IMG]

    DPReview previewed the new Olympus lens and found that it is just about the same size as the new Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens. The lens has also been previewed by Four Thirds User.

    The $899 price of the new Olympus lens has been heavily discussed in the various forums. It's worth noting that the Olympus features an optical design that makes extensive use of special glass materials including three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements to optimally correct aberrations, while the neither the Canon nor the Nikon contain any special elements.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    M. Zuiko Digital ED 78mm f/1.8 Lens Diagram


    While DPReview are waiting for a production sample of the lens to show any image samples, they commented on impressive sharpness, pleasing bokeh, and specifically mentioned that there's "only a hint of the axial chromatic aberration you'd expect on a lens like this". One of the first things I noticed about the official full resolution image samples posted by Olympus is that axial CA, aka bokeh color fringing, seems unusually well controlled when compared to similar lenses like the Canon EF 85/1.8 and Nikon 85/1.8G.

    Olympus refers to the new lens as having "Top class image quality among all M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses with sharp, clear imaging performance with aperture fully open at f1.8".


    [​IMG]

    M. Zuiko Digital ED 78mm f/1.8 MTF chart


    Specifications:
    • Focal Length: 75mm (35mm equivalent focal length 150mm)
    • Lens Construction: 10 elements in 9 Groups (3 ED lenses, 2 HR lenses)
    • Angle of View: 16 Degree
    • AF System: High-speed Imager AF (MSC)
    • Closest Focusing Distance: 0.84m
    • Maximum Image Magnification: 0.10x
    • Minimum Field Size: 173x130mm
    • Number of Blades: 9 (Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
    • Maximum Aperture: F1.8
    • Minimum Aperture: F22
    • Filter Size: 58mm
    • Dimensions: 64 x 69mm
    • Weight: 305g
    • Box Contents: Lens Cap (LC-58E), Lens Rear Cap (LR-2), Instruction Manual, Olympus Worldwide Warranty Card
    • Related accessories (Option): Protection Filter (PRF-D58 PRO), Lens Hood (LH-61F), Lens Cap (LC-61), Lens Case (LSC-0918)
     
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  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Hi Amin,

    The link "official full resolution image samples posted by Olympus" just links to a single product image of the lens.
     
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  3. grantb

    grantb Mu-43 Veteran

  4. 996gt2

    996gt2 Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Oct 27, 2010
    More than twice the cost of the Canon 85mm f/1.8 Ultrasonic, even though the latter is a full-frame lens that uses more glass in its construction. Also, f/1.8 on micro 4/3 is only equivalent to f/3.5 on full-frame in terms of depth of field. Considering the $900 price tag, I expected something faster (f/1.2 or 1.4).

    The Canon and Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lenses are not really much larger, and only weigh slightly more. Both of them are optically excellent, especially on APS-C sensors. Overall, this $900 75mm f/1.8 is disappointing to me. If it was an f/1.2 or 1.4 lens, I'd see the point of it, but not at this aperture, and this price tag.
     
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Thanks, should be fixed now.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    +1 To Panasonic for including hoods with their premium Leica/Panasonic lenses.

    -1 To Olympus for NOT including hoods with their 12mm & 75mm premium lenses
     
  7. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    First, the physical aperture of an 85mm f/1.8 lens is the same regardless of format size. That's why they're around the same size and weight - because they contain a similar amount of glass (though the Olympus contains better glass). Second, a 75mm f/1.8 on MFT has the same DOF as a 150mm f/3.6 on 135 format, not a 75mm f/3.6 on 135 format. Find me a truly outstanding 150mm f/3.6 lens for 135 format that we can use as a point of comparison. I'm not aware of one. Lastly, as a prior owner of the Canon 85/1.8 on both APS-C and 135 format, I will be very surprised if the new Olympus isn't a substantially better performer than that lens.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I'll not defend the price. It's not a lens I'm that interested in, anyway.

    If you want wide-open unfocused background, then stick with your 5D.

    But at any rate, the Canon is 120g heavier, though only a few mm larger. It's also a lens design launched in 1992. It also stinks at focusing during movies, and is pretty soft wide open.

    Time will tell if it is worth it or not, and I hope Oly doesn't revert back to $1500-3000 glass, but I wouldn't be so quick to judge until we see more of it in action.
     
  9. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    A better comparison is probably the 105 2.8 lenses in APSC. Its almost the same focal length equivalent and almost similar DOF capability. The price is similar as well. The Sigma and Tamron versions are cheaper and may perform as well
    as the Olympus.

    With the 105 2.8 you get a free Macro lens and a lens hood whereas with the Olympus, you'll have to buy the upcoming 60 2.8 lens.

    It could be priced a little lower, the 77 1.8 Pentax Limited is 800 dollars and covers Full Frame, is smaller and also lighter and comes with a built in hood.
     
  10. Excuse me while I reach for my full-frame Pentax Digital SLR...
     
  11. 996gt2

    996gt2 Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Oct 27, 2010
    Sure.

    Canon's own 135mm f/2 L. It is optically superb, regardless of whether it is being used on a FF or APS-C body. I used to own one, and it was just as sharp at f/2 on my 5D as it was at f/4. Not to mention that it is almost two whole stops faster than the equivalent f/3.6 aperture that the Olympus 75mm is on a micro 4/3 camera. Yes, it's bigger and heavier, but you cannot ignore the fact that it will give considerably more of that creamy blur people typically associate with a fast medium telephoto.

    Price-wise, the Canon L lens is only about $100 more than the Olympus, despite having considerably more glass inside.


    Now, if you want to talk about equivalencies, Canon's own 100mm f/2 acts as a 160mm f/2.8 on APS-C, with superb performance. And it's priced at less than 1/2 the cost of the Olympus lens. Or Canon's 100mm f/2.8 Macro (equivalent to a 160mm f/4 when used on APS-C), which is not only close to perfect optically, but also about 1/2 the price of the Olympus.

    This speaks for itself:
    mtf.



    Again, I do not doubt that the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens. However, at the current pricing, I do not think it is a smart buy.
     
  12. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    Pentax also made cameras with 35mm film. I have heard rumors that people still use them.
     
  13. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    I Never Use This Focal Length

    BUT ... this lens makes my mouth water. :biggrin:

    What if one were to slap one of those Kenko extension tubes on this puppy? Given it's generous aperture losing a stop or two of light would not be so bad. ?
    What sort of macro capabilities would one have with such a setup?:smile:
     
  14. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I owned that one as well, and what you call "superb" is equivalent to what I call "good".

    If you want the ultimate in shallow DOF or low light capability, MFT is simply not the right system for you. Once you decide that those are not the overriding priorities and decide that the MFT is a system that suits you, then a lens decision is no longer about what would be equivalent on another system.

    Not everything comes down to the quantity or speed of glass. One of the reasons the 135L is so highly regarded is that it is superb at all apertures, has very fast AF, and has very high build quality. It just so happens that most companies decided that the fastest lens at each focal length should be the priciest and that less resources should go into perfecting a slower lens or giving a slower lens exquisite build quality. There's no reason that has to be the case.

    For example, Leica's new APO 50mm f/2 Summicron costs $3,000 more than their 50/1.4 Lux ASPH, a lens which most people would agree is flat out superior to any 50mm lens Canon has ever made. Why are they charging so much for the slower lens? Not because it is some Herm├Ęs special edition, but because the APO 50 Summicron is considered to be optically as close to perfect as it gets. It doesn't collect more light. It doesn't weigh more. It doesn't shoot more shallow. It's just damn near perfect at what it does. They set out to make the ultimate 50mm f/2 lens, and it costs a lot to produce.

    Another example would be the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4, a lens which based on size, weight, focal length, and aperture is about as unglamorous as it gets. Yet there are people who want or need a lens that offers parfocal and true apochromatic performance from approximately 315nm (ultraviolet) to 1100nm (infrared), with transmission from 290 to 1500nm and are willing to spend $4500 for it.

    The new Olympus is meant to be a top performance, top build quality lens for our system, just as the Leica APO 50 Summicron is a top performance, top build quality lens for the Leica M system. The Canon 85/1.8 and 100/2 are consumer grade, mid-level lenses in the Canon system. They have no special elements, are simpler in design, suffer from significant longitudinal chromatic aberration, and render a relatively dull capture when used at or close to wide open whether on 135 format or APS-C. They may be equivalent to the new Olympus in total light collection, but they are not remotely equivalent in terms of the place they occupy in their respective systems.
     
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  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I realize that it's a famous and well regarded lens, but images from the Pentax 77/1.8 never convinced me to pull the trigger. I opted for the Pentax 70/2.4 instead, a APS-C lens with A+ compactness, B+ build quality, C+ autofocus, B+ optics, slower lens speed than the new Olympus, and set me back a cool $700. If I were paying according to the amount of glass in that lens, then it shouldn't have cost much over $89.99.
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I think that's a pretty good assessment of the situation, but it makes me think the 45/1.8 may well end up being the only sharp affordable Olympus m4/3 lens. After all, why make a $550 lens when you can gussy it up a bit and sell it for $900 instead?

    DH
     
  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    For one thing, because you can sell a LOT more of the $550 lenses. However, I don't think that's a very good assessment of the situation. This to me doesn't look like a gussy up:

    7265863120_1cb80242c0_o.


    More like they set out to make a high end optic that costs more to produce and gave it build quality to match.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    I think this is where you and I differ. I don't consider the Olympus a top tier system at least not yet. Plus it's not really a top quality build, it's not even weather sealed. The 60 2.8 probably has a better build.

    I would sacrifice optical performance for either, less expense, less build quality, faster speed etc...

    Panasonic seems to be good at making these compromises, the 14 2.5 and the 20 1.7 are much more popular than the 17 2.8 and 12 2.0.
     
  19. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I didn't say that Olympus was a top tier system. I said that this lens occupies a top tier position in the MFT system.

    By those standards, the $7,300 APO Summicron, a culmination of 100 years of lens design, also does not feature a top quality build.

    I agree with the DPReview author that a mature system needs lenses with a variety of compromises, some compromising more on price, others more on performance, etc.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. I think I've got the equivalent of a headache.
     
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