Olympus 75mm f/1.8 vs 45mm f/1.2 Pro?

FabledFew

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
32
Hey there M43ers. I hope y'all are staying safe.

My wife and I shoot a lot of wedding/engagements. My wife needs a fast prime for low-light photography, and of course, delicious bokeh. She currently shoots with the PL 12-60. The question is simple, what would be a better option for us? The Olympus 75mm f/1.8 or the Olympus 45mm f/1.2 PRO? The 45mm costs about a $100 more here, but that's not a huge issue. My main concern is, would the Olympus 75mm be too tight? Would she need to step way back, and therefore not be able to speak to the bride and groom? I've also heard the 75mm is the sharpest M43 lens out there, how does the 45mm compare?

What are your guys' experience with this? And what would you recommend?

PS. The PL 42.5mm f/1.2 is not available for purchase here. :/
 

Acraftman

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
777
It would seem that the 45 1.2 would be the preferred option better FOV better low light I think those would be important considerations also there are a number of (experts) that consider it to be one of the top lenses available. Btw ,there are posts for both lenses here in the forums.
 

LilSebastian

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
707
Location
Pasadena, CA
Real Name
John
I only own the 45mm f1.8 which is enough for my needs, but you might also look at the Sigma 56mm f1.4. Sharp as a scalpel, better working distance than the 75mm and delicious bokeh when you want it.
 

wimg

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Dec 10, 2016
Messages
647
Location
Netherlands
The 45 Pro is actually sharper. In addition it has better OOF transitions, due to its "feathered" bokeh. The 75 is a bit long for photographing bride and groom fairly close-up, but IMO it is a great lens for candid shots e.g. at the wedding party. I have both lenses, BTW.

HTH, kind regards, Wim
 

tkbslc

Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
7,636
Location
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Given that you have the 12-60 now, you can answer this question yourself quite easily. You can set your 12-60 to 45m and see what that looks like. THen compare at 60mm but imagine it is 25% tighter crop. See which fills your needs.
 

ac12

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
2,739
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
It depends.
Is she shooting full length, waist up, head and shoulders?

Like @tkbslc said, go into your backyard with a lens that can be set to 75mm, then see how far back she has to go to do a full length shot of you. In vertical orientation, tight crop, I guestimate this at 33+ feet / 10+ meters distant. In her experience, is that distance practical? The problem is, if she does not have that distance to work with, she is stuck.

Then have her step to what she thinks is a practical working distance, then turn the zoom on her 12-60, to see what FL will give her the shot she wants; full length, or waist up, or whatever portrait she has in mind.
Example, at 20 feet / 6 meters, in vertical orientation, a 40mm will be a rather tight full length. I would prefer to use a shorter 30 or 25mm.
 

DaveJP

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 30, 2016
Messages
66
Location
Kingswinford, UK
Real Name
David Plumb
In your situation, and just considering focal length and working distance, I think the 45mm focal would be the most practical. It allows for good contact with the subject and the f1.2 version will give good bokeh and is, I believe, very sharp (I only have the Olympus f1.8). However, the lens is quite big, heavy and expensive. You'll get just as good bokeh from the Sigma 56mm f1.4 (which I do have); you just have to take a step back to keep subject size the same as the 45mm. The 56mm is also smaller, lighter, cheaper than the 45mm f1.2 and still very sharp. You have to decide whether 56mm would be too far from the subject, but you can look at this with your 12-60. The 75mm f1.8 is a lovely lens and I always enjoy using it, but it's a bit too long for general portraiture. I sometimes use it for shooting portraits outside, where there's plenty of room, but I don't find it very practical to use indoors.
 

rezatravilla

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
1,074
Location
Indonesia
Real Name
Reza Travilla
Hey there M43ers. I hope y'all are staying safe.

My wife and I shoot a lot of wedding/engagements. My wife needs a fast prime for low-light photography, and of course, delicious bokeh. She currently shoots with the PL 12-60. The question is simple, what would be a better option for us? The Olympus 75mm f/1.8 or the Olympus 45mm f/1.2 PRO? The 45mm costs about a $100 more here, but that's not a huge issue. My main concern is, would the Olympus 75mm be too tight? Would she need to step way back, and therefore not be able to speak to the bride and groom? I've also heard the 75mm is the sharpest M43 lens out there, how does the 45mm compare?

What are your guys' experience with this? And what would you recommend?

PS. The PL 42.5mm f/1.2 is not available for purchase here. :/
75mm f1.8 AF is a bit slow in low light. As for performance, i think it's on par although 45mm PRO indeed a little sharper. Both of the lenses produce beautiful skin tone though. Plus u need to consider the focal length of 75mm and 75mm min close focus distance. 45 PRO can do close focus distance. Plus weather sealed is other benefit too. If fund is not an obstacle, buy the 45mm PRO.
 

RichardC

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
2,197
Location
The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
Real Name
Richard
I've got both.

I use the 45mm more often (standard walkaround kit thesedays is the 17mm and 45mm), but I am very reluctant to get rid of the 75mm because it's my sharpest lens.

Usability for weddings depends on your style. I would use the 75mm from the back of the church during the vows - and that's probably it. If your brides are asking for reportage (is that still a thing???) - you would use it more. However, if you pose your couples (ie, those relaxed completely unposed pictures, that actually have to be posed, preferably with the aid of a tripod or an assistant), you'll be doing a lot of walking back and forth (and wasting time) with the 75mm.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
1,994
Location
Maryland
Real Name
Loren
I can’t speak for the Sigma, but I have both the 45mm Pro and 75mm. I agree the focal length should be your main consideration, and that is something only you can decide for yourself. Other than that, both lenses are great and you wouldn’t go wrong with either one. However, just in terms of technical quality, one is a little ahead of the other — though as always the differences are subtle.

The 45mm pro is a special lens in the M43 lineup. It is the second-most sharpest lens in the system (behind the 17mm pro) according to Lenstips, and probably has the very best bokeh of all of them. The feathered bokeh is very impressive, and unique to a few of the pro primes. While it depends on the shooter and the situation, 45mm is usually a more usable/flexible focal length for most situations, and of course it is a little bit faster. It’s not relevantly larger than the 75mm, but it’s metal body does make it noticeably heavier. While the pro lens‘ weather sealing shouldn’t matter for weddings (hopefully), it’s function button and focus clutch are also really nice additions.

Asking questions like, “ What should I get, A or B?” will always give you a dozen different opinions. There are a few YouTube video comparisons on this lens against other M4/3 portrait lenses that might be worth checking out. Or, maybe see if you can rent them (or at least try them out) at a local camera shop. At least then you would be able to see the differences for yourself, and decide if the extra hundred dollars is worth it.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
193
If "low light" also means "inside", the 75mm will probably not be of much use, unless you really need to be at a large distance to the subject. (I use my 75mm mainly for indoor concert photography where I am in the audience and the players are at a distance.) Have there been any situations where the 60mm of the 12-60mm was not enough? If not, it makes no sense to get the 75mm.

Another thing to consider is that both the 75mm f/1.8 and the 45mm f/1.2 will give a very shallow depth of field when used wide open, so if you are photographing more than one person at a time you may want to stop down to keep everyone in focus. And in that case, getting the 45mm f/1.8 or the 42.5mm f/1.7 would be fine (lighter, cheaper, and still 2 stops faster than the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 at 45mm). But that's said from my perspective as an amateur. Since you are a professional photographer, you may feel that those lenses do not deliver what you want.

(For reference, Emily Lowrey from Micro Four Nerds is a wedding photographer and uses the 45mm f/1.8.)

This comparison of MFT portrait lenses may be useful to you: https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/best/micro-four-thirds-portrait-lenses-olympus-panasonic/
 

t2490jh

New to Mu-43
Joined
May 6, 2020
Messages
7
I had the Sigma 56mm 1.4 and sold it to buy the Olympus 45mm 1.2. My camera is the Panasonic G9. The only reason I sold it was it was too tight. Even at outdoor events it was too tight. The sharpness was amazing though and it performed well in low light. I really liked the Sigma but it made framing shots much more difficult.

The Olympus 45mm 1.2 is more versatile, just as sharp, better bokeh, and better weather sealing. I really like the L-FN button on the Olympus. I also have the 25mm 1.2 pro. Only down side I see to the Olympus pro lenes is cost.
 

FabledFew

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
32
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the opinions and suggestions! At this point, I'm leaning towards the 45mm PRO. Having f/1.2 and the feathered bokeh quality are really attractive, however, it's the less tight focal length that would make the 45mm PRO more versatile.
 

DaveJP

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 30, 2016
Messages
66
Location
Kingswinford, UK
Real Name
David Plumb
If you do go for the 45mm f1.2 you might want to ease the financial burden by checking the secondhand listings or dealers. I've seen two or three crop up over the last few months, usually in Excellent or Like New condition, and with a price that is, of course, a lot cheaper than a new lens. I know because I've been very tempted to make a purchase myself!
 

Hypilein

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
1,475
I just got married during corona and we borrowed the 45 1.2 with the Olympus Test&Wow Programme (my mother took the pictures). I would think the 75mm is way too tight, for most situations. It might be good as an additional lens, but not instead of a 45mm.

If the Test&Wow programme is available where you're at, I would recommend you just borrow both lenses to try it out. It's free for one day (or one full weekend).

Personally I decided that while the lens is amazing, I would not bother and get the slightly slower versions. If I were a professional shooting weddings regularly and for pay I would definitely invest in a full set of Pro Primes though.
 

MMouse

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
59
The 75mm is a very good lens and quite affordable second hand now but definitely an odd focal lenght. Very nice outdoors, probably to tight for churches or town halls.
The 45mm f/1,2 is an outstanding lens, the 45mm f/1,8 is nice too and much cheaper. The main difference except size and price is bokeh at f/1,2. stopped down to f/1,8, they look similar. If you don't plan to shoot wide open, better save your money.
The 56mm f/1,4 is very sharp and cheap but feels closer tho the 75 than to the 45mm. Bokeh can be a bit nervous on mft.
 

SpecFoto

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
651
Location
So Cal Desert
Real Name
Jim
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the opinions and suggestions! At this point, I'm leaning towards the 45mm PRO. Having f/1.2 and the feathered bokeh quality are really attractive, however, it's the less tight focal length that would make the 45mm PRO more versatile.
I have been shooting outdoor portraits since 2009, but not weddings, and have used 3 systems for this, Nikon FF, M4/3 and most recent Sony FF. In all 3 I use primes for my work. Far and away the 85mm (FF) is the most used and versatile focal length, it becomes your workhorse lens and is used 55 to 60% of the time. For me the next used lens is the 135mm (FF) for Nikon/Sony and the 75mm f1.8 for Olympus, used about 25 to 30% of the time when I want extra compression or to blur out the background more. Last is the std. mid range lens, usually the 55 f1.8 for Sony or 50 f1.4 for Nikon, but with Olympus I used the 17mm f1.8 a lot more than the 25mm f1.8.

For M4/3, first with my EM5 then EM1’s (2) I used the Oly 45mm f1.8 starting back in 2012, but when it became available in 2014 I immediately switched to the P/L Nocticron 42.5 f1.2 lens (Oly 45 f1.2 was not available until years later). 14,800 portrait photos later, this has proven to be the best lens of my 3 “85’s”, it is very sharp across the field, focuses fast on my EM1’s and now my EM1.3, and I just love it. Thus my suggestion for you is to get the Oly 45mm f1.2 as your first wedding prime, if you can't get the Nocticron, as I feel it will be the most used F/L. You can (and should) add the 75mm f1.8 later, and you can save quite a bit by getting a good used copy as that lens has been out longer and is more readily available used.
 
Last edited:

FabledFew

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
32
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
I have been shooting outdoor portraits since 2009, but not weddings, and have used 3 systems for this, Nikon FF, M4/3 and most recent Sony FF. In all 3 I use primes for my work. Far and away the 85mm (FF) is the most used and versatile focal length, it becomes your workhorse lens and is used 55 to 60% of the time. For me the next used lens is the 135mm (FF) for Nikon/Sony and the 75mm f1.8 for Olympus, used about 25 to 30% of the time when I want extra compression or to blur out the background more. Last is the std. mid range lens, usually the 55 f1.8 for Sony or 50 f1.4 for Nikon, but with Olympus I used the 17mm f1.8 a lot more than the 25mm f1.8.

For M4/3, first with my EM5 then EM1’s (2) I used the Oly 45mm f1.8 starting back in 2012, but when it became available in 2014 I immediately switched to the P/L Nocticron 42.5 f1.2 lens (Oly 45 f1.2 was not available until years later). 14,800 portrait photos later, this has proven to be the best lens of my 3 “85’s”, it is very sharp across the field, focuses fast on my EM1’s and now my EM1.3, and I just love it. Thus my suggestion for you is to get the Oly 45mm f1.2 as your first wedding prime, if you can't get the Nocticron, as I feel it will be the most used F/L. You can (and should) add the 75mm f1.8 later, and you can save quite a bit by getting a good used copy as that lens has been out longer and is more readily available used.
Thank you very much for sharing your opinion! Actually, the Nocticron would've been my first choice (slightly wider field of view and having DFD on Panasonic cameras), but it's not available in Turkey, and importing it would make it cost almost twice as much as the Olympus 45mm f/1.2 PRO.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom