1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Olympus 75mm ... general question about the focal length

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jasjb, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. jasjb

    jasjb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2014
    When using the 75mm, how many meters away from the subject would you need to be to frame a head-and-shoulders portrait shot?

    Just trying to work out how useful that focal length is to me :) 

    (yes I'll be sure to try one in a shop, but they are harder to find than your typical MFT lens right now)
    • Like Like x 1
  2. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    I get great results at about six feet distance. Please forgive my imperial units, I'm responding with my cell phone and don't have my conversion table.
    PS, obviously I'm American.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. jasjb

    jasjb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2014
    Feet units are fine, thanks for the reply :) 

    6 feet seems really close to me! Maybe I am imagining a wider shot than just head-and-shoulders.

    My attraction to the 75mm was for more candid / unobtrusive street photography.
  4. sdb123

    sdb123 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 25, 2014
    Northants, UK
    If you can't find one in a shop to try, you could always try a zoom lens at 75mm to see if you get on with the focal length. :) 
  5. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 15, 2014
    • Like Like x 2
  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I have been known to shoot the 75 for street stuff. Its no super spy like frame filler from a great distance, to get head and shoulders you still need to be pretty close, probably in the 6-10 foot range

    here are a range of my recent 75 candid street shots. I am not always convinced that the EXIF data accurately reflects focal distance... at least with Aperture, so the numbers are best of approximations from memory. Plus also I tend to crop most of my shots to a lesser or greater degree, but I have tried to indicate that

    30 ft (No Crop)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    P9300038 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    20ft (No crop)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    P9300062 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    15 ft ( 10% crop)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    P9300060 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    P9300071 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    10 ft (No crop)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    PB230359 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    more 75mm examples here


    • Like Like x 14
  7. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Nice set, but I really like that first one. Interesting combination of subjects, good composition, and excellent technical quality, i.e., exposure/sharpness/bokeh, etc.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Yeah, first one is fantastic!
    • Like Like x 2
  9. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    • Like Like x 3
  10. jasjb

    jasjb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2014
    Thanks everyone, very helpful.

    Love this little lens from what I've seen so far. Just a pity about the non-so-little price tag :) 
  11. aks6674

    aks6674 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2014
    2 meters will get you close for portrait, probably more like 6-8 to get full body shots. You'll find yourself looking for things to shoot with it though, it's just that good. I've been shooting indoor sports, and posted a tight cityscape on the 75 thread that I like a lot.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    the focus speed is somewhat slow. Sports shots are challenging with it, since there's so much lag. great lens otherwise
  13. aKilter

    aKilter Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2013
    This is a very true statement! Since I received mine, I have been doing exactly that.
  14. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    It's a 'weird' focal length, but back in my Canon crop days I shot my Sigma 105/2.8 Macro a lot, for all kinds of different subjects. Lots of candids, great for compressed landscapes, etc. Then later the 135/2.0 (a little wider and a touch easier to work with), and was the primary reason I kept my 5DII as long as I did. The 75 is definitely on my list, waiting for a good deal on a (used) black one though. I just realised I don't really have anything portrait-y other than the 45/1.8, which is short for my taste - I get along great with 135 to 160mm for candid portraits, 85 to 90 doesn't gel quite as well with me...
  15. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    Great shot! Shooting at about 6 feet with camera in portrait orientation I'd get the top of the hair down to include his wrist in the frame. Just about the entire frame would be the individuals face and part of the shoulders with little background in the frame. The only minor complaint would be slow focus acquisition in very low light so I turn on focus assist light in those situations and it remedies the problem. It's the best lens I've ever owned!
    • Like Like x 1
  16. jasjb

    jasjb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2014
    Am a little in love with this image.

    Trying to think of a comparable lens that can pull a blurred background forward in that way?

    I'm sure some of the FF zooms with f2 or f2.8 would be comparable.

    But in terms of size, focal length and speed... this lens must almost be in a class of it's own? (well, in terms of modern lenses).

    I guess a similar image might be obtained with a shorted prime at a closer standing distance.... but you'd end up with a wider background a loose some of the 3D effect achieved here?
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    thanks for the kinds words

    But I was in love with it first !!:) 

    This image surprised me when I saw it on the computer... I obviously hit a very nice sweet spot of distance to subject, and subject to background.

    I adore the 75mm I find it a very useable focal length in many circumstances, and have always been vocal in saying that it is not to be thought of as just a 'portrait' lens.

    When I started out with micro 4/3, I had an E-P1, and a Leica shooting girlfriend who had a Leica 75/1.4 (I still have both:) ). The Leica 75/1.4 is no longer made, but it was regarded by its lens designer Mandler, as being his his crowning achievement. It cost somewhere in the region of 5 times the Oly version...but thats leica for you!

    here are a few shots taken in the e-p1 with the leica 75/1.4

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Bin Man by kevinparis, on Flickr

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Eat on the Go by kevinparis, on Flickr

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Dressed for Market by kevinparis, on Flickr

    so you can see for me that 75 on 4/3 has always worked well for me - of course your needs and wishes may be different

    • Like Like x 2
  18. tomtom

    tomtom New to Mu-43

    Dec 9, 2014
    If unsure, one of the other posters suggested getting a zoom. I inherited a Zuiko 40-150 4/5.6 which I would have never bought because I thought it would be marginal. Well I am very pleasantly surprised! And, for $150 on sale they are a bargain. I subsequently bought the 75 because it is really my focal length. Even as amazing as it is I still use the zoom quite a bit. So if my experience is any guide you will not have wasted your money with the zoom even if you get the 75 later.
  19. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa

    If you are interested in trying the focal length but are unwilling to plop down the cash on a toe dip why not try a manual focus legacy lens and see how you go... something like a Canon FD 85mm f1.8 is about a quarter of the price. I am quite pleased with my Pentax 110 type 70mm f2.8 for just $50 too...
  20. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 11, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.