PL 45 2.8 or Oly 60mm f2.8

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by D7k1, Mar 9, 2016.

Choose the lens you'd get

Poll closed Mar 30, 2016.
  1. Oly 60mm

    8 vote(s)
  2. PL 45mm

    2 vote(s)
  1. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    So after building out my m43 system with 2 gx8, 12-35mm and the 100-400 on order, today I sold my very last Nikon mount lens - my Tamron 90mm. I use a couple of dual element filters (like the Canon 500D) and find their performance for "Dangerous" bugs very good. I have GSsimplerelease for stacking when I don't want to use post focus and stack in Photoshop.
    I can get a used PL45 for about the same price as the Oly 60 and the PL can use its IS with Post focus but the Oly has no stabilization when using post focus. I have a good Manfrotto CF where the head can be horizontal to the legs. But I keep thinking that the PL45 is going to be usable for handheld post focus macros while the Oly won't. Is the Oly that much better for single macro shots than the PL 45 that this decision should be a no-brainer? I image reptiles, amphibians, insects, and Arachnids for Macro.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  2. bahamot

    bahamot Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    I think it's all depends on what kind of macro work you need. I'm using PL45 and the FL is enough for me because I'm using it for food photography.
    For insect macro, the 60mm FL is better.
  3. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    Thanks, I just added this to the post... I image reptiles, amphibians, insects, and Arachnids for Macro.
  4. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    Like bahamot said, I would go with the 60 then, its a nice lens.
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I've owned both. I had the 60mm and switched to the 45mm. For pure macro, I had a better hit rate with the 60mm. The macro-only AF limiter is quite fantastic for reliable AF at the macro range. I even had good luck with tracking AF on critters in that range. The lens is also very, very sharp. The only major annoyance for me is that the lens is way longer than I think it should be. It's essentially the same size as my 45-175mm.

    The PL45 is just as sharp at the apertures you will shoot macro at. But the AF is much more difficult. THe AF limiter is either Macro to infinity or 3 feet to infinity. So when trying to focus on macro, if it misses it can hunt out to infinity. That's annoying! I end up going manual focus a lot more on the PL45 as a result. The OIS I have not noticed being terribly beneficial, but I'm on a GX7 so the IBIS would have been active on the 60mm, too. I Honestly would not expect much from the OIS on the 45mm because it won't compensate for the front to back movement that is so common at macro distance.

    Now as an all-around lens, I like the 45mm focal length better and I like the Leica rendering and bokeh better. The AF is sometimes a bit laggy in low light and causes what feels like shutter lag when it is waiting for AF confirmation. You can also definitely hear the AF. It reminds me of the sound of older Canon USM lenses, so not loud but definitely audible. Whereas the Olympus 60mm is dead silent like their other MSC primes and I never experienced any lag when using it.

    So flat out, I think the 60mm is a better macro lens. I bought the PL45 because it replaced both the 60mm Macro and 45mm f1.8 in my bag. But it looks like you have a 35mm f2.8 on one zoom and then a gap until 100mm f4 on the other. 60mm would split that gap nicely.

    I'd lean 60mm in your case.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  6. magicaxeman

    magicaxeman Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 27, 2016
    Essex UK
    I've had both as well, for me the 60mm wins hands down and is so versatile making a great portrait lens as well for head & shoulders work.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    I have the Oly 60mm macro and love it. I decided many years ago on longer focal length macros because of their greater focusing distance (between subject and front of lens). I had the Nikkor 60mm macro and the Nikkor 105mm macro and found that after several years I was never using the 60mm and whenever I wanted to shoot macro I'd automatically reach for the 105mm. Plus if I need to add light the Oly 60mm gives me enough room to do it easily.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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