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PL 45 f 2.8 for street candid photography

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by paullgj, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. paullgj

    paullgj Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 16, 2011
    Brownsville, TX

    This is my first post here. I just acquired a Panasonic GF1/14-45 lens. Already ordered the 20 mm f 1.7. I'd like a lens with a little longer reach for street photography. Everyone is saying Olympus 1.8, but no one seems to have it in stock. How is the PL 45 2.8 for this purpose? What I like is that it has OIS and comes with a lens hood. What I don't like is the price.

    I'm a long time Nikon user, my ultimate camera was an FE2 with 24, 35, 50, 85, and 135 primes. I made the transition to digital but the cameras were too heavy and not very discreet. I'm hoping the GF1 and a few primes is a return
    to the very basic functionality of the FE2.

  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Hey, Gene. I sold my PL45 to fund the purchase (still on preorder) of an Oly 45mm. I sold because I didn't need the OIS (Oly body), wasn't into macro that much, and was hoping for something better indoors and for portraits. But... I kind of miss it now that it is gone - especially because I thought the Oly would be here already. :redface:

    As far as your requirements go, I think it would be a good fit. It is a super sharp lens, especially in the center. Downsides are cost, as you said, and it is a bit on the big size for m4/3 (but not compared to other macros or DSLR lenses). I think it is a good time for buying one used right now as a few people are selling to fund the Oly 45mm like I did. It seems like mint lenses are going in the $550-600 range.

    If you haven't found the image thread here yet:

  3. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Gene, enjoy your GF1! It's still my favorite m43 camera.

    Re the 45/2.8 macro, I find it to be a bit heavy to use as a walkabout lens, especially on the smaller bodied GF1 (more balanced on the G2). I don't know how it compares dimensionally with the new 1.8; I'm guessing the new one is smaller and lighter but I honestly haven't looked. But unless you're interested in closeup photography, the new lens may be a better choice.
  4. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    For street photography you will need the fastest possible shutter speed to stop the motion of your subjects. You can't do that with OIS, you'll need the wider aperture. Also I believe Oly might have faster focus.
  5. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    PL45 is a lens with a slower focus (due to macro and longer thrown). You could go to zone focusing, of course, which might be more accurate anyway but would likely require some stopping down.

    Often street uses a wider angle, but you can still do candid sniper shots with a lens like the 45. I would think the 45/1.8 is a bit better for this, and is certainly cheaper, if you can hold out for it.
  6. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I didn't realize OIS would impact shutter speed. Does IBIS have the same effect?
  7. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    That's not what Vivalo is saying. He is saying that image stablilization stabilizes your images by removing the blur of your shake. However, it doesn't do anything to help blur caused by moving subjects. Larger aperture does do this, by allowing you to use a faster shutter speed to freeze the action.

    OP, don't get the Panasonic 45mm. If anything get yourself an adapter and a legacy lens to hold you over. The Panasonic takes good pictures, but if you aren't doing macro, then you're paying for a lot of functionality that you won't use.
  8. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    OIS does not have impact to your fastest possible shutter speed. What I meant was that OIS/IBIS does not have any impact on moving subjects that might occur on the streets.
  9. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    it's not that OIS impacts shutter speed, but once you reach the higher shutter speeds, stabilization is useless, it has virtually no added benefit. Its purpose is to stabilize at lower speeds like 1/15, not 1/500.

    heh, damn, that's what happens when i open tabs early and don't see the replies.
  10. paullgj

    paullgj Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 16, 2011
    Brownsville, TX
    OK, that's why I posted to get user info. I've got two Nikon primes, 35 2.0, 50 1.8, both manual focus. The immediate order of business will be to get an adapter to use these on the GF1. In a few months, when the Olympus becomes more widely available, that will be the route I'll go. I don't do much macro shooting. However, I do a lot of ethnic festivals in Latin America, and this is the reason for the GF1.
  11. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    I recommend getting yourself the Voigtlander, Kipon, or Metabones adapter. I've had bad luck with cheapo ebay ones; too much of a crapshoot for my conservative self.
  12. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    If you can afford the PL45, don't bother with a legacy. The contrast and rendering of the PL45 are almost unmatched, even at 2.8. It handles beatifully on a GF1 and focuses fast enough. But if you don't need macro, I'd wait for the Oly and use the kit lens in the meantime. I am amazed by what I've seen from the Oly and even consider getting it next to the PL45.
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