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Question on Oly 45 f1.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by beehole1, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. beehole1

    beehole1 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 7, 2011
    As a relative newcomer to photography I have concentrated on wildlife using a G10 and the Pan 300mm ,some good results some not so good.
    Recently I have been trying to get some half decent portrait shots of the grandchildren using the kit 42mm lens.The question I have is would I benefit image quality wise if I purchased the Oly 45mm f1.8.

    Below are a couple of my recent attempts.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The background is a bit busy but it was a grab shot on Christmas Day.

    View attachment 186718

    Against a plain backdrop.

    Many thanks.
  2. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Hi, I would say if you can afford it, get the 45mm. F1.8. It's way better quality for starters, plus it gives you f1.8, which will enable much better low light pictures or faster shutter speed, (great for kids!) plus better separation of foreground and background. Take a look at the native lens image samples on this site to see some great examples. In fact, I sold my kit zoom in favour of primes and do not regret it at all, so much better quality. Here is one I took of my boy with the 45mm.

    View attachment 7041
  3. hodad66

    hodad66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 27, 2010
    Indialantic, Florida
    direct flash makes "snapshots" so with a faster lens you can shoot
    without the flash (raise the ISO) and the large aperture will give you
    a nice blurred (bokeh) background which emphasizes the person.

    My portrait of my cat.....

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    not shot with the 45 (if I get that close to her she runs to me) but with an
    old Canon FD 135 f2.5..... but the concept is the same.
  4. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    With the kit lens, you HAVE to use flash in doors (or have very low shutter speeds). With the 45/1.8 you can use available light. You should try both available light and flash!

    Also flash, particular straight-on flash, creates a very flat looking picture. The shadows allow for no visual clues to depth, etc. Bounce flash, or flash triggered from the side make much better portraits, if you have to use flash. Other approaches are flash from one side, with a reflector from the other, which creates depth in the image. This is something built-in flashes just can't do, and it's why pros have multi-light studio lighting (hair light, background light, left and right lights, reflectors, etc.).

    This is one benefit of available light. It has natural looking shadows, but you need a faster lens. This is also a benefit of m43. My 25mm 1.4 can be used at 1.4, but still doesn't have the EXTREMELY shallow DOF of a 50mm 1.4 on a full frame dslr. There are a lot of great advanced amateur, candid portraits done with natural light. Use windows to daylight on the subjects front side. Even better is if there's a white or sheer curtain in front, to diffuse the light.

    One thing built in flash IS good for is fill-in light for backlighting, but it's not great as primary light for portraits, because it flattens the picture.
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Although the image quality is probably a bit of a step up, its not really about image quality so much as the kinds of images you can make, which is ultimately the far more important image quality. As noted above, you'll be able to shoot in lower light without flash, which allows for a different type of candid or relaxed portrait. And the lens is very very good wide open at f1.8 which means as long as you nail focus, you can shoot wide open and end up with very very nice subject isolation. The busy background you refer to in the first shot isn't really all that busy, but it would be a lot creamier and more blurred with a lens at f1.8. There are times when a zoom comes in handy, but IMHO there are a LOT MORE times when a prime is the right tool for the job. I mostly shoot with the 12 or 14mm because the wide end is where I feel comfortable, but over Christmas I was shooting with the 25 and 45mm primes almost exclusively. And getting indoor shots I couldn't have managed with the kit lens (without a flash, at least)...

  6. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland

    Go for it. The 45mm makes beautiful images. It's bright and fast but also sharper than the kit lens. It's NOT fast at autofocus - so I find pre-focussing or manual in lower light conditions.

    The 45mm now lives on my camera and the kit lens lives in a drawer.

  7. James Pilcher

    James Pilcher Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 6, 2011
    Colorful Colorado
    drawers are filling up

    I see I'm not the first person to relegate the 14-42mm kit lens to a drawer. The 12mm, 25mm, 45mm trio is nothing short of astounding. :thumbup: Now, give me a 17mm f/1.7 and 70mm f/2!
  8. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Olympus 45 mm 1.8 is a stunning lens and a must for MFT users . It take everything to the next level.I had the same confusion but I don't think I am gonna use kit lens now. Please look at these samples and decide why u need this lens ..


  9. beehole1

    beehole1 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 7, 2011
    Thanks for the replies.
  10. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    I have owned the 45mm for several months and am amazed at the sharpness over the 17mm Oly prime, which should be a step up from the kit zoom. The 45mm is very sharp and the difference is noticeable fully open or stepped down to around F:5.6.

    I find it addictive and now find myself wanting the Pany 25mm also. The 45mm has spoilt my reliance on the 17mm and shows me what I have been missing in sharpness.
  11. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Hahahah ...the same thing with me.I am finding excuses to dump my panny 20 mm and buy PL25 but its very noisy ( not optically ) and big and thats holding me back.
  12. Pasukun

    Pasukun Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 2, 2011
    Olympus 45mm 1.8 is an outstanding prime lens. It is very fast and sharp.
    It is amazing how much performance this tiny thing can put out.
    If you are prime lens shooter, this is a must get glass.

    Below image was taken with G3 @ f/2.8.
    You can also find original size at the bottom.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Original size
    • Like Like x 1
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