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Quick Comparison of OM 50 1.4 to Oly 45

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by thearne3, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    The OM 50 f1.4 is one of my favorite lenses. How does it compare to the Oly 45 at f2 and f1.8, respectively?

    I should have set up a tripod and double checked the focus point for the Oly, but the comparison is still interesting. Focal pts are slightly different and angle of view, but we can still compare bokeh and overall color/contrast.

    Here is shot 1, Master (no adjusting of OOC jpeg) OM on the left in all cases.


    Here is shot 1, Adj with Auto Color/Contrast, Definition .3, Vibrancy .1 (my standard Preset for importing into Aperture) and cropped to adj for 50mm vs 45mm.


    Here is shot 2 Master:


    Here is shot 2 Adj:


    I know the shots are not big enough. You can go to https://picasaweb.google.com/thearne3/Olympus45mm?authuser=0&feat=directlink and enlarge.

    My conclusions:

    The two lenses show comparable bokeh at this aperture. The OM lens lacks the native contrast of the Oly (shown in the Masters), but this is easily adjusted in PP. Color is also quite similar. Center and edge sharpness (not shown) at 100% are very close. The difference in focal point (my bad) makes this impossible to say with certainty.

    Hope this is useful, despite the flaws in execution.
    • Like Like x 10
  2. jbuch84

    jbuch84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 9, 2011
    Orlando, FL
    Very nice comparison! They do produce a very similar picture. Already owning the OM 1.8 I'm debating if auto focus is worth the $350 difference!
  3. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Yeah, I hear ya. In size and quickness, the Oly is the winner. For some situations, it means getting the shot vs not. I have the OM, the Hexanon 50 f1.7 and the Pen F 38mm - all 'portrait' FL. I would like to have one, maybe two lenses in this range. The Hexanon will definitely go. No advantages. The OM has the extra speed, but will need to test further. The Pen is smaller than the Oly. Decisions, decisions....
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    The 45 appears to be a bit more sharper and contrasty.
    The 50 on the other hand has more pleasant bokeh.

    Given the convenience of AF...i'd say the 45 is well worth it and I too will be picking one up when i get the chance...in saying that, I will still keep my favoured legacy fast 50.

    Thanks for posting.
  5. It's impressive to see an older lens holding it's own against one a few decades it's junior. That being said, there is much to like about autofocus...
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Tom, do you see any of the color/white bleed or "ghosting" in high contrast areas with the 50/1.4 at max aperture. My Takumar 50/1.4 was too soft and "ghosty" at 1.4, to be useful for anything other than retro 1970s style portraits. You had to get to 2.0 to lose it, and then you lost the one stop advantage. How's the OM do, especially in high contrast situations?
  7. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    At f1.4 the OM is definitely softer and less contrast. I did the comparison at f2 to be 'fair'. For my next test, I'll be more systematic! I can already say that wide open and high contrast (meaning strong highlights), the bokeh is more 'defined', ie, circles of color/light, as in these examples. Still, the contrast doesn't seem to be a problem with PP...


  8. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Tom... Are you using a lens hood on those OM 1.4 shots?

    I don't have the 45 yet, but shooting with my Minolta 50mm 1.4 I was astonished at the improved contrast that just using a lens hood can make.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    No Bob, I haven't. I'm not sure why not, actually. I have hoods for both the Pen 38 and the Oly 45. I am very aware of the effect of side light on the OM 50, though. Once I decide what I'm keeping...
  10. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I'm having a similar debate as I have the OM 50mm f1.4, and love it, but Christmas is coming up and GAS is taking over.

    What did you end up deciding on the 45mm?
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