Sigma 60mm 2.8 vs Olympus 45mm 1.8

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by aphasiac, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. aphasiac

    aphasiac Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2015
    Anyone used both of these lenses, and can compare the advantages / disadvantages of both?

    I own the Sigma 60mm, originally bought as 1) it's half the price of the Olympus and 2) the longer focal length means it can be used as a short telephoto.

    However, after a year of use I'm becoming increasing frustrated with it. Can't use it indoors due to the long focal length, full body shots have to taken a ridiculous distance away, and as a nature telephoto lens it's not really long enough. It's also relatively big and heavy for a m43 lens.

    On the plus side, it's the sharpest lens I own, great rendering and bokeh, it really is a poor-man's Olympus 75mm. Some of my best photos have been taken with this cheap lens, which means I'm very reluctant to sell it. Will the Olympus 45mm be a worthwhile upgrade? Really I want to take more of my baby indoors, but I'm torn as to whether it's worth spending all that extra money on.
  2. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Have had both, like both. Getting the P42.5 f/1.7 to replace the O45. The only reason I don't have the S60 is I picked up an Oly 60 macro. The two are different enough that having both is not unreasonable. If you can have only one? If you find the S60 to long the O45 is an option, but not as sharp wide open, maybe not even at f/2.8 across the frame. The P42.5 f/1.7 is better across the frame wide open than the O45, but is even more $$.
  3. Youngjun

    Youngjun Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2015
    45mm would be too long for indoor usage as well.
    How about the Sigma 30mm? or even 19mm?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Around here, the O45 is selling for low prices, around $200 used. I have it and the S60 and I like them both. For your purposes, I would think that the shorter focal length and wider aperture of the O45 would be more suitable.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. I have both, they really do different jobs (at least for me).

    I only use the 60mm macro for macro.
  6. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Well, you did realize that is 120mm equivalent and that's not just a number and will require appropriate distance, didn't you?
    As for "big and heavy" (LOL!), compare it to 45mm, or better yet handle 42.5/1.2:

    60mm: 185 g, 61mm x 56mm
    45mm: 116 g, 56mm x 46mm
  7. excman

    excman Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    Odsherred, Denmark,
    I have both O45 and S60 and others close. (S30-P25 / F1.4-P20)
    I also have several grandchildren.
    If the economy was tight I would choose S60 and S30.
    Alternatively S60 and P20. (P 20 is better than its reputation).
    If the economy were less strict, my choice would be the S60 and P25 / F1.4.
    Under no circumstances would I do without S60, which in my opinion offers one of the best price / performance ratio in the market.
    With its low price on the used market, S60 would only contribute to your new purchase with a modest amount.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    I find 90mm-e to be quite restrictive for indoor use. In my opinion, Panasonic 20/1.7 is just about perfect for indoor snaps.

    Also 45mm is soft-ish wide open and its bokeh can be quite harsh in demanding circumstances. And beware chromatic aberrations.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. aphasiac

    aphasiac Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2015
    Actually I didn't know what 120mm would be like, as the EPL5 I bought it for was my first "real" camera with interchangeable lenses. I just knew it would be a more useful buy then the Olympus 45mm, as the kit lens already went up to 42mm.

    As for big and heavy, well I did say "relatively"! 70g is not insignificant in the world of m43; it's the same weight as 25% of my camera, or another small lens. But guess there's not a huge difference; maybe I was fooled by the Sigmas lens hood, which when reversed is a little bulky and means the lens takes up quite a lot of width in my bag.
  10. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Well, for your objective, shooting portrait type scenes indoors, you may be better off with one of 20-25mm/f1.4-1.8 prime lens offerings. Current/recent price of Pany version at $99 makes it worthy to try without robbing a bank.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  11. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    I have both and in your shoes would not hesitate to get the oly 45 (or the Panasonic 42.5) unless you think that would still be too long. I think it would be really nice for baby shots, but once the little one is mobile you might want something a little wider. Try walking around with your kit zoom set at 42mm and at 20 and 25mm indoors for a while to see how you like the framing and pick a fast prime at whichever focal length will work best for you.

    If you get one of the 20-25mm primes then personally I think keeping the wonderful Sigma would be entirely justified.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    The Sigma 60mm was designed for Sony E-mount as well as Micro Four Thirds, so it is bulkier than lenses exclusive to MFT.

    I see your logic in getting a lens that is significantly longer than your kit zoom, but there is also a significant difference in maximum aperture between 42mm/5.6 on the kit zoom and 45mm/1.8 on the Oly prime. That's more than 3 f-stops, so the kit zoom needs an exposure 8 to 10 times as long at equal ISO, increasing the chance of motion blur indoors. Look at the sample images forum on this site, and you'll see lots of great indoor photos of kids from the O45. It's my favorite portrait lens.
  13. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I have both, but replacing the 60 with the 45 will not solve your problems. For indoor baby shots get a 25mm.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yes, not much difference between the two.

    A fast 25mm sounds like the best indoor option.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    The 45,1.8 will do better for you still a little long for shots of the table, the party singing happy birthday, etc... But great for portraits and small groups.

    The best indoor lens IMHO is the p25,1.4.

    Both of these lenses will serve you well forever and will be good investments.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2010
    Since you already have a kit zoom, compare the field of view of the 60mm with the 14-42mm at 42mm...forgetting aperture for a moment, do you consider the 42mm FOV to be good indoors for your purposes? If so, the Oly 45mm is a great lens.

    For baby photos (vs. full-sized adults), I think the 45 would be a great choice but it depends on your style of shooting. Another great alternative would be one of the fast normal lenses- the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 and Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 come to mind (Panasonic 20mm might struggle to catch focus a bit indoors with a small child.) Or the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 for more money.

    I think there are 2 possibilities get a 25mm prime to pair with the 60mm, or get the Oly 45mm and sell the 60mm as you will probably find you don't need both of them. I think you will probably love the 45mm.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  17. qppoiz

    qppoiz Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 24, 2013
    I used to have the Sigma 60 and sold it after I got the O45. I like the focal length more on the O45. I use it indoors all the time. I might have to stand in one end of the living room, but my girls don't notice me taking photos of them and the extra 1 1/3 stops saves me from having to push the ISO or risk motion blur.

    It's difficult to avoid being subjective when it comes to photo gear, but I don't miss anything about the S60. I noticed a significant improvement in image quality when I first used the O45 and sold the S60 about a week later. I would add that the difference in focal length between the two is significant and full body portraits are much easier with the O45.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  18. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    agreed with @spatulaboy@spatulaboy better but 25mm instead. That focal length is the best for all around.

    Between S60mm and O45mm, the S60 is a very special lens and it's has more contrast and deep colour.

    Hmmm how about renting the O45 before you decide to buy it? or lending from friend who use and have O45? :biggrin: hehehe

    You can notice their different as i mentioned.
  19. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    I like the p20 for general low light indoor use. Just got the oly 45 and find it great for portraits inside. I find the 20 though more an environmental like lens. For group shots the P15 has been a life saver.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    45mm is only 25% shorter. It's not good for much more than tight portraits indoors, too. I think a 25mm would be great for individual portraits and candids indoors. 14-17mm is better if you want group pictures indoors. Didn't like 20mm for either, kind of no man's land for me.

    Anyway, I'd look for a second lens as a complement, not a replacement.

    Heck, you can get a used 14mm and 30mm for under $300 total. Along with your 60, that's a pretty sweet kit.
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