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Suggestion for a portrait lens for Panasonic GF1

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by photographworks, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. photographworks

    photographworks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    I'm looking for some advice.

    I have had my Panasonic GF1 and Panasonic 20mm lens for a couple of years now.

    I chose that combination as the smallest body with a big sensor that I knew of at the time.

    I am now looking for a small portrait lens - I guess around 45mm - for the GF1 and the smaller and lighter the better. It doesn't have to be Panasonic brand as long as it functions well, including that the LVF1 EVF 'registers' it correctly.

    I have thought about a second-hand 14-45mm Panasonic lens, but it sticks out too much and I would rather use a prime lens if a smaller one can be had.

    I have been looking, and the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8 seems to be well liked.

    I should say that when I describe the lens I want as a 'portrait' lens, I just mean a short telephoto - but anything that is somewhere around the 90mm equivalent and as short 'front to back' as possible, would be fine.

    As a complete break with this, I have been tempted by the Olympus E-PM1 and the 14-42 kit lens and with the VF2 or VF3 - mostly because I keep reading that the 'look' of images from Olympus is so nice. (I know, define 'nice' :rolleyes:  )

    All help and opinions gratefully and politely received
  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    If you want small and portrait, I think the Olympus 45/1.8 is hard to beat.

    Since you already have a GF1, I would wait until you can buy the E-PM2. It is a big jump in the sensor department.
  3. lubov

    lubov Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 4, 2011
    Well with the adapter, it is not that short but my favourite lens for the GF1

    is the voigtlander nokton 50mm 1.5.

    A really nice lens if you dont mind no autofocus and very interesting the way it draws the OOF areas.

    Ok not the greatest shot but one I had at hand

    Im sure lots of people will recommend the olympus 45 1.8 which is a stellar lens, butI have never really gelled with it and the plasticy feel to it bares no comparison.

    Ive also used a color skopar 35 3.5 for portraits with pleasing results
    • Like Like x 2
  4. angusr

    angusr Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2011
    For a size comparison, the 45mm oly is about twice as long as the pana 20, but much slimmer. In volume and weight terms, there isn't much in it, especially as the end caps are a lot shallower on the oly.

    It is definitely smaller and lighter than I thought it would be, but I also use it less than I thought I would! This is due to the focal length, not the quality of the images, which are lovely.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. photographworks

    photographworks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    Thanks angusr - the information about the dimensions is very useful. :smile:
  6. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2011
    +1 for the Olympus 45mm for a small lightweight portrait lens for the GF1, I'm in total agreement with angusr. Here are some phot's of my GF1 with the Olympus 45mm lens.

    Canon PowerShot S3 IS    ---    6mm    f/2.7    1/13s   

    Canon PowerShot S3 IS    ---    6mm    f/2.7    1/15s   

    Canon PowerShot S3 IS    ---    6mm    f/2.7    1/15s   
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    +1 on the Olympus 45mm f1.8. If you don't mind the focal length...

    You won't get anything better for portraits for the price as long as you dont mind backing up a few steps to get the shot (especially if you are used to shooting with a much wider lens.)

    If you want to stay in your comfort zone distance wise, consider the Panasonic DG Summilux 25mm f1.4. In my opinion it is more versatile and takes Better pictures than the 45 .... But it costs more.

    I have both of them, and they both see heavy use. Just because I said the 25mm is better don't think I am discrediting the 45mm... Some of the best pictures I've ever taken were taken with it.

    In a perfect world, I would buy the new 75mm olympus for candid portraits and street portraits... I am confident that all three would be used regularly. I think the 75mm is probably the best performing lens in regards to bokeh and sharpness.... But it definitely only fills a niche because it is very expensive and has such a long focal length.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Describe your "portraits". That word means so many things to different people, and different lenses suit those different thins, as should be expected. To some portraits means outdoor bust shots. To some it means studio headshots, to others lifestyle headshots. To some it means full-body studio shots. What does "portrait" mean to you?
    • Like Like x 1
  9. photographworks

    photographworks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    Thanks Ned,
    I was thinking of environmental portraits from maybe ten or fifteen feet from the subject - just street shots.

    I've shot fairly close with a 50mm on a 1.5 DX camera and been happy with those shots.

    I have a 105mm lens as well that crops very tightly.

    The lens I'm thinking about for the GF1 is a compromise - a focal length that is as long as possible without making the camera bigger overall than I want.
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If you like the 50mm focal length on a 1.5x crop then you should be very happy with the 45mm focal length on a Micro Four-Thirds system, which is essentially the same perspective but with the long ends cut off (difference in aspect ratio from a wide 3:2 to a squarer 4:3).

    The m.Zuiko 45mm is certainly very compact. It's not a pancake, but rather more like a rangefinder lens. It may not lay as flat as a pancake lens like the 20mm/1.7, but it feels less "bulky" due to its slim nature. That lens seems to check all your boxes from what you're saying. :) 
  11. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    Yea, sounds like the 45mm is perfect for you.

    I use it a lot!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanjamesfahey/7842416290/" title="eid 2012-39 by ryanjamesfahey, on Flickr"> 7842416290_06539c0acb_c. "800" height="600" alt="eid 2012-39"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanjamesfahey/7771265030/" title="P8100056 by ryanjamesfahey, on Flickr"> 7771265030_c884f55a9a. "500" height="375" alt="P8100056"></a>
    • Like Like x 1
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