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The short telephoto puzzler

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dixeyk, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm almost done building my m43 kit. I started off with the P20 added the P14 and now I'm nearly ready to finish it off with with a short telephoto to complete the class 28,40,90 set from the Leica CL/Minolta CLE era. That'll provide me with three useful focal lengths in a small kit and then I'm done buying stuff for the next few years.

    The first thing I thought of was the O45/1.8. I've had that lens two or three times over the years and always thought it renders nicely. The build quality has always struck me as super cheap and plasticky but for around $200 used its worth considering. The other sticking point for me is the veeeery long minimum focus distance. To me it feels like It's about half a mile. Typically I like to get close (or have the option to) and the P14 and P20 do that wonderfully. When I found out about the P42.5/1.7 I thought that it would be the answer given its nicer build and close focus ability but I find myself impressed by the O45 images and not so much by the P42.5/1.7 images I have seen. I can't tell you what it is because the Panasonic allegedly has better sharpness and contrast but time and time again I find myself drawn to the Olympus 45 images, maybe it's because there are simply more O45's out there.

    At the moment I have an old SMC Pentax 50/1.4 filling in but that's a short term fix as I really don't care for the experiencing of shooting adapted lenses with the my E-M10. At some point I am going to want to pick up an AF 45.
     
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  2. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    I am in almost the exact same situation. Like you, my target is to shoot 3 primes, and I've settled so far on the P14/2.5, O25/1.8 and have been adapting legacy FF "normals" to fill the medium telephoto gap, but the lack of AF is really inhibiting me. I'm leaning towards the P42.5/1.7 or if I can budget for it, the PL42.5/1.2. Both have better sharpness, IMO, and both have OIS, useful with the small Panasonic bodies that don't have IBIS.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm leaning toward the Panasonic 42.5/1.7 as well, mostly because of its close focus ability but I still think the Olympus' rendering is a bit nicer.
     
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  4. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I found them reasonably in most areas, yes the Pan is a little sharper. But the reason I have it over the Oly is the close focus, really handy.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    As much as I like the Olympus rendering I KNOW the longer minimum focus distance would bug me.
     
  6. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I considered replacing my O45 for a 42.5 f/1.7 when it came out for it's better sharpness, closer focussing ability and OIS for my GM5, but after trying it in store side by side I decided that I value the rendering and bokeh of the O45 more...

    What about the MCON-P02 for the O45 when you need to get closer? Converter Lens MCON-P02 Macro Converter | Converter | Olympus
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    So pay extra money to make the O45 still have a longer minimum focus distance than the Panasonic? I prefer the Olympus rendering as well but it's probably not enough to overcome that as well as the funky/cheap build quality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  8. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    I think that the added hassle and bulk of the macro converter is a big (and unnecessary) disadvantage. If you already know that the min focusing distance of the Oly doesn't meet your needs, you'll find it a nuisance to have to twist-on a macro attachment. I do agree that the Oly produces bokeh more nicely, but at my skill level, the IQ of the focused parts of the shot are a higher priority than the OOF background rendering. In any case, I don't consider either the P42.5 or the O45 to be the lens to reach for to do closeup work. For macro, I think my go-to lens is going to be my recently-re-acquired copy of a 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. It looks a little foolish on a m4/3 body, but it seems to make the same beautiful images that my old one did years ago.
     
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    so you didn't like my suggestion here?

    Showcase - Olympus 45mm f/1.8

    don't forget that there is "close" to the subject and "close" in terms of how the picture looks. The 45 should do well with the small extension tube.
     
  10. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    According to the specs, the Oly 45 focuses to 0.5 m, the Pana 42.5 f1.7 focuses to 0.31 m. A significant difference. On the other hand, the Pana Nocticron 42.5 f1.2 focuses to 0.5 m too. One alternative is to go with the Oly 60 f2.8 macro which certainly focuses a lot closer, but has a smaller aperture. I've seen some nice portraits taken with it. :)
     
  11. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    No love for the pl45? It might be a 2.8, but the photos look really good.
     
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  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you want a 45 with close focusing, the Leica 45mm macros are becoming quite affordable on the used market.

    Edit: Same time as laser8, must be a sign! :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Personally I find the 0.5m offered by the Olympus much more acceptable than the almost universal 1m with rangefinders, I doubt I could tell the lenses apart in a blind test.

    If I were to buy again I would go for whichever is cheaper, if they were the same price then the Panasonic (purely for the OIS, so I can use it on a body without IBIS if needed).
     
  14. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    Specs show the Oly 45 with max magnification 0.11x and Panasonic 0.2x.
    I guess that means closest-focused objects are about twice as large with the Panasonic? I like my Olympus 45 but that is a big difference if one wants to shoot close. It seems like portraits shot that tight could show unpleasant distortion.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm not all that keen on buying another item to solve the close focusing on the lens. That adds a hassle factor I really don't find appealing. If I was looking to only do closeup that would be fine but I like flexibility. Besides if I wanted to do macro I have a nice Minolta macro with extension tube that I would break out. Then there is the build quality of the 45 which I still find pretty terrible. I admit I do really like the rendered of the 45 but...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm not interested in shooting portraits. I think if you are then the O45 makes perfect sense as the minimum focus distance would not be an issue. No doubt that why the lens was designed the way it was.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I love the PL45. It was one of my favorite m43 lenses ever. I used it a lot when I shot the GX1 and much preferred it over the O45. It's bigger and a lot more expensive. I hadn't really considered it, but I think that's a great suggestion. I'll check out used prices.
     
  18. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I am a three prime shooter as well and the 45mm has been my long lens. I use it for reach inside of buildings, particularly churches, video, and close up of subjects like flowers in the garden. I agree that build quality is poor but I also like the way that it renders. What about the Voigtlander 42.5mm it's minimum focus distance is:
    9.06" (23 cm)? The Voigtlander does give up AF and it is more expensive.
     
  19. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    The f/2.8 would be a drawback for me. Otherwise, I would jump at the chance especially at some of he current used prices.
     
  20. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    I feel that if you're giving up AF and don't need the speed, there are legacy lenses that would get the job done less expensively. My mission-specific choice for macro work at this point is the Micro-Nikkor 55/2.8 (still experimenting, but early results look promising). The rest of my lens budget for the year is going toward the P42.5/1.7 for the AF and OIS.