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What do I do with the Olympus 45mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Ddeveryday, May 18, 2014.

  1. Ddeveryday

    Ddeveryday Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2013
    Hey guys, I have been using the Panasonic 20mm since I got my first camera, the GF1. And the 20mm is pretty much the only lens I use for the past 3 years. Now I want to try something different. So I just acquired an Olympus 45mm. And I'm unable to adapt to the new focal length. Normally when I see something, I picture how the photo will come out in my head, then I proceed to take the picture. Now I'm completely clueless.

    What do you shoot with the 45mm? Under what situation and environment? Can you guys show me sample pictures of what the 45mm is good for?

    I just feel that the 45mm focal length is too close. And I'm torn between keeping it or return it to get a wider lens instead.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
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  2. barbosas

    barbosas Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2013
    You can get an idea here: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=16610

    I used it especially for head shots and subject isolation at short distances.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/barbosas/8755284614" title="_EPL0591 by Pedro Barbosa, on Flickr">
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    "640" height="447" alt="_EPL0591"></a>

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/barbosas/12707240893" title="AMS_20131229_163831_P290395_copy by Pedro Barbosa, on Flickr">
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    "640" height="640" alt="AMS_20131229_163831_P290395_copy"></a>
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  3. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    It's great for portraiture. If you don't shoot portraits it's usable as a long general lens, you just need to adapt to it.

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    The other side of you
    by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

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    345/365 Mother's Day
    by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

    Why don't you pop in to the Oly 45 image thread? There are examples of every subject taken with this lens. https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=16610&page=339
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  4. darcius1

    darcius1 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Sandwich Isles
    Have you checked the sample image archive https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=16610?

    This is a "classic" portrait length but may be used for a wide variety of purposes. I shot with 20mm and 45mm mostly after initially starting with the 20mm much like yourself. I think just getting out there to shoot, you will adapt to the new perspective in the same way you learned to frame with the 20mm in your mind's eye.

    You have a great 2 lens kit.
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  5. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    If you have used the 20 for 3 years, ANY lens will be hard to adapt to. You see at that focal length. A wide will seem too wide, a telephoto will seem too close.

    Here is what the 45 is better at: You can take portraits with less distortion. The 20 will subtly distort facial features on close portraits (especially face shots), the 45 will give a more accurate rendering; The 45 is better able to isolate a subject with bokeh. Shoot with a wide aperture and you can get the subject in focus, and the background more blurred the with the 20; and of course, the 45 will bring things closer and frame tighter.

    My suggestion: Put the 45 on your camera for a week and don't take it off. Go out and take a lot of pictures. Experiment with isolating your subject, experiment with framing, maybe take a few portraits. Even though it will seem awkward after 3 years with the 20, keep the lens on the camera and let yourself become accustomed to it. Go ahead and curse it when you back into a wall trying to get the framing you are accustomed to, just keep getting the feel of it, and try and use it in ways you wouldn't use the 20 (experiment with isolation, it does it much better than the 20). It may take longer than a week to really appreciate it, but its a good focal length, and a week of general shooting with the 45 will help. Its not the standard walk around focal length that a 35-50 mm equivalent is, but it is still a very flexible focal length.
    • Like Like x 5
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    As barbosas pointed out, it's a classic focal length for portraits, especially ones like he shows. For tight head shots I prefer something slightly longer like my old Nikon F 105mm, which would be equivalent to 52.5mm in M43.

    I also used mine for this:
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    That's a four or five shot stitched panorama. I have it printed 42"/~1 meter wide and the detail of the flags flying from the rightmost tower is amazing. I could probably print it 60"/1.5 meter wide and still have very satisfactory detail.
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  7. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    Think of your 45mm as a subject isolation lens. Be it detail on a building, doing a portrait or photographying shoes... you get the idea, all the detail get shot with this lens. Keep your 20mm "normal" field of view focal length for subjet that requieres context and more things in the frame. And have fun, it's one hell of a lens!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    I used an adapted 50mm for an indoor dance concert recently; I was seated towards the front and it was good for capturing 1/2 or 2/3 or the stage.

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  9. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    It's great for standing off from subjects in low light, replacing say a 70-200 type lens if you have the patience and willingness to crop. I do a little soccer photography and can keep shooting after the pros with zooms give up (although there are very few if any pros at the games I tend to shoot), here's an example with the Olympus OM 50mm f/1.8 (very similar in principal) - https://flic.kr/p/evWRr6

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 mobile app
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  10. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    As with any lens, it's helpful to shoot with just that one lens for a couple of months. That should help you see the possibilities and get used to the lens. The 45mm is fast and sharp with excellent contrast. I love mine.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I loooove my 45. It's so capable and surprisingly versatile...from yesterday in Korea:

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    EDITVOM5282 by Tamas V, on Flickr

    From my trip to Taiwan a couple of months ago:

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    EDITVOM3639 by Tamas V, on Flickr


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    EDITVOM3765 by Tamas V, on Flickr

    From Europe last summer:

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    EDITVOM1909 by Tamas V, on Flickr


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    EDITVOM0563 by Tamas V, on Flickr

    Last one...near Jungfrau in Switzerland:

    View attachment 362279 EDITVOM0781 by Tamas V, on Flickr
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  12. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Add extension tubes and shoot macro.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    Your 20mm is what I call "wide normal", normal (sees spatial relationships in much the same perspective as the human eye) for the Micro Four Thirds format is approximately 25mm so your 20mm perspective approaches that of the 135 film format's 35mm.

    This was a focal length the photojournalists loved because as long as you didn't try to photograph people too close (foreshortening caused the distortions mention in a previous post) it gave a tremendous flexibilty in working distances and perspective without being obviously wide angle.

    You have a lot of good suggestions already, go with them for awhile and try to learn to appreciate the ability to explore confined detail, portrait like images of people. I'm a retired portrait photographer and the perspective of the 45mm is something I lived with and worked in for decades. It's a better lens than most of what I used even on medium format cameras like Mamiya RB 67 and Hasselblad.
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  14. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    When u use it think of your self stranded on a island with just one lens and this is it!

    Work with what you have and your eyes will get used to the new fl...
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Rickf

    Rickf Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 7, 2014
    Of all the lenses I recently got with my EM10 the 45/1.8 is the one I'm having the most fun with at the moment:

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  16. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    how about set some time to really get acquainted with it? really wonderful lens when you give it the chance...
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  17. JHM

    JHM Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 6, 2014
    Amsterdam area
    I like it for portraits, weddings and also like it for street photography if you want to catch people from a distance so you can take a picture without people knowing you're taking the picture.
    Last year in Jerusalem I walked the Jerusalem March. I shot amazing pictures with the 85mm which I could not (or very hard) have made with a 50mm.
    Both FFE 85mm and 50mm are my favorite focal lenghts.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    my brain has a hard time seeing from 26-69
    i can see with my pl25 just fine, and the wide end of my 4/3 70-300 just fine. and am good with the -300 part as well.. but theres a blind spot in my vision! and that blind spot includes my o45! lol
    • Like Like x 1
  19. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012

    :eek:  :eek:  :eek: 
    • Like Like x 1
  20. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Any focal length can be used for anything. I've shot street with 24/35/50/90mm lenses on FF, so transitioning over to MFT equivalent FOV is not that difficult for me. As stated previously by another post, don't expect to understand a lens or focal length completely after just having shot it for a few days. It can take weeks/months/years to "get it". As you've stated, you can pre-visualize the scene just fine with the 20mm but you've stated that you've been shooting with it for years. Makes sense and you'd need to allow that same amount of time to get in the same kind of sync with the new lens as well.

    I love using my Oly EM5 for shooing street, which is then coupled with either the 17/1.8 or the 45/1.8. If I am shooting on the same side of the street, I'm using the 17mm, if I am shooting a scene across the street, I'm using the 45mm.

    Here are some examples:

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    Double Dog Walk by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

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    Only The Dog Noticed Me by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

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    In And Out Of The Store by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

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    Lemongrass Bistro by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
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