Will I need 45mm along with 35-100mm

NickD

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Hi,
I have OMD E-M1 and 12-40mm f/2.8 and 45mm f/1.8 prime. I am thinking to buy next zoom lens for more coverage. It can be 35-100mm f/2.8. I have not tested 35-100mm, but I loved my new 45mm and its nice bokeh. Primes are known to be sharp, but it is often said that the image quality is not the best wide open, but it is good when stopped down to f/2.8. I want to clear few doubts -
- If I have to use 2.8, why not buy 35-100mm and sell 45mm ?
- What will give me a nice bokeh, longer focal length or a big aperture ?
- If I buy 35-100mm, will I still require 45mm ? I mean, is there distinguishable IQ improvement when comes to sharpness and bokeh ? Or 45mm is still unbeatable and I should keep ?
I am not pro and not doing studio work, but taking landscape and family picture is my hobby and I love sharpness and bokeh effect.
Regards
 

LowriderS10

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Virtually ALL lenses benefit from being stopped down. So if the 45 improves by 2.8, then the 30-100 will improve by f4. This still gives the advantage to the 45.

I, personally, would keep the 45. It's not worth a whole lot on the used market, but it's a light, tiny, fast, sharp lens...

Bokeh depends on a whole lot of things. Use a widely-available depth of field calculator (use Google for this) to figure out just what your FL would have to be at 2.8 to match the DOF of a 45 1.8. :)
 

Edmunds

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Longer focal length cannot give you shallower depth of field. The amount of DOF for an aperture is the same for all focal lengths, the DOF of an f/2.8 is the same whether it is 45mm or 100mm.

What changes is the distance to subject and perspective.

Sometimes people think that a longer focal length gives shallower depth of field because the longer focal length makes for a 'tighter' composition. But you can just move closer with a shorter focal length and get that same 'tighter' shot. What really changes is the perspective. Whether that is good or bad depends on the composition you want.
 

Clint

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Buy or rent the 35-100 and try it alongside the 45mm so you have your own comparisons to make a choice from.

I don't use f/1.4 or faster lenses for their sharpness at f/1.4 but for the characteristics they do provide. Their light gathering ability, the softness near the edges can be very beneficial, and for a look that is different from slower lenses.

At f/2.8 or even f/4.0 both lenses will provide different characteristics in the photo despite same aperture. One not better than the other, just different. For a head shot say at f/ 4.0 (f/4 used because the difference is more pronounced) with the 35-100mm the photo will appear sharper across the image than the 45mm. The 45mm will produce a center that is sharp and then at some point softens very quickly to the edges. Same focal length for different purposes.

You can get very nice bokeh with both a longer focal length and a big aperture. It all depends on closeness to subject, how far the background is from the subject, the objects and lighting in the background.
 

NickD

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At f/2.8 or even f/4.0 both lenses will provide different characteristics in the photo despite same aperture. One not better than the other, just different. For a head shot say at f/ 4.0 (f/4 used because the difference is more pronounced) with the 35-100mm the photo will appear sharper across the image than the 45mm. The 45mm will produce a center that is sharp and then at some point softens very quickly to the edges. Same focal length for different purposes.

You can get very nice bokeh with both a longer focal length and a big aperture. It all depends on closeness to subject, how far the background is from the subject, the objects and lighting in the background.
What difference I can see at same length ? Will it be distinguishable when we talk about sharpness and DOF ? Many people say that they are using 35-100mm for portrait. Thats why I was assuming, will 35-100mm server purpose of 45mm as well ? Or it will be completely different ?
 

pdk42

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For a head shot say at f/ 4.0 (f/4 used because the difference is more pronounced) with the 35-100mm the photo will appear sharper across the image than the 45mm. The 45mm will produce a center that is sharp and then at some point softens very quickly to the edges. Same focal length for different purposes.
Why? Not sure I understand this. I would be very surprised if there is any significant difference between a shot at 45mm and f4 with either lens.
 

pdk42

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I've mused about getting the 35-100 lots of times. It would potentially replace the 45 and 75. But then I think about it some more and realise that the 35-100 is probably no smaller/lighter than the 45 & 75 together and it's 1.5 stops slower. Of course, the zoom removes the need for lens changes and if I were doing lots of event work, then it would be a no-brainer, but since I don't, I'll stick to the primes.

If I did get the 35-100, then I'd still keep the 45 - as others have said, it's not an expensive lens and there will be times when a small, fast 90mm equiv lens will be just the thing you need (e.g. a low-light concert).
 

Talanis

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Sometimes, it's just more fun to shoot with a prime. You get less lazy and more creative. The 45mm is so small and lightweight. I always bring it with me even when I don't plan using it, you never know. Besides, I use it at f/2 and it can't get more sharper than this and it is still one stop faster than the 35-100. Two tools for different situations. I have to admit that when I got the 70-200L on my Canon, I sold my 85mm because I was not using it much but I don't think I would sell the 45mm if I'd get the 35-100.
 

Clint

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What difference I can see at same length ? Will it be distinguishable when we talk about sharpness and DOF ?
I described what I could above for the differences at the same f-stop. The larger the final print or output size, the more obvious the changes will be. I had printed 11 x14 prints with both lenses at f/2.8 and f/4, the differences were apparent when placed side by side. With a 1,000 pixel web size the differences would not be as noticeable. However the 45mm has the advantage of larger f-stops creating a larger difference, and is one reason I might choose the 45mm over the 35-100mm at 45mm.

Many people say that they are using 35-100mm for portrait. Thats why I was assuming, will 35-100mm server purpose of 45mm as well ? Or it will be completely different ?
Both are great lenses for portraits!

Personal preference of primes vs telephoto, monetary restrictions in buying each of the lenses or the personal reasoning of a larger f-stop over an f/2.8 lens area all considerations each has to consider. Since you already have the 45mm is why I suggested you rent the 35-100 or buy it, allowing you to use the lenses and the final outputs of your photos so you would personally see the differences yourself and then make a choice to keep or sell the 45mm.

Another example is the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 that recently came out and many did not see the worthiness of the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 based on web sized photos vs. cost - if they had the opportunity to do their own testing they might change their minds as the differences in larger sized photos become more obvious.
 

Clint

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Why? Not sure I understand this. I would be very surprised if there is any significant difference between a shot at 45mm and f4 with either lens.
Zooms typically require more tradeoffs in design than a prime which is a reason primes used to usually be better than zooms. Zooms will be stronger at some focal lengths and f-stops and less so at others. Primes are usually more predictable and consistent across the range of f-stops. For the 35-100mm and 45mm I saw small differences at f/2.8 but a different look that was more pronounced at f/4.

Significantly different results or not depends on the viewable output of the photo and the photographer's opinion. Those that only display images on LCD screens, computer monitors, web pages and maybe 4" x 6" will not perceive the same level of differences as those that make large prints.

When I look at MTF charts, Imatest. or DXO Mark test I cannot understand how the results manifest themselves so I use them very little. I much prefer large prints making it easy to visualize. I would guess if someone compared the DXO Mark sharpness field map results for both lenses at f/4 they might gain some understanding of the differences I see.

In the 11 x 14 photos I made, the difference was apparent enough that the subject liked one much better than the other, which is significant enough to me when a non photographers notices the difference.
 

davdenic

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Why don't you think at an oly 40-150R it's really inexpensive and small.
Otherwise the new oly 40-150 2.8, the pana 35-100 2.8 or the incredible oly 75 1.8 are really great lenses. Expensive but great
 

NickD

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Thanks Clint
Why don't you think at an oly 40-150R it's really inexpensive and small.
Otherwise the new oly 40-150 2.8, the pana 35-100 2.8 or the incredible oly 75 1.8 are really great lenses. Expensive but great
Thats what I am deciding, if I should buy a cheaper one like 40-150R or 75-300mm + 75mm OR go for superior lenses like 35-100mm or 40-150mm f/2.8. Obviously I can not afford all and do not want to keep large number of lenses too.
In what way 75 is incredible in comparison to 45mm and others ?
 

davdenic

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For the 75mm read the robin Wong blog ask google.
In short the 75 is so sharp that you can crop images to achieve the same results as 150mm.
The 45mm is the best price/quality lens I bought mine for 200 used and I use it not so often but well it's so small fast and inexpensive that it makes sense to keep it every time with you.
The 75 is bigger and solid built and much more expensive. But smaller than the new 40-150 2.8

I shot an holocaust memorial reportage last week in Berlin with the 45 and I love it http://flic.kr/p/pnFVer
 

EarthQuake

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For the 75mm read the robin Wong blog ask google.
In short the 75 is so sharp that you can crop images to achieve the same results as 150mm.
Sorry but I think this is wishful thinking. From Robin Wong's review the 150mm is almost as sharp as the 75mm, at 75mm, it should provide significantly better detail at 150mm vs the 75mm cropped 2x, which would create a mere 4MP image if my math is correct.

From the comparison, to my eyes, the 75mm is just a hair sharper than the 40-150mm at the same focal length.

http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2014/10/olympus-mzuiko-40-150mm-f28-pro-lens_13.html

Robin Wong said:
Both lenses were VERY close. In fact, they were so close, I have to refer to the image name/numbers a few times just to make sure I did not do the comparison boxes wrongly. Generally, I still think that the 75mm F1.8 is a tad sharper. But we are talking about zoom lens vs prime lens here, and for the M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 pro lens to come so close to the quality expected from the 75mm F1.8 lens, this was surely a great feat.
I think you could probably get similar results to the 35-100/2.8 at 100mm (or 1.33x crop) by cropping the 75mm, but not the 40-150.
 

davdenic

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I mean the 75 in comparison between the 40-150R. In my opinion the new 40-150 2.8 is a bit too big my needs but yes it's really sharp.
 

EarthQuake

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I mean the 75 in comparison between the 40-150R. In my opinion the new 40-150 2.8 is a bit too big my needs but yes it's really sharp.
Oh ok that makes more sense. I thought you were referring to the Robin Wong's recently published comparison of the 75/1.8 and the 40-150/2.8. I haven't used the 40-150/4-5.6 but it does seem more feasible that those lenses wouldn't have such a significant gap even when cropping the 75mm. Though even then, a 2x crop is quite significant and you will lose a lot of resolution.

Thanks for clearing that up.
 
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