Worth it to buy Olympus45mm lens if I have manual standard lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by mintchoco, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. mintchoco

    mintchoco Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Is it worth it to buy the Olympus 45mm lens if I already have the manual Olympus 50mm/1.4 and 55mm/1.2 - anyone have these lenses and can compare the IQ? Am I only getting the auto-focus in addition? How fast is the auto-focus of the 45mm on the E-PL1?

  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I had the Olympus 45/1.8 and it was a terrific lens. That said, I sold it because at that focal length my Konica 50/1.4 and Super Takumar 50/1.4 both provided me what I was looking for. The Olympus is fast to focus (although I did find that it a tiny bit squirrely in low light), had great IQ and bokeh and was sharp wide open. But, at $350 is also was a fairly spendy lens (for me) to have sit around as I found I rarely used it. I sold it and used the money for stuff that I use more.

    So...is it a good lens? Sure is...in fact I would even say it is a great lens. Was it worth it? Not to me no.
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    AF is fast, save in low light. The 45/1.8 is quite a bit more contrasty at wide apertures than any of the legacy lenses I've tried. If you have the money and aren't especially attached to the particular rendering qualities of the legacy lenses, I'd say go for it.

    I've not used my Nikon 50/1.4 or 50/1.8 at all since getting the 45/1.8.

  4. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    There's also auto aperture. I find stopping down with legacy lenses kind of annoying. I use a Leitz 50/2 Summicron but as soon as I can spend the money I'll buy one of the native 45's

  5. ryansinibaldi

    ryansinibaldi Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2012
    I'll report back to this thread once I test out my newly acquired Yashica ML 50mm F1.4. It's supposed to be close to "Zeiss-like" quality. If it fits the bill I will take the Oly 45 off my to buy list.
  6. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    I have the Oly 45mm f/1.8... and I think that it's worth it. It is the only lens I use for portraits on my micro four-thirds gear. But I didn't have a lot of legacy glass before buying it. That said, is the OP pleased with the results he's getting with the legacy glass? If so, maybe the Oly 45 can wait.
  7. mintchoco

    mintchoco Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Yes, I am moderately happy. The manual lenses aren't that sharp wide open, and also I am thinking the autofocus, if it is quick, might be a good thing for taking photos if my toddler.
  8. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Real Name:
    It seems the Oly 45mm is not as fast on older bodies, as it is on newer ones. This is, from what I understand, not something to do with faster AF properties of the new bodies themselves (E-PM1, E-P3, E-PL3) but from specific characteristics in the lens, to make it work faster with them. Not that it's terribly slow on older bodies, mind you, just noticeably slower.

    I only have the OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 now (not the 1.4) and I've used it a bit on the E-PL2 and the OM-D. I love the rendering of this lens and I imagine the 1.4 will be even better at equal apertures. That said, the 45mm has very nice bokeh and is quite sharp and contrasty. If AF is not a issue, I'd say you'd have to compare them and see what you like the most.
  9. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I have the Zuiko 50mm f1.4 and every time I get the temptation to go buy the new 45mm f1.8, I just pop it on the camera, take some shots, and the urge goes away. :doh:
    • Like Like x 1
  10. MrMatt

    MrMatt New to Mu-43

    Jun 8, 2012
    Does anyone have experience with the 45 on the EPL1? I just bought the Panasonic Leica 25mm 1.4 with hopes I wont need to purchase another lens but I have no idea how it behaves with the EPL1 either. Ive been using a Canon FD 50mm 1.8 for about a year now and I love it in bright light.
  11. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    I've got the m Zuiko 45mm and the Om zuiko 50mm f1..8. I like them both, and in side by side tests the old manual lens stands up well against the modern competition. That said, I still use the 45mm constantly. For street shooting at a distance or candid portraits the auto focus is nice to have. I don't mind stopping down the manual lens, but the aperture change with a turn of the thumb for the 45mm is awfully nice.

    So, I'd say, yes, it's worth getting even if you have some nice, manual focus 50's if you use the focal length a lot, as I do. I think it's sharper than the legacy OM glass before f8; from f8 on, though, the OM lenses seemed to have the advantage, suffering less from diffraction at f8 and f11.
  12. brutto

    brutto Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 17, 2011
    One of my greatest pleasures with M4/3 has been playing with legacy lenses. At one time or another I've owned and thoroughly enjoyed the following manual 50mms: Zeiss Contax c/y-mount f1.4, Minolta Rokkor f1.4, Zuiko f1.4, Nikon f1.4, Jupiter-8 F2 and Summicron F2 collapsible. I'm almost sad to say that I prefer the Oly 45mm f1.8 to all of them - the overall balance of rendering, detail and contrast is as good as any and the fast autofocus means far more keepers.

    I'd still like to try the Zeiss Sonnar f/1.5 as images I've seen from this lens look to have a very special quality but until Olympus introduces focus peaking, I'm going to restrain myself. (Bank manager breathes sigh of relief.)
  13. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    I have the Zuiko OM 50 1.4 but never used it much with my digital Pens because I found the smaller size and moderate telephoto FOV of my Zuiko 38 1.8 for my original Pen F to have better handling with the E-Ps. That said, the few times I've used the 50 I have been very happy with the IQ and sharpness, which to me was better even than the 50 f2 Summicron from my Leica M3.

    The 38 helped me from spending on the 45 and the Panny 25 for a pretty good time. That said, without the right focusing screen for the legacy lenses (and my bad eyesight), I kept getting the occasional OOF image so I finally sprung for the Oly 45 when Olympus sold refurbished units for $319 on their online store. I've been very happy with it and together with the Oly 17 it is one of my most used lenses now. Really nice and sharp. I do miss not having a manual aperture ring.

    I guess if the OP has no issues focusing consistently with legacy glass, there's no need to get the 45.
  14. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    I have used both the 45 and 25 on my E-PL1. I think the 45 +PL1 is a great combo. Mind you, I am not a big performance and specs fanatic so I have never hungered for the fastest-focusing/sharpest this-that-or-the-other (hence no desire to upgrade beyond the first gen Pens for now), so this is a very personal observation. 45 seems to focus much faster on the PL1 than the 25, and there is none of the rattle-snaking I get every so often with the 25. I just remembered to upgrade the PL1 firmware, and AF speed with native lenses is slightly improved. FOV of the 45 is quite different from the 25 and is much better for portraits in general than the 25. Lastly, balance and "hold ability" with the lighter, narrower diameter 45 is better on the PL1 than the 25, which is a bit oversized for this body. That said, 25 + the heftier E-P2 body feels solid and perfect in my small hands.

    All in all, very happy with the 45 +PL1. But if you are happy with your Canon 50, stick with it.
  15. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I think it mostly comes down to autofocus, and how satisfied you are with the shots you're getting with your legacy lens. I love how my Tak renders, but I also mostly use it for shots where I have the luxury of manual focusing. From what I've seen the Oly 45/1.8 renders quite well, so if I were missing enough shots due to lack of AF I'd upgrade since it's reasonably priced.

    Do you have an EVF? With the VF-2 on my E-PL1 I can manual focus pretty quickly.
  16. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The 45 1.8 is an excellent lens, but I really do not like the build quality. I'm hoping if they release a black version, the barrel will be more scratch resistant. Saying that, my $45 Nikon 50 1.8 AIS mark III is incredibly sharp and for the price really olds up well next to the 45 1.8.
  17. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    I did focus manually for 20 years and one thing I switched to with a smile, when going digital, was AF.
    Like a really good automatic exposure, this is one of the great improvements in photography.
    My 45 hasnt turned up yet, I am still waiting, but if its as fast as the 14/2.5 (coming from an E-P1 with 17/2.8, everything is fast), it will be worth it.
  18. I have an OM 50/1.4, and find the mZD 45/1.8 sharper across the aperture range. If I was to give one up, it would be the 50/1.4. Mine isn't exactly pristine though.....
    For your toddler, the AF of the 45/1.8 would be very useful. The size and weight difference is significant.
    I don't take the 50/1.4 traveling now, (have just taken it out of my bag, traveling tonight), mainly use it for very low light situations. I do like it for video, I find it easier to MF than the 45/1.8 on an E-PL1.
    My suggestion is to sell your 50/1.4, buy the 45/1.8. You gain AF, retain a significantly different FL for portraits, and of course keep the better lens for low light by keeping the 55/1.2.