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Would you buy a metal barreled Oly 45mm 1.8 lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Jonathan F/2, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I currently have the 17/75 combo and part of the appeal of these lenses is the excellent build quality. I'm starting to lean towards saving up for these quality built items. I was thinking the 45mm 1.8 would be awesome if they actually made a metal barrel version of that lens. I'd actually pay extra for it! In fact I wouldn't mind Olympus building everything in metal: metal EVFs, metal grips, even metal zoom lenses!

    What do you guys think? Would you pay a premium for higher build quality?
  2. Boneyard

    Boneyard Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 5, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    I would probably consider it, though I don't find the build of the current 45 all that bad.

    Does need to be noted I have not handled any of the recent premium Oly offerings, though what I have seen out of the new 17 is tempting me greatly...
  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Not really, no. Haphazardly using metal for one part is not the same thing as build quality, anyway.
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Why not? The only reason camera manufacturers use polycarbonate is for cheaper manufacturing. Heck, part of the appeal of using legacy glass is due to the metal build of older lenses. If metal wasn't an issue why is it Nikon for example uses metal in their pro-caliber work lenses such as the 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 300, etc.?
  5. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    No, I think they use plastic partly because it's lighter, and one of the attractions of the m43 system is that it's compact and light.

    Personally I think the 45mm f/1.8 is great the way it is. If it were metal it would be heavier, and that would detract from its appeal.

    I see where you're coming from, but to me m43's big advantage is size and weight, and I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice either for more metal. Also, it should be noted that some plastic lenses have very high build quality. The Panny 25mm f/1.4 is mostly plastic, as is (I believe) the 12-35mm. My Oly 12-60mm feels to be made mostly of plastic, though it's heavy as heck because of all that glass.
  6. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    I actually think the opposite. I personally am fine with a well built plastic lens. I would rather pay money for the optical quality than build quality as long as the build quality is reasonable. Now I don't know the extra cost of a metal build but what if the 12mm/17mm/75mm were built like the 60mm (plastic weather sealed) or 45mm and cost $100-200 less each? I would rather than than paying a extra $1-200 for the 45mm, part of what makes it special is its value.
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The argument that metal means better build quality is quite illusory. As an example, I had a Samyang 14mm for my 5dii. It superficially had a metal construction and felt great - weighty and with good 'feel' to it; just like a legacy lens. However, all was not as it seems. For example:

    - The focus calibration was miles out and there was a lot of slop in the mechanism - the actual focused distance for a given marking depended on which direction you approached it from! Almost all users experienced the same problem. It's just a poor design.

    - The outside was metal, but there were a lot of internal parts in plastic. In fact, the metal lens mount was screwed into internal plastic parts using what looked like self-taping screws! Some users have found that a sharp knock could skew the alignment.

    In comparison, my Canon 24-105 is mainly plastic but it works perfectly and is very robust. My conclusion is that Canon's engineering (design and production) is superior and the material is of secondary importance. In addition, plastic is, well, plastic - it deforms and returns to its original shape under stress. Metal tends to leave a dent. If you're going to drop gear, then plastic is probably a better thing to have.

    Finally, I doubt that the use of plastic reduces the build cost that much and as others have said, it's got a weight advantage. I personally have no issues with plastic and try not to be influenced by the emotional reaction to feel/weight.
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    One problem a 45mm/1.8 has to compete with is the huge oversaturation of inexpensive 50mm/1.8s and even 50mm/1.4s in the market. If making it metal means you have to charge more for it than they currently are, then it would never sell. You could buy a fine 50mm/1.4 or even f/1.2 in the range of $100.

    A 75mm/1.8 on the other hand, like the 85mm/1.2-1.8 primes of old, is naturally in a higher price bracket. The market will bear a higher-grade, more expensive 75mm. Same with a lens which is unusually wide, like the 12mm/2. The 45mm cannot be expensive if it is to survive in the marketplace.
  9. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Because they are used all day for work. At weddings, events, sports, whatever. Then thrown into a trunk by and transported back to the office or to the next event where it endures more abuse.

    Not a lot of people are using the Oly 45mm for such things. You can stick it into your coat pocket nice and securely. I wish all of the M-4/3 lenses were plastical, they would be cheaper and lighter and I take care of them.

    Who is using Micro 4/3 for pro work all the time all day? I would venture not too many, but clearly the would like to gain inroads into this market.
  10. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    With lenses like 12, 17, 75, 12-35 and 35-100 it looks like it's heading in that direction. Lots of pros are picking up mirrorless bodies as backup or auxiliary cameras.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    I think I would pay a higher price for a metal version. However: I'd prefer some sort of upgrade, say similar to the 42.5mm f1.2 Panasonic that will come out "someday." I kind of wish Oly would stick more to the Normal grade, High Grade, Super High Grade lens system they had with the 4/3 lenses- which they kind of are. And if the Oly 45mm is the standard grade, they have their work cut out for them in improving it :wink:
  12. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I do feel the same way.:biggrin:
  13. Mytola

    Mytola Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2013
    It would be nice, but I find the 45mm quite solid as it is. The problem for me is the flimsy, plasticky lens hood.
  14. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    For me great value is the key to a great product
    The Olympus 45mm f1.8 is superb value
    It has outstanding image quality and it does have a feeling of high quality but at the same time manages to be very affordable so that many can purchase it rather than only a lucky few who are particularly affluent
    Its important to me for everyone to have access to higher quality optics and other equipment
    There is a place for higher end lenses too such as the 12mm, 75mm, Panasonic 12 - 35 and 35 - 100 but lets keep a spread of price points within the system and not make it elitist otherwise you might find hat the system would no longer appeal to novices and those wishing to switch
    Olympus got the 45mm spot on in my opinion and it would be great to see similar lenses appearing as time goes by (the 60mm being another example of a superb quality lens at reasonable cost for what it is)
    With regard to plastics - Drop a metal bodied lens on the ground and see what damage you incur such as dented filter threads etc compared to dropping a sturdy plastic bodied lens which may result in cosmetic damage but is less likely to cause substantial damage (in a lot of cases at least) due to an inherent resilience in plastic materials
    Olympus would do well to produce a greater range of lenses such as the 45mm as they desperately need high turnover products with a reasonable return in order to sustain their business
  15. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Metal lens bodies and even camera bodies are WAY over exaggerated! If you know anything about materials you know that there are plastics that are many times stronger than steel but weigh a fraction. Plastics do not always mean lower quality.

    The 45mm is excellently built. If making it from the plastics made it cost $200 less then I am all for it. I wish they would make the 12mm out of plastic and perhaps the 75mm too. This way they would be in the realm of affordable!
    • Like Like x 1
  16. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    I don't care if it's metal or poly-carbonate. What I want to see is more weather-sealed premium lenses from Olympus =)
    • Like Like x 2
  17. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    I'm with a few others in that given the quality of the images produced for the size and price olympus have produced one of the best value lenses on the market (along with the Pana 14mm) this allows us with limited pockets to have more quality primes in our camera bags and still have one truly outstanding lens (eg Pana 25mm/Oly 75mm depending on preference).
  18. harry_s

    harry_s Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    I actually think more people are likely to buy certain metal lenses if they made a cheaper plastic version, rather than the other way around.

    Cheaper plastic versions of the 12mm and 75mm would probably go down a treat, all my shooting is outside, often in poor weather but I've never felt my 45mm is in any way lesser or more prone to damage than my 75mm.
  19. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The metal does feel nice in your hand but I'm just not that abusive to my lenses to justify the extra price. As an example, I do own the 45 but not the 17. I'd like to give profound reasons but it's probably due to the price. If they made a cheaper version of the 12 or 17 with the same optics I'd probably buy those.
  20. Daveart

    Daveart New to Mu-43

    Hi Yes some plastic type compounds are stronger than some steels but are more expensive than steel, but then they use magnisium alloys which are very strong, the trouble with the polycarbon that are used in lower grade is the expansion and contraction and flex is more a problem than metal, to maintain weather sealing and stability and wear and tear, thats why Pro grade bodies and lenses are of metal compounds.

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