Olympus 45 1.8 or Panasonic 45 2.8

Started Jun 1, 2012 | Discussions
ryan2007
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Olympus 45 1.8 or Panasonic 45 2.8
Jun 1, 2012

Hello,

Narrowed it down to the two. Other then the Panasonic having macro ability and the Olympus slightly faster has anyone compared both. Oh, yes I know the cost difference and am I correct to assume the macro ability on the Panasonic?

I am shooting the Panasonic GF-1 now

Thanks.

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Moonlight Knight
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Re: Olympus 45 1.8 or Panasonic 45 2.8
In reply to ryan2007, Jun 1, 2012
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Great Bustard
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Very interesting...
In reply to Moonlight Knight, Jun 1, 2012

...that the macro is sharper in the center, but the fast prime is sharper in the corners.

Moonlight Knight wrote:

From m43photo:
http://m43photo.blogspot.hk/2011/10/olympus-vs-panasonic-45mm.html

Center crop:

Corner crop:

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ryan2007
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Great Bustard, Jun 1, 2012

Tough call, both have positive and negatives if you can say that. After looking at this and thanks so much for that link. I am getting the Panasonic 45 2.8 from Amazon. Got lots of gift cards I have been saving so cost factor either way is great.

I like the close focus ability of the specs for the panasonic at 5 inches. Same thing I did years ago with my Nikon 105 macro. I have a Macro & fast Portrait lens, that was a sweet lens.

Thanks

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Anders W
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Great Bustard, Jun 1, 2012

Great Bustard wrote:

...that the macro is sharper in the center, but the fast prime is sharper in the corners.

Some reviews have found the 45/2.8 to have pretty soft edges/corners (DPR, Lenstip) whereas others have not (e.g., Photozone, DxO). So I am not sure of what to make of this. Seems like copy-to-copy variation, possibly due to an optical formula that is rather sensitive to minor assembly variations.

The reviews tend to agree that the 45/2.8 is very sharp in the center, perhaps a bit more so than the 45/1.8. But the 45/1.8 shows high and even performance across the frame in every review I have seen. In addition, it is faster, smaller and less expensive. So unless you want/need the macro and/or OIS features of the 45/2.8, the 45/1.8 is clearly superior to my mind.

The test to which Moonlight Knight linked and that you are commenting on is a pretty lousy one in my opinion. Focus is not placed identically (further back on the Oly) and the fact that the subject isn't flat just makes it more difficult to evaluate the optical performance of the lens.

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Great Bustard
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Anders W, Jun 1, 2012

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

...that the macro is sharper in the center, but the fast prime is sharper in the corners.

Some reviews have found the 45/2.8 to have pretty soft edges/corners (DPR, Lenstip) whereas others have not (e.g., Photozone, DxO). So I am not sure of what to make of this. Seems like copy-to-copy variation, possibly due to an optical formula that is rather sensitive to minor assembly variations.

The reviews tend to agree that the 45/2.8 is very sharp in the center, perhaps a bit more so than the 45/1.8. But the 45/1.8 shows high and even performance across the frame in every review I have seen. In addition, it is faster, smaller and less expensive. So unless you want/need the macro and/or OIS features of the 45/2.8, the 45/1.8 is clearly superior to my mind.

The test to which Moonlight Knight linked and that you are commenting on is a pretty lousy one in my opinion. Focus is not placed identically (further back on the Oly) and the fact that the subject isn't flat just makes it more difficult to evaluate the optical performance of the lens.

I guess another important consideration might be not merely QC, but if one lens has more accurate focus than the other, on average.

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ryan2007
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Anders W, Jun 1, 2012

I do like the Macro ability the lens has. If I use a tripod I should be able to make up that extra stop. From reading specs it seems the Panasonic not as much plastic, so maybe a physically sturdier lens. The lens is older than Olympus so who knows if its set for replacement. Of course can't live my life for the next best thing. Either way I'll know once I make some prints and test the macro for myself.

If the 45 2.8 is just not doing it after the fact I may go to the next lens on the list the 100-300 OR just replace the camera body. That short list is either a GX-1 or a GH2.

thanks

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Anders W
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Great Bustard, Jun 1, 2012

Great Bustard wrote:

I guess another important consideration might be not merely QC, but if one lens has more accurate focus than the other, on average.

Not sure what you mean. How can focus accuracy explain why in some reviews, the 45/2.8 does well in the center only and in others well across the frame?

What might matter is that some review sites (e.g., Photozone) optimize focus for the center and the corners separately whereas others do not. So if the 45/2.8 has significant field curvature, it would get away with it in some reviews but not others.

Andy Westlake mentioned in another discussion about this lens recently, that he had evaluated two copies of the lens when writing the DPR review, and both showed more field curvature than he would normally expect, especially for a macro, which I think we'd all expect to be close to perfect in this regard as well as with regard to uniform sharpness across the frame.

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SLOtographer
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Re: Olympus 45 1.8 or Panasonic 45 2.8
In reply to ryan2007, Jun 1, 2012

Here's the 45mm friendship algorithm:
If you want to do macro, then get PL45.
If you are really into portraits, then get O45.

If not sure, ask a friend out for a beverage, or go with size/price/color preference or other random attribute interesting to you.

If later you feel you want the other, no worrries. Sell and switch or keep both.

FYI: I have both. Mostly use O45. For macro or video handheld I use PL45.
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Great Bustard
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Anders W, Jun 1, 2012

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

I guess another important consideration might be not merely QC, but if one lens has more accurate focus than the other, on average.

Not sure what you mean. How can focus accuracy explain why in some reviews, the 45/2.8 does well in the center only and in others well across the frame?

For a flat test chart, it wouldn't. However, if the line-of-sight is not perfectly perpendicular to a perfectly flat test chart, that would explain soft edges in some reviews.

What might matter is that some review sites (e.g., Photozone) optimize focus for the center and the corners separately whereas others do not. So if the 45/2.8 has significant field curvature, it would get away with it in some reviews but not others.

Yes. However, isn't a hallmark feature of a macro lens low field curvature?

Andy Westlake mentioned in another discussion about this lens recently, that he had evaluated two copies of the lens when writing the DPR review, and both showed more field curvature than he would normally expect, especially for a macro, which I think we'd all expect to be close to perfect in this regard as well as with regard to uniform sharpness across the frame.

Since resolution charts are flat, and the shooting distance is relatively close, field curvature is a critical consideration, and it's bizarre that lens reviews don't make a big deal over this.

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Anders W
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Great Bustard, Jun 1, 2012

Great Bustard wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

I guess another important consideration might be not merely QC, but if one lens has more accurate focus than the other, on average.

Not sure what you mean. How can focus accuracy explain why in some reviews, the 45/2.8 does well in the center only and in others well across the frame?

For a flat test chart, it wouldn't. However, if the line-of-sight is not perfectly perpendicular to a perfectly flat test chart, that would explain soft edges in some reviews.

What might matter is that some review sites (e.g., Photozone) optimize focus for the center and the corners separately whereas others do not. So if the 45/2.8 has significant field curvature, it would get away with it in some reviews but not others.

Yes. However, isn't a hallmark feature of a macro lens low field curvature?

Yes, at least in my book. I've always thought of macro lenses as ideal for repro work, not only at close but at pretty much any distance. Minimal field curvature, even sharpness across the frame, minimal distortion etc. But apparently, the 45/2.8 doesn't quite live up to that idea. The Oly FT 50/2 certainly does but has the drawback of not being a native MFT lens.

Andy Westlake mentioned in another discussion about this lens recently, that he had evaluated two copies of the lens when writing the DPR review, and both showed more field curvature than he would normally expect, especially for a macro, which I think we'd all expect to be close to perfect in this regard as well as with regard to uniform sharpness across the frame.

Since resolution charts are flat, and the shooting distance is relatively close, field curvature is a critical consideration, and it's bizarre that lens reviews don't make a big deal over this.

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Geodasher
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to ryan2007, Jun 1, 2012

ryan2007 wrote:

I do like the Macro ability the lens has.

It is excellent for macro and a darn good portrait lens, too. The 2.8 aperture is rarely a handicap.

From reading specs it seems the Panasonic not as much plastic, so maybe a physically sturdier lens.

My copy has been repaired twice under warranty, once because it would not focus and once for a broken switch assembly. Perhaps the least sturdy lens in my collection.

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Chez Wimpy
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Great Bustard, Jun 1, 2012

Great Bustard wrote:

if one lens has more accurate focus than the other, on average.

CDAF FTW

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Moonlight Knight
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to ryan2007, Jun 1, 2012
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tt321
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Anders W, Jun 1, 2012

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

I guess another important consideration might be not merely QC, but if one lens has more accurate focus than the other, on average.

Not sure what you mean. How can focus accuracy explain why in some reviews, the 45/2.8 does well in the center only and in others well across the frame?

For a flat test chart, it wouldn't. However, if the line-of-sight is not perfectly perpendicular to a perfectly flat test chart, that would explain soft edges in some reviews.

What might matter is that some review sites (e.g., Photozone) optimize focus for the center and the corners separately whereas others do not. So if the 45/2.8 has significant field curvature, it would get away with it in some reviews but not others.

Yes. However, isn't a hallmark feature of a macro lens low field curvature?

Yes, at least in my book. I've always thought of macro lenses as ideal for repro work, not only at close but at pretty much any distance. Minimal field curvature, even sharpness across the frame, minimal distortion etc. But apparently, the 45/2.8 doesn't quite live up to that idea. The Oly FT 50/2 certainly does but has the drawback of not being a native MFT lens.

They may have reasoned that a flat field is only required at macro distances and at portrait distance or further away, this is no longer an issue. Or they did not have a classical macro in mind but was trying to cater to the flowers and bugs shooters only. This should be fine for most people so long as they are aware of it. Nowadays repro is mostly done with scanners or multi-function printers which cost a fraction of the amount charged by Panasonic for this lens

I do wonder how the lens tests at infinity. Some macros can be better than non-macro lenses at infinity. Infinity is one of the examples where a flat field would be very nice.

One thing that "lousy" test linked earlier in the thread did show is that the macro had more corner shading at 2.8 and 4, perhaps unsurprisingly but disappointing nonetheless.

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Adventsam
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Re:Oh, am surprised knowbody referred to last weeks thread?
In reply to Anders W, Jun 1, 2012

Anders W was particularly verbal as I recall and not a hint of it here?

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=41609119

Ryan, the 45/2.8 lens is one of the sharpest lens lenstip have tested, softness in the extreme corners as explained by lenstip is dragging technical results down, they moved their testing in slightly and as a result the sharpness was top-notch, its just that its so sharp in the center. I'd forgotten about the blogspot real world sample, which tell the real story and I was messing about this week with focus point at extreme corner of the frame and the images look sharp enough to me too, maybe they do lag bit for macro and what I use the 45 for, no issue. The lenstip review and all the other comments are in the above thread, you can make your own mind up! maybe you prefer the Oly and 43 adapter, its a serious lens too. 45, 1.8 is imo Oly best effort to date for m43 on a price/performance basis, unfortunately 1 lens in 4 years isnt much to shout about in reality. The 12. 2 is nice too but no better than the 14mm imo and 6x the cost, anyway I digress.

I do all sorts of shots with the 45mm and love it.

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

...that the macro is sharper in the center, but the fast prime is sharper in the corners.

Some reviews have found the 45/2.8 to have pretty soft edges/corners (DPR, Lenstip) whereas others have not (e.g., Photozone, DxO). So I am not sure of what to make of this. Seems like copy-to-copy variation, possibly due to an optical formula that is rather sensitive to minor assembly variations.

The reviews tend to agree that the 45/2.8 is very sharp in the center, perhaps a bit more so than the 45/1.8. But the 45/1.8 shows high and even performance across the frame in every review I have seen. In addition, it is faster, smaller and less expensive. So unless you want/need the macro and/or OIS features of the 45/2.8, the 45/1.8 is clearly superior to my mind.

The test to which Moonlight Knight linked and that you are commenting on is a pretty lousy one in my opinion. Focus is not placed identically (further back on the Oly) and the fact that the subject isn't flat just makes it more difficult to evaluate the optical performance of the lens.

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tt321
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to Moonlight Knight, Jun 1, 2012

Moonlight Knight wrote:

For macro, there'll be a new Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm 1:1 lens:

http://www.photographyblog.com/news/m.zuiko_digital_ed_60mm_f_2.8_macro_m.zuiko_digital_ed_75mm_f_1.8/

That has "defocus control", which might result in a very high price.

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Moonlight Knight
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Re: Very interesting...
In reply to tt321, Jun 1, 2012

I don't think I've read about a defocus feature in that lens. Is there a source or link for this piece of information?

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Pixnat2
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Different beasts.
In reply to ryan2007, Jun 1, 2012

PL 45 f/2.8 slow macro prime
Oly 45 f/1.8 fast portrait prime

PL note really suitable for portraits (f/5.6 dof wide open)
Oly not at all suitable for macro (close focus 0.5m)

So, marco or portraits?

Anyway, both are excellent lenses, it really depend on what you want to shoot.

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Moonlight Knight
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Re: Olympus 45 1.8 or Panasonic 45 2.8
In reply to Moonlight Knight, Jun 1, 2012

There are more comparison photos from this Japanese site:
http://www7b.biglobe.ne.jp/~dslr-check/MZD45mmF1.8.html

I'll just post a few of them:

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