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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm F1.8 first impressions and samples

By dpreview staff on Sep 19, 2011 at 09:00 GMT

Olympus 45mm F1.8 first impressions and preview samples. The recent spate of camera and lens announcements has given us the chance to use the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm F1.8. Given how long we've been asking manufacturers for a portrait lens in the 100mm-equivalent region, we pounced on this when it came into the office. As well as a preview samples gallery, we've also prepared some first impressions of shooting with the Micro Four Thirds 'Family Portrait' lens.

Click to read our first impressions of shooting with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm F1.8 'Family Portrait' lens

Samples gallery

There are 25 images in the samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

Olympus 45mm F1.8 Preview Samples - Posted 19th September 2011
111
I own it
6
I want it
46
I had it
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Comments

Total comments: 49
Gusmur
By Gusmur (Oct 1, 2011)

Hi,
I will be most interested to see this lens on the Widget. Do you think it can come close to the Zuiko 50/2 that is so wonderful and shows blue almost across the board?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Best,
Angus

0 upvotes
som1
By som1 (Sep 26, 2011)

just want to know how often does a photographer that own a 50mm f1.2 / 85mm f1.4 on a FF shot at largest apeture opening? most of the pic i saw from the magazine is shot at lower f number (eg. f2.0, f4.0).

0 upvotes
gabeb1946
By gabeb1946 (Sep 28, 2011)

Well the point of having a 90mm (pov) f1.8 is portaiture; sharp eyes, blurry background. The photographer who understands apertures / shutter speeds / bokeh would probably use an f1.8 lens at f1.8 a lot. On any lens of any brand you pay extra for a faster lens (i.e.2.8 over a 3.5, or a 1.8 over a 2.8) - that's the reason. It's harder to make and (hopefully) contains better quality glass and/or coating.
Cheers

0 upvotes
som1
By som1 (Sep 30, 2011)

thx 4 the info

0 upvotes
Jack Simpson
By Jack Simpson (Sep 21, 2011)

Well, I have to admit that if we want examples of what an average photog would shoot, he has definitely not disappointed us. Also, that is not meant as a slagging but a compliment :)

Cheers,

Jack

0 upvotes
rino demeulemeester
By rino demeulemeester (Sep 21, 2011)

Can't wait to try it out. Any idea when availeble?
Ordered in july...

0 upvotes
mrkvg
By mrkvg (Sep 20, 2011)

Great samples and thanks for the review.

0 upvotes
Valentinian
By Valentinian (Sep 20, 2011)

if this Olympus lens is mounted on a Panasonic camera will the camera correct the distortions the same as an Olympus camera does?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 20, 2011)

Yes - distortion correction is part of the Micro Four Thirds standard. The degree to which correction is needed will be covered in the full review.

0 upvotes
Buzzzman
By Buzzzman (Sep 19, 2011)

A 45 mm lens is not a portrait lens. A 45 mm lens is just a cropped 45mm image-nothing more The reason Longer lenses are used in portraiture, are flatten out facial features.- a 45mm on any small sensor won't do that. So- if it was produced only to emulate a portrait lens-- it is a complete failure.
Max headroom- you shouldn't tell others they don 't know what they are talking about,, when obviously, you don't know what you are talking about. .Believing 45 mm lens is the same as 90- on that small sensor is is just flat out wrong... This is one of the most misunderstood terms in Digital Photography.
Hey- i believed a 50 mm lens on my Nikon DSLR was equivalent to a 75m (1.5x)for several years, before I realized I was wrong...
If you don't believe me -just google "crop factor.
Buzz

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 19, 2011)

Which would be true if you shot a 45mm lens on Micro Four Thirds at the same distance from the subject that you did on a full-frame camera.

But I tend to think more about what's in the picture than maintaining the distance from the subject. As a result, I'll step backwards when shooting with a 45mm on MFT. To the same distance as I'd shoot a longer lens (say 90mm) on full frame.

10 upvotes
Ubiquity99
By Ubiquity99 (Sep 19, 2011)

It always amuses me when the ones who yell the loudest are those who are the most incorrect.

Compression of facial features has absolutely nothing to do with focal length. The only thing that determines it is distance to the subject. A basic understanding of geometry is all that is required to understand why this is the case.

Your understanding of how crop factor affects an image seems to be limited and you're probably just parroting something you heard someone else say.

11 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Sep 19, 2011)

If you worked by your logic (which by the way is 100% incorrect) and you put a 45 mmm lens on a medium format camera it would mean the 45mm was just a cropped lens on a 35mm camera then as well. If you then put a 45mm on a 5x4 camera it would mean it was then a cropped lens on a medium format camera as well. Your original thinking was correct where as your current thinking is incorrect.

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Sep 20, 2011)

Buzzman, you are incorrect in both your informtion and attitude. The angle of view is the key to the 'flattening out effect' . The AOV for a 45mm lens on a M43 camera is exactly the same as that of a 90mm lens on a 35mm (full frame) camera.

What is more important for portrature is the depth of focus which is twice as much in a M43 as FF for a given focal distance and aperture setting.
There is only one way to emulate the shallow DOF of a FF lens and that is to halve the aperture setting. Bringing the subject closer wiill acchieve a shallow DOF but, of course, the subject then occupies a larger portion of the frame.

So, the downside to the 45m f1.8 is that it is equivalent to a 90mm f3.6 for FF or 60mm f2.4 for APS-C.

A really good appreciation of DOF effect can be found at
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

Cheers

4 upvotes
Anthias
By Anthias (Sep 20, 2011)

this is very confusing. buzzman seems so convinced by this, but he is wrong? how can someone be that sure of something that is incorrect, and why would he think that?

i ask this because to me his answer doesnt seem true from using a medium format 180mm lens on a rb67 and a 45mm lens on the mico4/3, but it´s bizarre that people have such different ideas on this.

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Sep 20, 2011)

Well I am guessing he read this on the internet and through no fault of his own thought the information was correct. It's not the first time this subject has come up. You know though using different formats that it is incorrect. I know from owning/using various formats of cameras it is wrong as well. Trouble is something gets onto the internet and the next thing is it is the 'truth'... Any good technical photography book written by someone who knows what they are talking about will inform you it is not.

0 upvotes
David Fell
By David Fell (Sep 20, 2011)

Agree - if that were the case any 14-42/45vwould do wouldn't it? But it's not the same - I used a 45-200mm and got far superior results... so something aint right...

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 20, 2011)

Because it's true if you shoot images from the same distance with both formats. Taking a portrait with a 45mm on full frame is likely to put you too close to your subject and hence not be flattering. The same would be true if you took an image with the MFT 45mm from the same spot (your photo would be the same as a crop from the middle of the full frame shot).

The flaw in the argument is, of course, the assumption that you'd shoot from the same distance. What most people would do is step back to re-frame their shot on the smaller format (rather than shooting the middle chunk of a properly composed image). At which point they're shooting from the same position as you would with a 90mm lens on full-frame and the apparent perspective is the same on both.

0 upvotes
ausfarmerjoe
By ausfarmerjoe (Sep 22, 2011)

Ahh.. Ubiquity99 - a saying about pots and calling kettles black comes to mind.

There is no magical conversion formula - and you can prove it yourself very easily

Whilst the basic theory about geometric (facial) compression should instinctively hold - it does (emphatically) not..

I took my D300s and 18-200 lens, set my subject (daughter) at about 20ft , picture 1) 50mm f/8 1/250th sec., picture 2) 150mm f/8 1/250th sec, I then cropped the 50mm photo to occupy the same part of the frame as the 150mm - I can categorically assure you these are NOT the same photo from a compression perspective - the 150mm photo appears flatter than the 50mm

What does this prove? That distance from the subject is not the only determinant of compression.

Crop test 2- same 50mm f/1.4 lens on D300 and D700 same photo as same distace- cropped d700 to same size as D300 - the photo is not the same - the D700 DOF is shallower??????

I suspect the larger sensor just has an inherently shallower DOF?

0 upvotes
som1
By som1 (Sep 26, 2011)

ausfarmerjoe
can you pls do a test 3?
use 50mm f1.4 same photo same distance using fx and dx format - crop the fx format photo to match dx format frame and check. tq

0 upvotes
RDMPhotos
By RDMPhotos (Oct 19, 2011)

"you shouldn't tell others they don 't know what they are talking about,, when obviously, you don't know what you are talking about."

Its so Ironic that you posted that quote.
You do not need a degree in engineering with a focus on optics like I do to find your post very amusing, but it helps :-)

0 upvotes
Pixnat2
By Pixnat2 (Sep 19, 2011)

Nice report, thanks!
This lens seems to be a "must have" for every m4/3 photographer.
And it's great to see at least a m4/3 Oly lens that can match the Zuiko excellence.

0 upvotes
h holland
By h holland (Sep 19, 2011)

I really don't see the use of all these sample pictures from different kind of lenses. What quality can be concluded from these samples ? Nothing is my opinion. There are too many parameters that have influence on these pictures. Consider the effect of monitor calibration, sharpness in RAW conversion, difference in subjects.. Better take pictures of a testingwall that is the same for every lense. Or consider giving an MTF diagram (like hasselblad does). This is useless childish stuff and not worthy this otherwise fine website. Even though all this information is free available it should have some kind of standardisation and reference to other lenses.

2 upvotes
starwolfy
By starwolfy (Sep 19, 2011)

This just clearly shows that despite all the craziness for test charts, MFT, sharpness etc...in real world situations it is hard as hell to distinguish differences between lenses...sensors...etc...

14 upvotes
Bryan Costin
By Bryan Costin (Sep 19, 2011)

Oddly enough, I never buy lenses with the goal of making MTF diagrams. I just waste my time taking pictures with them. In-camera processing, post- processing, and display calibration can certainly have an effect on the final results, but they can't magically change the inherent characteristics of the lens' rendering. I don't get all mystical about that, but I do find that I prefer certain lenses and lens families to certain others. Critical sharpness is only one of many factors, and those other factors are a lot harder to adjust in ACR. Well documented sample photos may not be enough, but they're always necessary.

2 upvotes
Haider
By Haider (Sep 22, 2011)

Who shoots test charts? I shoot people and nature. I don't care if it 10% better at taking photos of test charts. I want it to be noticeably better when you're viewing it at 10X12. That is what my customers want too...

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Sep 22, 2011)

All right "Mr. MTF", then show me how to judge the bokeh of a lens by looking at a diagram.

;-)

0 upvotes
theGryphondog
By theGryphondog (Sep 19, 2011)

I'm wondering if a spate of announcements, yet a dearth of actual product precipitated the pounce.

;-)

0 upvotes
Atlasman
By Atlasman (Sep 19, 2011)

A 100mm equivalent in the m4/3 format looks like a 50mm—the image still has the characteristics of a 50mm—I would never use it for portraits.

4 upvotes
Max Headroon
By Max Headroon (Sep 19, 2011)

You dont know what you are talking about - it is equivalent view and angle of 90mm lens...

3 upvotes
Albino_BlacMan
By Albino_BlacMan (Sep 19, 2011)

Yeah its not the focal length that affects how the image looks, its how far you are from the subject. So this will look like any other 90mm equivilent

8 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Sep 19, 2011)

It has 50mm bokeh: completely inadequate.

2 upvotes
Albino_BlacMan
By Albino_BlacMan (Sep 19, 2011)

Lol Bokeh isn't something you can measure. Its a unique characteristic of every lens. Maybe you mean DOF?

2 upvotes
marcuz
By marcuz (Sep 19, 2011)

I use a C/Y Zeiss 1:1.4/50 as standard portrait lens on the EP-1 and I'm very satisfied by it... Great bokeh, DOF and feeling. As long as you don't shot your portraits from half a meter distance, a 45 mm lens still can qualify as a portrait lens for this format.

1 upvote
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Sep 20, 2011)

Oh man... really Atlasman, hold on, let me look for the I-don't-know-what-I'm-talking-about-dead-horse.

0 upvotes
theGryphondog
By theGryphondog (Sep 19, 2011)

Don't you mean the ANTONYM of spate, giving you "time" with this lens? A spate of announcements would take time away from being able to "pounce" on this lens. Am I missing something in how you wrote that?

spate Noun/spāt/
1. A large number of similar things or events appearing or occurring in quick succession: "a spate of attacks on travelers".
2. A sudden flood in a river, esp. one caused by heavy rains or melting snow.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Sep 19, 2011)

f1.8 =/= portrait lens

0 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Sep 20, 2011)

f stop doesn't make for a "portrait lens" and- what exactly is your point?

0 upvotes
stevedigiphoto
By stevedigiphoto (Sep 19, 2011)

Very good taster of what this lens can do, amazed at some comments - no macro - its not a macro lens - shot on GF body - no shot on the Pen Mini - Way overpriced - compared to what? Its great to be able to use legacy lenses on M43rds but a 45mmf1.8 for under £250 is a good deal.

2 upvotes
Tariag
By Tariag (Sep 19, 2011)

Unfortunately, no macro...

2 upvotes
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Sep 19, 2011)

Olympus hasnt released a macro lens yet. still waiting for it.

0 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (Sep 19, 2011)

Great lens, great pictures!

1 upvote
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Sep 19, 2011)

The aperture is too small.

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 19, 2011)

Maybe a high-grade 45/1.2 some day like the UHQ 12/2. For a 'dedicated' portrait lens like this i'd want the background to blur a bit more. Now it's just a long prime that makes sharp photos in low light.

2 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Sep 22, 2011)

For what?

0 upvotes
Camp Freddy
By Camp Freddy (Sep 19, 2011)

We have actually seen much nicer portraits on the mfFT forum- was this done with the GF body? Skin tones are not too flattering. Probably a classic lens - camera combination on the EP/EPLs but it is way over priced.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Sep 19, 2011)

These samples were shot on the Olympus PEN Mini (E-PM1).

0 upvotes
buzzif
By buzzif (Sep 19, 2011)

Robin Pecknold!?! GREAT

anyway... wonderful lens

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 19, 2011)

Another winner for Zuiko Olympus !

0 upvotes
Total comments: 49