45mm vs Legacy 50mm

Started Sep 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
BigBarney Senior Member • Posts: 2,722
Comparisons are only useful if...

Marshall1 wrote:

I am thinking of getting the OLY 45mm. Has anyone compared this lens to an Olympus legacy lens at 50mm 1.8?

Apart from the lack of AF, in theory they should produce similar results. Any input?
E1/grip, E500, Zuiko 7-14, 40-150, 70-300, 50/F2.Panaleica 14-150, 25/1.4

... you tell us exactly which lenses you want to compare and for which characteristics. I have an interest in macro photography so I opted to buy the Panasonic Leica 45mm f2.8 despite its higher price than the Olympus 45mm f1.8. I have also used a 'legacy' 50mm Canon FD mount f1.8 lens.

I have almost abandoned using the Canon 50mm for the simple reason that the results from the PanaLeica 45mm are much easier to obtain thanks to autofocus and image stabilisation, and the colour rendition is superior to my eyes. This may be partly due to improved lens coatings, but there is another important difference that gainsays your suggestion that results should be similar. Any legacy lens such as the one I have used was designed for use with film rather than with a digital sensor. Film was very accommodating when it came to the angle at which a light ray hit the film surface. Digital sensors are much less accommodating, so any lens that is designed for digital sensors will typically give sharper results.

I know the PanaLeica 45mm is much more expensive than the Olympus 45mm, but then I negotiated a very good price on mine from a retailer who was anxious to shift some stock. Yes, it is slightly slower in maximum aperture terms, but when shot wide open it is a very acceptable portrait lens. Just how good or bad it is in comparison to the Olympus 45mm f1.8 depends on how you plan to use them and how deep your pocket is if you lack good negotiating skills.

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