Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
ahaslett Veteran Member • Posts: 7,283
Re: Olympus 17 mm f 1.2 Pro, 45 mm f 1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 17.5 mm f 0.95

Sbarnaveli wrote:

ahaslett wrote:

Sbarnaveli wrote:

Thanks for a nice and detailed reply!

I agree with your points and indeed, 75 can give me a similar bokeh to 45 1.2 outdoors, when I'm not restricted in the distance.

As to 20mm 1.7 and 12-40 wide open at 20mm I think that might not be enough with distances so small between the subject and the background. I've been trying to check that at home and with the lenses but as I currently don't have people around it is a bit hard to check.

Nice pictures! In the first one the background is definitely blurred enough, but it is also further than in some of the examples of the movie, I think.

The second picture made me now think about 25 1.2 - maybe that's the perfect middle ground?

However based on the examples that I've seen so far, I do think that 17 should also be to give me more or less good bokeh in these cases.

25/1.2 works well for head and shoulders indoors but is a bit tight to capture two people. 17mm allows you to stand closer to the group and still get them in. How blurred the background is will depend on the relative distance to subject and to background. With the 25mm, you are further from the subjects - provided the room is big enough.

If 17/1.2 isn’t shallow enough, then I’d buy a used FF DSLR and 35/1.4. Otherwise you could take the MFT 17/1.2 as a challenge to your composition skills. Constraints build skills and vision. Maybe using the 17/1.2 will be a better and cheaper way of developing your obvious talent.

I rather like the 25mm focal length as a way of getting more intimate portraits but 17mm works better for groups.

Here are some images from my bathroom mirror. The distance from me to the mirror and back is about the same as from me to the cabinet behind me.

17/1.2 equivalent

Notice how blurred the towel is, despite being closer to me than I am to the camera (via the mirror). Also notice how tight the framing is in a relatively small room.

Several people suggested a 17/0.95...

17/0.7 equivalent

Now even the shower cabinet close behind me is blurred, or the tap which is just behind.

My aim for this 35/1.4 lens is to take pictures where the background looks like the first image but there is a wider view, showing more of the environment, more clearly.

You can see that I'm close enough that perspective distortion is making my nose look large and very little of me is in critical focus. Compare that with the image taken with a 55/1.8 at f/2.4 where the subject framing is similar but the room is larger and I was further from a mirror.


Thanks for the effort you put in these replies and providing samples with good descriptions! I really appreciate it!

I also decided to try and photograph myself with the lenses that I already have using OI share app and a tripod and to my surprise, mimicking the compositions that were in the screenshots that I posted, in some of them (closeups) I actually got enough blur even with 12-40mm @17mm f2.8. The quality might not be there sometimes, but the 17mm will take care of it in this case for sure.

I also tried taking some shots in my room with 20mm prime on EM1 and 25mm on EM10 to be able to compare them very quickly. I think for indoor environments with tight spaces 17mm will be significantly more convenient than 25mm, so I think it is the way to go. And as you also pointed out, it will be a good challenge to work on compositions more carefully when more things are in the frame.

As to the distortions when taking close up pictures with 35mm equivalent, well, that part I sometimes even like and if I'm careful enough, it is possible to get interesting shots without eye catching distortion (of course, if one directly compares two photos of 50mm vs 35mm, the distortion will be visible, but if it's not that apparent in a single picture, then I'm perfectly happy with that). It might also add some intimacy as I think we associate these distortions with being very close to the subject. E.g. in the pictures you posted with 35mm, I wouldn't notice any distortions with the nose.

And as I said, sometimes these distortions (or even more dramatic ones might actually be interesting as it is in this portrait taken by Arnold Newman:

Clearly, his hands are distorted and probably his face as well, but I really like how it looks in total.

It's good for my own learning to produce examples.

The combination of wide angle and close focus enables some interesting effects. The Samyang 7.5mm/3.5 fisheye can do all kinds of interesting shots. It has an MFD of 9cm, so you can get distortion and separation, even with the modest aperture.

With the assistance of my rubber friend:

You can see that shallow DoF can be a problem, even at f/4, if you get close enough.

I agree with your results on the 12-40/2.8, which has an MFD of 20cm.


If you stand a bit further back, there is still some subject separation, probably what I normally desire.


At this point, I'd probably be reaching for the 20/1.7, another one of the MFT system's cost-effective gems.

I find the 12-40 is pretty good quality, especially at the wide end. There are better lenses and I have some. The problem with these kinds of shots is poor light.

Even at 35/1.4 in the bathroom, the ISO for 1/60s was 400. Look at how much noise there is. At f/2.4 the noise was bad on my head at ISO 1000 on FF. I could have gone for longer exposures, but then you risk blur, even with subjects posing. (My rubber friend is very good at posing).

Lighting is also important - notice how it contributes to separation in my second bathroom shot and further reduces noise in my face.


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