4/3 Oly 50mm f2 Macro vs Pana 45mm f2.8 Macro

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
jalywol Forum Pro • Posts: 11,178
Re: 4/3 Oly 50mm f2 Macro vs Pana 45mm f2.8 Macro

cornellra wrote:

hello all

hopefully this is less contentious that some of the more active threads I have seen. I was debating about getting a Panasonic 45mm 2.8 Macro to replace my adapted Oly zuiko 50mm f2 macro. Recognizing that the O50 is recognized as a great lens, trying to figure out how to improve carrying weight and optimization of my kit. Currently have EM1.1, EM5.3 and E-PM2.

Anyone have good experiences with using the P45 2.8 on an oly body? I am sure the body does not matter all that much outside of CA/PF management but wanted to get some thoughts as i have not ever used the P45. Part of my reasoning of also going with this FL is the flexibility of some portrait work, of which for me, works the best (e.g. m43 42-50mm, or 85-100mm in 35mm terms) I have also not liked the 30, and 60mm lengths as I also want to use them as general purpose every so often and for me just does not work.

thoughts all on the PL? other than it is expensive relative to other lenses on the platform?

I have had two of the PL 45mm macros over the years. It is a terrific lens, and I actually think it might be better for portraiture than it is for macro use. That being said, on my last go-round with a system switch, I ended up selling it and keeping the Oly 30mm f3.5 instead for my shorter macro work, and going almost entirely to long telephotos with extension tubes for insect and flower shooting. (The shooting distance for insects with a very long lens is less disturbing for the insects than when using a shorter lens, and you can get interesting background blurs with the longer lenses that are harder to achieve with shorter lenses closer in to the subject, so it just works better for my purposes.)

In terms of image rendering, the PL45mm is excellent. It does have a bit of vignetting wide open, which is the only optical flaw I can remember (easily corrected in PP if you need to); and sharpness, color, contrast, etc. were all terrific.

The second copy I had was a just about new one from an Ebay seller which sold for about half the new price, so you may want to go that route if you decide to get one, and save some $.

BTW, I had tried an adapted Oly 50mm f2 many moons ago, before I got the PL45mm, and I found it painfully slow, and noisy, to use. The PL 45 is a speed demon by comparison, even if it's not as fast as more recently designed M43 lenses. It's also quiet.

It really all comes down to what percentage of the time you will be using the lens for macro vs portraiture, and what kind of macro work you plan to do with it. You might be better off keeping the 50mm f2 if you don't do a ton of macro, and, as others have said, getting something like the Panasonic 42.5 f1.7 for your portrait work instead....


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