Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

Started Jan 19, 2014 | Discussions
kovanloo Forum Member • Posts: 78
Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

I recently received my Omd M1, and yes I am very happy. This weekend I am trying out the lenses that I bought with it. In addition to the 12-40 which seems fine so far, I bought a 17mm and 45mm 1.8, basically to win 1+ stop light, get better subject isolation and because of stealthy-ness of both lenses.   Below you see two shots with the 45mm full open (1.8) and one stop down (2.8). Lens is brand new, no filter, standard in camera image sharpening. I don't like the 2.8 (look at those corners), but the 1.8 is horrendous! Did I get a lens which slipped through quality control, or is it really that bad full open??? This would be contradictory to the reviews I have been reading. Your ideas are welcome. I have a couple of days to return this lens that I would like to like.

Thanks, Karel

OMD EM1 Oly 45 MM 1.8 1/5000 sharpening 0 Midpoint focusing

OMD EM1 Oly 45 MM 2.8 1/5000 sharpening 0 Midpoint focusing

Olympus E-M1
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Sho-Bud
Sho-Bud Contributing Member • Posts: 601
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

I don't own a Micro 43 yet. But this doesn't look right. There is a huge amount of aberration or purple fringing near the corners. I think that some lens element isn't aligned properly. I would send it back,

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photofan1986
photofan1986 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,062
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

Clearly a bad copy. Return the lens and get a new copy.

My first copy was slightly soft wide open (but nothing compare to what you show here). My second copy is excellent in my opinion.

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OP kovanloo Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

Thanks!  In the five minutes between posting the topic and the first comments I had already decided to send the lens back and now I am waiting for even more support to exchange it and give it another chance. My 11 year old Oly 5060 shows better sharpness.

Thanks again!

Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

kovanloo wrote:

I recently received my Omd M1, and yes I am very happy. This weekend I am trying out the lenses that I bought with it. In addition to the 12-40 which seems fine so far, I bought a 17mm and 45mm 1.8, basically to win 1+ stop light, get better subject isolation and because of stealthy-ness of both lenses. Below you see two shots with the 45mm full open (1.8) and one stop down (2.8). Lens is brand new, no filter, standard in camera image sharpening. I don't like the 2.8 (look at those corners), but the 1.8 is horrendous! Did I get a lens which slipped through quality control, or is it really that bad full open??? This would be contradictory to the reviews I have been reading. Your ideas are welcome. I have a couple of days to return this lens that I would like to like.

Thanks, Karel

That does not look right, no. Here's what a healthy copy of the 45/1.8 can do wide open:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51486846

Unfortunately, bad copies of this lens do not seem to be all that unusual. My first copy was no good either and I have seen quite a few reports about other bad copies on this forum (more than with any other MFT lens I would think). Here's a post comparing my first and second copy:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/42257923

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Paul De Bra
Paul De Bra Forum Pro • Posts: 12,522
clearly decentered, not tested in quality control
2

This lens is bad. Everyone agrees on it.

But you were wondering whether this lens slipped through quality control. It did not. There is no quality control mechanism that tests for decentering, not for this lens and not for almost any lens. I have followed description of the manufacturing process from different camera makers over the past 10 years. A very brief summary of it is as follows: for consumer grade lenses quality control means that samples of the lenses are tested (not every individual lens) and the test checks things like accurate focusing in the center; for professional lenses quality control does this for every lens. But there is no standard quality control process for any lens that looks at edges to check for decentering. This may explain why decentering is a common problem. (In the past 10 years I have received and tested at least 7 lenses with visible decentering.) Only one of them was Olympus. (The others were all Tokina but I believe that was mostly by chance and by testing multiple decentered copies of the same lens model. I do not believe Tokina is worse than other manufacturers in general.)

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photofan1986
photofan1986 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,062
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

Here are two samples shot at 1.8 and 2.8 with my "good copy" of the lens.

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OP kovanloo Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: clearly decentered, not tested in quality control

Thanks for your explanation! I will probably take all lenses out once more and do my own QC.

OP kovanloo Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

photofan1986 wrote:

Here are two samples shot at 1.8 and 2.8 with my "good copy" of the lens.

I am surprised. Is that good at 1.8? In particular left side both further distance and closer buy. Not sure if this is good enough me. Maybe I should return an not exchange.

OP kovanloo Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

But indeed way better than my copy!

photofan1986
photofan1986 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,062
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?
1

Well, it's not a perfect copy either, it's slightly decentered, but in my opinion very acceptable. The truth is, I never need corner to corner sharpness wide open, and once stopped down to f4.0, sharpness is fantastic across the frame. When I shoot for subject isolation, sharpness in the center area is excellent, and that's all I need. There's no such thing as a lens that will be optimal from wide open. My Pana Leica 25 1.4 is even worse wide open, and I still consider it very good, miles ahead of my old Sigma 30 1.4 in my Canon SLR times.

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Paulmorgan Veteran Member • Posts: 7,432
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?
2

What do you mean by mid point focusing ?

If you mean the the middle then this lens looks about right.

photofan1986
photofan1986 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,062
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

Here are two examples of a "shallow dof "picture with the lens.

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OP kovanloo Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

With midpoint focusing I meant focus on the centre point in the pictures, so on the vertical column in the middle of the picture. Thanks for asking.

OP kovanloo Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

photofan1986 wrote:

Well, it's not a perfect copy either, it's slightly decentered, but in my opinion very acceptable. The truth is, I never need corner to corner sharpness wide open, and once stopped down to f4.0, sharpness is fantastic across the frame. When I shoot for subject isolation, sharpness in the center area is excellent, and that's all I need. There's no such thing as a lens that will be optimal from wide open. My Pana Leica 25 1.4 is even worse wide open, and I still consider it very good, miles ahead of my old Sigma 30 1.4 in my Canon SLR times.

Yes at 2.8 it didn't seem to bad in your example. Problem is that I also have the 2.8 zoom 12-40. If the 45mm is really no that good at 1.8, I don't see a point of owning one, I can use the 2.8 easily instead and only lose the mentioned stealthy-ness with that.

Paulmorgan Veteran Member • Posts: 7,432
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?
1

photofan1986 wrote:

Here are two examples of a "shallow dof "picture with the lens.

I know that your just trying to help but there not really good examples, you much closer to the subject matter so the dof will look a lot shallower.

This is what I would expect from 4 or 5 feet @ f2.8.

And with these from further away.

photofan1986
photofan1986 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,062
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

That makes sense of course, and I think it's the reason why many have switched from a couple of primes to the 12-40 exclusively.

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Paulmorgan Veteran Member • Posts: 7,432
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?
1

kovanloo wrote:

With midpoint focusing I meant focus on the centre point in the pictures, so on the vertical column in the middle of the picture. Thanks for asking.

As I guessed, I`d say the lens is normal.

photofan1986
photofan1986 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,062
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

I know you are trying to help, but those snapshots are too small to judge sharpness. Even a soft lens could produce a nice results at that size with proper sharpening.

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Paulmorgan Veteran Member • Posts: 7,432
Re: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Broken?

photofan1986 wrote:

That makes sense of course, and I think it's the reason why many have switched from a couple of primes to the 12-40 exclusively.

But yours would be good examples of close focusing

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