Eric L. Woods

Revisiting Old Gear: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8

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Obvious statement ahead. Gear can be really expensive. I have bought used vehicles that cost less than some recent camera and lens releases. This latest round of camera releases has gotten me to thinking.

For more on this line of thinking please see the opener post for this “Revisiting” series. For this post I will cut to the gear list.

I already chose a camera and will update this blog with that soon. The title of this post gives away the lens system. I started my interchangeable lens gear churn odyssey with micro four thirds and I still appreciate it. I will again point to that first post mentioned above for why I chose MFT and move on to the lens in question for this post. A portrait lens.

Surely the ultimate Olympus MFT king of the hill portrait lens is the 75mm f/1.8 right? (Manu below.)

Olympus 75mm f/1.8
Manu and his Pentax 67

Excellent lens. No. Had that lens before, but…

  • At $799 at the time of this post it costs too much for the intended low budget of this kit. I could buy a used a6000 and a brand new Sigma 56mm f/1.4 for about the same spend.
  • While not huge or heavy compared to portrait lenses made for other sensor sizes at 2.52″ diameter and 2.72″ in length and 10.76 oz it is larger than I would like for a small MFT body.
  • At a 150mm full frame equivalent focal length it is a bit long to be practical in daily use.

That brings us to this lens.

Olympus 45mm f/1.8
Olympus 45mm f/1.8

It addresses all of the 75mm items I pointed out above.

  • At $299 this lens is $500 less. Used prices are even better. I picked up a bargain grade example for around $150.
  • Quite small and light for a 90mm full frame equivalent focal length at 2.2″ diameter and 1.81″ length and 4.09 oz.
  • At a 90mm full frame equivalent focal length it is still long but more practical in daily use.

With that I will get on with the usual run down lifted from the This Old Lens posts with AF added.

  • Flare
    • Have not witnessed any offensive flare with this lens.
  • Sharpness
    • A very sharp lens. Appreciated in a portrait lens.
  • Colors
    • I really like the colors that this lens produces. Vibrant and accurate.
  • Bokeh
    • Uses it’s focal length and generous aperture this lens makes a good case for MFT sensors.
  • AF
    • Fast, silent, and accurate even with older bodies. Extremely important on an f/1.8 lens. For the record it focuses a fair bit faster than the also not that slow at all 75mm.

A great little portrait lens. It served me well on a Church candid and portrait photo shoot years ago.

Grace Photo Shoot
A.M.E. Zion Bishop Staccato Powell
Grace Photo Shoot
A.M.E. Zion Bishop Staccato Powell
Grace Photo Shoot
A.M.E. Zion Bishop Staccato Powell
Grace Photo Shoot
A.M.E. Zion Bishop Staccato Powell
Grace Photo Shoot
A.M.E. Zion Bishop Staccato Powell

Here is where the small size and bright aperture paid off. Six years ago a male chorus I was a part of sang at a Time Warner Arena game. Large cameras and long lenses were not permitted but they did not bat an eye at the 45mm when I showed it to security. The resulting shots warm up, pre-game, and court shots from the nose bleed seats they provided below.

TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
Male Chorus Director Marlon West on the left.
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats
TWC Arena Charlotte Bobcats

And now just a few random shots.

Olympus PEN-F
Carnival.
Carnival.
tree
sunset and silhouettes
Bike in parking lot
100 Men In Black in Baltimore, MD
Lights
Leaf.
Tree
Bottles and Brushes - Mebane, NC
Bottles and Brushes - Mebane, NC
Looking up.
Bottles and Brushes - Mebane, NC
Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
Trees.
Trees.
100 Men In Black in Durham
Leaf
Drops
Birds.

A solid lens. I will be adding more photos to this ongoing gallery soon.

Olympus 45mm f/1.8
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