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45(mm) Higher Love! The Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 Premium


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 My love of the 45mm focal length into the Micro Four Third (MFT) image sensor format is not new (and may have begun with the Leica Summicron 90mm F2.8 into the 35mm film format not so long ago…!). It may because it is a "closer" lens, without be so close from your subject if you understand what I mean. It may be because it seems to be a so definite and without distortion. It may be because it is a real discrete optic to be used all day long. It may be because for its large maximum aperture (F1.8 with the Olympus M.Zuiko Premium 45m F1.8). It may be simply because … I love it!

You can feel higher with the Micro Four Third 45mm focal length also because it is so gorgeous competent and compact optic without pretention compared to the F1.4 or F1.2 counterparts. Trying one and you will surely appreciate it at glance except, may be, if you are a super wide-angle freak. Some will like to qualify the 45mm lens as a portrait optic but that is only a small part of the story because this fabulous optic can do so much more to do and to create exceptional pictures. And over the years I did it with different camera models such as the Olympus EP-3, OM-D E-M5 (Original-mark II and III), E-M1 (Original, mark II and III), and the famous Pen-F (digital), and each time, the M.Zuiko Premium 45mm F1.8 have fulfilled its active task with performance and good picture results. 

If you are fond about compact photographic ILC (Interchangeable Lens Camera) devices, you may consider to try the MFT system and the 45mm F1.8 lens is the perfect illustration of what it could be. Sure others MFT optics can be equally appreciated by all kind of enthusiasm photographers of this small planet but, for me and for many others, the 45mm is unique on its way. You dont question love!

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The Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 is often described as "the" optic that have brought a lot of photographers to try and, for some, adopt the Micro Four Third (MFT) image sensor format system. The tiny lens model has been introduced in 2011 and perfectly suited in size and weight the Olympus Pen series very compact cameras. But it is more its outstanding image results that have given its reputation renown. 

Very small with a filter front accessory diameter of 37mm and a weight of only 116g (a little more than 4 ounces), its mostly polymer construction (but with a metal lens mount) is well done and the only moving part is the focusing ring which is offer a positive turning resistance. Presentation can be silver or black, the choice is yours. The internal aperture mechanism is composed of seven curvy blades. 

From my modest experience, the 45mm F1.8 is exempt of noticeable optical distortion. Definition, contrast, and color rendering are simply stellar. The transition between in-focus and blurry subjects is smooth but sufficiently distinctive. An optional accessory lens hood can be mounted on the front lens bayonet surrounding receptor although the M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 is mostly flare resistant without it.
 
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The close-focusing ability of the M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 is very limited with a minimal distance of 50cm (20 inches approx.) which cannot be assimilated to macro photography but for larger subjects like flowers or table objects it is still manageable without problem.  

With an almost two-time magnification from a MFT standard prime lens (25mm), the M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 acts as a small telephoto with a limited picture compression effect. However, on a practical day-today basic use, many photographers will surpass its first attended portrait purpose to a more extended variety of subjects, even for landscape or architectural projects. In brief, you can easily develop the M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 versatility the more you get used to it. At that selling price point, there is no reason not to add it to your own optic park!

Photos Daniel M: Olympus OM-D E-M5 III & PEN-F / M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8
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A trace of light that survive a little further than the actual moment of flash.

photodanielm.blogspot.com

Daniel M on Flickr

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Sounds nice and looks pretty small.  I’d really like something similar for Fuji.  It would need to be 60-70mm focal length, probably a smaller aperture, maybe 2.8 or 3.5, so that it can match the size and styling of the f2 series.  I know there is an excellent 90 f/2 for Fuji, but that is a big jump in size from the 50 f/2.  

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I had this lens at the beginning of my Olympus journey and I never warmed to it. I felt that the working distance to subjects needed to be a bit further away than I was comfortable with when shooting portraits. I did also have at the same time the Pan/Leica 45/2.8 Macro Elmarit which while much slower to focus did obviously let you get much closer to the subject for filling the frame with a subject's face. 

 

It is a very small lens. 

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1 hour ago, Dallas said:

I had this lens at the beginning of my Olympus journey and I never warmed to it.

At the end, I think your "beloved" ED 12-40mm F2.8 Pro have surpassed in versatility the 45mm F1.8. As you have mentioned the small size of the 45mm F1.8 fit naturally with a Pen series model or a OM-D E-M5 series camera (without vertical grip) for doing discrete and casual photography which you may always appreciate in urban areas. 

A trace of light that survive a little further than the actual moment of flash.

photodanielm.blogspot.com

Daniel M on Flickr

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3 hours ago, crowecg said:

Sounds nice and looks pretty small.  I’d really like something similar for Fuji.  It would need to be 60-70mm focal length, probably a smaller aperture, maybe 2.8 or 3.5, so that it can match the size and styling of the f2 series.  I know there is an excellent 90 f/2 for Fuji, but that is a big jump in size from the 50 f/2.  

With this 2X magnification translate in Fuji APS-C image sensor format, the only option available should be the older macro 60mm F2.4 which is also an exceptional lens from my modest experience with it (see here). This macro might be redesigned soon (especially for the autofocus operationality) as Fujifilm often updates its optic line time to time and may be in a smaller size presentation.

A trace of light that survive a little further than the actual moment of flash.

photodanielm.blogspot.com

Daniel M on Flickr

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just like the 75mm 1.8, this little gem is always a pleasure to use.  Sharp, compact and never fails to impress me with its results.  It was also a perfect "cat portrait" lens on my GX-7.

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24 minutes ago, Greg Drawbaugh said:

Just like the 75mm 1.8, this little gem is always a pleasure to use.  Sharp, compact and never fails to impress me with its results.  It was also a perfect "cat portrait" lens on my GX-7.

Absolutely true the M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 Premium lens may the first non-official "Pro" lens that Olympus have offered into the Micro Four Third sensor format. You can see my love for this very peculiar prime optic following this link.
Thanks Greg for sharing your passion.

P.s. your cat is lovely!

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A trace of light that survive a little further than the actual moment of flash.

photodanielm.blogspot.com

Daniel M on Flickr

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