Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 lens test
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Probably every photosystem has its own best-selling lens. I’m hardly mistaken if I say that in the Olympus system, or maybe even in Micro 4/3, such a bestseller is the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 – a high-quality fix with an affordable price. Today he is in our test studio: we will figure out for which subjects it is suitable and what the result is.
But first, let’s get to know him better. This is a very small lens, less than a matchbox in length. The diameter of the thread of the filter is also “child” – 37 mm. Weight Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 is only 116 grams. The design used plastic elements. For example, the focus ring of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 is not metal. But thanks to the high-quality assembly, even the plastic case looks solid.
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The lens has internal focusing, that is, in the process of focusing, not one of its external parts rotates or extends. You can safely use the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 polarizing and gradient filters, which, due to their small diameter, will be not expensive at all. The lens focuses absolutely silently, but at the same time quickly. However, we are already used to this in the Olympus system.
The focal length of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 in terms of the 35 mm equivalent, more clear to photographers who came from the film era, is 90 mm – a classic for portrait photography. Can I shoot Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 portraits? Of course yes! A high aperture contributes to this: the background in the frame will be able to blur quite strongly. Moreover, the blur on the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 is very soft and pleasant. I think that the developers of Olympus and calculated it precisely as a portrait.
There are no ghosting in the bokeh zone. Glare has slightly smoothed edges and uniform filling without any irregularities. Moreover, this is true both for the near and the far zone bokeh. So you can shoot portraits with front framing, without fear of unsuccessful blur. If you shoot in the background of foliage, then the “scale effect” in the background does not occur. Smooth edges of glare prevent this.
The minimum focusing distance is 50 cm – this is less than most portrait lenses (MDF of about 80 cm is typical for this class of optics). This allows you to not limit the scope to portraits. You can use the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 for large-scale, including subject shooting. This property of the lens came in handy at the Museum of Technology. The fact is that the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 has a relatively narrow viewing angle. To remove an old car in full frame with it will not succeed even with a few steps. But you can focus on photographing interesting details and fragments.
Soft blurring and high contrast of the lens came in handy. What about sharpness? It is tall already on the open diaphragm. It is quite enough to resolve the 16-megapixel matrix Olympus OM-D E-M10. However, sharpening slightly increases with aperture, reaching the optimum value at f / 5.6. In the picture with an open aperture, slight chromatic aberrations on the glare metal (for example, on the headlights of a car) are also noticeable. These aberrations are still visible at f / 2, but disappear already at f / 2.8. I specifically chose a backlit scene for shooting to show how the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 holds contrast in difficult conditions.
The high aperture and sharpness on the open aperture of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 made it possible to shoot without a flash where most visitors took pictures with a flash. I am an ardent opponent of the use of flash in museums. I like the result without flash much more!
The relatively large focal length of the lens allows you to use it as a moderate telephoto, squeezing the space in the frame and collecting objects spaced apart at a certain distance in one shot. This property of Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 I also use in the museum, shooting a new exposition of rare tanks of the pre-war era.
Finally, I want to return to the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 feature that I started my review with – compactness. The camera and lens are so compact that they can literally always be carried with you. For example, I take a camera for fishing. Here, for the photographer, a lot of stories: from close-ups to landscapes.
I constantly carried the camera with me on walks in the country. And never regretted it! One rainy day just before sunset, the clouds suddenly parted, and the sun appeared. The light was ideal for landscape photography: soft, warm. Such colors are not every day you see! And the fog created depth in the frame due to the tonal perspective. It turns out that the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 is a good choice for landscape photography.
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 is the absolute must have for Micro 4/3 camera owners. The lens has an affordable price against many of its brothers and a very high image quality for this price. It is sharp with an open aperture, has a low level of chromatic aberrations, which are also easily controlled by aperture, and it holds back light well. But the main thing – the bokeh of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 is very pleasant and soft. It can be equally easily used for both portrait and landscape photography. Focal length is quite universal. And the modest size and low weight of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f / 1.8 will help you to have this lens always at hand. Does he have minuses? Perhaps … But they are more formal in nature.
- compact size;
- high aperture;
- universal focal length;
- fast and silent focusing;
- high sharpness with an open aperture;
- chromatic aberrations go away with aperture;
- holds back light well;
- soft and pleasant background blur;
- short focusing distance;
- affordable price.
- chromatic aberrations are present on the open diaphragm.
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