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Thread: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    I have earned my living as a portrait photographer for many years. And I've used Canons with L-lenses for that. (5DMkII in recent years).

    I jumped into m4/3 a couple of years ago... just for the fun of it... as a personal camera system. Over the last two years my GF1 and 20 and 14-45 were joined by a lot more lenses (native and legacy) and GH2, G3, GF3, and E-PL3 bodies. Since my first day with the GF1, I have yearned for a native (auto focus) portrait lens for m4/3. With the announcement of the 45/1.8, I was very excited.

    This week, while I was in the middle of a portrait session, the big brown truck brought my long awaited 45/1.8 from B&H. I couldn't resist the urge to grab a couple of shots with my recently acquired E-PL3 and the freshly minted 45/1.8 during my portrait session.

    I quickly found that with the 45/1.8, the m4/3 system truly reached new heights of capability. While this won't replace my 5DMkII and 70-200 f/2.8 L lens for portrait work, it will certainly make for some wonderful personal portraits. Awesome lens!!!

    In my haste to press the E-PL3 and 45/1.8 into use for a few images, I failed to notice that my ISO was at 800. That mishap considered, I still think the E-PL3 and 45/1.8 did a surprisingly nice job.

    E-PL3 IS0 800, 45/1.8 lens @ f/4


    E-PL3 IS0 800, 45/1.8 lens @ f/1.8
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Very nice, Don!

    I agree, the Oly 45/1.8 is terrific. I don't have a willing subject around here, so I can only share a picture of my not-so-willing younger son in a bad mood after finding out that we were going to eat dinner (this was taken just outside of a restaurant) before going to Toys R Us. This lens is very sharp at f/1.8:



    Full-res: http://www.flickr.com/photos/asabet/...n/photostream/

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    And I am assuming that this will work perfectly (i.e., with all functions) on a GH2?

    I would love to see a comparison between the 45/2.8 macro and this new lens, bith wide open. At ƒ1.8, this new lens looks as though it has enough DOF for portraits—I usually use ƒ2.8–4 on a FF camera, so that the DOF doesn't look too shallow (and intrude as an effect). Both these look really good to my eye.

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    And I am assuming that this will work perfectly (i.e., with all functions) on a GH2?
    Definitely.

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    The 45 macro is a lovely lens but with losing 1+ stops, you really needed to get in close to the subject to clear out the background. Here are two old test shots with the 45 macro from this thread:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...macro+portrait


    In both instances there is plenty of separation between subject and background but these do not compare to the two wide open portraits posted above made with the 45 f1.8




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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Subject isolation is wonderful with this lens. I intend to test it more this coming week (along side my 5DMkII) during my upcoming portrait sessions. I'm excited because we m4/3 users finally have a native portrait length lens that provides a shallow DOF look that begins to approach what we can so easily achieve with the FF kits. Now I'm hoping that we will someday get a 100mm f/1.8 or 2.0 lens for m4/3.

    Amin... That's a wonderful portrait of your son that perfectly displays the subject isolation this lens can provide.
    Don

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    I agree with Terry's analysis. The PannyLeica 45/2.8 is an awesome macro lens but I have always felt it leaves something to be desired for portraits. Looking at all the examples here the 45/1.8 is on my list for portrait work alone.

    LouisB

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    I agree too. Love my 45/2.8 and if I did any portrait work at all I'd definitely add it.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Well, I am going to have to add it; the macro has its own domain for sure, and may be more of an all-purpose lens, but this Oly is looking just right for me. Thanks Amin.

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    you really needed to get in close to the subject to clear out the background... but these do not compare to the two wide open portraits posted above made with the 45 f1.8
    here is one w/ PL45/2.8 @ 3.5... shoulders to pate like the one above (but a bigger person - hence the distance was bigger too)




    or @ 2.8 - get the stroller out and you will have a nice blur


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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Today I tested the 45/1.8 on my G3. One needs to keep camera-to-subject distance fairly close and shoot wide open to maximize background bokeh, but this lens demonstrates very good portrait sharpness when shot wide open and excellent subject isolation with short camera to subject distances. Olympus has hit a grand slam with the 45/1.8. For my money, this lens is a must have for my m4/3 kit.

    Lumix G3 w/ Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens ISO 200 shot at f/1.8.












    Don

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Great images, Don, the lens looks like a real cracker!

    Cheers,

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Don,
    These look really nice. What sort of lighting were you using?

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Fantastic portraits, Don! As I said a few minutes ago on another thread, I think this lens is the second "no brainer" lens for MFTs (the first being the Lumix 20).

    My older brother recently decided to get rid of his GF1 and 20/1.7 for a Fuji X100, and to me this lens was one of the best arguments against doing that.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Thanks folks for the kind remarks. Our community is very blessed to have the current state of m4/3 gear and I'm sure it will only get better from here!

    Terry... I use available light and reflectors almost exclusively. (Except in studio where I occasionally use flash, but more commonly continuous professional flourescent). I'm not a fan of flash (the look) except when applied with great skill.
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    i just looked up the price on this and WOW. this lens certainly fills the gap perfectly.

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Fine portraits Don, thanks for posting these. I'm going to have to hunt one of these up for my bag.

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    Senior Member kweide's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Mine is ordered long time ago. Only the lens hood arrived until now ....
    __________________________________________________
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    see more ( NSFW ) on : http://www.klaweide.de

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    Senior Member RonSmith's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Those are great Don!
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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Thanks again, folks, for the kind remarks. This lens is, for me, an essential m4/3 lens - one I've long awaited.
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Thanks again, folks, for the kind remarks. This lens is, for me, an essential m4/3 lens - one I've long awaited.
    kind remarks well deserved.

    The lens seems excellent, think I'll have to save my bikkies for one and perhaps retire my faithful OM 50 f1.8 as for sure the AF will be a benefit (and the auto zoom on manual operation)

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    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Thank you for posting, Don, nice shots and also the lens seems a very good performer.

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Fantastic portaits Don.
    Those eyes of both your models, so sparkling!

    Amin lovely shot of your son!

    Anyway you made me buy this lens too.

    The only place I could find one in Holland happened to be opposite the restaurant where my son is a chef. So he had to be my first victim
    Nothing fancy but just a quick snapshot, because he had to work.

    Michiel


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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Cool shot Michiel. I'm sure you'll love this lens.

    Here's one I grabbed with the G3 and 45/1.8 during a portrait session (5DMkII) today.

    Last edited by DHart; 4th October 2011 at 14:11.
    Don

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Nice! Talking about eyes!
    Michiel

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Here's one I grabbed with the G3 and 45/1.8 during a portrait session (5DMkII) today.
    looks good, so what it that you find about it that means you would not be replacing the 5D and 70-200? It would not seem to be about the image quality presented here.

    Is it the versatility of the 70-200, the functionality of the 5D?

    Just wondering.

    :-)

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    pellicle... the only way I can get the same OOF background look with the 45/1.8 on m4/3 that I get with the 70-200 f/2.8 on full frame sensor is to shoot a very tight head and shoulders, really close to camera. Also, the G3 is so small and light that it's actually more difficult for me to work with. Perhaps I could become accustomed to that, however.

    Also, the dynamic range of the full frame sensor allows me to extract more useful detail from deep shadows and bright highlights than is possible with a m4/3 sensor. And lastly, is the additional pixels available for rendering small areas of the image and for fine editing... which is actually critically important for photographing groups of people where the head sizes become a small part of the overall image.

    We're going to have to have a 100mm f/2 lens on a m4/3 sensor to approximate the looks I can achieve with the 70-200 f/2.8 on the full frame 5DMkII. Hopefully someday, Olympus or Pana/Leica will offer up a 100m f/2 lens... THAT would be nirvana for me! And perhaps by then, the image data size will be large enough to be better suited to rendering and editing small areas of the image where you might have an environmental portrait where the person's face is a small part of the image or a group photo where there are numerous faces, each comprising a small area of the photo. These are things that are especially important to a pro portrait photographer, but might not be so important to the casual shooter.
    Don

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel Schierbeek View Post
    Fantastic portaits Don.
    Those eyes of both your models, so sparkling!

    Amin lovely shot of your son!

    Anyway you made me buy this lens too.

    The only place I could find one in Holland happened to be opposite the restaurant where my son is a chef. So he had to be my first victim
    Nothing fancy but just a quick snapshot, because he had to work.

    Michiel
    Thanks, Michiel, that is an excellent shot of your son as well. I really like how you brought his environment into the image!

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Cool shot Michiel. I'm sure you'll love this lens.

    Here's one I grabbed with the G3 and 45/1.8 during a portrait session (5DMkII) today.
    Another fantastic portrait Don .

    I still can't get over how small this lens is. Mounted on my E-PM1 (provided to me by Olympus as part of their PenReady promotion), it looks like a typical small sensor compact. No one at a dinner party would think otherwise.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    I'm still playing with this lens...

    G3 at ISO 400 with 45/1.8 lens @ f/1.8

    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Awesome work, Don. I'm still waiting not-so-patiently for my 45 to arrive.

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Hey Don

    I think you missed focus a hair on #5 of the boy—only because the reflections in his eyes are so sharp on the others. Yet his lips are razor sharp, so the overall effect is very pleasing indeed. Lovely work.

    Definitely getting this lens.

    Re, wanting a 100/2: anywhere from 85/1.4 or ƒ2 would do, too.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    We did six outfits in six areas on my studio property today... here's another look

    Don

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Just playin' with some more...



    Don

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Where you guys got it from? I am in Amazon queue.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    kit.... yes, an 85/1.4 or 1.8 would be wonderful!

    Zoran... I pre-ordered mine through B&H. Check your local brick and mortar camera stores... often, they will have a small stock of the items that the big internet stores are out of stock on.

    Amin... yes, it's an amazing and very small lens... about the same size as my other favorite new lens... the 12/2.
    Don

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Zoran... I pre-ordered mine through B&H.
    Thank you! As usual Amazon seems to be lagging behind

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Hi

    can't help with the other aspects (fully agree t00) but wit this

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    We're going to have to have a 100mm f/2 lens on a m4/3 sensor to approximate the looks I can achieve with the 70-200 f/2.8 on the full frame 5DMkII.
    I use an Olympus OM100f2.8 on my GH1 and like it a lot (and was well priced). I find that I can focus quite quickly (old hand at Manual Focus) and with a quick flick of the image zoom in focus can get a tighter and more precise focus than with the AF on my EOS camera.

    I'll be borrowing a 5D in a couple of weeks to see how I feel about the 100 f2 lens and comparing to my G1 with 50 f1.4 Some time ago I felt I liked the look of the larger format and longer lenses, but I need to revisit this to see "by how much" again.

    It's a hard choice for me however as the 5D body will set me back more than a couple of lenses on the G series. I wonder if anyone who looks at my pictures can tell enough of the difference to make it worth my while.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Pellicle... I'd say use whatever camera gives you what you desire in terms of image look and feel. If you're pleased with the results, who cares what anyone else thinks! That's how I operate and it's served me very well indeed. Go with whatever floats YOUR boat.

    Personally, I haven't found anything in a smaller format that gives me what I get with my full frame 5DMkII that works as well, for me, for professional portrait and commercial work. Could I "get by" with just my m4/3? Sure. But I would not be able to achieve the same results as I can get with the 5DMkII.

    That doesn't mean I don't absolutely LOVE my now quite expansive m4/3 kit for all of my personal and travel photography. The m4/3 gear is simply wonderful, but some folks do need more than one camera format, depending on the task at hand. Other folks have their needs served perfectly well with just one format. The day I stop shooting professionally, I will probably retire my 5DMkII gear and shoot with just m4/3. In the meantime, I'm happy to work with both systems, as applicable.
    Don

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Thanks for the review of the lens!

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Erik... you're welcome!

    Here's two more from today's session to finish out the evening... I am loving this lens!



    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Don

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Pellicle... I'd say use whatever camera gives you what you desire in terms of image look and feel. If you're pleased with the results, who cares what anyone else thinks! That's how I operate and it's served me very well indeed. Go with whatever floats YOUR boat.
    thanks ... good advice. Please me first please others if it so happens.

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    Thank you! As usual Amazon seems to be lagging behind
    To my pleasant surprise I received shipment notice from Amazon day after this and had lens in my hand on Friday thanks to Prime.

    I don't have anything of artistic value with it to share yet but quick check confirmed it is all it is cranked up to be.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    A couple more from this lens. I'm now quite confident in the ability of this lens and m4/3 to create portrait imagery with a look and feel that I like.



    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    pellicle... the only way I can get the same OOF background look with the 45/1.8 on m4/3 that I get with the 70-200 f/2.8 on full frame sensor is to shoot a very tight head and shoulders,

    ..
    Also, the dynamic range of the full frame sensor allows me to extract more useful detail from deep shadows and bright highlights than is possible with a m4/3 sensor
    ..
    These are things that are especially important to a pro portrait photographer, but might not be so important to the casual shooter.
    all these points prompted me to borrow a 5D and ponk my OM100 f2.8 on it and compare that to a 50mm @ f1.4 I put the results on my .

    The results were pretty much just as you say above. Hmmm ...

    thanks for making me think about this more, I'm now a little more informed.

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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Hi



    all these points prompted me to borrow a 5D and ponk my OM100 f2.8 on it and compare that to a 50mm @ f1.4 I put the results on my .

    The results were pretty much just as you say above. Hmmm ...

    thanks for making me think about this more, I'm now a little more informed.
    The harsher highlight roll off is the biggest problem of m4/3 IMO.
    Very often reflection on skin can be "burned" why they would still look fine with a larger sensor.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    And though the 45/1.8 is a great step in the right direction for m4/3 portrait shooters, my favorite portrait lens is the 70-200 f/2.8 L on the full frame 5DMkII. To achieve the look I routinely get with that kit at 200mm shot wide open at f/2.8, I would need a 100mm f/1.8 lens on a m4/3 body to get close. Though I'd still be lacking the dynamic range and the lower noise of the full frame sensor.

    Clearly, our beloved m4/3 is a great system, but it is in no way a direct substitute for full frame gear for some applications. I do love both systems, though, each for different reasons.
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

  47. #47
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Clearly, our beloved m4/3 is a great system, but it is in no way a direct substitute for full frame gear for some applications. I do love both systems, though, each for different reasons.
    indeed, I'm glad to have the m4/3 systems but I am seeing that they are not without compromises in a few areas. That is not to say they are not without advantages too :-)

    Thanks for your images and inputs. I'm now seriously considering this 1.8 lens

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Pellicle... I'm sure you will love the 45/1.8, it's a fantastic lens.
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

  49. #49
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Pellicle... I'm sure you will love the 45/1.8, it's a fantastic lens.
    initial discussions on here suggested the price would be something I'm unwilling to commit to, however recent searching on Amazon and BHPhoto has turned up that it may actually be cheaper than an EF100 f2 ... if that's the case and its around US$400 I'll be in my hands in the pay cycle after I know the price :-)

  50. #50
    Member ErikTande's Avatar
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    Re: m4/3 portrait set-up - hail the 45/1.8!

    Took this Harry Potter themed picture for a friend yesterday, it was almost 70 degrees in Denver.

    GH2, Olympus 45mm 1.8, 1 reflector bouncing the sun back on her face.


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