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Thread: Olympus 45mm 1.8 vs 50mm F2 Macro

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    Olympus 45mm 1.8 vs 50mm F2 Macro

    I've been thinking about selling my 45mm and picking up the 4/3 version for my Em1. With the PDAF, AF should be fast enough for portraits and macro work. I gain much higher magnification and weather proofing with the right adapter. Thoughts on this?

    I do lose compactness and AF speed but not really concerned about that considering the camera size.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 45mm 1.8 vs 50mm F2 Macro

    While it's one of the greatest, sharpest macro lenses ever, and one that seems to ignore the fact that it should have been diffraction limited above f/8, the 50mm macro is a slow focusing lens even on a 4/3 camera. What would I have done? Kept the 45mm and bought the macro too probably. Great advice, isn't it

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    Re: Olympus 45mm 1.8 vs 50mm F2 Macro

    The 50/2.0 was a favorite portrait and sports lens for me with the E-1. It focused quickly (and should still focus well, but only on the E-M1) except when it went off into the weeds trying to explore its whole macro range. The 60/2.8 m4/3 macro lens has focus limiting controls to avoid this problem. It's smaller than the 4/3 zooms, about the size of the PanaLeica 25 with lens hood attached.

    scott

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 45mm 1.8 vs 50mm F2 Macro

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    ... except when it went off into the weeds trying to explore its whole macro range.

    scott
    I was probably a bit unfair to the lens, but this was what I meant when I said slow focusing. The lack of a limiter is its only serious flaw.

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    Re: Olympus 45mm 1.8 vs 50mm F2 Macro

    I don't have the ZD 50mm f/2 Macro anymore, but I tested one on the E-M1. IMO, it focuses faster than it ever did on the E-5 or E-1, and seems to go into the full-search lethargy a lot less.

    The same is true of the ZD 35mm f/3.5 Macro, which I do still have (and use despite having the Macro-Elmarit-DG 45mm f/2.8 ASPH OIS).

    G

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    Re: Olympus 45mm 1.8 vs 50mm F2 Macro

    For me, I like the 50/2 macro on the EM1 better. And on the EM5, I like the 45/1.8 better (since the lack of PDAF on the EM5 does not handle the 50/2 as well).

    Both lenses are really good, although the 50/2 seems to me to be slightly sharper and have better subject isolation. In terms of optical performance at portrait distances, the 50/2 is as good as the 75/1.8, in case you are familiar with that lens. If you have to choose one over the other on the EM1, it comes down to size and speed. If the more compact size and focusing speed of the 45 is more important to you , then that is your lens. Otherwise, there is no other reason to choose it over the 50/2. The 50/2 is weather-sealed, so it is a no-brainer if you shoot mostly outdoors. And on the EM1, you can calibrate the PDAF to the 50/2 with its "micro-focus adjust" to give you extremely accurate and razor sharp images when using autofocus. If you prefer manual focus though, neither the 50 nor the 45 is as precise as a good manual lens (e.g., a Leica or Zeiss M lens).

    Autofocus speed: the 50/2 can be slow when dramatically changing subject range. It can take up to two seconds to autofocus in low light when switching focus from macro distance to near infinity or vice versa. However, when shooting within a narrower focusing range, the focus is very fast.

    Hope this helps you decide.

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