The Olympus 45 1.8 Lens Arrives…WOW – 1st Look Video, review soon.

The Olympus 45 1.8 Lens Arrives – WOW!!! 1st look video, review soon!

What a beauty huh? The Silver E-P3, 45 1.8 lens, VF-3 EVF and a hand braided leather strap I received from barton1972.com. The strap is awesome. Soft, stretches and very comfy AND stylish at the same time. But the jewel here is the 45 1.8 lens.

See the 1st look video below…

The lens finally arrived and this is one I have been waiting for since the announcement quite a while back. After trying the new 12mm I knew this one had to be good and when I saw that early review by Olympus camera guru Robin Wong I knew it was going to be a MUST OWN lens for micro 4/3 and especially the E-P3, which is a fantastic camera even with it’s 12 MP sensor. Micro 4/3 is getting better and better and the reason why is due to these kinds of lenses that are starting to creep up. I made a quick 1st look video below for those interested and I mention the perfect trifecta of lenses for this format (in my opinion). The 12, 20 and 45 would give you a 24, 40 and 90mm equivalent, all f/2 and larger aperture. What I am discovering is that with these three lenses and the E-P3, the quality just takes a leap forward. BIG HUGE BRAVO to Olympus for releasing the 45 1.8, a lens many have asked for over and over. Now Olympus…bring on the PRO PEN!

I will have a review soon but I can already tell you that I love it and feel it is well worth the $399 investment. The review ill have loads of samples though. Yesterday my son Brandon took the camera and fired off a few shots and he loved it. He did have it in grainy B&W mode but even this lens renders this mode a bit softer it seems. Gentler.

Take a look below at his 1st snapshots yesterday…made him want an E-P3 🙂 My review will have all kinds of photos – color, B&W, night shots, wide open and stopped down. Will try to get it out soon, until then I would pre-order this lens HERE because I think once the reviews start coming out that this lens may have a backorder situation 🙂

BTW, off topic but you should join me on Google + – It’s getting really good over there as the photo community is HUGE! Thinking of starting some weekly group chats there soon!

and a few quick test snaps I shot out in the yard and in my kitchen this morning…

Here is an OOC shot, ISO 1000 – 45 at 1.8 – FULL SIZE file, click the image to see it

a 1.8 sharpness test – smooth and sharp at the same time…

Out of cam resized JPEG – click for larger! The lens has a smooth rendering with great color – about 20 feet back from the wall here.

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48 Comments

      • my bad (I didn’t browse day by day) however there is something wrong with tagging

        I did search for 45mm and review didn’t show up

        • No need to browse day by day. You have three ways to find it…

          Use the search bar here on the site (above by the image of Seal) – I just typed in 45 1.8 lens review and it came up on the 1st page of results.
          You can go above to the review index by clicking on “reviews & more” – then choose “mirrorless central” or “misc reviews”
          or you can google “Olympus 45 1.8 lens review” and I will pop up as the 2nd result.

          ALL reviews are listed under the “reviews & more” tab in the tab bar above. Thanks!

  1. Steve,
    All this talk about the new e-p3 and the new Olympus prime lenses is going to make me a poor man! Thanks for the great reviews!
    One question… I was wondering, is it still possible to manually focus using the new VF-3? I know the resolution is not as high as the VF-2, but it is high enough?
    Thanks, and keep the great reviews coming!

  2. There are lots of choices in m4/3s for wide angle; 12mm. 14mm, 17mm, but almost none at the long end until now. (The 45mm f2.8 is just too expensive for me.)

    I’ve been using an old, adapted Olympus Pen 40mm f1.4 for portraits. It’s amazingly good, and I won’t get rid of it even after I get the Oly 45mm f1.8.

    But. I think I’ll hold off for maybe 6 months and see if
    A. The price comes down a little (not that the price is unreasonable now.)
    and
    B. They make a black one. (Don’t have any silver cameras.)

  3. Got mine yesterday! Steve’s right, it’s as good as they say, I now have the trinity for m4/3. Striking sharpness, better than the 20. May I also say that while I like my GH2, I love the E-PL3. It’s so fun and small. If there was a Pen Pro with the GH2 sensor, I’d be all over it. As it is, I sold my 5Dmk2 kit with three Zeiss primes and went completely mirrorless. Can’t beat the size, and now I have three primes again.

  4. :

    MIJ 50/1.8 vs 45/1.8

    Steve if you can get hold of a Zuiko 50/1.8 MIJ (Made in Japan) serial 5million+ would be grateful if you would kindly compare it to this new 45/1.8.
    Thank you.

      • I didn’t state the obvious about the MIJ 50/1.8 since it is OBVIOUS it is bigger, heavier, requires adapter, and no AF.
        Steve would know this as i would hope other readers.
        So to make it clear to those who didn’t get it : the comparison is for sharpness wide open, colour, bokeh.

  5. Guys. I would like a primer here. Perhaps I should cross post this in the forums — but lots of activity here today, so I’ll ask.

    It’s all about the perfect trifecta. I have the panny 20 1.7. It is basically all I use (except shooting baseball long reach with zoom). I love the 20.

    I am going to order the 45. It makes sense to me as a “portrait” lens. (my wife says I get too close to people at parties w the 20).

    But I honestly don’t understand the 12. Where does it fit in the line up? What would I use it to do? The wide aperture would make for super short focal length. But then isn’t it billed as a landscape lens? How do you do landscape with really short focal length?

    Right — I warned you it was a primer level question.

    Anyone willing to educate me?

    • Mallory,
      according to your post, I sugest you may try to listen to your wife , lol, back up a bit from your subject with the 20mm and work on the composition of your photo/frame, in 2D and 3D. It’s a good way towards enjoying wide angle lenses, IMHO.
      I just bought a 21 Elmarit and am looking for a Leica M8 or M8.2 now , anyone selling a mint one ?
      Cheers
      Jean-Marc “widish”

      • One more thing Mallory, a cheap and fun alternative to see if you like the field of vue of the 12mm is to get a wanderlust m4/3 pinhole which is equivalent of a 11mm so gives you a 22mm on a m4/3 body. But you have to go to open air parties lightwise as it’s about a f/96 …
        my 2 cents, JM

    • There are no “rules” about how to use a lens. You can take a scenic landscape shot at 90mm, or heck, 400mm if you want just as you can take a “portrait” with a 24mm equiv, just going to show more of the subjects environment, which can be a good thing sometimes. A lens is merely a focal length and some marketing jargon about what they think it may appeal to a majority of photographers as.

      A 500mm lens may be sold as a sports/wildlife lens, but I’ve seen some fantastic compressed landscape shots with such a focal length. A lens is a whatever you shoot with it lens, you the photographer controls that.

      Think how boring the world would be if people did nothing but landscapes with wide angle, or nothing but head and shoulders portraits with a 45mm etc.

      That all said, if you don’t already feel you have a need for a given focal length, seems silly to go buy a $800 lens.

      Some people don’t “see” wide angle, you may not be one of them, and theres nothing wrong with that

      • Hmm. Maybe I DON’T see the world in wide angle? I’ll have to contemplate that . . . . Meanwhile, thanks — I like the direction.

  6. Hi what you said about this lens is quit interresting. I will be very excitetd how this lens renders an how the bokeh is vs old leice R lenses which are nearly at the same price.

    At the moment i have the EPL1 and I stuck with Leica R lenses. I my opinion the Summicron R 50 f2 in Kombination with the m4/3 is a killer Kombination also nearly at the same price like the new Oly 45 1.8. I have some pictures to show you.

    I also use the summitar 50 f2 and the Summicron R 35 f2 which produce wow pictures.

    http://spiegellos.de

    With best regards
    Jochen

    • Once you get a feel for wide-angle, they can be incredibly fun. Playing with vanishing points and perspective, shooting behind a person to include both them and their point of view and in tight spaces, can’t be eat. Love it. Try it, you’ll like it.

  7. Steve,

    thanks for the video. Recently got the Panny 25mm, next will be this nice one. Unfortunately it will be availble here in Germany around end of October 🙁 Looking forward for your review!

  8. Hi Steve,

    I am going nuts I tell ya. You are a very bad bad man. My bank accounts keep dwindling because of you! LOL!

    I just got hold of the 45mm and it is a wonderful piece of kit. Amazed at how small it is compared to the pany 25mm especially with the hood on.

    Can’t wait for your full review and to test the lens myself this evening.

    Keep up the great work. bTW your Chicago workshop looked like such great fun. Wish I was there.

    Cheers
    Luke

    • Too true. Steve got me interested in the Nex-5N when I really had no interest in Sony products. I bought it and have been having fun ever since. Sony need to up their game on lenses though.

      I agree about the Pany 25mm. Great lens for the m43 system, which I think I also got into because of Steve.

  9. 45mm is a fantastic lens value Steve, but you should also try to get your hands on the Panny/Leica 25mm f1.4. While a bit bulkier than the 45mm, and $200 more expensive, its IQ has even more of a knock your socks off “wow” factor than 45mm (or the 20mm for that matter)

    Simply amazing levels of contrast (including a high micro contrast) and fantastic color, the likes of which I haven’t seen from any native m4/3 glass.

    Again, don’t get me wrong, the 45mm really is a “must have” (along with the 12mm) and both really take the overall image potential of the format up a notch, but the 25mm really is the lens that produces the most “magic” with a very nice signature look and style.

    While the 20mm is great bang for the buck, the 12/25/45 combo, especially the 25mm, is the way to go IMHO, and I hope you get a chance to get your hands on one soon as well. You should really love its classic rendering, and being able to obtain it natively with an AF lens finally.

    • So many people compare the 25mm 1.4 to the 20mm 1.7 and equate them. First, the 1.4 to 1.7 difference is clear. Second, the AF speed in the 25mm is instant whereas the 20mm can take a full second to lock on. But this business of “amazing contrast…fantastic color…havent seen from any m4/3 glass…produces the most ‘magic’…very nice signature look and style”

      I got the 25mm 1.4 and felt there was something special about it. As a non pro, I thought all those things were subjective and just a tweek of the brightness. After reading your comment I am beginning to see that that special thing I felt and saw is actually an important part of a lens. You don’t hear about that. It’s all blurr units and center focus vs edge focus. Few reviews on quality of color and contrast.

      If you can elaborate on your experience with those I’d like to hear more about what makes a lens great.

      Others point out the 25mm does AFC whereas the 20mm does not. What is that?

    • I am also getting the 25mm lens after seeing the photos. The beauty of that focal length (50mm equivalent) is that by varying your distance from the subject you can make it work like 35mm or 75mm more or less. I am still getting the 45mm lens to try it out and see how much I use it / like it.

      As for wide angle, the 12mm is no doubt a really nice lens but I find that I am not really taking landscapes that much and it is a bit too wide for people shots. So I am going to use the Olympus 9-18mm (18-36mm equivalent) zoom lens which can be pressed in to service as an ultrawide lens when the situation demands it but can also work as a more general lens at its long end.

      In the end, I might just decide that all I need is the 25mm for most of my photography and the upcoming Panasonic 12-35mm X zoom lens for situations that demand flexibility.

  10. Your son has a good eye. Those B+W pics look great. Well done.

    With our first child due soon I think I may have to order this lens for some nice baby pics.

  11. Wow that lens look very promising. Very small too! However I rarely use anything longer than 50… but I think this will make a great snapshot portrait lens when you don’t want to get too close with your subject. 🙂

  12. Some time ago i order a Gf1 , i already collect 5 lenses, but i’ using for everyday my Fuji X100. nothing really bettern is comming in M4/3 what do you thin is time to sell he system while i can ? or something great is comming?? i’m super happy with my X100 buy my dotter is asking me for a Nikon d5000 or something like that. ( i alreayd have Nikon lenses ) so my idea is to give it to her or sell it.

    Today i can get all my money back as i bought it in b&H and i’m selling it in Argentina.

    Greg

  13. I know its a 90mm equiv, but what’s with all the macros shots?
    I want to see some bokeh in action from a distance.

      • He’s talking about your close-ups. and hes right, theres wayy too many of them to assess whether this lens is good for anything else besides closeup. tree bark? yarns? come on.

          • I’m sure you’ve developed tough skin by now, but just ignore posts like that. Clearly you will get around to a full review… Last time I checked, they weren’t sending you checks were they?

  14. I don’t see how to pre-order. I see how to “notify me when in stock.” But no pre-order. Can anyone help?

    • I’m betting that most retailers have sold out their first lot. I pre-ordered one two months ago from Adorama. It just shipped yesterday. They are showing not available on their website now so I guess they sold out of the initial order.

  15. Having sold all my Nikon gear recently, i was stuck with my E-p2 with the kit lens to satisfy my hunger for shallow DOF. I got this lens a couple of days back with very low expectations. Lo and behold! I was floored with the IQ of OOC jpegs! But most importantly, the increase of focusing speed on my E-p2…even in low light! My wife says to go buy a used M8+35 cron from the money we got from all that slr gear (yeah! She’s cool like that!) but i gotta say…this lens + the 12mm (a future purchase), as Steve says, will be a very sweet trifecta (cant decide on the third lens yet)! Sweet!

      • i had a D700+grip, Nikkor 14-24, 24-70, 50 1.4 af-s, 85 1.4 af-d, flash, tripod. add it all up and you have about ??? kgs of gear…which has been very cumbersome. i live in the U.A.E. nad the heat doesn’t help. nice to lug around when i want to loose weight though! : )

  16. Hm. I’m curious how this compares to the 45mm f/2.8 macro that Panasonic released almost 2 years ago. It’s like half the price so that’s nice at least. I really like the 45mm macro for everything from…well…macro shots as well as scenery and street too. Served me well on my GF1 and the on-board image stabilization was pretty impressive. So, since you like comparisons, I’m curious if that is a type of comparison you can do 🙂 It looks slick though that’s for sure. The 45mm macro always looked a bit too plastic.

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