First Looks: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8

Launch SRP: S$498

Image Performance

Image Performance

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 makes for a great portrait lens. The longer the focal length, the more perspective is flattened. With a 90mm equivalent, a person photographed with the lens looks more natural than when photographed with a shorter focal length (see below for examples). The f/1.8 aperture setting provides a pleasingly blurry background, providing more depth to the image and drawing attention straight to your subject. The 90mm equivalent focal length also lets you stand a comfortable distance away from your subject while shooting.

Sharpness from edge to edge looks to be best from f/4.5 to f/6.3. To be honest though, that's only when we zoom down to 100%, corners look fine anywhere from f/2.8 to f/8.0 when viewed at normal distance. Background blur - or bokeh - is pleasing to the eye, and the background can remain pleasingly blurry up to higher aperture settings. The Olympus 45mm f/1.8 produces beautiful images, and should be a welcome addition to any Micro Four Thirds collection.

A simulated portrait shot at 35mm with a different lens.

A simulated portrait shot with the Olympus 45mm. See how the longer focal length (90mm in 35mm equivalent) flattens the perspective, giving the features a more natural and pleasing look.

A quick f/1.8 lens also lets you grab shots in low light with a faster shutter speed, decreasing the risk of a blurry shot. This was shot at night at 1/80 sec. Note that you have a very shallow depth of field, so your focus will have to be spot on.

f/1.8 at 90mm (35mm equivalent).

f/4.0 at 90mm (35mm equivalent).

f/8.0 at 90mm (35mm equivalent).