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Olympus m.ZD 45mm f/1.8 portrait lens


  • Olympus announced this lovely little portrait lens for Micro Four Thirds system in 2011
  • it has the same field of view of a 90mm lens on a full frame camera and thus makes the perfect portrait field of view to avoid distorting facial features
  • it's wide aperture of f/1.8 allows a sufficiently shallow depth of field to make your subject pop from the background, this depth of field is similar to that of a 90mm lens on a full frame camera set at f/3.6
  • the lens has circular diaphragm blades to assist in giving nice bokeh when stopped down
  • it is optimised for movies with a silent AF and is one of the Olympus MSC designated lenses
  • it is a must have lens for Micro Four Thirds system users and at RRP $US399 is great value for money given that it seems to be sharper than the very expensive, large, heavy Nikon 85mm lens.
  • although presumably it does not have the incredible sharpness, flatness of field and macro capabilities of the Olympus ZD 50mm f/2.0 macro lens, it will give a similar field of view and ability to blur the background, but with much faster and more silent AF.
  • the Panasonic Leica-DG 45mm f/2.8 OIS macro lens offers the same field of view and with the addition of 1:1 macro capabilities and optical image stabilisation but at f/2.8 maximum aperture will not offer the same shallow depth of field and it is not optimised for silent, fast AF for HD videos.
  • although not on the Olympus website's compatibility table, it seems the Olympus Macro Converter will work on this lens which is very handy indeed!


  • 45mm focal length = 90mm effective field of view
  • f/1.8 aperture
  • 9 elements in 8 groups including two E-HR (Extra-High Refractive index) elements
  • 7 circular diaphragm blades
  • closest focus 0.5m giving 0.11x magnification with long axis of subject ~13.5cm
    • use of Hoya Close Up filter #2 allows long axis subject dimension of ~9.5cm
    • use of Hoya Close Up filter #4 allows long axis subject dimension of ~5.5cm
  • internal focus so lens does not protrude on close focus
  • fly-by-wire focus
  • lovely bokeh
  • MSC designated fast and silent contrast detect AF capability for movies
  • 37mm filter thread
  • front filter does not rotate on focus
  • metal lens mount
  • 56mm wide x 46mm long thus easily fits in the palm of your hand
  • 115g
  • optional LH-20B hood
  • no distance scale, DoF marks, nor focus limiter
  • RRP $US399


    • not as sharp in the centre as the incredibly sharp centre of the 12mm f/2.0 lens.
    • well controlled distortion, CA, and vignetting.
    • a very nice lens indeed for its size and price.
    • not as sharp wide open as the much more expensive combination of Canon 85mm f/1.8 on a Canon 5D Mark II but sharper than the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G on a Nikon D700 at f/2.0. It has less vignetting and distortion than either of these lenses at f/1.8-2.0.
    • build quality of the lens is very good as it is assembled with very tight tolerances
    • 1% pincushion distortion in RAW
    • minimal vignetting even wide open at ~0.4EV
    • very sharp centre, very good borders but corners only “good level of sharpness” at wide open which becomes very sharp edge to edge by f/4-5.6
    • mild CA wide open uncorrected at 0.7px
    • lovely bokeh
    • “a highly desirable lens” “highly recommended”
    • “optically, the lens excellent with centre sharpness being commendable even wide open, and overall sharpness being nothing short of astounding in the f/2.8-f/8 range”
    • “very pleasant to use, with focus speeds being good even on older Micro Four Thirds bodies, and blazingly fast on the newer ones”
    • “This lens is impressive, and a bargain for its performance at that”

my photos with this lens

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photo/olympusmzd45mm.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/24 13:30 by gary1