New Olympus 45mm f/1.8 review at Optyczne. A must have lens!


The polish website Optyczne (Click here) posted their final Olympus 45mm f/1.8 review. In short, this is a MUSTA-HAVE lens! It has a sensational image quality in the center of the frame and an excellent quality on the border. Very low CS, distortion,astigmatism and vignetting. The only minus is that it is not an all metal lens. But damn, it costs you 399 Dollars only! For that price you would be crazy to expect a 12mm f/2.0 quality build quality!

You can preorder the lens at Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay. And there is already a price drop in Europe where you can get the lens for 256 Euro only at Amazon DE (Click here).

New US deals: Price drop on the Panasonic 7-14mm lens at Amazon (Click here) and on the Panasonic 20mm pancake again at Amazon (Click here).



  • Yes, pre-ordered. :)

    Bring on the prime goodness.

  • Just stop teasing us :)
    Preordered on announcement day.

  • frank

    This is the first Olympus lens I really consider buying for my otherwise Panasonic set. And the price is really low, although it comes without hood and pouch.

    • Anonymous

      +1. Glad to see that Olympus has started making kick-a$$ lenses for MFT like the 12/2 and this one.

    • Ad

      +1. Glad to see that Olympus has started making MFT lenses for the enthousiasts like the 12/2 and this one. I don’t know yet if I’ll hold out until the Panny 35-100mm will become available.

  • WT21

    I love the summary on this lens (from Google translate)

    “Summary of our tests is rarely so clear. I can not imagine having the body micro 4 / 3 and not having this lens. If you have not bought it, I advise you to make up for this cardinal error as soon as possible.”

  • Fish

    I ordered this lens on the day it was announced and every positive review since then has just made me more sure of my decision.

    I wish we had more details on the rumored macro lens…

    • WT21

      Macro, telephoto and fisheye were all satisfied with the attachments in the spring. I’m not convinced there is any stand-alone macro coming before the end of the year. But even if there were, I’ll bet it’ll be much more expensive, and also slower focusing, such that this portrait lens will still retain it’s resale value. I think this lens is cheap enough that you could buy it for $399 now, and sell it for $300 in 6 months still, because the Macro is probably $699-799 (or more! Look at the 12mm/2.0), so that there will still be plenty of demand for a portrait-only lens, without the added macro cost.

      Just my opinion of course, but I’m not at all afraid of buying this lens now.

      • drawingyourattention

        I’m waiting and waiting for the 50mm macro lens.. it takes so long!
        This lens is very interesting.
        I just don’t use my 50mm f2.0 macro that much. It’s so big and heavy and slooow.

  • This would be the first lens I would buy for a m4/3 system. The 20mm f/1.7 would be the second one. Those two lenses are the best matches for the system: small, light, fast, with normal price and very good performance. Sure you can buy other high quality ones (12mm f/2, 25mm f/1.4, 25mm f/0.95, wide angle zooms, telephoto zooms, etc…) but I think that those either for the price or the size don’t match so well with the bodies and sensors that m4/3 can provide right now.

    The NEX-5n and its new 50mm f/1.8 OSS are pretty tempting and good competition for m4/3, but in the NEX system you only have that and the big and expensive 24mm f/1.8 CZ.

    And Samsung improving their sensors, bodies and lens range… Good times for mirrorless.

    • Anonymous

      the 50mm has a 70mm-equiv FOV on the NEX. Not a typical portrait fl.

      • Yes, the 75mm equivalent of the NEX 50/1.8 is not exactly portrait focal length. For my purposes though it’s close enough. The M.Zuiko 45/1.8 looks great optically. How good the Sony lens is, we don’t know yet. But the Sony 50/1.8 lens has a other advantages. The larger sensor will allow for a shallower DOF on the NEX cameras and the lens is optically stabilized. The M.Zuiko is only stabilized on Olympus PEN cameras whereas there’s no stabilization on Panasonic bodies.

  • wonderer

    I just saw the images and I’m stunned. I wish he would make a smaller aperture shot with the girl & fountain, too much bokeh destroyed image for me (shutter speed allowed for dropps to be seen).

    Images are absolutely fabolous, I wouldn’t expect such a bokeh at F2.8 from 4/3 system, even when its 90mm in 35mm words.

    What I don’t get is few architecture shots and inside-church-photo which looks horrible. Probably this lens is better for close-focusing subjects than on subjects focused far away.

    P.S. If I get panasonic camera (say GF2) will I need a firmware update for this lens? Or is firmware needed only for JPEGs correction?

    • Mar

      That’s called a good photographer who knows how to chose a background.

      People nowadays are way obsessed with “fast” lenses and extremely shallow DoF such as 85mm 1.2 or 1.4 or 135 2.0 when in reality you won’t really use such wide apertures unless you absolutely have to (too little light).

      In any normal sized prints, you will simply have too much of the image out of focus such as nose or the ears/shoulders and it doesn’t look pretty.
      Instead, it’s important to pick a good background and achieve good distance to it – the only way to make a good (portrait) photo with blurred background.

      • WT21

        All you really need is a 50mm 3.5 and that’s it! Better yet, using my pocket camera, EVERYTHING is in focus. That’s why I’m looking at the pentax. Good quality, but small sensor with unlimited DOF!

      • Mr. Reeee

        Pardon my lack of jargon, but another reason to buy fast lenses is that when you shoot at smaller apertures it’ll be sharper, sooner. ;-)

        I like fast lenses because I prefer shooting in available light, even when there’s not much light available… while trying to keep the ISO low. I also do not like using a flash unless it’s absolutely necessary, as when I’m documenting something and art takes a back seat to capturing a record of something specific.

  • sam

    Naaah I don’t think it is must have, ts not f1.4, or made of metal or got an aperture ring I’ll stick with 1970’s era nikkor glass thanks. If they had made the 50mm f2.0 macro however… I’d be interested. I think Oly and Panny are reading this site just to bring out the exact opposite of what everyone is expecting…

    • Why is it important that it’s metal if the results are great? Is heavy better that light? I’ve never broken a plastic bodied lens and I don’t know anyone who has. And metal dents.

    • You´re so wrong, sam! Glad to see review after review is confirming my initial assessment: this lens is a bargain among short teles. No 35mm normal lens can compete with it when used with a m4/3 body. It has exceptional contrast already wide open. The only drawback with this lens is somewhat busy bokeh if background does not go out of focus enough.

  • sam

    it must be dirt cheap to make, margins must be immense on this lens for sure. It is probably cheaper to make than a Canon 50mm f1.8…

    • The Other Chris

      Don’t let the focal length fool you. This isn’t a simple double-gauss design like your typical 50mm lens. It looks like a highly corrected telephoto to me. 9 elements in 8 groups:

      • I hope it be better than the new Nikon 50mm f1.8g then :)

      • Four by Six

        I thought I read somewhere they intentionally avoided aspherical surfaces to keep out of focus areas smooth.

        • The Other Chris

          You can correct for things other than spherical aberrations.

          My point is, looking at the design of the lens, it seems like there was more thought than just retooling an old 50mm design (that, in Canon’s case, has been around since the 70s) and slapping it on a m43 mount.

          Designing lenses – from scratch – takes money. There’s also Extra High-Refraction glass in the lens, as well, which I imagine costs a bit more than standard glass elements.

        • Aspherical surfaces do not automatically mean that out of focus areas are not smooth. As you can see with current Leica M ASPH as well as with the new DG Summilux, ASPH lenses help to combine perfect sharpness with a neutral out-of-focus rendering.

      • Well, the Sony E 50/1.8 also has 9 elements in 8 groups (though not sure if some are fancy like the 2x E-HR in the Oly 45/1.8), has stabilization and costs $100 less.

        Even though the price of 45/1.8 is not unreasonably high, it could still be cheaper. I guess, it can’t be helped; there is no native alternative, and this 45/1.8 is the fastest (interchangeable) lens Olympus has made since the OM days. I wonder if there would be a matte black version.

        • Gianluca

          the oly is 2 cm shorter and weighs 100gr less, is a 90mm vs 75mm.

        • Michael Devitt

          …this 45/1.8 is the fastest (interchangeable) lens Olympus has made since the OM days. Let’s hope Olympus is going to continue with developing compact fast HQ primes since they are best match for the m4/3 system.

        • Nelson

          cost $50 less US$349 vs $399 for Oly 45 1.8
          But both are way more expensive than DSLR counterpart, which only cost $150

    • peter

      the quality of olympus lenses is much better then canon wihtout “L”. of couse the price is higher. look, how the cheap canon lenses and cameras look after afew yeaars of using and you know what i mean and what i see in my neighborhood

    • That makes no sense. Are you assuming the body is what’s expensive? If the 45mm is anything like the resolution of the 20mm, there’s nothing in canon’s court that can touch it unless you’re spending several hundred dollars more.

  • Keith

    Expected to be in stock in UK on 9th or 12th Sept…. Can’t wait!

  • Droboe

    I preordered mine more than a month ago and still no sign of hope… Maybe this means I am at the top of the line…

  • TheEye

    Let’s see: that lens is as fast the economy standard lenses were for 35 mm cameras. Those lenses were pretty much the least expensive lenses you could buy. Granted, in m4/3 the 45 mm is a light tele, but still.

    There are no DOF and distance scales. I would argue that in case of a 45 mm, this is inexcusable. Of course, if I use the lens for portraiture only, I don’t need either scale.

    Is the lens optically or digitally corrected?

    The lens shade is a presumably overpriced accessory.

    The 12 mm f/2.0 and the 45 f/1.8 mm are to me the most interesting Oly lenses. Their premium prices are inflated, though.

    • agent00soul

      It IS the cheapest m4/3 lens at my fav store. It’s even cheaper than the 17.

      • TheEye

        I hope it’s not a cheap lens! I just think it’s pricey even for a very good lens that doesn’t come with a lens shade.

  • bilgy_no1

    ‘Must Have’ is a strange qualification. MUST we buy lenses just because they’re optically very good and reasonably priced?

    I’d say it really depends on whether or not you need that particular focal length and aperture for your specific photography. If I’m only interested in long telelenses for birding or plane spotting, why would this be a Must Have lens for me?

    I know many people have been clamouring for a m4/3 portrait prime in the 85mm equivalent focal length range. For these people, this is definitely a good choice. But it’s certainly not a Must Have in the sense that I think a fast normal-wide pancake prime is a MUST HAVE to make the fullest use of your m4/3 camera. IMO the 20mm f/1.7 pancake ranks higher on the list than this, more specialised, short tele prime.

    • Mr. Reeee

      +1 about the 20mm.
      This looks like a pretty good lens, but for my money the 45mm range is easily covered by a good old manual lens with an aperture ring and range scale for a fraction of the cost.

      It’s shame the 45mm doesn’t share the same convertible manual focus ring of the 12mm, but I suppose the designers deem a range scale unnecessary because it’s autofocus and the cost would rise a bit, too. It should be built into every M4/3 prime lens!

  • “The only minus is that it is not an all metal lens”

    Even it was all metal I would prefer gold rings and diamond diamond marks!

    • TheEye

      For me your must-have fast normal-wide pancake prime is not a must. I’m not even slightly interested in that, actually. Instead, I require a 8, 9, or 10 mm super-wide angle, f/2.8 suffices. That’s my must-have lens! And no, I don’t want a fisheye lens. ;-)

  • Pendant

    Sounds like a great lens!

    I keep repeating myself here, but: does ANYBODY know, why Olympus is not offering a BLACK version of the 45mm and the 12mm?

    I would have ordered them both already, IF they were available in black. Now I´ll wait and see, if they will make another “limited edition” in black like my Olympus 17mm.

    WHY Olympus WHY????

    On the other hand: why isn´t there a black Fuji X100?
    Oh, wait – they make a black X200 soon ;)

    • JF

      +1 I want a black version, I don’t like bling bling shining stuff…

      • mendala

        i want the black one too!!! i will not buy silver. :(

    • Digifan

      Why so insecure, does black make you look more professional.
      I like the “silver” metal colored lenses, I’d want a silver E-P3.
      Much more inconspicuous, ideal for street.

    • Thierry

      +1 for BLACK please

      • murphy

        +1 black

  • @Pendant

    There several possible reasons for that.
    One possibility is that Olympus is being greedy. They want people to buy their bodies to match those lenses. Those silver lens look terribly ugly on for example GH2 body.

    I surely do hope that they will announce the black version in a same manner as they did with FL-14 flash unit that was also available as silver only at the beginning.

  • I think they will…I´ll wait ;)

    It´s a matter of taste ;)I have a black GF1 and a black E-P2 with an AKI-Skin, silver lenses just don´t match those bodies. I had a champagne Contax G1 in the past, but to be honest: never been happy with it and sold it for a black Contax G2…

  • Warren

    I’ve been using my old standard adapted 11-22, 14-54 and 50-200 on the EPL1 because the existing M43 lens really weren’t any better Until Now.

    I’m in.

  • Frederick Hew

    Interestingly enough, Olympus had chosen to market the worse performing of its two new lenses (12/2) as “high grade”, and the better one (45/1.8) as the cheaper “standard grade”.

    I guess it has more to do with marketing (little or no competition as of now to the 12/2) than optical performance.

    I’d say more than that… Olympus marketing seems to rely less on practical aspects of photography (in which case we’d already have seen a camera with integrated EVF, just as one example) and more on its ability to create hip, fashionable products. It works for them in Japan

    • The 12mm is a better performer considering it is 12mm. This requires a lot more complex design with more lenses. Compared to other wideangle lenses the 12mm is an excellent performer.
      Making a 25mm or 45mm is a lot easier and costs less. Frederick, you are comparing apples and bananas here!
      The 45/1,8 seems nice, but if there is a macro lens around the corner I’ll wait for that. For portaits I have the Zeiss 50/1,7 – unbeatable in microcontast and color rendition. Sharpness is only one aspect of lens quality.

    • Darkzorro

      Are you in the US? Olympus has the 45mm and 12mm marketed as m4/3 lenses, with the 12mm as the better of the two. The “Standard” lenses aren’t even meant for m4/3 systems, they’re full 4/3:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

What are Cookies?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is stored in a temporary location on your computer to allow our website to distinguish you from other users of the website. If you don't want to accept cookies, you'll still be able to browse the site and use it for research purposes. Most web browsers have cookies enabled, but at the bottom of this page you can see how to disable cookies. Please note that cookies can't harm your computer. We don't store personally identifiable information in the cookies, but we do use encrypted information gathered from them to help provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allow us to improve our site. You can watch a simple video from Google to find more information about cookies.

Cookies used by our Website
The 43rumors website,, uses the following cookies for the collection of website usage statistics and to ensure that we can . These are anonymous and temporary. By using our website, you agree that we may place these types of cookies on your device.
Read how Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps:
Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites: Addthis cookies:
Disqus cookies:
Vimeo cookies:
Youtube cookies:

Disabling/Enabling Cookies
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. Please note however that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our site. For information about how to disable cookies in your browser please visit the About Cookies website.