Olympus M-Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 portrait lens review

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Chromatic aberrations

Chromatic aberrations are really not an issue with Olympus 45mm F/1.8 lens. I detected some aberrations at larger apertures when viewing images at 100% magnification, but they responded extremely well to post-process and it’s possible to remove them completely. At F/4 and slower apertures I couldn’t detect them in most cases.

Light fall-off

There is a really small amount of light fall-off (darkening in corners), but it is easily corrected in post process and is nothing I ever worried about in real life use. After F/2.8 I couldn’t see any light fall-off.


There are no perceptible geometric distortions with this lens.


At 0.11x magnification, the M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F/1.8 is far from macro lens. The example on the left shows approximately how close you can get to your subject.





The same example photo shows the bokeh type you can expect from this lens. I found it to be very pleasant. Out-of-focus light sources are rendered nice and round, and bokeh is generally soft and pleasant (check other samples below). Excellent result for $400 lens.


As you can see from 100% crops on the left (please click to enlarge in new window), this lens is at its sharpest between F/2.8 and F/8. Wide open at F/1.8 it is slightly soft, but I used it regularly at widest aperture and images were perfectly usable. Light diffraction starts to blur the details at F/11 and F/16; F/22 is really just for emergency use. Due to 2x crop factor you get F/22 DOF at F/11 setting, and I don’t believe many users would need more than that, so I wouldn’t worry about smallest aperture performance with this lens.

The interesting fact is that this lens keeps the same level of performance across the whole frame; edge sharpness appears to look almost the same as the one at the center on most aperture settings. This is one of the reasons why I always loved Olympus optics!

Photo examples


This lens is able to deliver high performance across its complete aperture range. Sharpness is excellent wide open, and gets really impressive in F/2.8 – F/8 range. Light fall-off, aberrations and geometric distortions are at a really low level and less experienced users will not even notice them.  Bokeh is nice and pleasant, and the lens really shines in what it is actually made for – portrait photography. Auto focus on latest micro 4/3 cameras like Olympus OMD E-M5 and E-PL5 is as fast as it gets – faster even than comparable DSLR – lens combinations from competition.

There is no direct competition for this lens though – closest comparable lens is Panasonic 45mm F/2.8 macro, but it is over a stop slower and made for different purpose.

Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm F/1.8 truly is outstanding lens and deserves all recommendations.

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2 thoughts on “Olympus M-Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 portrait lens review

  1. Pingback: Top 10 micro 4/3 lenses | Camerahoarders.com

  2. Pingback: A new review on Olympus M-Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 lens - Micro Four Thirds Camera Blog

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