Comparison of new Oly 45mm f1.8 with OM 50 1.4

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by thearne3, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. thearne3

    thearne3 SC Regular

    39
    Aug 4, 2011
    Ridgefield, CT USA
    I have compared my OM 50mm f1.4 with the new Oly 45 f1.8 using the following procedure:

    1. Still life with relatively strong back light - composition at roughly portrait distance (5').
    2. MF on specific spot (center cactus tip)
    3. Shots at all apertures (1.4/1.8, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11) - somehow omitted f16!
    4. Tripod, IS off; Tripod moved to try account for 50 vs 45mm FOV (still needed to enlarge the Oly slightly to get to identical FOV)

    Processing of OOC jpegs in Aperture:

    Presets: Auto Color, Auto Contrast, Definition .3, Vibrancy .1

    Obviously, this creates a lot of data!

    My goals are to assess the lenses based on what's important to me: sharpness at center and corner, color, contrast and bokeh - at or near wide open. I show below Master (untouched OOC), Adjusted (per Presets above), Center and Corner. Center and Corner crops are 100%.

    I chose f1.4 and f2.0 for the OM and Oly, respectively. Why? Because I was surprised by the results! Oly on the left in all screen shots. I could have shown both wide open, but the difference for the Oly between f1.8 and 2 is negligible.

    The only clear 'win' that I see is the Oly corner sharpness and contrast. Even wide open the OM 50 is a winner if edge sharpness is not critical. Bokeh is similar, but the OM is a little smoother.

    The last two screenshots are the two lenses corners at wide open to f4.
    OM: gets much better going from 1.4 to 2.0, then gradual improvement.
    Oly: starts good, very gradually better.
    Both: Peak at f5.6


    Master:
    [​IMG]

    Adjusted:
    [​IMG]

    Center:
    [​IMG]

    Corner:
    [​IMG]

    OM Corner: f1.4, 2, 2.8, 4 (tl,tr,bl,br)
    [​IMG]

    Oly Corner: f1.8, 2, 2.8, 4 (tl,tr,bl,br)
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Looking at the master, the OM bokeh seemed a bit more buttery. But that's also comparing 1.4 vs. 2 right?

    Thanks for the photos Tom! I can't wait to get my 45 this Wednesday!
     
  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Tom, interesting results. So, going by this...what's your probable choice for the camera?
     
  4. thearne3

    thearne3 SC Regular

    39
    Aug 4, 2011
    Ridgefield, CT USA
    Here is my line up of 'portrait' lenses: L to R - Oly 45, Pen F 38mm f1.8, OM 50 f1.4 (no hood - yet!) I will be doing a similar comparison with the Pen, but in the meantime. Here are my thoughts:

    1. The OM is the biggest and will be bigger when I have a proper hood on it. I hadn't realized how much a hood can affect contrast! The Pen F is the most diminuative: very comparable to the Oly in size.
    2. The OM really can be used wide open for portraits, where the corner softness is not important and (potentially) the extra speed and shallower DOF could be nice compared to the others. The OM is the most 'solid' of all - a precision instrument. It and the Pen get the tactile pleasure awards.
    3. The overall sharpness, speed to focus and size of the Oly make it compelling for an all around medium tele/portrait lens. I use this FL quite often - more than the 20mm Panny, which (God forbid!) I just sold in anticipation that I'd be using either the 14mm or the 45mm.

    If I had to pick just one, it would be the Oly. If two, I'm leaning toward the Oly and the OM. I already know that the Pen is not as sharp in the corners as either. It also doesn't have the extra half stop of the OM. However, the Pen was one of the first legacy lenses I got. It would be hard to part with it...but I can't justify all three!

    So, that's my non-definitive answer!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. thearne3

    thearne3 SC Regular

    39
    Aug 4, 2011
    Ridgefield, CT USA
    Yes. Although I have compared both at f2 and I believe the OM still has the edge in 'buttery-ness' They're so close, it's not that great a concern to me. If you have an interest, I'll post the two Master shots at f2.
     
  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Thanks Tom, but no biggie. My 45/1.8 should arrive in a couple of days. Pre-ordered it from Amazon back in July. Been anxiously waiting for it.
     
  7. alessandro

    alessandro SC Regular

    97
    Sep 5, 2011
    Vicenza, Italy
    mmmh... My OM 50 1.4 suffers a lot with flaring at 1.4, it's a lot worse than yours, apparently. Better at 2.0, good at 2.8
     
  8. thearne3

    thearne3 SC Regular

    39
    Aug 4, 2011
    Ridgefield, CT USA
    Are you using a hood? For this test I was careful to eliminate any stray light from side angles. However, contrast wide open often suffers when stray light is present - with flare when it's strong. Hence my decision to get a hood!
     
  9. alessandro

    alessandro SC Regular

    97
    Sep 5, 2011
    Vicenza, Italy
    Looks better, thank you! Stuck on it the rubber hood of the OM 100mm :smile:
     
  10. rparmar

    rparmar SC Regular

    38
    Jul 12, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    I would be interested to see a comparison with the PEN, since my PEN 40mm rarely leaves my camera, but its not as nice as my Pentax lenses.