lens rental
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Gordon Laing, Jan 2013
 

Olympus M Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 macro

Support me by
shopping below

 
To compare the macro performance of the Olympus M Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 and Panasonic Leica 45mm f2.8 lenses, I photographed a ruler from their respective closest focusing distances.

In both cases, each lens was fitted to a Panasonic GX1 body, mounted on a tripod. You can see other results for both lenses from the contents index on the right.
  Olympus M Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 results
1 Olympus 45mm f1.8 sharpness
2 Olympus 45mm f1.8 vs Panasonic 45mm f2.8
3 Olympus 45mm f1.8 bokeh
4 Olympus 45mm f1.8 macro
5 Olympus 45mm f1.8 Sample images

The Olympus M Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 lens has a closest focusing distance of 0.5m which, according to Olympus, allows it to deliver a maximum image magnification of 0.11x. Point it at a ruler at its closest focusing distance and you'll capture a field of view measuring 14cm across the width of the frame; you can see this in the image below left. Since the Micro Four Thirds standard employs a sensor measuring 17.3x13mm this results in a magnification of 0.12x in my tests, essentially confirming the official specs.

To put it bluntly, the Olympus 45mm f1.8 ain't a macro lens. To see what's possible with a true macro lens, you only need to glance at the image below right, taken with the Panasonic 45mm f2.8 at its closest focusing distance of 15cm. Here the Panasonic lens captures an image measuring just over 17mm wide, which confirms its claim of delivering 1:1 magnification, or actual size reproduction - the proper credentials of a dedicated macro lens.



Olympus M Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 macro
 
Panasonic Leica 45mm f2.8 macro
Olympus M Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 at closest focusing distance
Click image for original at Flickr
Panasonic Leica 45mm f2.8 at closest focusing distance
Click image for original at Flickr


Clearly the Panasonic 45mm f2.8 is by far the leader in this particular comparison, but to be fair the Olympus 45mm f1.8 never claimed to be a dedicated macro lens; Olympus offers its own 60mm f2.8 lens for that purpose. But fans of close-up photography shouldn't turn away yet, as it is possible to still capture reasonable shots from half a meter distant with a 90mm equivalent focal length. Sure they won't be anywhere near as close as a true macro lens, but they may still be good enough for your needs. Here's a couple in addition to some on the previous and following pages.


Olympus 45mm f1.8 at f1.8
Olympus 45mm f1.8 sample image
Click image to access original at Flickr



Olympus 45mm f1.8 at f1.8
Olympus 45mm f1.8 sample image
Click image to access original at Flickr


Now you can check out a selection of Olympus 45mm f1.8 sample images or head straight to my verdict!
If you found this review useful, please support me by shopping below!
 
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs