Anyone interested in Micro 4/3 cameras will want to know that the delicious little Olympus 45mm (90mm-e) ƒ/1.8 is just about to commence shipping from B&H. I can only hope that it's softer at its widest one or two apertures than it is stopped down, to give some useful "sharpness control" for portraits. Portraits being what I, personally, need short telephotos for.
The last short tele I tested (i.e., tried) was the superb Pentax DA 55mm ƒ/1.4. It gave me some gifts, like every lens I've ever used—I took this sequence with it, of my friendly ex-neighbor and her charismatic middle kid—
—but, for my purposes anyway, the DA 55mm is too good a lens. It's blazingly, blisteringly, ruthlessly sharp; unsharpening actually became a part of my Photoshop protocol during the short time I used it. If you like or need your short teles to be sharp sharp sharp, here's your lens.
Caja Erik by Alfred Cheney Johnston (no relation), c. 1935.
The old timer portrait, glamour and Hollywood people (can't say "guys" because they were men and women—Doris Ulmann being an example of the latter) were nuts about finding lenses with just the right degree of unsharpness. Everyone had their particular tastes; some even went to great lengths to hide the make and model of their lens of choice from their competitors.
Anyway, I have high hopes for the Olympus 45mm to be an ideal complement to the Panasonic 20mm ƒ/1.7.
This is a cute little toy (Jay Frew posted a link in the Comments—thanks, Jay), but the Pentax Q System is also about to ship from B&H (all but the 6.3mm), and it might be the cutest-ever toy. Yeah, I know a) the Ricoh purchase makes the future of new Pentax products iffy, b) this is unabashedly aimed at the home (Japanese) market, and c) the internet commentariat has by and large taken up skeptical, not to say scornful, positions on the battlefield for the sniping to come—but I think I like it anyway. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm still hoping Pentax will send me one to try. Er, test.
P.S. And don't come knock on my door if I'm wrong, but I have a feeling that the Q System might become collectible one day. Especially if they don't sell very many of them. It might not even be a terrible idea to have the complete set, if you've a mind and such things appeal.
If I'm wrong, though, then please forget where you heard this.
Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. More...
Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Peter Vuksanovich: "I have the 12mm ƒ/2 version of this lens that mounts directly on my GF1 (thank you Oly) and it is such an astounding lens that I am at a loss for words. I might buy another and keep it in a bank vault."