The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm ƒ/1.8 arrived here at TOP World Headquarters (a.k.a. my house) yesterday. It's a lovely little thing, seeming somehow tinier than the 40mm pancake because it's so much narrower, even though of course it's longer. The silent autofocus is almost disconcerting at first, if you're not used to it, but fits the lens's premium/luxe gestalt. The lens is at least so small and light that it will be a burden to no one's camera bag to carry it.
Some inital quick random snapping back in the alley reveals a lens right in line with the publicity and the web reports: a short tele with beautiful rendering and no immediately discernible bad habits, with good performance at all focusing distances and apertures, and with decent if not outstanding bokeh that is however best where you want it to be best, at the widest aperture. Short teles are perhaps the easiest lens type to design, and when they are also implemented well they can be really good.
My first (early, incomplete) impression is that it's one of those lenses people will want to own maybe not entirely because they need it, but because it offers ineffable pleasures of ownership—because it's a beautiful thing that's rewarding in every way to use.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.