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Saturday, 15 October 2011


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It's been awhile since the first generations of the Panasonic G series and the Olympus PEN series made their debuts. I forget (or never really knew) how compatible lenses from one manufacturer are with the cameras of the other manufacturer. Could I use this lens on my Panasonic G1 with full connectivity for auto-focus and with light metering controlling exposure in aperture-priority or shutter-speed priority modes?

Hi Mike,
What is the Kirkphoto thing that is around the base of the camera?

"What is the Kirkphoto thing that is around the base of the camera?"

It's an Arca-style quick-release plate. Somewhat contrary to the gestalt of the camera, since it adds a fair amount of weight and size.


Have Olympus out-Pentaxed Pentax?

I love the FA Limiteds (I have all 3) but their DA Limited cousins seemed to favour compactness over speed (an attribute more relevant on a mirrorless body than even the smallest of Pentax digital SLRs) and never quite seemed to garner the same rave reviews as their FA forebears.

If this and the 12mm are comparable to the Pentax FA Limiteds, I might have found my new travel setup.

My first thought on seeing the TOP article headline was...President Obama shoots Micro Four Thirds??

>Oly 45 Arrives at TWH<

Apparently "TWH" doesn't stand for The White House...

Mike, you have to stop with the 4/3's lenses...I've recently retired and a divorce simply isn't in the budget.

I've added the thing to my Amazon short wish list.

Let us know if there's (hopefully) a fatal flaw in this gadget (hopefully) before I move it into the shopping cart.


Hello. I don't often use a tripod, but when I do, I ALWAYS use an L-Plate.

@Kurt. M4/3 lenses are fully compatible between camera brands.

And thanks, Mike. I have been trying to avoid the pleasures of ownership of this lens. I am looking forward to your review in which you find numerous reasons that I should not buy one.


Right, because wouldn't "TOP World Headquarters" be TWHQ?


The lens looks really slender and rangefinder like. I just don't understand why some lenses for mirrorless cameras, like the Zeiss 24mm f1.8 have to be half the size of a Coke can. When these cameras started to appear I thought 'Great, finally without the need for inverted telephoto designs we can get nice compact fast wide angle and normal lenses'. Apparently not in all cases.

Mike: Congratulations on your new lens! Short, fast teles are eminently useful.

As I'm sure you know, I'm not particularly comfortable commenting on technical matters, but maybe my recent experience will shed some light on what appears to be a murky subject.

My advice: don't think of the 45mm Olympus as a 90mm full-frame 35 equivalent. More likely, it will probably approximate the field of view of a 70 to 75mm on a FF 35. In other words, you'd be best served to ignore the alleged 2X factor. As Ctein commenter Brian Small and others have learned, the factor for M43 cameras seems to be more in the 1.6X range.

Like Brian, I have been disturbed by the misleading 2X. My 25mm f/3.5 Canon rangefinder lens, adapted to my E-PL1, has behaved more like a wideangle than the normal 50 I'd been led to expect. In frustration, I finally decided to physically match fields, and was surprised to determine that the 25mm on M43 gave me a very close approximation of a 40mm on FF 35.

So I continued making admittedly unscientific comparisons. My favorite lens for my ancient but still perfect Canon 7s RF film camera, a 35mm f/2 Canon, when adapted to my M43 Olympus, turned out to be giving me the field, not of the 70mm FF 35 I expected, but a longish "normal," a virtual match for the 55mm FF 35 lens I matched it against. No wonder I liked the results I had been getting!

So if I want a wider normal, I guess I won't need the Leitz/Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 I've been considering -- I'll just have to find myself an old 30mm (an example of which I've never really seen). If only I had also gotten that 28mm Canon RF when I had the chance some 45 years ago!

I don't have the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, about which I've heard wonderful things, but I suspect its 35 FF equivalent will turn out to be not the legendary 40mm "golden" length, but closer to 32mm. I know that the Olympus 17mm f/2.8, which I do have, gives me pictures that I would expect not from a 35, but from a 28 on a FF 35.

And oh yes, would somebody please tell Ctein that his new f/1.8 85mm Rokinon (or whatever) is probably not a 170 on his Pen, but just a real fast, presumably real nice 135-140mm equivalent. Sort of like the old f/1.9 85mm T-mount Spiratone I adapted to my Olympus. It even has a preset aperture, which turns out to be a nice feature for a fully manual lens used on a fully automatic camera.

Best to all,

Posted by: Jim Hughes |

I'm with David H. This is the first (OK, second, after the 20mm f1.7) m4/3 lens that's exactly up my alley, and if you (I mean you, Mike) don't find that it burns holes in your sensor or destroys the ozone layer, I'll have to buy it.

Mine just arrived too. I haven't gotten to use it yet, even for test shots, but I did mount it and WOW is the autofocus a splendid thing.

@Kurt -- note, I'm using a G1.

A good portrait lens is the one thing I was really missing from this system. I'm so psyched.

Surprised to see colorful fall foilage hasn't reached TOP headquarters yet. --A Floridian's lament.

"wouldn't "TOP World Headquarters" be TWHQ?"

That would avoid a great deal of confusion. Otherwise, Marine 1 might someday be making a lot of noise in your back yard.

On the other hand, having a Secret Service code name is pretty cool. "TOPman"?

Barack Obama: Renegade
Michelle Obama: Renaissance
Malia Obama: Radiance
Sasha Obama: Rosebud
Vice President Joe Biden: Celtic
Jill Biden: Capri
President George W. Bush: Tumbler
First Lady Laura Bush: Tempo
Bill Clinton: Eagle
Hillary Clinton: Evergreen
Chelsea Clinton: Energy
George Bush: Timberwolf
Barbara Bush: Tranquility
Jimmy Carter: Deacon
Rosalynn Carter: Dancer
Amy Carter: Dynamo
Ronald Reagan: Rawhide
Nancy Reagan: Rainbow

Mike...post some pics with it...That tree fro isn't doing a damn thing for me except making me wish i had more hair.

i wanna see the bokey, some skrinkly skin close up and wide open and a dame with a pimple on her forehead from 15 paces. K?


The m4/3 glass situation in certainly shaping up nicely though - I could easily get by with a 20/45 combination. The new 45 is looking to be a winner from everything I've seen so far.

I really want to like m4/3, but without a body with a very high quality integral EVF in the proper (read "Leica") position I just can't get behind it. I keep hoping Olympus will do something with a feature set like the upcoming NEX7.

Part of me is tempted to pick up a currently available body with the two above-mentioned lenses and just grimace and shoot stinky baby style until a body comes along with the features I really want.

Dear Jim,

Well, you can tell me that, but I'll tell you in my experience it's still nonsense. I have the 12, 20, 45 , and 85mm primes, now, and they all feel to me that they have coverage that corresponds quite nicely to a factor of 2 difference in focal length from what I experienced with 35 mm cameras,

Maybe it doesn't feel that way to you because of the different aspect ratio, but that's gonna be a lot more about how you see personally and whether you tend to favor width over height and so on.

Truth be told, I heard the same pointless interminable arguments amongs the 6x7 cm. owners over what lenses were exactly and perfectly equivalent to 35 mm format.

To all and sundry, my reaction is: Really, majorly useless debate.

pax / Ctein

Dear Mike,

Having had that lens for about ten days now and having used it quite heavily this weekend, I have to say that it's going to be my new best friend. Feels like a perfect fit for my needs and the way I see.

I'm gonna kick the review for this ahead of the one for the 12mm, for assorted reasons, so it'll be up in about a month.

pax / Ctein

I've been using the 45mm Leica branded Lumix lens on my GH2 for a while, and it's also an extremely nice little lens. Granted, a stop and a third slower, but the rendering is nice and 3D. It's a great focal length for this format. And, this format is one that I'm using more and more. The IQ with the GH2 is quite good, the viewfinder makes it workable, especially outside, plus the flip out screen allows me to do things with this camera that I can't do with my 5Dmk2's.

Looking forward to it, Ctein.

The Oly 45/1.8 is the second MFT lens which I consider to be a "no brainer", recommendable for everyone. The first was the 20/1.7.

Although many people consider the Oly 12/2, Pana Leica DG 25/1.4, Oly 45/1.8 to be the ultimate trio, I am exceedingly content with my Pana 14/2.5, Pana 20/1.7, and Oly 45/1.8. Those are the focal lengths for me, and all three lenses are small and great!

Regarding the crop factor of MFT/FT, it is 2X. I've tested it directly with a number of lenses. Here is one such comparison: http://www.seriouscompacts.com/f41/bokeh-test-olympus-zd-25mm-f-2-8-vs-canon-ef-50mm-f-1-4-a-161/

On the subject of crop factors, I will note that a full frame sensor is 1.846x taller and 2.081x wider than a Four Thirds sensor, so my beloved 20 mm is somewhere between 36.9 mm-e and 41.6 mm-e, while the new 45 mm is somewhere between 83.1 mm-e and 93.6 mm-e. Having done the calculation, I feel content with using the 2.00x crop factor from the diagonal, but others may draw different conclusions.

I am getting twitchy for the arrival of this lens. Had I known that B&H would be closed for more than a week right around the time I might have expected it to arrive, I would have chosen a different source.

Isn't TOP an acronym? Thus the "T" in TWH or TWHQ would be a further acronymization (?) of what is already an acronym. Perhaps TOPWHQ?

Dear Folks,

Mike used to have a ban on discussions of contemporary politics or religion in this publication.

Since he appears to have dropped the latter [ahem], there's an open slot in the bans.

My simple and modest proposal is that discussions of "crop factor" (or any semi-synonym) equivalencies be added.

Henceforth, there would be a prohibition on political or crop factor discussions.

Mike, make it so.

pax / ever-helpful Ctein

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