User Review: The Olympus 45mm is a DRAG!
I love to vent my creativity onto my partners drag persona, and the "want" to document our efforts using photography was one of the reasons I began researching this medium in the first place. Before I got the MZD 45mm f/1.8 I was using a legacy 50mm f/1.8 which was originally developed for use with the OM film camera line. They are cheap and effective when photographing still life, but it was extremely hard for me to use the manual focus on a moving subject. Also, it is not exactly the sharpest lens wide open and the low light levels that you tend to deal within bars made it hard to stop down. Here are some of what I accomplished with this lens:
In short, they are soft, and the solution was Olympus' digital portrait lens. In combination with the EM5, it is fast to autofocus even in a dimly lit bar and sharp wide open, and the 90mm focal length make it an awesome lens to photograph drag. Being able to shoot wide open allows for faster shutter speeds, subject isolation and lower iso levels, all of which are good things when you are trying to photograph someone do the splits etc...
Not only is this lens good for capturing fast moving performers, it just does good in low light period. Here are some examples of shots that I have taken in the bar environment. It is interesting to shoot in places like bars and other entertainment venues because there is often crazy lighting schemes with multiple colors etc... this makes it really really difficult to post process with natural skin tones in mind. However, it is also this crazy lighting that makes for interesting photogaphs and if you are still not happy with results there is always the option to convert to monochrome.
There were times when I wish I had a wider lens, but in reality, 45mm is perfect because I could usually back away to make up for the difference. I could have also used a longer lens in some instances and Olympus' 75mm portrait lens would have yielded some amazing photos I am sure, but this lens is a lot less versatile. In addition, camera shake would be magnified at 150mm and keeping the subject in frame would probably be much more difficult. I am also going to guess that the 25mm prime Olympus just released would do wonders in this department. If you are not a fan of or "scared" of drag, the take home message here is that the 45mm portrait lens is great if you want to capture moving subjects in a dimly lit environment... for instance, at a concert or theatre. But of course, all this has been established for this lens, and there is no doubt that it is highly capable. My goal here was to provide some sample photos and show how I have put this lens to use in a bar setting =)