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(Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

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  • (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

    Originally published on my blog, reprinting here to share with the PM community. Click on the images for larger versions on Flickr.

    Easily one of the most anticipated lenses of the year for the Micro Four Thirds system, the Olympus Zuiko Digital 75mm f1.8 has already had a lot said about it, including a great review by Ming Thein (Review: The Olympus ZD 75/1.8 for Micro Four Thirds), a professional photographer who puts this lens on par with some of the current greats -- the Nikon 24s, Leica 35s and 50s. I'm no pro, but i'll share with you what i thought about the lens after a couple of hours with it, courtesy of Olympus Malaysia.

    Olympus in Malaysia has been going great guns lately. Heavily promoting the OM-D EM-5 and now putting together a walkabout with their customers for the new 75mm lens. Kudos to them for putting in the effort! Not only did the organize for each of the 6 groups in attendance that lovely Saturday to have a guide and a copy of the lens attached to an OM-D EM-5, but a model was also on hand to make the shooting experience all the more interesting. Amanda Qian Ru was our model, and though inexperienced, she provided lovely angles for the group.

    Check out Robin Wong's blog (Robin Wong: M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 Walkabout) for more details about the Olympus event itself, lots of great pictures to give you an idea of how well attended it was.

    Back to the lens. It's quite a monster as far as micro four third lenses go. On a naked OM-D EM-5 body, it throws the balance of the heft out a bit, definitely requiring a steadying hand to keep it on an even keel. No one handed shooting with this lens attached. However, if the EM-5 has the optional grip attached, then the lens balances quite well. Solidly built, all aluminium by the feel of it, it's a real hunk of glass.

    Shooting with it took a few moments to figure out, because the 150mm equivalent was certainly quite unusual. To get full body shots of the model, i was standing about 30 feet away. And shooting at the same distance as with a 45mm f1.8 lens delivered larger than intended closeups. So a few steps back was required. Not really a big deal, the adjustment, however, it's still something that needs to be practiced on to get used to.

    The lens itself produces magnificent images, as other reviews have noted. One thing that i notice about this lens is that it's one of the few lenses where the technical reviews and usability reviews are in complete agreement. While being unequipped to know whether the technical reviews are accurate or not, i can say that the usability reviews are spot on -- it's easy to use (after a short period of adjustment), focuses incredibly fast and accurately with a nice snappiness to it, is sharp wide open, doesn't get noticeably sharper stopped down, has great micro-contrast (notice how the images below pop out at you), produces bokehlicious creaminess and leaves you with very little to do in post-processing.

    It's so good, it's almost boring. With my Panasonic 14mm f2.5, i know vignetting and soft edges are an issue, but i consciously work around these limitations. With the Olympus 45mm f1.8, i try to shoot at f2.0 - f2.8 because i know that half a stop of so does wonders for it. But with the 75mm? Just plug it on, slam it wide open, and shoot to your heart's content. Chances are you're going to nail it. Again. And again and again.

    I heard the lens is available for RM3000 (about US$799) street price. That's a steal, considering what you're getting.

    1.
    P7210109 by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

    2.
    P7210113 by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

    3.
    P7210115 by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

    4.
    P7210121 by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

    5.
    P7210129 by aizuddindanian, on Flickr
    Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

  • #2
    Re: (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

    nice.. love the bokeh on the last pic.. although cannot justify paying that much for an m43 lens..

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

      Originally posted by akhtar View Post
      nice.. love the bokeh on the last pic.. although cannot justify paying that much for an m43 lens..
      I don't think we can look at it as a "m43 lens" -- it is an excellent lens that produces great results. How much is that worth to you?

      Coming from a background of buying L lenses for Canon, i'd say 3k for a lens of this quality is a steal.
      Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

        A couple more photos, just processed from this lens. Same shooting session as before.

        6.
        P7210135 by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

        7.
        P7210138 by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

        8.
        P7210155 by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

        9.
        P7210167 by aizuddindanian, on Flickr
        Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

          yes...it is more expensive than others...but i guess ok lah for the build and iq...

          sadly m43 hasn't translated to cheaper cams and lenses...i guess we're paying more for the semi-miniaturization...

          nevertheless, i find the 75mm range much more useful than the 45mm and would get this in a heartbeat...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

            Love set of pictures. I am not sure is it the lens or your editing technique but the subject " pops " from the picture. If its the lens then wow wow, if its your editing wowowow
            Travel, Human Interest and Studio Photography

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

              Originally posted by kingz View Post
              Love set of pictures. I am not sure is it the lens or your editing technique but the subject " pops " from the picture. If its the lens then wow wow, if its your editing wowowow
              Thanks, it's the lens not me.
              Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

                After reading youd comment and review IF I was a Oly user I will buy this lens ASAP, its just magical
                Travel, Human Interest and Studio Photography

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

                  Originally posted by kingz View Post
                  After reading youd comment and review IF I was a Oly user I will buy this lens ASAP, its just magical
                  Haha, thank Olympus Malaysia for taking the effort to organize such a fantastic walkabout. Really fun.

                  You feel that way after reading the review, imagine how i feel after actually using the lens!
                  Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: (Geartalk) Review: Olympus ZD 75mm f1.8 for M43

                    i've read many reviews they all say this lens is PERFECTION! played with it a short while too and can't put it down...it is a GREAT lens optically and built.

                    does it justify US$400 premium over say the new nikon afs 85mm/1.8g which has great optics too?...maybe...but its certainly a great discount over leica

                    if m43 is your only system...imho this lens is a no brainer must get...a samyang 7.5, pany 12-35x, and this oly 75 and i'm done...

                    ps...in the US it lists for $899 online not $799...you won't get lower street price for another year or so...and depending where you stay in the US and who you get it from you may need to pay tax. So RM3000 is very reasonable!

                    Comment

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