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Aug 23

Review: Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 ED

Conclusion

Pros

  • Amazing sharpness wide open
  • Incredibly sharp across the entire frame stopped down (perhaps the sharpest I’ve seen)
  • Beautiful bokeh with round specular highlights
  • Rich, saturated color reproduction
  • Outstanding all-metal build quality
  • Fast, silent and accurate autofocus
  • Very resistant to flare
  • No distortion
  • Extremely well controlled lateral chromatic aberration
  • Great subject compression and separation from the background for portrait work

Cons

  • Purple fringing can appear on high contrast edges wide open
  • Some longitudinal chromatic aberration at wider apertures
  • Hood is not included and costs $75 aftermarket
  • Manual focus in video mode is finicky.

You may notice I don’t list price in either the pro or con list.  At $899, this lens is expensive for both a Micro 4/3 lens and for a lens of this focal length and aperture compared to many other manufacturers 85mm f/1.8 lenses.  However, given the extremely high optical quality and pro-grade construction, I have to say this lens is worth every penny of the asking price.  The absolutely brilliant sharpness, rich color and creamy bokeh put it among the finest optics I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. As a former owner of the Canon 85mm f/1.2L and 135mm f/2L, I can say for certain that is high praise indeed. If you have a need for a medium telephoto lens with a fast aperture, look no further.

Sample Images

 

Tables – Olympus 75mm f/1.8 @ f/1.8

The Night Storm Approaches – Olympus 75mm f/1.8 @ f/1.8

Summer – Olympus 75mm f/1.8 @ f/1.8

Old Pump – Olympus 75mm f/1.8 @ f/4

Isabella – Olympus 75mm f/1.8 @ f/1.8

Flowers – Olympus 75mm f/1.8 @ f/1.8

The Stare – Olympus 75mm f/1.8 @ f/1.8

Looking Out – Olympus 75mm f/1.8 @ f/1.8

About the author

Jordan Steele

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Admiring Light; Photographer; Electrical Engineer and Dad

5 comments

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  1. Julian de Courcy

    Thanks Jordan. I have only just delved into the M.4/3 arena with the Oly OM-D and am astounded. It came with the kit 12-50mm and I got the 45/ f1.8 strait away and was blown away. I am coming from Full Frame DSLR and L lenses, I have been taken aback by what Olympus have here. I shall certainly look into getting fine this lens.

  2. Jeff Grant

    Thanks Jordan. Like Julian, I am a new arrival in the MFT world having just bought an OM D. I have the 75 and have found it to be excellent. I am coming from the Hasselblad digital world so i find an $899 lense being described as expensive to be quite a change. I want to get the best lenses that I can for the OM D and the 75 is certainly one of them.

  3. Barb Odell

    Jordan,
    Great review. Question – is this lens too much for the oly pen e-p2 to handle, in your opinion?

  4. Namour Filho

    Hi Jordan

    I am in a serious doubt about buying a Micro 4/3 Olympus for shooting weddings and portraits. Do you thing the 16 megapixels sensor can hold big prints, like wall size prints?
    Comparing a EM1 to a a6000, which one can deliver an better overall IQ?
    Thank you.

  5. Sebastian

    @Namour:
    Wall Size? I don’t know hohe big the Wall is and which viereinhalb distance we are talking about. I did prints of 50×75 cm in excellent sharpness – even from very close range. Never tried anything bigger though. That said I think a full-frame with 24 or more megapixels may serve you better. I replaced my D7000 with an E-P5 and never looked back. But that was also going from 16 to 16. No real difference in the details therefore if decent lenses are used. I think up until poster size you should not be worried. Anything bigger I would not know.

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