The lens is no allround-lens that you have always on your camera if you can only bring one lens to your travels. It’s a medium telephoto lens and because of the tight perspective it’s not really the most suitable lens for architecture or landscape. Nevertheless, calling it a pure portrait lens or “One Trick Pony” like some people do doesn’t do the lens justice and I want to show you why.
I use the lens exclusively on the Olympus O-MD E-M1 because it’s rather big for a Micro Four thirds lens and heavier that other prime lenses. The ergonomics of the E-M1 are perfect for the lens due to the bigger grip and on my PEN E-P5 it’s a little top-heavy. Compared to similar lenses for other cameras it’s still rather light and small though.
The M.Zuiko 75mm is a prime lens so there is no zoom – you need to move around to change the perspective. Even though you get no zoom and have a special, longer focal length it’s one of the more expensive lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system. The lens is very solid and has a premium-feel. It has a maximum aperture of F1.8 and still it’s rather small and not too heavy weighting about 450 gramms. The price is especially justified due to the great results the lens delivers. It’s sharp even wide open and the contrast is very good. On the OM-D E-M1 the autofocus is fast and accurate even though more glass has to be moved than with other prime lenses.
But enough with the talk, let’s see some examples. This is why the M.Zuiko 75mm is my favorite lens.
People and Animals Portraits
Yes, this is the primary use of the lens and it does this job perfect. Due to the focal length of 150mm converted to Full Frame you have a rather large distance to your subject and on the street you can make great pictures of people. This might not be “classic Street Photography” but the results are very impressive. It’s obvious that the “smaller” Micro Four Thirds” sensors are able to achive nice subject isolation using the right lenses. Pictures of animals with this lens are very nice because you can blur much of the background and concentrate on the animal itself. I made my best pictures of street cats using this lens and you can keep your distance if the animal is shy.
Landscape and architecture
Pictures of landscape and architecture are usually made using wide angle lenses to show a lot of the area. I like using wide angle lenses, too and calling the M.Zuiko 75mm a landscape lens would not be precise. Nevertheless, it’s possible to make some very special pictures if you know how to make use of the focal length and have an eye for the scene. The tight view in combination with the beautiful bokeh and the nice blur can lead to some interesting pictures. I don’t use the lens for landscape and the city very much but the results I get are often the best ones when I look at the pictures on the screen, here are some examples:
The M.Zuiko shows it’s greatest strengths when it comes to attention to detail. The long focal length in combination with the large maximum aperture make the isolation of subjects in the pictures quite easy. The reproduction scale is not very big so it’s not a good macro lens like the M.Zuiko 60mm Macro but with bigger subjects the results are very pleasing. It’s also very capable in the dark due to the maximum aperture of 1.8 and the very good autofocus.
Let’s see some final pictures. I hope I was able to show you why I will not sell this lens as long as I use a camera with a Micro Four thirds sensor- I recommend the M.Zuiko 75mm to everybody who wants to get the best out of the pictures and who can live with the special focal length. You will be pleased by the results for sure.
9 CommentsLeave a comment
thanks a lot it helped me finally decide to buy this instead of the 42.5 noctilux due to the great price difference (I know they are different in focal length and f stop) but your article made me believe this is the lens I can go for. Thanks!!
Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you like the pictures and I was able to convince you to buy the lens, you will not regret it!
How long one has to be from the object to shoot? I own a 45 mm 1.8. Want to go for 75
It’s 84cm (from the sensor). M.Zuiko 45 is 50cm.
hi, your b/w and color pictures all have a wonder color/tone, do you mind sharing your setting? thanks.
Thanks, I’m glad you like the photos. I use the Olympus Vivid preset in Lightroom to develop the RAW files and often lower the highlights and push the shadows a bit. Depending on the look I want, I push some clarity and contrast and lower the blacks to get more of a 3d pop. Regarding b&w it’s pretty much the same but I might add some more clarity. Cheers
Fantastic post and photos! Several of the portraits are stunning, including the first one of the girl, whose face and eyes you can just barely see… excellent. Merci, danka, Pierre.
Fantastic captures from a fantastic lens… ordered mine today from B&H in N.Y. Can’t wait to chase my dogs around the yard…. Ha Ha. I am SO impressed with Zuiko optics. I was in Germany once in Munich; a beautiful country. Thanks again for the great images.
Thanks Robert – I’m glad you like the images and Germany. Have fun with the lens, it’s indeed a great prime and I still like to use it a lot :). Cheers Pierre