*Olympus 45mm f/1.8 vs the Contax G Zeiss 45mm f/2

olympus m.zuiko 45mm f/1.8 vs contax zeiss 45mm f/2 planar

I held off for a long time on buying a portrait focal length for the Micro 4/3 system and despite the stellar reputation and modest pricing of the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens, I’d found myself more or less happy with my adapted Contax 45mm.

The Contax G Zeiss 45mm f/2 lens has a pretty amazing reputation of its own.  In its day, it was touted as being one of the sharpest standard lenses available, even garnering praise over some more illustrious Leica lenses in the same focal length neighborhood.  While I wish I had some Leica glass with which to test and back up that claim, let’s just say that the little Zeiss lens has done okay for itself and still goes for a decent amount of money now that the weird proprietary focusing mechanism has been worked around and this lens can be adapted to most any mirrorless camera nowadays.

So, how do these two compare?  Let’s see…

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*Establishing Hyperfocal distance! You mean like manually focusing?

The hyperfocal distance at a given aperture on any lens will enable the photographer to “know” what will be in focus in the scene without having to re-focus between shots.  Hyperfocal distance is commonly defined as “the closest distance from which a lens can focus that will be acceptably sharp from half that distance through infinity.”  It is a technique which is particularly useful with smaller apertures (as in gaining a deeper depth of field) when shooting anything from street scenes to landscapes where the photographer requires an established area of focus from a fixed distance through infinity so that you don’t need to refocus between shots.  Follow me in and we’ll go over a simple way to determine your hyperfocal distance.

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