Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 review: Is this the best Micro Four Thirds lens available?

By Paul Carroll - Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 lens performance | Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 versus competition | Conclusion

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8: Leads the way for Micro Four Thirds Lenses

For the purposes of this review all Lens Metric Scores have been achieved with the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 lens mounted on the 16-megapixel Panasonic GH2, which was the highest resolution Micro Four Thirds camera available at the time of testing. Measurements with the lens mounted on the Olympus OM-D EM-5 will be available shortly.

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Achieving an Overall DxOMark Score of 23 the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 prime is the highest scoring lens currently on the DxOMark database for the Micro Four Thirds mount. As you’d hope with a prime optically it performs well with no noticeable Distortion and no issues with Chromatic Aberration at any aperture settings. There’s some minor vignetting at the maximum aperture of f/1.8 with corner shading of 0.7EV, but this can be rectified in post-production, and stop the lens down to f/2.8 and it’s no longer an issue. Sharpness is also excellent and an Overall Lens Metric Score of 11P-Mpix makes the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 the sharpest Micro Four Thirds lens on the DxOMark Database.

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Scoring 11P-Mpix for Sharpness the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 telephoto prime is the sharpest Micro Four Thirds lens tested by DxOMark.

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8: Image sharpness examined

If you’re considering this lens for portrait or low-light photography you’ll be encouraged by its sharpness at the wider aperture settings. At the maximum aperture of f/1.8 good sharpness is resolved in the centre of the frame and although it trails off at the edges it’s well controlled for such a wide aperture. Stop down to f/2.8 however and good sharpness becomes homogeneous across the frame and the lens’s optimum sharpness is achieved at f/5.6. Sharpness does drop off between f/11 to f/22 but generally results using these smaller apertures are less important with this type of lens.

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At f/1.8 good sharpness is resolved in the centre of the frame only dropping off slightly in the corners. Stop down to f/2.8 and sharpness becomes homogeneous.
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