Micro 4/3 Debating the Olympus 75mm VS Sigma 56mm

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Location
Somerset, UK
Name
Ovi
Hello. Spring is here and I'm having ideas of dog portraits in different areas, especially the low light ones like forest paths.
I will use my Olympus 40-150mm f 2.8 PRO for action but I would like a faster lens for static and posing moments and achieve some shallow DoF. I can get that with the 150mm end of my zoom but I would like something wider to be closer to the subject for interaction and more context tot he environment.
My choices are:

Sigma 56mm f 1.4 DC DN Contemporary:
*Excellent price, 270 £ used
*Fast f 1.4 for lower ISO and/or higher shutter speed
*Weather Sealing to a moderate degree (it's not a PRO lens after all)
*Very small and light for such a lens, easy to pack and carry
*Excellent sharpness even wide open and even to the corners
-Focus motor doesn't keep up like a PRO lens
-20 FPS maximum burst

Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm f 1.8 ED MSC:
*Very good price, 330 £ used
*Fast f 1.8 aperture for such a long focal length
*Quite small and light lens for its aperture and focal length
*Excellent sharpness but some do claim it's not as sharp as the Sigma wide open
-Not weather sealed
-MSC focus motor is not particularly fast
-20 FPS maximum burst

These 2 lenses are the faster and longest lenses in Micro Four Thirds with autofocus and not into super telephoto like Panasonic Leica 200mm f 2.8
I have been thinking about the Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f 1.2 PRO but it's price used it feels a bit high at 500 £.

I will sell my Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f 1.8 as I am not convinced by this little lens, especially compared to both my PRO f 2.8 zooms
 
Either would be good options. The Oly 75 is arguably one of the best mft ever made and would make for great portraits. The Sigma 56 is a great value option that has really nice rendering as well. If you are set on needing weather sealing, don't sleep on the Oly 60macro. It can be a decent portrait lens, though it is not quite as fast as the others.
 
Owned both, they are both wonderful hunks of glass. I prefer the 56mm (112mme) focal length, simple as that. I always found the 45mm too short and while I would have been fine with the 75mm if the 56mm didn't exist, I'm glad it does.

Either would be good options. The Oly 75 is arguably one of the best mft ever made and would make for great portraits. The Sigma 56 is a great value option that has really nice rendering as well. If you are set on needing weather sealing, don't sleep on the Oly 60macro. It can be a decent portrait lens, though it is not quite as fast as the others.
There is no question that the 75mm is one of the best, note the 75mm is of Sigma design. I'm not sure which is truly "better".
 
You could test either focal lengths’ perspective with one of your zoom lenses to see whether you have a preference.

The 75mm might flatten the faces too much - certain focal lengths look more pleasing with certain faces…

Might not be a very noticeable difference in the end, but worth testing :)
 
Ovi,

I have the 75mm and since that lens from wide open already has an extraordinary level of sharpness, I feel it is entirely pointless if someone claims that the 56mm is a bit sharper.

I think in this case I would be more inclined to make a decision on my focal length and rendering preference, and in my entirely subjective opinion the 75mm renders beautifully.
 
Are you sure that a fixed focus will suit your needs? People sit still, but dogs seldom do so (for very long). Yes nice to have the better aperture, but is it going to make a huge difference in real terms?
Thanks, for running I will use the Olympus 40-150mm f 2.8 PRO for the faster dual AF motor and being able to reframe by zooming. But I would like something brighter then f 2.8
Last summer I think was shooting in the shade and even with the Sony FE 85mm f 1.8 and 28mm f 2 wide open I was still pushing ISO 12.800 sometimes, I would like to avoid that on OM-1.
Ovi,

I have the 75mm and since that lens from wide open already has an extraordinary level of sharpness, I feel it is entirely pointless if someone claims that the 56mm is a bit sharper.

I think in this case I would be more inclined to make a decision on my focal length and rendering preference, and in my entirely subjective opinion the 75mm renders beautifully.
Thanks. I would like to try poses on rocks and/or logs and while the Sigma 75mm f 1.8 is nowhere near a FF 135mm f 1.8 or even FF 85mm f 1.8 it's the closest to these with autofocus.
Also having a bit stronger subject separation makes it easier to remove a dog's lead/leash in Photoshop by simplifying the foreground and background for Content Aware, which is very important as not all dogs will/can be trained.
 
Thanks, for running I will use the Olympus 40-150mm f 2.8 PRO for the faster dual AF motor and being able to reframe by zooming. But I would like something brighter then f 2.8
Last summer I think was shooting in the shade and even with the Sony FE 85mm f 1.8 and 28mm f 2 wide open I was still pushing ISO 12.800 sometimes, I would like to avoid that on OM-1.
I suppose Somerset sunshine isn't always reliable.
 
I suppose Somerset sunshine isn't always reliable.
The reputation doesn't stand out, at least for my last 7 years experience. But what I can attest to is variable aperture lenses are great in the summer but fall apart during the winter ... Something that took way to long to learn in my part.

Thing is I don't feel comfortable relying to much on the weather, especially once I start asking for money in return for the portraits.
PS. I can drop some examples of what I would like/expect from last year's test shots with my little princess.
 
The reputation doesn't stand out, at least for my last 7 years experience. But what I can attest to is variable aperture lenses are great in the summer but fall apart during the winter ... Something that took way to long to learn in my part.

Thing is I don't feel comfortable relying to much on the weather, especially once I start asking for money in return for the portraits.
PS. I can drop some examples of what I would like/expect from last year's test shots with my little princess.
That Springer in the pond has great background separation.
 
I loved both lenses but prefer the 56 length/working distance. Agree with David, it sits nicely in between the 45 and 75.
And with Arturo, the performance difference is moot.
Affordability and the slight but noticeable difference could merit having both? ( :
 
Well I've gone done done it. Sold off the Olympus 45mm f 1.8 and ordered a new open box Sigma 56mm f 1.4. I missed the chance to catch one for 270 £ so I ended up paying 370 £ which is still okayu price wise.

If I like the lens and things go well I might add the Sigma 16mm f 1.4 as well, they seem to be more plentiful on the used market at very good price, around 250-300 £.
 
Well I've gone done done it. Sold off the Olympus 45mm f 1.8 and ordered a new open box Sigma 56mm f 1.4. I missed the chance to catch one for 270 £ so I ended up paying 370 £ which is still okayu price wise.

If I like the lens and things go well I might add the Sigma 16mm f 1.4 as well, they seem to be more plentiful on the used market at very good price, around 250-300 £.
If you have the need, the Sigma 30 1.4 is also an excellent lens. It was one of my mft lenses when I had it.
 
If you have the need, the Sigma 30 1.4 is also an excellent lens. It was one of my mft lenses when I had it.
I have never been all that comfortable or interested in the 50mm-ish lenses, though I had a few I haven't used them as much except for very specific effects (Helios 44 was my favourite and Yashica ML 50mm f 2 blew my socks off years ago). I will think about it after I cover the 35mm range first.
 
Well you have bought the Sig 56 (which I have and love and you can see some portrait examples here (many of the Chinese New Year portrait shots) : https://www.instagram.com/thedragonsfather/

You also have the 40-150/2.8 which is a gorgeous portrait lens at the long end. That said I'd have gone for the 45/1.2 Pro for it's beautiful feathering and all round build. It would also give you more of the environment that you wanted to include. I'm in the throes of buying the 45/1.2 and will later make the decision on whether to keep the Sig 56 or not (it's a bit long at times for my uses - street portraits, where I have to stand back too far).
 
Well you have bought the Sig 56 (which I have and love and you can see some portrait examples here (many of the Chinese New Year portrait shots) : https://www.instagram.com/thedragonsfather/

You also have the 40-150/2.8 which is a gorgeous portrait lens at the long end. That said I'd have gone for the 45/1.2 Pro for it's beautiful feathering and all round build. It would also give you more of the environment that you wanted to include. I'm in the throes of buying the 45/1.2 and will later make the decision on whether to keep the Sig 56 or not (it's a bit long at times for my uses - street portraits, where I have to stand back too far).
Understandable. I may still add the Olympus 45mm f 1.2 PRO in the future, maybe next year for indoor shots and small events (which I will try to attend this year). I will keep the Sigma because outdoors having more space and reach helps, especially for timid pets and I need to make them feel comfortable as much as humans and not being in their personal space helps with that.
I haven't tried it yet for street photography but I think I would be comfortable for candid moments at a safe distance where my anxiety doesn't get to high. But I do image the focal length can be a problem with more narrow streets and spaces (this is why I generally prefer a zoom for street photography, like Olympus 12-40mm f 2.8 PRO or [if I had it] Olympus 12-100mm f 4 PRO).
 
The 75 is a pixie dust lens, I think every mft user should try it , but the focal length can be awkward in some situations so may not be a high use lens for many.

The 56mm is also lovely and it's removed my desire for the 45/1.2 .
 
My vote goes to the 56mm f1.4.
The 75mm has slightly shallower depth of field at equivalent head shots but it's much harder to use due to the narrower field of view.
Apart from the depth of field, the sigma does everything else a bit better (weight, size, light gathering, weather sealing, focus). They are both great lenses though.
 
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