If you are looking for the best value portrait lens in the World then I think I may have the answer for you.
For many years now I have been shooting a variety of cameras and lenses ranging from Micro 4/3 to large format 4×5 film. As I am not rich I like to get the best gear that I can afford that will do the job I need it to do.
With that in mind I have used many different lenses and for portraits I have found that the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens offers the best value of any lens for portrait shots. It comes in at around £200 and is as sharp as you need for portraits. In fact it is pretty sharp wide open at f/1.8 and gets a little sharper when stopped down to f/2.8-5.6.
So below I am going to show why I think it offers great value and is basically a must have lens for every Micro 4/3 photographer.
Don’t forget that you can really help me out by buying this lens through the links on this page. I will earn a small commission and it won’t cost you a penny more.
If you are looking for an even better lens for portraits and don’t mind paying a bit more then be sure to check out my Olympus 75mm f/1.8 review here
Best Value Portrait Lens in The World – Handling
There is nothing outstanding about the handling of the Olympus 45mm f/1.8. It is made of plastic and doesn’t feel particularly expensive. However it is still a notch above lenses like the Canon 50mm 1.8 (sometimes called the plastic fantastic). It feels decently made but certainly cheaper than other lenses such as the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 or Olympus Pro zooms. However it is perfectly functional and does what it needs to do.
The reason I mention handling is because it is such a small and light lens that you can easily add this to your bag or even in a pocket and not even notice the weight. This makes it a carry everywhere lens for me and if I was to only have a 2 lens setup the little 45mm would almost always be one of the two lenses that I would carry.
Best Value Portrait Lens In the World – Image Quality.
More importantly, the reason why I think this lens offers such great value is because it offers really good image quality for the size and weight. It is sharp wide open and as mentioned before it improves a little when stopped down.
It easily defines eyelashes when shooting portraits which is one of my prerequisites for sharpness in a portrait lens.
It doesn’t suffer with any major flaws in terms of CA or distortion. Therefore for the price you get a very handy high quality lens that doesn’t add much weight to your setup. The only criticism I could level at it is that sometimes the bokeh can get a little nervous so you have to watch your background sometimes. However you should always be doing that anyway.
The f/1.8 aperture allows it to be used in low light and maintain fast enough shutter speeds to get sharp people images and the focal length is my personal favourite for portrait work.
Below are a few images taken with the 45mm f/1.8.