Becoming a cult or legend is not an easy task in this always changing world and especially into the photographic gear domain. But oddly, the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75mm F1.8 Premium lens have gotten this pinnacle status almost right from its market introduction in 2012. Many factors have contributed to this phenomenon like its exceptional construction quality and its outstanding picture abilities.
Telephoto lenses with approximative 3X magnification are not new in the photographic gear world. Let’s remember alone the 135mm focal length very popular among the 35mm film photographers. Many were sheering this telephoto lens category as the true “portrait” optic. This past heritage is openly present and assumed by the Olympus ED 75mm. Its maximum aperture of F1.8 replicate in term of deep of field the F3.5 aperture seen on many 135mm lens models (in 35mm analog format).
The “made in Japan” Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75mm F1.8 is rather compact lens weighing little over 300g (305). With a physical length of less than 7 cm and a diameter of less than 6.5 cm, the telephoto optic is doted of a filter accessory size of 58mm. A large focusing ring offers a light turning resistance for precise manual focusing but no auto/manual focus clutch* is present as for many Olympus Pro lenses. No accessory lens hood is included into the manufacturer box and it is rather expensive optional accessory to add.
Mid-sized Micro Four Third (MFT) camera models or larger ones are better to select if you are looking for a more equilibrated camera body-lens combination. With an heavier lens like the Olympus ED 75mm F1.8 Premium, your left hand will be more in demand to serve as a stabilization anchor which is always a good habit to do under many photographic situations.
What we are asking from a telephoto lens such as the Olympus ED 75mm F1.8 Premium is to be a “discriminate” optic that privilege the main subject extracted from its foreground and background. And we ask also to get a smooth transition between the focused points and the blurred ones (Bokeh) which is the case for the Olympus ED 75mm F1.8 Premium. When I have first tested it five years ago, I was impressed by its ability to compress the main subject and maintaining a certain deep of field marge for preserving a focusing range factor considering the dimensional volume of the main subject (Architectural, close-up, etc.)
The Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75mm F1.8 Premium lens is certainly a good candidate to do action photography providing its large maximum aperture. The question is more about its focusing speed ability. Although it depends also on which camera model it has been coupled, the overall answer stays favorable especially if you are located near the subject target considering its modest 3X magnification ratio. As usual, the erratic movement trajectories are often challenging the autofocus tracking reliability.
The Olympus ED 75mm F1.8 Premium lens has been for a while one of the most reputable flagship optic of M.Zuiko lens series, before the introduction of the Pro lens series. The absence of the autofocus-manual clutch system optionality* and of the weather resistant characteristic prevent the ED 75mm to be classified as a “pro” lens but, in fact, many professional photographers have adopted it anyway for portrait and even fashion subject purposes.
The picture quality output of the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75mm F1.8 Premium is unquestionable and simply outstanding. This lens can be highlighted for its fine resolution and its genuine color rendition as for its monochrome tonal distribution.
One of the major handling differences between focal fix lenses such as the Olympus ED 75mm F1.8 and the now very popular zoom (vari-focal length) lenses, is a question of mobility from the photographer point of view. You must do framing adjustment by physically moving yourself instead of simply zoom in or zoom out your subject with the vari-focal optic. By doing so (moving yourself) it can also change the contextual perspective of your entire picture. In one word, the focal fix lengths are more demanding optics, but they are forcing the photographer to be more careful and be less frenetic trigger.
A telephoto lens is often the second optic you will be tempted to get after the one you have already first combined with your camera body. The Olympus M.Zuiko lens line-up offers us a good selection of different zoom or fix focal telephoto lenses. Among them, there are the 45mm F1.8 Premium an affordable small, short telephoto (1.8X) with superb resolution and the more sumptuous ED 75mm F.8 Premium with its higher magnification ratio (3X). Any of these two Olympus lens models among others will be a good creative lens tool that have a large maximum aperture but the ED 75mm F1.8 Premium is certainly the finest one in term of picture definition. And even at its high price level, it won’t disappoint you in any ways.
* Which can be compensated by configuring the camera to the Autofocus + Manual setting optionality.