Learning to Love the Olympus 45mm / by Adrian Galli

 Dark Bass

Dark Bass

I shoot with a lot of different equipment. As a cinematography, I say, "I'm just happy with a camera in my hands." I take it as a challenge to shoot with gear I don't know and have never used.

I picked up the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 for my Olympus E-M5. It is a tiny and wonderful lens. To give a comparison, it gives a similar field of view as a 90mm lens would on a 35mm camera. While I'm very comfortable filming with that field of view, I found it more challenging to shoot photography with it. When I bought my Panasonic 20mm (40mm equivalent), I spent 6 months shooting with it almost exclusively (for my personal photography). It is my tip for anyone with new gear. It has become my favorite method for learning gear. That sort of "gear discipline" makes you learn it. You will know every limitation, every quality, every situation for and against using it. 

I spent the evening walking around the Loop (Chicago's central downtown area) shooting architecture, people, and other curiosities. After months of using this lens, I'm infinitely more comfortable with it. While I'm still a fan of shooting with wide angle lenses, some of my favorite shots are now from this lens/focal length and could only have been created using it.

Take the time to work with your gear. Don't worry about what you have, specifications, size, megapixels and all that. Go out and shoot! Photos come from you, not your gear. You'll enjoy photography and cinematography so much more when you can appreciate your equipment for what it is, not for what it isn't.