Long Lens: Street Shooting with M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 lens

First of all, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all my Muslim friends who celebrate! Maaf Zahir dan Batin. 

Hari Raya Puasa is quite a huge occasion in Malaysia, and we have the long weekend for the huge celebration. Therefore, that also meant more time for shutter therapy sessions. This time I decided to do something a little different, instead of using my usual favourite focal lengths (14mm, 25mm and 45mm) I have decided to shoot with an even longer focal length, 75mm. Armed with the amazing M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 on an E-M1 I roamed the KL streets and little did I know I have enjoyed myself more than I expected!

One of the constantly propagated myth about using long lenses on the street is now disconnected your subjects will be in the photographs. I certainly find that not to be true at all. There is a difference between shooting with a long lens from a far distance from the subject, and shooting with a long lens by getting close to your subject. 75mm (in 35mm format, equals to 150mm) does not mean I can hide in one corner and started clicking away without my subject knowing me shooting them. I still do what I normally do: I walk in and approach the strangers. Interestingly the longer focal length allows tighter composition, meaning I have less background to work with and easily produced cleaner shots. 

The super thin depth of field that the Olympus 75mm F1.8 lens offers is simply amazing. I do not think (not even the Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 lens) any lens from Micro Four Thirds at this moment can rival the shallow depth of field produced by the 75mm F1.8 lens. 

All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 lens

Hard Worker

At the bus stop

Leaning on one side

Closed shops

the shortcut


heavy box

Hidden in the shade


Beautiful smile


Long Exposure


Beautiful eyes

The backalley

Five Foot Way


  1. Seeing these images I wonder what's really needed to improve on this quality. Everything that is better than this must be overkill. These images are fantastic, and they also show how good the EM and 75mm combo is.

  2. Great shots, Robin, love the closeups.

  3. Is the best, good for everything, portraits or landscapes.
    Super detail at f1/8 with colors that only Olympus can give you, for me are the best.
    If you are interested here some of my photos.
    Bravo Robin.

    1. It is a versatile lens indeed, though it does need some getting used to at that long focal length.

  4. I'm almost knocked off after seeing all your/ OMD shots. Great should be a very small word to describe them in one word. Thanks for elevating my confidence in OMD E. M1 from say 80% to almost 100%. Its Edi holidays here in Pakistan. Going to get this beauty the moment business resumes on Saturday. It will be a pleasure taking some guidance from you from time to time.

    1. Go out and shoot more photos! Thanks for the kind words.

  5. Excellent shots and indeed the 75mm is a stupendously good optic regardless of any lens mount. I agree that it is Odd how people try to make rules for street photos for example you cannot use this or that. Use the lens that suits you not everyone else..

  6. I'd like to say I did the same but with the 60mm Oly macro f/2.8. Same = walked around taking photos. I was between buying this incredibly sharp f/2.8 and the 75. Picked 60mm only because macro and about 1/2 the price.

    My day was in the Chicago Botanical Gardens. I find with the macro and 120mm I can get shots when I can't get as close as I want AND when I can get very close. Very flexible. Colors are incredible ...Some very subtle with patterns in flower petals giving depth.

    Since my best "to look at" Photos will be crops tightly in on flower or leaf the 2.8 is an advantage not disadvantage over 1.8.

    What's the best place blog way to show my work? Something easier than our veggiepowerburgers.com website.

    Bob g (Cathy's husbsnd)

  7. Great job! I really do enjoy your blog and the amazing photo's you take!

  8. I love the 75mm f1.8, it is the only MFT lens that I own at the moment. I have created wonderful portraits, product shots, and a few landscapes with just that lens. I do hope to purchase the 45mm f1.8 soon, though I am considering the 30mm Sigma Art lens as it is a solid performer at a nice price.

  9. Dxo optics has 45 1.8 as a very hi performing lens. Tiny. Get screw in lens shade from Leica. .