My wife recently got the iPhone 7 Plus and one feature it had that my non-Plus iPhone didn’t have was the portrait camera mode, made possible by those dual lens at the back. Using this, the iPhone 7 Plus could take portrait shots that digitally blur the background, i.e. bokeh, making it look like it was taken from bigger more expensive SLR cameras.
At first, it didn’t bother me not having that portrait camera mode feature, but on a recent vacation trip to Batanes in the Philippines, it because obvious the best pictures from that trip were the portrait shots taken from her iPhone 7 Plus.
We do have our “big” camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, with a general purpose 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II lens. We did not bring it to Batanes, because it was too bulky and for the purpose of taking pictures just good enough for Facebook, we thought our iPhones would suffice. Besides, we thought the iPhone 7 Plus could already take similar quality shots with our “big” camera, at least when viewed from small smart phone screens.
However, after realizing how much I liked those portrait shots with blurred backgrounds, I thought if I bought a new lens, maybe my “big” camera could actually take better portrait shots with authentic creamy bokeh effect backgrounds, a step-up from the iPhone 7 Plus’ synthetic bokeh.
So the search began for the ultimate bokeh lens for my Olympus Camera. Searched the web, and looked like all web pages lead to one specific lens, the Olympus 45mm f/1.8. Watched YouTube reviews, searched for sample pictures and videos, and it’s becoming clear this was the lens I was looking for. It also helped that the lens is relatively cheap at around 30,000 yen (~$300) considering similar premium lenses cost so much more.
Like a true otaku, I headed over to Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara, straight to the camera section, and got me my Olympus 45 mm f/1.8. Tried it immediately after arriving home, and I’m happy to say I’ve found my new default lens. Woohoo!
Every shot seemed to have that creamy bokeh effect I was looking for. Here were some shots I took that evening, and the day after, while at home. Happily looking forward to what else I can do with the new lens in the future.