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best Zuiko lenses for Olympus OM

John C. , Oct 22, 1998; 05:56 a.m.

Any opinions on the sharpest Zuiko lenses made for the Olympus OM system? Thanks.


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Dave Jenkins , Oct 22, 1998; 08:10 a.m.

I used the OM system for 13 years before aging eyes dictated a change to autofocus (EOS). My business in those days was mostly slide-based audio-visual production, and Olympus served me well on assignment in 27 countries and around most of the US. Three of the sharpest lenses for me were the 35mm f2, the 50mm macro, and the 85mm f2. I believe they compare well with the best lenses from other makers.

Ben McRee , Oct 22, 1998; 10:16 a.m.

If you're not already familiar with it, you might want to take a look at this site: http://www.astro.wellesley.edu/lhawkins/photo/photo.shtml It contains a wealth of OM information, including links to old Modern and Pop Photo lens tests of Zuikos. Good luck and have fun.

Jonathan Klopman , Oct 25, 1998; 04:33 p.m.

I shoot with the 35/2.0, and it is quite good. The 24/2.8 is also a very handy lens. The 100/2.8 has an excellent reputation. If you're into it, the 90/2.0 macro is excellent. For copy work, the bellows 80/4.0 is exc.

On the other hand, stay away from the 135/3.5, 65-200 zoom.

new third party macro lenses are excellent, and new zooms will be better than the oold Oly offerings.

Phil Stiles , Oct 27, 1998; 06:54 a.m.

I shot with Olympus for several years. My favorite lenses were the 28/2.8 and the 2/100. I was disappointed in the 35/2.8. The zooms were generally awful. There seems to be a two tiered lens heirarchy in the OM lineup. If you go for the fast glass it's great. Take a look at Eugene Richard's "Cocaine Blue." He uses the fast 21 a lot. A lot of lens for a modest price.

Christopher Chung , Oct 27, 1998; 12:31 p.m.

I had been a user of OM system for 15 years until 5 years ago when the all of my photo equipement were stolen. Then, I made up my mide to buy a set of Nikon camera. In fact, I love the OM bodies than their lenses. I'd used some OM lenses like 28/f2, 50/f1.4 and 200/F4 without satisfactory. The contrast of 28mm/F2 is too high and you can get any detail in dark and bright part of the picture. I could not take any sharp pictures with 50/f1.4 and 200/f4 in any appeatures. The 85/f2 was the only one lenses that I was satisfied. The color and sharpness were OK in my experience.

Rowan Baker , Mar 11, 1999; 03:45 p.m.

I have used the Zuiko 24mm 2.8, 28mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0, 50mm 1.8, 50mm 1.2, 100 2.8, and 135 2.8. Since the request asked for "sharpest" I would have to say that the 24mm 2.8 (I have the non multicoated version), 50mm 1.8, and the 50mm 1.2 (mine is multicoated) are the sharpest. I also like the 35mm 2.0, but mine appears to have other problems (flare, loss of contrast). Zoom and Telephoto lenses greater than 85mm are often less sharp, although my 100mm 2.8 is tack sharp when stopped down . My experience tells me that individual lenses vary significantly. I have had one 50mm 1.8 that was super sharp and one that was just o.k. If you buy your lenses used, as I do, there is often the possibility that the lens has been dropped or repaired (sometimes with a loss in sharpness). This appears to be true of my 35mm 2.0. I would be interested to hear if my impressions are shared by others.

Peter Luk , Oct 06, 1999; 12:18 p.m.

I just bought a OM4Ti body and Zuiko 18mm/3.5, 180mm/2.8 lenses, that are two great lenses, the quality not less than my Canon EOS L lenses, just deferent MF/AF.

John Prosper , Dec 02, 1999; 04:05 a.m.

For sharp Zuiko optics look for the 16/3.5, 18/3.5, 21/2 (many users also love the 21/3.5), 24/2 (although the 24/2.8 has less flare problems), 24/3.5 PC, 28/2, 35/2, 35/2.8 PC, 50/2 macro, 90/2 macro, 100/2, 180/2, 250/2, 350/2.8, 35-80/2.8.

Michael Goldfarb , Dec 02, 1999; 10:53 a.m.

Of the four Zuikos I have, the 100/2.8 is the real stand-out. I've also gotten lots of very good shots with the others (28/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.8). I had a 75-150/4 for a while, but it wasn't as sharp as the 100, and was considerably larger, heavier, and slower. I sometimes feel the 35/2 is a bit softer than it should be - but other times it produces great images.

If you're interested, you can see images I shot with most of these at The Unofficial Olympus Web Photo Gallery - http://www.taiga.ca/~gallery/subpages/goldfarb/goldfarb.html

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