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Zuiko 50mm 1.8 varaints - question

Jordan Cleeve , Dec 07, 2005; 02:56 p.m.

Hi all...

I have the chance to replace my old and rather beaten up 50mm 1.8 with a new one, and am being offered the following two variants (both for virtually nothing):

Zuiko Auto-S 'made in Japan' (5125934) - no MC designation

Zuiko MC Auto-S 'Japan' (3164115)

Anyone got an opinion on which is likely to be the best performer? I've read that 'made in japan' models are supposed to be 'the best', but does this include those that are not marked MC?

Thanks for any help


richard oleson , Dec 07, 2005; 07:55 p.m.

It's not super critical in a 50/1.8, but an MC lens is better than a single coated lens. But not all MC Zuikos are marked "MC".

The original, SINGLE-coated 50/1.8 is marked "F. Zuiko". If it doesn't have the "F." then it's multi-coated... whether it says "MC" or not.

Andrew Palmer , Dec 07, 2005; 10:51 p.m.

The 'made in Japan' version is indeed supposed to be best of all, although it has a plastic aperture ring. AFAIK every 'made in Japan' lens is multicoated even though there is no MC mark. The earlier 'Japan' versions are not as highly regarded and may be more prone to a particular curse of this lens - sticky blades.

Skip Williams , Dec 07, 2005; 11:22 p.m.

"made in Japan" lenses are the top of the heap in quality vs. all the other 50/1.8's. You probably can't go wrong with that one unless it's a lemon. All the "miJ" lenses were MC, only early, silver-nosed lenses were single coated.

FYI, I have seen individual earlier MC lenses that were superior to the latest miJ examples. That's a rare case, though.


Paul MItchell , Dec 08, 2005; 05:01 p.m.

I'd go for the made in Japan version too. I'm very, very happy with mine. Plus advice from this forum and elsewhere recommends it.

dean tyler , Dec 09, 2005; 12:24 p.m.

I have heard the MIJ version with serial numbers above 5,000,000 are considered the best. I have one and like it very much. I think it may be a bit better than my f1.4 (MC later version). I would get the MIJ lens. BTW, the 50mm f2 beats them both, but will cost you over ten times more.


Simon Evans , Dec 10, 2005; 02:05 p.m.

The later multicoated lens is likely to give crisper results with more contrast and lower flare, but some people argue that older lenses have attractive qualities, particularly for black & white.

Why not acquire both if they're so cheap? You can then try them side-by-side. That way you will be able to decide which you prefer.

Graham Serretta , Dec 15, 2005; 08:24 a.m.

Jordan - All things being equal, I doubt if you will tell the difference. I have a couple of both, and in normal use, with prints up to 900x600, I can't tell them apart.

Igor D. , Dec 26, 2005; 03:56 p.m.

My old SC 50/1,8 gives beautiful, creamy photos. They are more "soulful" then my newest hi-tech lenses. So I just don't change my 50.

old 50/1,8 at 1,8

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