"Must Have" Olympus OM lenses?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by jeff_guthrie, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. This week I'll be going to Tokyo's used camera shops to pick up a lens or 2 (or 3) for my OM4. What lenses would the users here recommend I look for? At the moment I have a 24mm 2.8, 35mm 2, 50mm 1.4, and a 55mm 1.2.
    Besides lenses, what other accessories are useful or interesting? What things are on your wishlists?
  2. You've got the wide to normal range covered. Why not look for the 100mm f2 or the 180mm f2.8? I would not mind either one of those to use with my Olympus DSLR.
  3. In your shoes, I would look for an 85/2.0 - a great little lens - pretty fast with a very pleasing perspective or, if you really feel like spending some dough, the 90/2.0 macro. After that, the 180/2.8 or the 200/4.0 - I have the 200, which is very sharp and compact. With the 180, of course, you'll have a lot of weight hanging off the front of the camera, but also sharp as all get out. Also, see if you can track down one of the small screw on handgrips for the OM-4 - they're pretty rare over here in the US (based on what people are asking for them when they come up on the auction site) but I think it really improves the handling of the OM-4.
  4. FWIW, here's some comprehensive info on Olympus lenses:
    I also think 100/2.0 and fast macros (90/2.0 or 50/2.0) would be interesting. Fast wideangles like 21/2.0 and 28/2.0 would be nice, too. The problem is that all of them are extremely rare even here in Tokyo.
    If you are interested in some closeup work, Zuiko MC 1:1 Macro 80/4.0 or Zuiko Auto Macro 135/4.5 with Auto Tube 65-116mm would be interesting, too. They are fairly easy to find.
    Good luck!
  5. Jeff, have you thought about zoom lenses? I too have the OM lenses of yesteryear and they also do quite well for the E-3 and E-30, especially the 55mm f1.2 --- great portrait lens as it is equivalent to a 110mm on any of the E-series DSLRs.
    Depending upon the type of photography you often shoot or consider shooting, you may want to look into the telephoto and zoom lenses. I used to shoot with the Vivitar Series 1, 28-105mm, f/2.8 as a primary lens because it covered about 90% of my assignments.
  6. You have the wide angle and standard angle range pretty much covered.
    I would recommend a good portrait lens, I particularly like the Zuiko 100/2.8 as it's great value for money, otherwise the 85/2 or 100/2 or 90/2 macro
    I would consider a macro, I use the 50/3.5, you can also get the 50/2 or 90/2
    I would consider something in the 180-200mm range. so depending on your budget either a 180/2.8 or 200/4
    Accessory wise... maybe a 2-13 focusing screen? flash? spare body?
  7. Second that for the grip and the 2-series screen. They make a substantial difference in the OM4Ti.
    If you can pick up the 40/2 or the 21/3.5 at a decent price I'd jump on those as well.
  8. I use a 55 1.2 on my Canon digital body (as well as my OM1), and i am always coveting the 40/2 and the 85/2, both of which are in stock at a used shop right now in my neck of the woods (so sad, no pocket change right now). i agree with Greg above though that your bag is lacking the longer lengths.
  9. Of the less exotic but still very good Zuikos I can recommend the 50/3.5 macro and the 100/2.8. The 50 is a floating element design and is extremely sharp at any distance. The 100 is compact and excellent for portraits.
  10. Thanks for the advice. I ended up finding a mint 90mm 2.0 macro for a pretty good price. I looked for the grip, but couldn't find one (that wasn't already attached to a camera). I found lots of things like macro accessories and lenses, a couple shift lenses, and one shop had half a dozen old M1's sitting on a shelf.
    I'll try out the 90mm macro this week and see how well it works, and think about what I'll look for when I go shopping again next month.
  11. let me know what you think of the 90/2 macro, I'm contemplating an upgrade to my 100/2.8 as a new general purpose + portrait lens.
    I purchased a 50/3.5 macro after advice from the forum and I can't put it down, only downside is the speed of the lens is a bit limiting but if there is plenty of light then it's fine.
  12. I'll throw in my hat on the 85/2, especially a later version of it that is MC marked or just has the MC reflections with no MC marking (the final version). Its sharper then the chrome ring single coated version. Small, light, sharp.
    I have the 85/2, some 50/1.8s and a 50/1.4 (I've had a couple of 50/1.4s in the past). The ones that would be my dream lenses are the 50/1.2, 100/2 and 24/2. Of course more exotic ones that I'd love are the 180/2 and 250/2...but I doubt I'd ever own one. The 50/1.2, 24/2 and 100/2 I figure I will acquire someday, even if it isn't for several more years.
    Currently I am looking for a 24/2.8 later multicoated and a 100/2.8 later multicoated. The 24/2.8 to stand in for my Sigma 24/2.8 which is good, but just not quite as good and it isn't as small or light, basically for backpacking, but it'll take its place in general I suspect. The 100/2.8 is also for backpacking. My current backpacking setup is my sigma 24/2.8, zuiko 50/1.4 and 85/2...but that means 2 different filters and the 85/2 isn't quite as long as I'd like it to be.
  13. Since you got the 90mm macro, I'd skip the 85/2 (even though it's a superb lens) and look for a 28/2. What a beauty of a lens. And much cheaper than the 90/2 macro. I find myself skipping over my 100/2.8 a lot and using my 135/3.5. I like it because it's tiny for its reach and uses 49mm filters. Great street lens. I hear great things about the 135/2.8 as well.
  14. 100/2.8 uses 49mm filters as well as the 135/3.5 fyi
    I don't hear much about the 28/2, I've had the 28/2.8 for a long time and I've gone off it, leaning more towards the 24/2.8 + 35/2.8. I don't know what it is I think it might be the fact that most point and shoot digitals these days have 28mm equivalent lenses and I have gotten sick of 28mm as a focal length.
  15. I looked at a 28mm f2, but the store which had it was charging almost the same price for it as I paid for the 90/2.0. As I spend most of my time in the city, I tend to like normal and wide-angle lenses as they seem best suited to the landscape here. I will probably look next for a 21mm (or perhaps the 18mm) lens, something which is similar to the Canon 20/2.8 which I use on my old F1.
    It seems that most of my Olympus lenses are 55mm, the only 49mm lenses I have are the 50/1.4 and the 28/2.8. It's actually more convenient as most of my old FD lenses use 55mm filters, so I can use those filters when I need them. I tend to keep the 35/2 on the camera, and I carry the 24/2.8 and 55/1.2 in the bag.
    The size and weight of the 90/2 was a surprise (it seems to weigh nearly as much as the camera itself), but I love how it works, as well as it's quality and workmanship.
    I'll take the lens to the park this afternoon and find some things to shoot with it.
  16. Olympus produced a lens in almost every focal length in both 49 and 55mm filter sizes. You can see that if you look at the whole lens line. That way you could assemble a set of lenses with common filter sizes, something that was a real concern back in the 70's.
    49: 21/3.5, 24/2.8, 28/2.8 or 3.5, 35/2.8, 50/1.8 or 50/1.4 or 40/2, 85/2, 100/2.8, 135/3.5, 200/5
    55: 21/2, 24/2, 28/2, 35/2, 50 or 55/1.2, 90 or 100/2. 135/2.8. 200/4
    The 24/2.8 you already have is a superb lens, but a nice pair would be the 35/2 and a 21/3.5. I always find that you need to skip at least one step between 21/24/28/35/50/85 to get useful differences in perspective....and many schools of thought advocate a ~ doubling of focal length, which would be 21/35 or 24/50 or 21/35/85 as better sets to carry. Otherwise, I often found myself uncertain which lens to pick and swapping too much. IMO,the 21/2 is just too much money to justify, especially with the superb quality of the 21/3.5. Similarly, the 18 is just too much money for the small difference vs. the 21. Remember, ultra wide angle lenses were quite exotic back in the 70's when that lens was introduced and were very expensive. The small production numbers have kept the price high.
    I too have the 90/2 and if you can deal with it's size and weight, it's the best, most versatile short telephoto that Olympus ever made, and I've had most of them. Longer, I LOVE the 135/2.8....small, light, sharp, nice bokeh. The 180/2.8 is also a nice lens, but the old, non ED design resulted in noticeable chromatic aberration and always turned me off when I had mine. I sold it for a 180/2.5 Tamron SP, which is a better performer, internal focusing, and has ED glass
    Also, the 90/2 is a strange beast from all the other Zuiko lenses. The aperture ring is at the back, unlike almost all the other primes. It also feels different and the aperture ring sounds different. Surely it's a tank, but it's also very durable. Consider finding the clamp-on rubber hood, which it shares with the 135/4.5. It's also a nice lens when paired with the 65-116 Auto Tube for high magnification.
  17. I've settled on the following 49mm filter thread lenses.
    49: 21/3.5, 24/2.8, 28/2, 35/2.8, 50/1.8,, 85/2, 100/2.8, 135/3.5, 200/5 + 16/3.5
    I can get most of them into a Lowe Orion AW plus an extra body, which is more than I can say for my E330 kit with 11-22, 35 macro and 40-150, although the range is quite a bit longer here.
  18. Yeah Olympus pretty much reserved 55mm for either huge long lenses or very fast, very expensive shorter lenses. Their entire "budget" line was 49mm and there is nothing wrong with any of them that I can tell. There is at least one 52mm lens I think... which if I recall was the oversized and shoddy 37-70 f/3.5-4.8 that came with the OM-2000 and was probably made by Cosina along with the body.
  19. The 50/1.2, unlike the 55/1.2, uses 49 mm filters.
  20. << I've settled on the following 49mm filter thread lenses.
    49: 21/3.5, 24/2.8, 28/2, 35/2.8, 50/1.8,, 85/2, 100/2.8, 135/3.5, 200/5 + 16/3.5>>
    :) I'd like to see how you screw in those 49mm filters on a 16/3.5! (the answer is NOT, as the bulbous front element prevents external filter use on the 16mm fisheye.)
    <<The 50/1.2, unlike the 55/1.2, uses 49 mm filters.>>
    Yes, you're right.....I have long since sold mine and was mistaken.
    Thanks for pointing out that boo-boo
  21. Just curious, if you remember: How much were the M-1s?
  22. The M1 cameras were priced from 30,000 to 50,000 yen ($300 to $500), depending on condition, though even the less expensive ones appeared to be very clean.
  23. Personally the 28mm Zuiko lenses don't have much appeal. I am sure they are fantastic, but I have a Tamron 28/2.5 which is pretty small already, has a 49mm filter thread and has a somewhat recessed front element and isn't very flare prone. It is also quite sharp. Bought it for a song ($40). My other 28mm is a Sigma 28mm f1.8, resonably sharp wide open (at least as sharp as my Zuiko 50/1.4 MC is wide open) and very sharp stopped down. Better yet it is 1/3rd of a stop faster then the Zuiko 28/2, though it sadly uses 58mm filters breaking the mold.
    For backpacking I subscribe to the doubling of focal lengths and keeping the same filter size which is why I want to pick up a Zuiko 24/2.8 and 100/2.8 with my 50/1.4 in the middle there. That plus a 12mm extension tube for a little closer picture taking for the 24/50 lenses and I am set.
  24. The 18mm f3.5 and 100mm f2 are both fantastic lenses with a 40mm f2 (or 50/1.4) tossed in for a nice working kit.
  25. Jeffry:
    I have at least 15 original "Oly" lenses in my collection, and the one that I love is a little rare gem that they produced, it was a small zoom 28-48MM I forgot the F/stop range now(as its 1:30AM) but it was a show stopper & hum dinger to boot. I especially used this when photographing inside churches and historical buildings and museums. It was really very tack sharp & provided great color accuracy in all of my film & slides (400 ISO films)that I shot in Europe & Greece. My wife knocked it off the table with the camera attached on New Years with not a scratch or bump in it (rubber hood was attached) it broke its fall. If I found one again I would buy it as a spare, if you find it BUY IT! You will never regret it. Honestly.
    Jim Demetrakis
  26. Jim, funny you should mention the 24-48 lens, I saw a couple of them yesterday. The prices were about 8000 yen each, so they aren`t expensive. I`ll take your advice and pick one up the next time I get out.
    As an update on the M1 models, I found many more for sale starting at around $200. I also found a new-in-the-box grip for my OM4, and the 65-116 macro extension collar.
    As a side note, I discovered that my Zuiko 35/2 lens wasn`t focusing properly. It would focus sharply in the middle, but was very fuzzy around the edges. Luckily the shop I bought it from was kind enough to refund me what I paid for it, I used the money to buy the items above, and a FD 35/2 concave lens for my F1.
  27. Yes... I concur with most of the statements made in this forum regarding OM lenses. I still use them on my E-3 and E-30. The best has to be the 55mm f/1.2. This lens is great for portrait and wedding formal setting shots. It's a keeper. And the same lens is used always in low light conditions. I don't worry to much about the camera searching for the AF point... it's manual focus, and I've used this lens for more than 3 decades... awesome lens!
  28. On "must have lenses" I agree with many of the posters here on lens choices, especially the OM Zuiko 100mm f2 lens and OM Zuiko 18mm f3.5 lens both are gems! I have been using the OM Zuiko 100mm f2 ED lens (with Canon/EOS adapter) for years with Canon 5D Full Frame digital with fantastic results and it's the finest portrait lens ever made. In fact I would pass on the 100/f2.8 and go for the 100/f2 ED. The OM Zuiko 18mm f3.5 is another awesome exotic ultrawide that I have also used for years. The 18mm f3.5 is so exotic that its glass is bulbous front... in fact you need a 49-72mm step up ring just to add a filter! I also agree with Skip about the Zuiko 90mm f2 macro, although it's not "ED" it is super sharp (same sharpness as 100/f2) and a true macro lens. Of course last but not least there is the Zuiko 55mm f1.2 perhaps the best "normal lens" ever made losts of praise above of this lens as well. Of course all these lenses are ultra-rare but if there is anywhere you may have a good chance of finding these it is maybe in your trip to Japan!
    One more rare lens not even mentioned here is the very underated OM Zuiko 35-80mm f2.8 ED lens. This lens I have never had the chance to use because it is so rare. In fact very few people even ownit as it's equally as scarce as the 100/f2 or 18/3.5. Maybe you will have better luck in Tokyo finding this gem!
  29. Skip, sorry to quibble, but the 28/2 is also 49mm filter size.
    Since my main attraction to the OM line is its small size, I've gone with the 49mm lens lineup, and have the 24/2.8, 28/2, 50/1.8, 50/1.4, 50/3.5, 85/2, 135/3.5 and 200/5. I'm hoping to sell the 24/2.8 and get a 21/3.5 (eventually) having already sold my 28/3.5, 35/2.8, Vivitar Ser 1 90/2.5 macro (nice portrait lens) and 100/2.8. Maybe a 50/1.2 or even 55/1.2 eventually (even though it's the "wrong" filter size). A 40/2 would be cool to have (I'd prefer that over either of the 35mm lenses), but not at current prices.

Share This Page