Olympus OM-System S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 100-200mm f/5 lens

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jdm_von_weinberg, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Olympus OM-System S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 100-200mm f/5 lens

    Another inexplicable miss for Kadlubeks Objektiv-Katalog, which does not list it.

    It's another of those 'can't pass up a bargain' stories.
    On another thread somebody asked for recommendations for lenses for an Olympus OM-1 series body. I made some suggestions but got curious what the lenses I had bought last year were going for now, so over to the KEH site. There it was. A BGN 100-200mm f/5 lens for only $31. Since that was only a "two-pizza" buy, I thought what the heck, and besides I was curious about the BGN rating.

    Well, it came in only a couple of days (I'm not all that far from GA, where KEH seems to be located) and when I opened it up, it looked close to "new, old stock' in appearance to me. If this one is any indication, KEH really is very. very conservative in their ratings. It was clean, the white lettering un-besmudged, and everything worked smoothly. By the way, Zuiko 瑞光 seems to mean 'auspicious light', and this one lives up to the name.

    There are good discussions of the lens at the Mir site ( http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/shared/zuiko/htmls/100200mm.htm ) and pictures of its results at other sites like ( http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/browse;jsessionid=aRb7Fgd2Aik4EElkm3?id=36694 ).

    This was another 'bargain' lens for Olympus. It was introduced sometime in 1981-2 -- B&H in their ad of March 1982 list it as 'new' with a call for price. By June of 1982 they listed its price as $169, less than half the price of the 85-250mm f/5 (at $389).
  2. Its specifications are

    • 9 lenses in 6 groups,
    • auto diaphragm f/5-32,
    • 2.4m closest focus,
    • mass 570g,
    • 149mm long (w/o hood) 63mm widest,
    • built in extending lens hood,
    • 49mm filter
  3. now have a good working set of modest lenses for my OM-1 MD camera. Zuiko 35-70mm f/4, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, and now the 100-200mm f/5.
  4. The question was where should I go for a try-out? It was an exceedingly dull winter day, but then I thought - this is a good day to stay home and maybe the Canada Geese at the nearby national wildlife refuge would feel that way too. We have some hides and stands for viewing the areas they normally congregate in.

    When I got there, the pickings were slim, though. It turns out, as is so common in the last few years, the weather north of 37ºN has just been too mild to push the Hudson's Bay geese to the south. Besides, so many of the critters have decided that it's pretty nice here year around. The Wildlife Service people told me that perhaps as few as 300 geese have come to us so far this year.

    The in-camera meter seems to work, but the mercury battery in it had only a faint whiff of power left, so I just metered with my Gossen Luna-Pro SBC. Lighting was very dull and consistent so ended up mostly shooting 1/250 at f/8 on a monopod. I used Walgreen's ISO 400 film, which seems to be Fuji 400.

    Here is a view of some of the geese in the air over the feeding/pond area
  5. As it happened, they were too shy today to come in close enough for even the 200mm. This is as close as I could get. Next time I go out there, I'm taking one of my 500mm mirror lenses.
  6. Here's a causeway across the Crab Orchard Lake next door-
  7. and a study in gray of one of the older Refuge storage buildings
  8. That's all folks. It's a decent, but not spectacular, zoom telephoto. It does need a fast film to overcome the limitations of a wide-open f/5.0. In the age of hi-ISO digital, I had forgot how unforgiving film was for such a lens. At 2.4m closest focus, it's also no "macro," even in the generous terminology of zoom-telephotos. For the money, however, it's something I will get use out of. The Olympus camera feels so very small, even with this lens on it.
    The lens hood simply pulls out, by the way. The lens focuses by turning the knurled area, and it zooms by pulling on the front of the lens.
  9. Great job, JDM. Top notch results. The 100-200 range is often associated with budget lenses, but your lens doesn't seem
    like a budget lens. Thanks for posting.
  10. It may be a budget lens but it gives you some decent reach. Perhaps not enough for wetland type shooting but for everyday stuff it's plenty. My Oly 65-200mm f/4 is all I'll likely need. Using the monopod was a good idea. Can't beat the price and KEH came through with a nice example.
  11. I love the compactness of OM lenses. The only zoom I have is the 75-150, which is quite good, in my opinion. At some point I want to get a 135mm, as lately I have been on a 135 kick, and that mount is the only one that I am lacking. I will also second KEH BGN grade lenses. Never have been disappointed with anything from them. I did get an UGLY 120mm 'blad lens, and the only thing wrong with it is the coating on the front element. I just use a hood and not in conditions that might cause flare. But after all, it was UGLY!
  12. JDM,
    Interesting find. At first I thought your date may have been incorrect. Olympus did have a version of this lens in the early 1970s. I then found a test of your lens in a Nov. 1983 issue of Modern Photography. By this time the lens was under $120. It looks like a pretty good performer.
    I think you will get some better use from this lens when the sun is higher in the sky. I have the Olympus 70-150mm f/4 which is great when the light is brighter.
  13. Handy lens, and an interesting post, JDM. Some keen sportsmen introduced Canada Geese to my area a few score years ago, and they now enjoy "pest" status, along with rabbits, devastating crops and fouling pasture. They're notoriously hard to approach, and it's not often anyone manages to get a good picture of one, without a hide and some long-range lenses.
  14. Thanks, Marc. I didn't find that review so appreciate seeing it.
    The geese are becoming a problem everywhere. They hang out at the dorms on the campus lake (nearly tame there), so getting closeup to the semi-domesticates isn't hard. Somehow they always remind me of one of my poorer graduate students who had perfected the art of hand capturing the campus pigeons (cooked, they're squab).
  15. I had that lens. It was terrible! Hard to focus accurately, impossible to hold steady. Remembering this now makes me appreciate modern AF and IS technology all over again! (The OM2 was wonderful, however!)
  16. Much later:
    I got the second edition of Kadlubeks Objektiv-Katalog and the lens is now listed, Nr. OLP0550.

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