OM Zuiko 100mm f2.8 vs. Zuiko 135mm f3.5

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by gabriel_p., Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Hello!

    Please have your say on these two lenses, considering optical
    performance (is there a BIG difference between them?), handling, price
    (do you happen to know what would be the price for each?)... Which one
    would suit better for portraits to tight headshots?
    I might be able to choose between these two, which one to purchase,
    and your answers to these questions of mine would help me a lot.

    Thank you, OM lovers.
  2. Oh, i forgot to mention that i own a Zuiko 65-200 f4. My purchasing of one of the two lenses i mentioned above would involve selling the zoom.
    So how would this 65-200 compare to the two lenses mentioned above (especially the 135), considering the contrast and resolution?
  3. I own both a Zuiko 100f2.8 and a Zuiko 135f2.8. The 135f3.5 is smaller & lighter than the f2.8 (and also uses 49mm filters). The 100 has been one of my favorite optics for more than 25 years. It's ideal for travelling, great for portraits (some might argue an 85mm is better) etc. I find the 135 a little too long for formal (i.e. indoor) portraits but it provides a greater working distance for outdoor portraiture. I bought the 100 first and for many years used it, and the 200f5 for all my telephoto stuff. I added the used 135 after some years but when travelling light always reach for the 100f2.8 (ironically I might also pack the heavy 35f2 and 55f1.2).

    Having said all that, given the prices these days the 135f3.5 is a real bargain.

  4. I have used the combination: 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm for full-body, head+torso, and head only shots. I haven't ever owned a 100/2.8 so I cannot comment, but for me it would be too close to both the 85 and the 135. I have owned the 135/3.5 in the past - it is a very small and light lens and the optical quality seemed to be quite fine, but I found that I was always using the 135/2.8 whenever I wanted that focal length, so I sold it. I believe the 100/2.8 is more popular than the 135/3.5 and is therefore usually more expensive.
  5. Hi,
    Owning both lenses, I have to say the following. Both lenses are as good as any zuiko, although I cannot display resolution numbers since I am not in that trend.

    Yet the 135 has a unique quality, a kind of very special soft focus, that distinguishes it for good. This is 1:0 at the match.

    But an important factor is what lenses do you have after the standard 50. If you have the 85, then definitely the match ends by 2:0 in favour of the 135.

    If you don't own the Zuiko 85, then in my opinion you'll have to include this factor in your calculations.

    In my case after the 50, I bought the 100, then the 135 and then the 85 - a totally spontaneous and erroneous way.



    After having all the abovementioned lenses, I find myself all times excluding from use the 100, and using instead the 85 + 135 combination.

    PS: my 135 is the 3.5: excellent, compact and 49mm thread.
  7. The 135/3.5 never did it for me, at all. Maybe I had a bad copy, I don't know. The 100/2.8 I really liked.
  8. I don't have the 85 (but maybe i will some day! :) ) Now I only have the 28mm f3.5 and the 50mm 1.8. And the zoom, which will go.

    And one more thing.. I've worked a deal: the 65-200 zoom for an OM1n body + the 135mm f3.5.

    What do you think?
  9. 28 - 50 - 135 combination may work good for me, if I consider that the 50 will play the central part, which for me is accurate. In the future you may add the 35 and the 85 according to your instincts.

    Having fewer lenses is like living with a good diet, less weight - faster movement. Becomming lenses fat slows your shooting and brings too much thinking.

    Your deal sounds cool. And sport your OM wherever you want to look ultimatively fancy.


  10. Right now, my kit is almost identical to yours....28 3.5, 50 1.8 mij, and the 135 3.5 (silver nose). They are all great lenses. BTW, how is your experience with the 28 3.5? This lens is supposed to have some mythical status among Japanese photographers. I like the results from mine, but haven't tested it extensively.

    If I need something wider, I'll probably get a 24 2.8...but right now this three lens kit is fine!
  11. I have not used the Zuiko 135mm f3.5, so I cannot comment.

    I owned a later (Made In Japan, i.e. multi-coated) version of Zuiko 100mm f2.8. This is a handy, sharp lens with just the right amount of contrast, esp. good for portraits. The colour rendition is excellent. It offer a different taste to Nikkor 105mm f2.5 (which I also owned) but equally good.

    However, my feeling is that the earlier SC version of 100mm f2.8 may not be as good.
  12. I'ved just bought a 100mm f/2.8 and only hope it will be better than my 135mm f/3.5. I find the 135mm lacks some sharpness and I don't like the images it produces. On the other hand it's very well made and as many other Zuikos, it's extremely compact.
  13. Hi Luis,

    Do you have the Olympus OM book dislaying each lens with samples? If you do have it I would like to know if your 135 lack of sharpness is the intentional soft focus and you just happen to dis-like it, or your 135 lack of sharpness goes beyond that.


  14. I have both of these lenses and both are nice. I suspect that if you tested both of them on tripod mounted cameras the 100 would be slightly sharper. The unique feature of the 100 is its small size. For indoor portraits and candid photos I don't like to use lenses longer than 100mm. For general outdoor photography I prefer a 135. My Canon 100mm f/2.8 breech lock lenses are larger and much heavier than the Zuiko. My 100mm f/2.8 Konica Hexanon is a little larger and my 105mm f/2.5 Super Takumar is almost as small. I have two versions of the 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor and they are considerably heavier too. The 135mm f/3.5 is practically being given away on eBay. Even the 100mm f/2.8 isn't that expensive. The lens is nice but fewer and fewer people are using OM system cameras or can find ones in good condition.
  15. The 100mm 2.8 Zuiko is a excellent lens.<br>
    Very compact, not bigger than a standard lens, easy to carry, well
    suited to the compact OM camera bodies, not a intimidating nor a
    threatening appearance like many bigger lenses.<br>
    Sharp and contrasty at full aperture, more easy to focus than the 85mm
    2.0 Zuiko.<br>
    IMHO one of the overlooked gems in the Olympus lens line<br>
    Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth
  16. My set is 28/2,8 50/1,8 75-150/4 300/4,5
    The zoom is great, I had headshots published in A3 magazine and they looked really nice and 3d.
  17. I agree completely with Richard S.
    I have both the 85mm and the 100 2.8 and prefer the latter. I have had better results using the 100mm at 2.8 than the 85mm stopped down to 2.8. It may be as Richard S. mentioned, that the 100mm is easier to focus.
    Anyway, while I was originally hesitant to buy the 100mm as it seemed too close to the 85mm which I already had, I have had no regrets. It is a gem.
  18. I wonder how the bokeh looks like in both lenses. If 85 is a portrait lens can it or should be softer at full aperture and short distances?
  19. Just in case anyone comes across this thread:

    I have owned 135/3.5 SC for more than 3 years, 85/2 MC for more than 2 years and 100/2.8 MC for just a few hours ;)

    The 135 is reasonably sharp, but has very (and I mean it) low contrast. On slides it's obvious which photo was taken with the 135. It bothers me so much, that I actually hardly ever use the 135 and I bought the 100/2.8 to replace both 85 and 135 on my hiking trips to mountains.

    The 85 is a sweet lens. It's soft wide open, till about f/4. It gets better at f/5.6 and is reasonably sharp from f/8 until f/16 but not clinically sharp. Simply said - it's a portrait lens, and when shooting portraits ,the softness wide open is sometimes a wanted feature ;)
  20. I'd go for the 100mm every time. Only used the faster f2.8 lens in 135mm and, while it's a nice focal length, I've found 100mm more versatile (example here). But everyone's different....

    The 65-200mm zoom is an excellent lens, as long as you don't rely on the 'macro' range for quality close-up photos. TBH I find it handy for countryside walks where I need some flexibility in framing telephoto shots, while a prime is great for portraits, buildings, towns etc when I'm travelling light. 28, 50 and either of the two you're considering would be a superb lightweight system - it's what most people had in the days before zooms became so ubiquitous. The 85mm f2, while a very popular lens, is very close to 100mm.
  21. Another one. Oops, looks like I've swapped the captions. Oh well.

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