Zuiko 90mm f2 any good?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by henricus, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. I'm looking at getting the 90mm f2 from B&H. It costs just over
    $1000.00, which is cheap when you compare it to a Leica lens.
    Anyone here use this portrait lens? Any comments on this lens would
    be appreciated. Posting your pictures with this lens would also be
    appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Of course, that's quite alot compared to a Tamron, Vivitar, or Tokina 90mm f2.5 that could be gotten 2nd hand for $200 or less in Excellent condition. Don't snicker, those are some of the sharpest prime lenses EVER made by anyone. I own both a Tamron 90mm f2.5 SP macro, and a 90mm f2.8 Leica Elmarit R, and I used to own the Vivitar (I traded it for the optically identical Tamron because I use multiple brands of bodies). Those 3 lenses are all roughly equivalent, except, I kid you not, I believe the Tamron to be the best built of the 3. Incidentally, that Zuiko lens is NOT optimized as a portrait lens, it is optimized as a Macro lens. Not a significant issue in general, but I'd

    That Zuiko is a very highly regarded lens for very good reason, but MOSTLY, it's due to a scarcity premium. Paying a 5X premium for 2/3 of an f-stop of extra speed strikes me as rather excessive. I DON'T believe that the Zuiko will be any better optically OR mechanically.

    And if you really want it for portraits, rather than macro, you could also get Olympus' own very fine 100mm f2.8 lens for the $200 vicinity 2nd hand in excellent shape. Once again, a 5X multiple for one f-stop. If you really need that f-stop, go ahead, it's your money. But ALL you're getting is that f-stop, you're NOT getting a fundamentally better lens than the other roughly $200 choices I suggested.
  3. You should know that Olympus America is selling off their remaining inventory of 90mm f/2's, along with everything else OM, on that auction site we all know and love. They've been putting up one 90mm a week for about two months, maybe longer, but that's as long as I've been aware of it. They're brand new, warranted, and have typically been selling in the $800 to $1000 range. There's you chance to get a possible bargain. I wish my pockets were deep enough for one. (I have great affection for B&H too, but I have to go where the best legitimate price is.)
  4. Thanks Mark, I'm there!
  5. It is an excellent lens, as a macro lens, and will take you to 1:2 without additional extension. For portraits it is probably too surgical. It suits my tastes, but I'm not trying to sell the images to the subject. It is reassuringly heavy for a zuiko - top build quality.

    Is it value for money? I don't doubt cheaper lenses perform closely, but I also know I would recoup most of my purchase price if I ever decided to sell.

    Go on. Treat yourself. No one else will.
  6. "For portraits it is probably too surgical. It suits my tastes, but I'm not trying to sell the images to the subject."
    Thanks for your informative response. I have decided to get the lens if only to have a macro in this length. However, I must admit that portrait use was my initial reasoning for getting this lens. Could you explain what you mean by 'too surgical." Our tastes, as you put it, might be similar. Thanks.
  7. I mean that it will show every skin flaw and imperfection, which is not the perceived ideal for a portrait lens. 'Classic' portrait lenses are quite soft and flattering. Personally I think you are much better having that sharpness available and tone down with a filter if necessary, but that gauzy wedding photo look leaves me cold. At the other extreme, using this sharpness with B&W film is amazing, especially for old weatherbeaten faces. You see every whisker and pore. And that's just the women. Added to it's other uses (still life, nature etc) it's a terrific lens. I'm sure you wont be disappointed.
  8. "I mean that it will show every skin flaw and imperfection. . .
    I see, that makes sense. I think we agree on this. One can never have to much sharpness and if one desires a softer look, it can be done in the darkroom. Again, thanks for the informative response. I am excited to get this lens.
  9. I just won the bid on my 90mm f2 from the Olympus Emporium on *bay. I should have it by next week. I got a good deal, but the tax was a pain. Still, at $950.00 (delivered) it is a bargain for a new lens from the manufacture with a warranty! B&H wanted over $1000.00 without shipping. Thanks again to all for your responses. I hope to post some pics soon after I get it.
  10. If you want to examine the capillary structure of the cornea from 20 ft away, sure go get one. But I doubt thats what you are after. <p>

Share This Page