The use of classic lenses on mirrorless cameras is very popular nowadays,
– partly because adapters to the most widespread lens mounts are easily available,
– partly because classic lenses are cheap (at least most of the time) compared to own brand lenses,
– and partly precisely because it is popular – everyone uses them, why not me
And the latter is precisely the problem why many photographers put everything up for sale again in the near future. Hence the large offer on the internet.
So the large offer on internet of classic lenses is not just supply and demand, but also the result of many photographers that had underestimated the (what some call) drawbacks.
Those so called drawbacks are mainly the lack of auto focus, but also the changing of lenses on adapters – or actually the use of adapters, the lack of electronic communication between lens and camera, thus the manual setting of the lens focal length on the camera.
Manual focusing is something you have to give time, but you will soon see the benefits of this :
- after a while you will focus lightning fast
- pre focusing with DOF is even faster than the fastest auto focus
- less focusing problems in low light
- less focusing problems with high speed subjects
- no auto focus noise when photographing animals / wildlife
- manual focus is better for bracketing, HDR or image stacking
- less focusing problems with macro
- determine the focus point precisely
Most of the other drawbacks fade away when you get used to manual focusing, and you can no longer miss the benefits.
Why Olympus OM Zuiko lenses then?
I wanted for myself the best possible ratio between (in order of importance) :
- quality of the glass
- build quality
- and if possible, also a nice lens.
After reading tons of reviews and comparing lenses, I came to the conclusion that some brands and types could meet the most important requirements, including Canon FD lenses, Minolta MD and MC lenses, Pentax M, and others.
But one stood out for me: Olympus OM Zuiko.
They met all the requirements and had a few more pluses, including the aperture ring on the front of the lens, which is extremely handy.
And the lenses are really drop dead beautiful 🙂
Again as far as the aperture ring is concerned, some colleagues say it doesn’t make much difference, and probably not on an analog Olympus camera, however, we are not going to use it on an analog camera but on a digital one and more specifically with an adapter. It is that adapter that makes the difference in my opinion. With an analog camera, a normal (non-Olympus) aperture ring sits against the body and is therefore easy to find. With a digital camera with an adapter looking through the viewfinder, you have to feel where that adapter ends and the lens starts to find the aperture. With the Olympus, the aperture is simply on the end of the lens.
In my opinion the placement of the aperture ring is a big advantage when using adapters, and it can make a big difference when you have to choose between Olympus and other brand lenses.
As for the zooms, I understand the reservation of a few colleagues, but in the case of Olympus these compact zooms still deliver a very high level of quality, which means that they still have advantages and can be used in many circumstances. Such as when a large focal range, but also compactness and weight is important. Just think of backpacking, every day lens, unforeseen circumstances etc. The use of an Olympus OM Zuiko prime and zoom lens together is therefore a photographic “killer” combination.
Lenses I own and soon linked to their (picture) review by me :
Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm f3.5
Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm f2.8
Olympus OM Zuiko 35mm f2.8
Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.8
Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm Macro f3.5
Olympus OM Zuiko 135mm f3.5
Olympus OM Zuiko 200mm f4
Olympus OM Zuiko 300mm f4.5
Olympus OM Zuiko 35/70mm f4
Olympus OM Zuiko 35/105mm f3.5-4.5
Olympus OM Zuiko 70/150mm f4
Olympus OM Zuiko 85/250mm f5
Info about Olympus Zuiko lenses on other blogs :
https://youtu.be/EpJapq83WSE – Zenography – Vintage Lenses For Mirrorless – A Full Kit Of Zuiko Primes For Under £400
This is a work in progress, and will be further supplemented, updated and improved as time goes on.