No sharpness tests, pixel counting or other technical mumbo jumbo, just everyday pictures with the intention of showing the view angle, color pattern and character, and my thoughts of the lens.
Olympus OM System G. Zuiko Auto-W 35mm f:2.8
I had been working on this lens review for a while, I think even before the beginning of the Corona epidemic. It has probably been somewhat forgotten because of that. So I have now taken the time to write everything out properly.
When the pictures below were taken the sky was gray, so the colors are not quite what they should be. I took each picture at f2.8 and f16 to compare afterwards. The camera I used was the Fujifilm X-T10.
Focusing is very smooth with this lens, from 0.30 to infinity you need a little less than half a turn (less than 180 °).
When first viewed on a computer, I noticed that the pictures at f16 were a lot less good, and the f2.8 seemed very sharp.
you can also see a clear difference in contrast between f2.8 and f16
sharpness deteriorates at f16
To see where the lens performs best, I did a test on a tripod at a short distance, one picture on each aperture position, and enlarged one part of the photo 100%
Pictures were taken at f2.8, f4.0, f5.6, f8.0, f11 and f16. The picture on f2.8 is soft but improved a lot on f4.0 – on f5.6 and f8.0 you have reached the maximum sharpness I think.
Same order as above, but full
The Olympus 35 mm f2.8 is a small lens, which means that with an adapter you only have 6 cm in length on your camera, so that is not too bad, and using an adapter may be the only drawback this lens has. The performance is very good from f4.0 to f8.0. Something that I find a very big advantage is the aperture ring that is located at the beginning of the lens, direct behind it the focus ring makes it convenient to work with. Many other lenses in the Olympus OM Zuiko line have the widely used 49mm filter thread, so you can use lenses from 21mm f3.5 up to 200mm f5.0 all with the same filters and lens hood, which is also handy.
Asking prices can go in any direction, sometimes you can find a good lens for € 50 or less. But Olympus has a sought-after status and the 35mm is unfortunately less common, many sellers know that and some dare to charge outrageous prices. There is always someone who wants to pay more for it, so do not pay too much.
A good Olympus OM G.Zuiko 35mm f2.8 can be found from € 75 to € 150, prices can even go up to € 300 on Ebay.
Even an original lens hood is sometimes sold for € 30 to € 40.
I also bought my lens on Ebay in Germany for about € 120 including shipping, taking into account the shipping, this is an average price.
Final Conclusion :
It’s a real gem and a must have, but don’t pay more than € 150. The build quality is great (much better than a Meike or 7Artisans), and the color rendering of the glass gives superb results. The aperture ring at the front is a real plus for me, something other reviewers apparently didn’t always appreciate. And the aperture clicks! which is usually not the case with Chinese alternatives.
When purchasing, pay attention to the condition of the glass. A very small scratch usually doesn’t do much harm and neither does dust, unless it is full of it, but watch out for fungus.
|Build Quality||Superb||Sometimes Problematic|
The table above gives you a comparison between the Oly 35mm and the Meike 35mm f1.7 that I also bought and tested a while ago. There may be differences in the different versions of the Meike, and that is also the case with the 7Artisans. But in general, the build quality and handling with the Chinese lenses are pretty much the same. I think the aperture is clickless on all Chinese lenses. It is different when you buy for example a Samyang or Viltrox, you really feel a difference in build quality. On the other hand, those lenses are a lot heavier, bigger and a lot more expensive. Those Chinese lenses do have that advantage, they are very similar in size to the vintage lenses.
An Olympus or a Meike / 7Artisans?
A difficult question.
The adapter for vintage lenses is sometimes a problem (in terms of size)
A clickless aperture can also be annoying.
Color rendering of the vintage Oly is much more vivid.
But if you want more natural (not to say flat) colors, the Chinese is better.
Price wise they are close together.
I use them both, sometimes it depends on the space I have left, or if I just want to take a compact camera with me.
Both have advantages.