- Browse Reviews:
ne of the brightest Zuiko Digital lenses is this large aperture medium-telephoto macro lens. It is equivalent to 100mm on a 35 mm camera, good for maximum image magnification of 0.52x (equivalent to 1x life-size on a 35mm camera). ED lens greatly reduce chromatic aberrations to provide the high image quality with high-resolution and good contrast. In combination with the EX-25 Extension Tube, it can focus approx. 1x (equivalent to 2x on a 35mm camera).
Submitted by albot976 a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2008
Strengths: max aperture f2
excellent image quality
Great lens, I use this for all sorts of applications - however my shooting distances are primarily from a couple cm to maybe a couple meters (food, portraits, misc. macro).
The image quality on this thing is excellent. Incredibly sharp all the way across the frame, almost no chromatic aberration, and non-existent distortion. Max aperture of f2 opens up some nice options and the bokeh is quite nice.
I'd say it's designed relatively well, sturdy enough, and it's splash and dustproof. It's quite light and compact, although the focusing barrel may extend out a couple cm or so during macro work. However, it does not rotate so CPLs can be used easily. It handles very well on an E-510 and E-3.
It performs quite well as a macro lens. The minimum working distance is decent, around 10 cm. For most applications it's plenty of room, but with something like splashing water or bugs it needs to be managed a bit. Great portrait lens too, although at 50mm (100mm 35mm equivalent), you might be a bit cramped and restricted to 3/4 portrait max. Along the same vein, it can be used as a short telephoto I suppose, but I rarely use it for those purposes.
Focusing feels a bit slow at times and is relatively loud compared to other zuiko lenses, but still quite quiet. There is no distance limiter. This is particularly frustrating since under certain circumstances where the lens misses focus, it sluggishly racks back and forth across the whole focusing distance. It doesn't happen often, and is usually my fault, but can be annoying. I still give 5 stars since it performs so well in every other area.
The price is good for what you get as well. This lens is highly recommended.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $400.00
Submitted by Sushigaijin a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2008
Strengths: - Sharp. Stupid sharp. So sharp, it makes sharp lenses look like cracker jack toys.
- Weather sealed. You can shoot with this in the rain, no problem. Just make sure your body is weather sealed too.
- Solidly built, not plastic or cheap feeling.
- wonderful portrait lens
- great low light lens, with some focus reservations.
- Contrast is very good. I don't see a lot of lens reviews that comment on contrast, but it is a crucial part of a good lens so I will include it here.
- Bokeh is very nice
Weaknesses: - Can fail to focus/rack through focus limits in low light
- Loud autofocus compared to other Zuiko lenses I have used
- insufficient magnification and working distance for "bug hunters," although I think that problem is mostly in my head - I can't remember a shot I missed because of it.
I've been using this lens at every opportunity for the past year, and I can't say enough good things about it. It is f/2, rock solid, weather sealed, with very good contrast and is unbelievably sharp. I mean, really scary sharp. A 50mm lens on the 4/3 system has the same field of view as a 100mm lens on a 35mm full frame (film size) system. For all intents and purposes, we can treat this lens as a 100mm macro.
Zuiko is well known for producing amazing lenses, and this one is no exception. It is sharp from edge to edge and has very nice bokeh, although at only 50mm the field of view can be slightly cluttered for high magnification macros. The best way I can describe it is that the out-of-focus areas look nice, but since it isn't a long telephoto it includes more of the background than a longer macro would include. For subjects with fussy backgrounds like small insects in lots of plants, it can take a bit of getting used to. If you first understand the concept of field of view this will make sense to you.
The 50mm f/2 is not a super-high magnification lens and boasts a modest 1/2x magnification which equates to 1x because of the 4/3 format. Working distance at max magnification is a couple inches from the front element. This doesn't bother me and I have shot many bug macros that I am very happy with, but I do plan on buying a longer macro to fill the high magnification at long working distance niche.
The lens does not rotate so polarizers work easily. The focus system is typical zuiko focus-by-wire which works well, although I prefer mechanical focus.
This lens does not have a focus limiting switch, which is its biggest downfall. It is a very good low light lens and lends itself well to head-and-shoulders portraits but it is a macro lens and it does occasionally rack back and forth looking for focus - when the lens racks from close-focus to infinity, it takes about a second or two to find focus and sometimes fails to even do that. A limit switch would prevent this problem, as it does on some other companies lenses. The focus system is fast in normal light although it is not quiet or subtle.
I use this lens to shoot mostly reptiles and amphibians in the field with natural light, with subject sizes in the two inch to cat-sized range and four inch to two foot working distance. This lens is absolutely ideal for this kind of work. I can get it wet or dirty and not worry about it. It has a close enough working distance to allow me to easily wrangle my subjects, where a longer lens would fail.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $400.00
Purchased At: Calumet photography
Similar Products Used: in 4/3 mount:
Zuiko 14-42 kit lens, zuiko 40-150 kit lens, zuiko 14-54 pro standard zoom.
I've shot with other system's macro lenses on other system's cameras, and they are not as sharp. Sorry guys, they just aren't. I know that APS-C has a lot going for it that 4/3 doesn't, but Zuiko definitely makes up for it with quality lenses.
Type of photography: Outdoor
Check out our holiday gift suggestions for these categories!
See All Holiday Gift Guide coverage - Click Here »