Olympus OM-Zuiko 16mm f3.5 35mm Primes

OM-Zuiko 16mm f3.5

User Reviews (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5  
Colin in Amsterdam   Expert [Oct 04, 2016]
Strength:

Create a unique 11mm f 2.5 fisheye (or 'curvilinear ultrawide' if you prefer) with a Metabones Speedbooster

Weakness:

Some surgery required to make it work

I put off surgery on this lens for a couple of years because I'm afraid of the knife .... (or in this case the saw) - never having attempted surgery on lenses before.

What's the issue ? Like some other old OM Zuiko ultra wide (in particular) lenses there's a metal stub at the back of the lens put there to stop glass hitting surface when the lens is placed unprotected (without rear lens cap) bottom-down on a flat surface. Nice simple and cheap practical solution to a potential problem and no unintended negative consequences .... until now: With the Metabones speedbooster (and possibly other speedboosters, I haven't checked) that metal stub gets in the way of mounting the lens on the adapter. Solution: Get rid of metal stub.

Three stages:

(i) unscrew the rear part of the lens. This is really easy. Get a feel for the screw tension (you want to tighten to the same level, no tighter) and don't lose the screws
(ii) saw off the stub. I found a hacksaw was fine - primitive as it sounds. Apparently cutting works fine if you have a suitable metal cutter
(iii) darken the shiny metal edge left after sawing off the stub (to reduce internal reflections). You can do this later if you have no suitable marker available.

Then replace the rear part of the lens and it's ready to use.

Now don't go putting it bottom-down on a flat surface without the rear lens cap on .......

I confess I needed to see someone on Youtube demonstrating how simple the surgery was before I carried it out - and have done the same on a similar-vintage 18mm lens.

Why fiddle with ancient lenses rather than buy a new better quality fast ultra wide ?

Two reasons:
One is specifically for me - I already have some of these ancient lenses and one speedbooster gives them all a new lease of life, much cheaper than a whole bunch of new ultrawides.
The second is specific to this lens - this creates a unique image in today's lens line-up: A curvilinear 11mm. So less distortion at the edges on your landscapes (or whatever you are shooting).

Customer Service

no longer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
cannga   Expert [Jul 14, 2007]
Strength:

Color
Contrast
Sharpness
Compact
Inexpensive

Weakness:

One of the most poorly designed lensese in terms of front element protection. The cap falls off easily and since there is no front thread, there is not a way I could think of to protect the front element.

Fisheye--Learn to compose appropriately and use it to your advantage.

A jewel of a lens. Small, compact, beautiful pictures!

Very very impressive color, contrast and sharpness. Very little light fall off at corners. Testing at f/8, besting all the lenses of similar focal lengths that I have and list below, except for the king of them all, the Contax 21mm Distagon. (Obviously the Contax at 21mm is not an appropriate comparison to this 16mm fisheye; I am just listing it so you know the standards I am comparing this lens against.)

Grab this lens IMMEDIATELY if you see it on the used market.

Similar Products Used: Canon 14mm 2.8
Tamron 12-24mm Zoom
Olympus Zuiko 18mm 3.5
Olympus Zuiko 21mm 2.0
Contax Distagon 21mm 2.8
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chip Stratton   Expert [Mar 16, 2001]
Strength:

Extraordinarily compact!
Super wide field of view

Weakness:

Careful with that front element. Lens cap not very secure.

One of my favorite lenses. Indispensable when nothing else will do, with it's 180 degree FOV from corner to opposite corner. Pictures can usually be composed in such a way that the barrel distortion of the fisheye design is not objectionable, and the results are usually dramatic. It is a type of lens that requires careful consideration of composition and exposure for good results. Always goes with me when I travel. This lens can be hard to find used, but may still be available new.

Customer Service

Ha! Replacement front elements no longer available, so your investment is at risk.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jan Steinman   Expert [Aug 17, 1999]
Model Reviewed: OM-Zuiko 16mm f3.5
Strength:

I always thought fish-eyes were "gimmic" lenses, suitable only for wildly distorted images. Was I wrong! I got this as part of a used system I bought, and was going to sell it, but then I began using it. It conveys a wonderful sense of "being inside" the subject, especially up-close and personal. Avoid subjects with straight lines, and no one will even know it's a fish-eye. If you must include straight lines (horizon :-) run the most prominent line through the center, and it will remain straight. I also use it with the Olympus 7mm extension tube to "get inside" flowers. In such cases, be careful not to bump the front element on your subject!

Weakness:

Not specific to this lens, but proper exposure can be a pain with a fish-eye, as so much sky is included that it throws auto-exposure off and blocks up the shadows.

Small, light, and amazingly versatile if you don't abuse it's characteristics! In looking through my portfolio, I'm amazed at how often I use this "gimmic" lens.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Warren Kato   Intermediate [Aug 17, 1999]
Model Reviewed: OM-Zuiko 16mm f3.5
Strength:

A very sharp and contrasty lens. There is little edge falloff in sharpness or contrast. In addition it is very compact and has built in orange and yellow filters.

Weakness:

The special lens cap needs some additional friction to keep it on.

If you need a semi-fisheye, I don't see how you could do better.

Similar Products Used: Sigma 16mm
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-5 of 5  

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