Olympus OM-Zuiko 200mm f4.0 35mm Primes

OM-Zuiko 200mm f4.0

User Reviews (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7  
Jim Baker   Intermediate [Jun 06, 2009]
Strength:

Very handleable.
Good performance.
Built in lens hood.

Weakness:

None. The limitations of the lens (discussed above) are an acceptable compromise.

This is, on balance, the best 200mm lens for the Olympus OM system. At one time I was able to compare the 200mm f4, the 200mm f5, the 65-200 f4 and the 180mm f2.8 (all Zuiko). I shot the same scene under the same conditions, scanned the negatives and compared them side-by-side. In descending order of sharpness: 200mm f4, 180mm f2.8, 200mm f5, 65-200mm f4. In descending order of chromatic abrerration (colour fringing): 200mm f4, 200mm f5, 65-200mm f4, 180mm f2.8. In general, the 200mm f4 and f5 were similar and better than the other two. The main disadvantage of the 180mm f2.8 was colour fringing. So the 200mm f4 was the best of those I compared. The only other Zuiko in this focal length range, the 180mm f2, no doubt has the best performance of all but I would not consider it on the grounds of its weight and cost. I also researched the Tamron 180mm f2.5. It is reportedly sharper than the 200mm f4 and the use of ED glass corrects for chromatic aberrations. However, photos taken with this lens and displayed on the web show poor bokeh, out-of-focus highlights having an unattractive ring-like appearance. More research on the web indicated that ring-like bokeh is associated with a lens design in which the spherical abreerration is over-corrected. It seems that too much emphasis on correcting spherical aberration can lead to the poor ring-like bokeh!
Well, the end result of my investigation was the conclusion that, on balance (taking into account performance, cost, weight and size), the 200mm f4 lens was the best.
On a more practical note, I've had the lens for about 15 years and have been very pleased with it. The lens is sharp, sharp enough for 50cm x 30cm prints, the largest I can handle in my darkroom. The out-of-focus background is indeed pleasing and chromatic aberration (colour fringing) is rarely noticeable and in any case do not detract from the image. It's only in the last few years I carried out my investigations convinced myself that this lens is in fact the best available!

Customer Service

None

Similar Products Used: The 65-200mm f4. It handles like the 200mm f4 but it does not have quite the performance. I also tried out the 180mm f2.8. It's a lot heavier but is still quite handleable. As I said in the Review, the main drawback is distinct chromatic aberration. Only consider this lens if you need the larger aperture.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Oly Boy   Intermediate [Sep 25, 2008]
Strength:

Wonderful to use, Sharp and built like they should be. Very comforting weight in the hand. Slide out lens hood works like a charm.

Weakness:

None~

This lens just feels so right! It's just that little bit more solid and reassuring to use than it's smaller f5 cousin. It's also WAY easier to focus and just a lot nicer to use in general. Mine isn't stellar at f4 but stopped down to 5.6 its as good as they come. I can't stop using this lens! Just the right working distance with head and shoulder shots to be discrete. Brilliant for isolating subjects and ...Oh I could go on and on about this jewel of a lens! The build quality is a revelation after the 'orrible modern plastic stuff. If you are thinking about buying one and enjoy manuel focus just do it!

Similar Products Used: Most of the OM and Nikon line.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ethanl   Intermediate [Jul 13, 2005]
Strength:

Build quality, generous multicoated optics, built in lens hood.

Weakness:

Needs supporting for those critical pictures.

My Zuiko 200mm f4 was purchased new in 1994, to replace some inexpensive and poorly built third pary zooms I had just parted with. And what a pleasant suprise the Zuiko was! After using poor quality something to 200 zooms, my first set of pictures from the Zuiko were a refreshing change - sharp, contrasty, nice out of focus bits. I find it a useful travel lens, as it is small enough to go in a jacket pocket. The down side is that it seems to need some form of support, or pictures can be a bit blurred. For best results, I tend to use either a bean bag or tripod. Used at F8, and on a tripod, the results are close to perfect.

Customer Service

Not needed.

Similar Products Used: Hanimex something to 200 telezoom which fell to pieces - it cannot be compared to a Zuiko really. Vivitar telezoom - good build quality but mediocre optics.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Stephen Scharf   Intermediate [Feb 16, 2002]
Strength:

Compact and light for a 200mm telephoto. Standard Zuiko, that is to say, excellent, very sharp and constrasty images. Shoot this lens with Provia 100 and you will see what I mean. Typically superb Olympus build quality.

Weakness:

None.t

Another fine Zuiko lens. I bought it to fill out my line of Zuiko lenses for my OM-1N''''''''s. Very versatile, useful for everything from candid portraits, landscape or wildlife, to motorsports photography. Reasonably fast for a 200. I probably paid a bit too much for mine compared to the eBay average, but this lens is in like new condition, and is one of the newer, multi-coated lenses. Focus ring racks out smoothly and the lens shade move nicely but stays put. A keeper for sure.

Similar Products Used: Soligor 200 mm f3.5. This wasn''''''''t as well made and is *200* grams heavier than the Zuiko (that''''''''s almost half a pound!).2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Philip Canard   Expert [Dec 22, 2001]
Strength:

Light, fast for it''s size, compact, rugged, sharp, low flare into the sun for a single-coated lens. Photos show no distortion that I can tell. Built-in lens hood. Easy to use and one of the best general purpose telephotos.

Weakness:

The built-in lens hood slides loosely now and a double layer of scotch tape around the barrel was necessary to keep the hood extended when the lens was held vertically. Cheap and quick fix.

Very nice and compact lens. Operates very smoothly and takes great photos, even though it is one of the early silver nose models that is only single coated.

Customer Service

Never had a need for Olympus customer service. I use Camtech for my Olympus service, as I have only bought used Olympus gear. They do a very good job.

Similar Products Used: Canon 200mm f4
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul Schings   Intermediate [Aug 17, 1999]
Model Reviewed: OM-Zuiko 200mm f4.0
Strength:

easy to use handheld, especially if a motor or winder is mounted on the camera

Weakness:

None

One of my oldest and most used lenses, and it's still in the bag

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
joep steinmeijer   Expert [Sep 07, 1999]
Model Reviewed: OM-Zuiko 200mm f4.0
Strength:

excellent sharpness,corners+++,contrast ++
very light,small,smooth,
this Zuiko is in fact a tele-Tessar

Weakness:

no

a 200 mm lens sees,what your eyes active register,what enters your mind on a concious
level. this one has no faulds, even into the sun .

Customer Service

?

Similar Products Used: Hanimex
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-7 of 7  

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