Are the Olympus Zuiko 28mm f2.8 & Olympus Zuiko 50mm f1.4 any good?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by JohnN, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014

    I've the opportunity to pick up the Olympus Zuiko 28mm f2.8 and Olympus Zuiko 50mm f1.4 for £75.

    Sadly I don't know much about anything outside of Canon so am a little lost.

    I know I'll need a converter to change OM to M43 but thats no biggie.

    I also found out there are different models of what looks like exactly the same lens by name (well at least the 50mm 1.4), so heres a link to the picture. Link

    Any feedback would be great.

  2. Muntjack

    Muntjack Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 26, 2010
    These are great lenses for a great price. Both are multicoated which is desirable. Just be sure there is no fungus and the aperture blades are still snappy (these are the usual faults).

    Good luck.

    • Like Like x 1
  3. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    Cheers - just sorting out the finances now :)

    Will be weird being in full manual, but the focus peaking on the O-MD E-M10 should help a lot with that.
  4. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    It does. The finder and lcd are very good but the peaking helps when shooting wide open in all but the brightest conditions.
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  5. Kalifornier

    Kalifornier Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 29, 2014
    I have the OM 50/1.4 and it's a wonderful lens. Combined with focus peaking on GX7, it's a joy to use.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. physicsdude

    physicsdude Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2014
    Real Name:
    I picked up a copy of the OM 50/1.8.
    It's cheaper and does a good job.
    Havent used it too extensive with my previous E-pl2, but now upgraded to a e-m10.
  7. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    All paid up now, so looking forward to seeing them Tuesday - should be interesting playing with a 1.4 - I guess length wise its going to feel like my 100mm, which will be very odd at such a shallow DoF - ah but will that double too, so seem more like a 2.8?
  8. Glenn S

    Glenn S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 1, 2010
    Once you have had a play with these (the 50mm f1.4 might disappoint wide open) you should have a try of the Oly Zuiko 100mm f2.8 - it's a stunner of a lens.
  9. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 28, 2010
    The beautiful northwest Georgia mountains
    Real Name:
    Dave Jenkins
    They are absolutely terrible lenses. However, I will kindly take them off your hands and even pay the postage.
  10. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    You've just started what may become an addiction.
    I have 2 50 1.4's ones a chrome nose, 24 2.8, 85.2.0, 50 2.8 macro, 300 4.5, and they are great.
    Pretty reasonable performance to cost ratio vs. the m4/3 equivalents. Just can't get wide but that's due to crop factor not the glass.
  11. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    haha :)

    @Grinch - You're probably right - I do tend to suffer from GAS - which is why my wife did the full eye roll thing when I said I wanted to try out mirrorless! Still oddly she talked me into buying these when I wasn't sure.

    Fingers crossed they'll be posted today and the adapter should any minute so I'll be ready :)
  12. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:
    both excellent. I have the 28mm f2.8 and the 50mm f1.8 (and some FD lenses). The 28mm is the equal or better than the Sigma 30mm (which I owned and sold some notes on my blog here).

    While Canon is noted for its top quality longer lenses and its massive range of stuff, many of their lenses are ... well ... not suited to the modern digital world of higher demands. For instance I have an FD50mm f1.8 and a 50mm f1.4. The 1.4 is great at 1.8 and smaller aperture but the 1.8 is poor. See my comparison to the OM50 f1.8 here

    get them :)
  13. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    Already have :)

    I've only had a couple of test shots and so far I'm not 100%, but I suspect thats a combination of weight (as they are both pretty heavy and are pulling the camera forward) and the fact I'm not very good at manual yet and am relying on focus peaking which is a little laggier.

    I'm hoping with practice and finding a suitable subject rather than a toy car on carpet that they'll grow on me.
  14. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I currently use one of the later MC'ed 50mm F1.4's and a very late model F1.8, fantastic lenses. Very sharp and easy to focus (using a split prism), they're much sharper on film than digital unless you use a speedbooster. Without it only the center is really going to be sharp, the CA will rob you of any sharpness away from the edges due to the thickness of the sensor stack. The interesting thing is I find the late model F1.8 has slightly higher transmission wide open than the F1.4, I might just have a bad copy of the F1.4 though (I've never liked the 1.4, the 1.8 I have is absolutely amazing - hands down the best I've ever used and my favorite lens by far).

    That said, very cheap for the quality you get... both are fantastic lenses. Enjoy them for what they are and you will have a lot of fun =)
  15. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    Cheers - I just tried a few more shots with the 1.4 as thats the one I'm most interested in and am still finding it pretty soft, or rather softer than perhaps I was expecting.

    One thing I did bump into is that adjusting the aperture does nothing - until that was I found a little button on the underside that draws the blades in to where its been set - very cool feature, sort of like having instant aperture adjustment between wide open and whatever you;re next favourite setting is :)

    I do have to ask one (probably silly) question, but what is a speedbooster and can you expand on what it does? I've seen it mentioned but no idea.

    Edit: Nevermind I found out what a Metabones Speedbooster is - quite an expensive wee fellow.
  16. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    Heres an example (if it works) - the only adjustment was a +1 exposure to bring more light to the body.

    Settings were f1.4 1/3200s, ISO 400 - probably could have got it better but was just playing.

    P8190009.jpg by magsnorton, on Flickr
  17. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Real Name:
    Patrick Kristiansen
    A speedbooster is in this context a focallength reducer. An opposite o a teleconverter. The ones in sale multiplies the focallength by 0,72, effectively using more of the glass to project light to the sensor. If of good quality, it should give better image quality, as more of the glass is used to render an image. Less magnification. Another upside is the extra stop of light you get, as the aperture's size stays constant but lens gets shorter. Hence the name speedbooster.

    As for your purchase, congrats.

    Patrick K
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  18. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I have the 50 1.4 and it was my first legacy lens on any digicam. Fell back in love with manual focusing b/c of it. I rarely use FP on the EM1 too distracting for me. Plus it requires lower refresh rate on the EVF. I can focus quite well from the normal view on the finder. I have a zoomed view saved to a designated button so it's a breeze to zap into a scene to confirm a tight focus shot. Also works for rare occasions I need to use the lcd display to compose/shoot.
    Yes the "Nifty Fifty" can be a bit glowy wide open, but I just use that as part of my rendering and select subjects where it only adds to the image. Modern glass is very excellent technically, but it can lack the emotional feel generated by softer images.

    Light Smooch; EM-5 OM 50 f1.4

    Nice Smile; EM-5 OM 50 f1.4

    Shake It Up!; EM-5 OM 50 f1.4

    • Like Like x 1
  19. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:

    this means that the engagement pin is NOT engaging properly on your adapter. There is a pin on the adapter which is intended to engage the aperture control. You are using the Depth of Field preview button that Olympus put on their lenses (great feature imo)


    This could also mean you are not putting it on the adapter correctly. This is a photo for a different lens type, but the principle is the same.
    look inside the adapter from the back with the lens on the adapter (and it not on the camera). As you turn the lens (locking it onto the adapter) it should engage this pin and stop down the aperture.

    Of course you can always operate it without such a pin (as indeed I modified mine to do) as I like to have focus at wide and stop down on taking (as happens automatically in modern SLR cameras anyway).

    The manual focus thing is not for everyone, but I do find its best for photographers who wish to be more deeply engaged with taking. And yes ... the toy car is not really going to show you advantages. Try taking things with the zoom and with the 28. Of course the primary difference comes from use at wide open apertures, so if you're stepping down to f4 or f5.6 then you may as well use a zoom .... if you don't see differences then its not for you.

    • Like Like x 1
  20. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    Do you know you guys are great.

    You were spot on with me not fitting it correctly - I had wondered what the pin inside the adapter was for and just hadn't tightened it properly! D'Oh!

    Sadly I can see the difference (owning a 135L f2 saw to that!), which means I'll persist with trying to sort manual out - I'll be trying the magnification feature - something I've not tried yet but was planning to when the adapter for Canon turned up and I'd crack out the macro lenses.

    Interesting times, now all I have to do is keep it up and practice - hopefully it'll come (and my knacky eyesight won;t get in the way too much - which was the reason for using peaking as its more obvious)