Good info for those buying OM lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by WithOpenedEyes, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. I wanted to purchase a good 50mm f1.4 for a while now, but had been put off by the confusion around which of these Olympus had multi coated. I'm more used to buying Canon FD series glass, and in this line you just look for "SSC", as far as the older breechlock lenses go. Pretty simple. Not so much with Olympus. Yes, when they started applying multicoating "MC" was added to the nomenclature on the front. But it wasn't a permanent addition. I just purchased a higher numbered 50mm that has no "MC". So what's up with that? Well after spending some time looking and reading, I ran across this web site that cleared things up a bit..sorta. I figured it would be a good resource for others here that may also wonder what they have.
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  2. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    Thanks for the links -- I've gotten very familiar with lately, but the other is new to me. Here's are a couple of other useful sources:

    I recently decided to get an OM -> Micro 4/3 Speed Booster, and a handful of lenses to use it, so I've been hunting. I'm thinking I'll do a YouTube video about finding good copies of OM lenses. I ended up with (1) 50mm 1.8, (2) 50mm 1.4, (3) 24mm 2.8, and (4) 100mm 2.8. The 50mm 1.8 was my first, which I got earlier this year.

    Here's what I've learned buying OM lenses. There are generally four generations of lenses -- not all lenses were made in each generation -- and the later ones are always better (from what I can tell).

    • First batch: Silver nose lenses, x.Zuiko markings (where x = a letter that counts the number of lens elements, e.g. E.Zuiko). No coatings. Softest copies, will flare the most.
    • Second batch: Black nose lenses, x.Zuiko markings. Single coatings. Somewhat improved from silver nose lenses.
    • Third batch: x.Zuiko + MC markings. Multi coatings. Significant improvement in detail over older lenses.
    • Fourth batch: Zuiko marking (no MC mark, no letter in front of "Zuiko"). Newer multi coatings. The best optical performers.

    I ended up with "Zuiko" versions of each lens, and none of them disappoint. The 1.4 and 1.8 lenses show some softness wide open, but they're not bad at all. The 2.8 lenses are sharp right off the bat, which is pretty awesome.
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  3. Another slight difference that I found on the 50 that I just got is the finish. It's still a satin black, but it tends more towards a flat black and doesn't have the lustre that my older 50 macro has. This was probably a cost saving move to offset the improved coating. I know I would have payed a bit more for the older style just looks nicer. Hopefully this info will help others find what they're looking for. The problem with some larger dealers, like KEH, is that you don't see the individual lens that you're buying. I was lucky when I got the macro from them and it just happened to be a MC version...although with no letter in front of Zuiko. So it looks like the best way is to use sources like eBay and Amazon...or here. I might have passed on my recent purchase if it wasn't for the high serial number that I could see in the sellers pics. Info from these sites told me that this was a later version, so I felt OK with buying it. The thing is that these lenses are such a great fit on these cameras. I had a Canon FD 50 macro, which worked very well, but it wasn't as good a match for the smaller camera body.
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