1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Is Olympus OM-SYSTEM G.ZUIKO AUTO-W 50mm f/1.4 worth investing in?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by mesmerized, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. mesmerized

    mesmerized Mu-43 Veteran

    344
    Jun 18, 2012
    Dear Users,

    I'd like to ask for your advice regarding Olympus OM-SYSTEM G.ZUIKO AUTO-W 50mm f/1.4 lens... I was wondering if the lens is worth investing in for the purpose of using it as a portrait lens... On my E-M5mk2 it would have the focal length of 100mm and manual focus of course... Any insights?

    Thanks!
     
  2. docfox

    docfox Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Mar 26, 2011
    Hatfield, PA
    Dear Mesmerized,

    A 50 mm f/1.4 Zuiko has served me well for years. I like it for portraits and general catography.
     
  3. curtisls87

    curtisls87 Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jan 7, 2010
    Los Gatos, CA, USA
    Curt Schimmels
    I have one, although I don't do much with adapted lenses anymore I enjoyed it, and found it had a nice combination of image quality and bokeh. One thing, the best of those lenses have serial numbers above 1 million, or at least so the internet says. Here's a site with a bunch of information on all the Olympus OM lenses.

    Olympus Resources for Zuiko Lenses
     
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you don't have something like a M. Zuiko 45mm f1.8, then it might be useful to you.
     
  5. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    The G.ZUIKO is a single coated lens, I would focus on the later MC models if you're after a f1.4. They're generally pretty good lenses however there is the usual variation, a good one can be incredible and a bad one is very bad indeed.

    I retained my single coated copy for sentimental rather than practical reasons, it's very soft and flares easily due to the older coatings. I sold my MC version when I bought the f1.2 which was really a mistake as I tend to use the f3.5 macro over a faster lens anyway, I never used the MCed f1.4 on digital.
     
  6. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    489
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    I have both G.Zuiko and the later multi-coated version (> 1.1m serial number) and the later is a bit better at wider apertures than the former. I would guess that by f4, they might be about equal. I would look for a newer copy with better coatings myself.
     
  7. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    I would pass on a G.Zuiko. I have owned a few and they are pretty fuzzy/hazy at the lower f-stops. You are better off with a Zuiko with a high serial number (> 1000000) or maybe another lens type. I have had good luck with Canon nFD 50/1.4s. They are usually cheaper than the Olympus Zuiko 1.4s too.
     
  8. docfox

    docfox Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Mar 26, 2011
    Hatfield, PA
    Dear Mesmerized,

    You can find a lot of information about Zuiko lenses at: The Unofficial Olympus OM Sales Information File.

    There are at least 4 recognizable generations of the 50 mm f/1.4 lens - they're all damned good lenses. The earliest are single-coated lenses and they are marked G.ZUIKO. (The G denotes a 7-element lens.) Most of these lenses (and the later ones) are marked OM-SYSTEM; the very first are marked M-SYSTEM and they are very rare and highly collectible. Multi-coated lenses were developed to replace the single-coated lenses. They are simply marked ZUIKO and the first wave of these are also marked MC (for multi-coated). Later, when coating ceased to be a big marketing deal, the MC was dropped from the lenses.

    Yeah, the multi-coated lenses may be slightly superior, exhibiting better contrast and fewer internal reflections when used in bright direct light with the aperture set at f/4 or larger. But a clean example of a G.ZUIKO in good condition at a reasonable price should not be passed up. You will like what it can do for you, you will love the way it is built and it will be a bargain compared to modern offerings. To get its best, use a lens hood on it - this probably does more to reduce flare than the difference in coating(s). And lets face it - the coatings of modern lenses are better than those on even the very best lenses of thirty-five years ago! But then there are folks who swear the only lenses worth using today are the uncoated lenses that once adorned ancient Leica and Contax cameras.

    Here's a (wide open) shot from my lens (number 855,769). It's marked: OLYMPUS OM-SYSTEM ZUIKO MC AUTO-S 1:1.4 f=50mm.

    Pensive.

    I shoot with a lot of old Oly lenses. Most of mine are "lettered lenses", indicating they are single-coated. They work just fine with my m4/3 cameras, just as they did on my OM-1 and OM-2 cameras long ago. The best advice I can offer is: buy it, try it and reach your own conclusions!
    withhoodsampadaptorsLoRes.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    There's actually two different designs, the earliest G.ZUIKO designs used radtioactive thoriated elements and are 4mm longer than the newer design. The later design revision without the thorium glass was much sharper than these early lenses.
     
  10. docfox

    docfox Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Mar 26, 2011
    Hatfield, PA
    This is an interesting assertion. Can you provide any historical reference to this design change? Since Sesser owns lenses of both generations, perhaps he can substantiate the 4 mm length difference?

     
  11. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    I have one OM 50/1.4 left from my collection and I really like it. I also have 4 Canon FD 50/1.4s that I am going to sell off. If you are interested in a Canon FD, let me know. The 4 I have are all very nice and just as sharp as my best OM 50/1.4.
     
  12. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    The radioactive part is easy:

    The later designs are not radioactive, thus it's impossible that the design didn't change... however I have no source on that. My memory is telling me that the most measurable difference between designs was the length, I can measure my radioactive one if someone has a normal copy available to do likewise.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    489
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    There actually at least 3 versions; the original G.Zuiko (a.k.a. silver nose), the black nose G.Zuiko and plain Zuiko. There might be a fourth with the "MC" designation, not quite sure. Both of mine (black nose G.Zuiko and last revision 1.1m SN) are the same length, however, the oldest version is 4mm shorter than later versions.

    "Except the older series are shorter, where it measures at 36mm as compared with a length of 40mm of the revised version which may have been occurred in 1984)."
    Olympus Zuiko Standard Lenses at 50mm - Part II

    Oddly enough, the same article states "Length:36mm (1.4"); 40mm for older version." Also, I dated mine (SN: 1,156,xxx) to August of 1983 based on the date code so the reference might not be the most reliable.

    This site also has the 36mm length with 40mm in brackets, but no reference to why or which version (go figure)
    50mm/F1.4
     
  14. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Here's a comprehensive list of OM 50mm / 1.4 lenses. (part 1)

    50 1.4 101400 yellow
    50 1.4 118600 Chrome Olympus OM-System G. Zuiko Auto-S 1:1,4 f=50mm 1186xx front: yellow, purple; rear: purple
    50 1.4 140400 Chrome SC Olympus OM-System G. Zuiko Auto-S 1:1.4 f=50mm 1404xx purple, yellow
    50 1.4 216300 Chrome SC pink, yellow
    50 1.4 289700 Black SC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 303700 Chrome SC Olympus OM-System G. Zuiko Auto-S 1:1.4 F=50mm
    50 1.4 328800 Chrome G. Zuiko Auto-S orange, blue, white, straw (no green)
    50 1.4 361300 Black SC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 363000 Chrome SC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 369800 Chrome SC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 381000 Black MC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 395200 Chrome Olympus Om-System G. Zuiko Auto-S f=50mm 1:1.4 front: amber, yellow, red, blue, lavender rear: blue, lavender, yellow, red
    50 1.4 409100 Chrome SC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 462000 Chrome Olympus OM-System G. Zuiko Auto-S 1:1.4 f=50mm 4620xx purple, yellow
    50 1.4 496300 Chrome G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 497800 Chrome SC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 559000 Black MC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 572600 Black Olympus OM-System G. Zuiko Auto-S 1:1,4 f=50mm blue
    50 1.4 574200 Black SC G. Zuiko
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  15. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Here's a comprehensive list of OM 50mm / 1.4 lenses. (part 2)

    50 1.4 626000 Black SC G. Zuiko Auto-S
    50 1.4 631800 Black SC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 721800 Black SC
    50 1.4 729100 purple (possibly)
    50 1.4 760600 Black SC Olympus OM-System G. Zuiko Auto-S 1:1.4 F=50mm yellow, brown
    50 1.4 766800 Black SC G. Zuiko
    50 1.4 783500 Black MC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 789400 Black MC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 798000 Black MC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 837700 Black MC green, pink
    50 1.4 849600 Black MC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 853200 Black SC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 857700 Black MC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 859000 Zuiko MC Auto-S purple
    50 1.4 914400 Black MC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 915200 Black SC Olympus OM-System Zuiko MC Auto-S 1:1.4 yellow, brown
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  16. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Here's a comprehensive list of OM 50mm / 1.4 lenses. (part 3)

    50 1.4 1000900 Black Olympus OM-System Zuiko MC Auto-S green, blue
    50 1.4 1013800 Black Olympus OM-System Zuiko MC Auto-S 1:1,4 f=50mm 10138xx front:green; rear: green, purple
    50 1.4 1052200 Black MC green
    50 1.4 1055800 Black MC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 1061700 Black MC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 1073300 Black MC Zuiko MC curious overall aqua tint (no green)
    50 1.4 1086900 Black Olympus OM-System Zuiko MC Auto-S f=50mm 1:1.4 front: lavender, aqua, purple, a,ber, red green, yellow rear: green, yellow
    50 1.4 1088200 Black Yes Olympus OM-System Zuiko MC Auto-S 1:1.4 f=50mm 10882xx Purple, rose, green, straw
    50 1.4 1089700 Black MC Olympus OM-System Zuiko MC Auto-S 1:1.4 f=50mm 10897xx purple, yellow, green
    50 1.4 1101300 Black MC Zuiko
    50 1.4 1112200 Black MC Zuiko MC
    50 1.4 1130400 Black MC Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-S 50mm 1:1.4 11304xx Japan green, purple, yellow
    50 1.4 1133400 Black MC Zuiko Auto-S green, magenta
    50 1.4 1144400 Black Zuiko
    50 1.4 1154700 Black Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-S 50mm 1:1,4 11547xx Japan front: green, purple; rear: green, yellow, purple
    50 1.4 1159000 Black MC Zuiko
    50 1.4 1166900 Black Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-S f=50mm 1:1.4 11669xx Japan purple, yellow, green
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  17. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    489
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    Well, that was impressive! Thanks @Sammyboy@Sammyboy
     
  18. docfox

    docfox Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Mar 26, 2011
    Hatfield, PA
    Dear Mesmerized,

    It would seem you have been inundated with information! Here's a just little more info about using OM Zuieko lenses on m4/3 cameras.
    Hackers love Zuikos.pdf
    If you go ahead with the purchase, do let us know how the lens works for you - some pictures of and with it would be excellent!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    I have a bunch of old 50/58mm which are great to play with and do have their own character. But if you really just want a good portrait lens just get the 45mm f1.8 to go along with them.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Specification:

    Focal length: 50mm
    Current Version:
    Zuiko 50mm f/1.4
    Older version:
    G-ZUIKO AUTO-S 50mm f/1.4
    Aperture ratio
    : 1:1.4
    Lens construction: 6 groups, 7 elements
    Angle of view: Diagonal: 46°
    Distance Scale: (m) 0.45 to infinity (oo)

    Olympus1450front2. Olympus1450front3. Minimum photographic range: 14cm x 21cm (5.5" x 8.3")
    Focusing: Straight Helicoid
    Minimum & Maximum aperture range: f/1.4 ~ f/16
    Diaphragm: Automatic
    Filter attachment size/Filters: 49mm screw-in
    Lens hood: Optional, 51mm slide-on type
    Length:36mm (1.4"); 40mm for older version


    50mmf14optic.

    Maximum diameter: 60mm
    Weight: 230g (8.1oz)
    Recommended Focusing Screens: 1:1*, 1:2*, 1:3*, 1:4*, 1:5#, 1:10*, 1:13*, 1:14*
    *Compatible.
     
    • Like Like x 1