Which legacy 35mm is better? Nikkor S 35mm 2.8 or Olympus OM 35mm 2.8?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by colbycheese, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    So i have been looking for a 35mm and i was bidding on a nikkor series e 35mm which i unfortunately didn't win. I decided to look for something else as the series e lenses are very hard to find (only easy to find one is the 50, which i have.) So i have decided to raise my budget a bit and narrowed down my choices to the 2 lenses. Each one goes around the same price and i am just wondering which one is the better of the 2? Which one is sharper wide open, and stopped down? the 2 lenses are the Nikkor S 35mm F2.8 or one of the Olympus OM 35mm 2.8 lenses ( theres a few models, the one i have been able to find mostly is the Auto W series one) I am wondering what lens is the better choice?
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:
    You mention "nikkor series e", but those are two distinct product lines. "Nikkor" was (and remains) the designation used for Nikon's highest-quality optics while "Series E" was Nikon's budget lens line. The primary difference between these lines was material and build quality, with the Series E lenses having more plastic in their construction. Since I believe the only Series E 35mm lens had a maximum aperture of f/2.5, I assume you're referring to the Nikkor.

    Comparing the Nikkor 35/2.8 to the Olympus OM 35/2.8 you'll notice that the Olympus is smaller (and significantly lighter if you're looking at the early version of the OM) which is the case with OM lenses in general. In optical performance despite what Nikon or Olympus supporters might tell you, I would expect the two lenses to perform pretty similarly. I would hazard to say that the condition of the individual lenses is likely to have more impact on their current performance than whatever would have separated them in terms of design when both was new. As such, I would purchase whichever one appears to have been better cared for over the years.

    However, unless you prize size and weight over other factors or your budget simply won't allow it, I would strongly suggest you try to find a copy of one of these lenses faster siblings: the Nikkor 35/2.0 or 35/1.4 or the OM 35/2.0. I've never regretted having an extra stop available to me with a legacy lens.
  3. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sigma 30mm f2.8! :)
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  4. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    I don't know anything about the Nikkor, but I once owned an OM 35mm f/2.8. It was not sharp wide open. It was sharper stopped down, but then I might as well have used my 14-42mm f/4-5.6 with autofocus. I got the OM only to use in low light. I was so disappointed that I sold it.

    I also owned a Sigma 30mm f/2.8. It was sharp wide open and had autofocus. You can find one on eBay for $100 or less. A much better choice than the OM 35mm f/2.8 unless you're into nostalgia.

  5. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Real Name:
    ...the OM 28mm/f2
  6. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    My Zuiko 4/3 35mm f3.5 macro cost me $159 used, and it out resolves all of my old legacy 35's, which include an OM. I already had the 4/3-M43 adapter. It also works well as a macro lens.
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