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View Full Version : Legacy Lenses Olympus 50mm f1.8 OM



ghenton
03-14-2009, 10:14 PM
Olympus 50mm
serial - 501386
f range 1.8 - 16
focal range .45 - 10 meters - infinity
6 blades
OM mount
49mm filter

A very under the radar lens, sharp wide open, well made and very compact almost tiny, about half the size of "normal" legacy 50mm lenses. I am amazed by how sharp the images are. It's bokeh seams much better than what you should get from a f1.8 lens. There is quite a bit of CA wide open but it is controlled, and goes away once stopped down a little. The color is bright with very good contrast. I can see why Olympus had such a good reputation with the OM camera's that used this as its included lens.

ghenton
03-14-2009, 10:17 PM
Here are the samples, The daisies plate is shot f1.8 and f8,to show sharpness open and stopped down. The green gnome is f1.8/f8 to show bokeh. The girl with flowers and the statue are f8 to show color and detail. The tree is f1.8 and f8 for CA. <!-- / message --> <!-- attachments -->

subinthapa
10-11-2010, 10:52 PM
I just got this lens (serial number 1614328) off the buy & sell forum, and pitted it against the 70-300 mm (I know, very different lenses, but it's the best I have) in the yard. Bottom line: I'm very happy I picked this one up. Here are some bee-butt shots for comparison:

The 50mm is at f4, and the 70mm is at f5.6 and 100mm (the sharpest settings for each lens, according to my test shots). Both were shot with an e-510, -0.7 eV compensation, -2 contrast and -2 sharpness, with sharpness bumped to 0 in Olympus Master. Both have been cropped and resized, so it's not an exact comparison, but the results are representative of what I see in the original shots.

RAH
10-12-2010, 07:37 AM
The 70-300 looks much sharper, to my eyes. Is this what you are thinking? Or is it just hard to compare these differing images I wonder?

subinthapa
10-12-2010, 12:01 PM
The 70-300 looks much sharper, to my eyes. Is this what you are thinking? Or is it just hard to compare these differing images I wonder?

I'd say sharper, but not much sharper. The 50mm image is cropped more, so that's the main reason the posted images aren't great comparisons. Compared to the other legacy lenses I own (four non-Zuiko lenses - two zooms and two primes), this one is head-and-shoulders above the crowd. I wouldn't even bother posting comparisons for the other lenses. I'm also quite pleased at how the lens handles - both shots were manual-focus, and the 50mm was much easier to get right. IMO, the focus-by-wire concept falls down worst at long focal lengths (too hard to hold the camera steady while cranking on the focus ring).

subinthapa
10-15-2010, 12:01 AM
I'd say sharper, but not much sharper. The 50mm image is cropped more, so that's the main reason the posted images aren't great comparisons. Compared to the other legacy lenses I own (four non-Zuiko lenses - two zooms and two primes), this one is head-and-shoulders above the crowd. I wouldn't even bother posting comparisons for the other lenses. I'm also quite pleased at how the lens handles - both shots were manual-focus, and the 50mm was much easier to get right. IMO, the focus-by-wire concept falls down worst at long focal lengths (too hard to hold the camera steady while cranking on the focus ring).

Here is a better comparison, using different images. For each lens, one photo is resized from the original frame, and one is cropped. Both crops are to 1200 by 960. No other changes were applied. The thing I was more surprised at was my keeper rate with the 50mm was 4 for 5, but only 10 for 16 with the 70mm. I put all the credit for this on the manual focus control of the 50mm - it's just so much more solid.

gunnerx
11-08-2010, 02:08 PM
This is definitely a great lens. It looks quite tiny on the E3. However, here's a picture I took with this lens a while back on my E300. All I did was leave one of my gloves outside while it was snowing lightly then went back a few minutes later and took a picture.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/72/229155597_d476c540af_z.jpg?zz=1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gunnerx/229155597/)

Parker
11-12-2010, 06:27 PM
In terms of sharpness, image quality and bokeh, which do you prefer OM 50mm f1.8 or the current Zuiko 50mm f2.0?

I have a copy of the OM 50mm f1.8 and f1.4, both of which seem to be pretty sharp, if i'm patient/lucky enough to focus, but i'm curious if there's a big difference...

John King
11-12-2010, 11:47 PM
Gidday Parker

I have an OM f1.8/50 (very late s/no.) and OM f1.4/50 (very early)along with the ZD f2/50 macro. I would have to say that the f2/50 is sharper by a considerable margin, IME. Next is the f/1.8, then the f/1.4 a long way behind.

However, I still enjoy using my OM mount lenses on my three bodies (E-1/510/30; sorry, this is my first post on this forum, so my profile is not very complete ... ). I find that using MF lenses tends to "focus" my attention more on my photography. Auto-everything tends to lull me off into a semi-somnolent state at times, try as I might to resist, lol.

regards, john from Melbourne, Australia

wclavey
11-16-2010, 10:00 AM
John, I do not have the ZD F/2 50mm macro to compare to - - although thinking seriously about it - - but I have the OM 50mm f/1.4 and the 50mm f/1.8 and my assessment is identical. While I paid much more for the f/1.4 back when they were new, the f/1.8 is consistently sharper all through the range of stops - - I have tested them several times because I do not want to believe it. I have always chalked it up to the specific specimens that I have, so I was surprised to see your post. Thanks!

John King
11-16-2010, 05:12 PM
Gidday Wes


John, I do not have the ZD F/2 50mm macro to compare to - - although thinking seriously about it - - but I have the OM 50mm f/1.4 and the 50mm f/1.8 and my assessment is identical. While I paid much more for the f/1.4 back when they were new, the f/1.8 is consistently sharper all through the range of stops - - I have tested them several times because I do not want to believe it. I have always chalked it up to the specific specimens that I have, so I was surprised to see your post. Thanks!

Yes, I bought my f1.4/50 in the early 1970s with my OM-1 (first version of this lens). IIRC it was around Oz$250 compared with around Oz$50 for the f1.8/50 at the same time. At each step of the way, the f1.4/50 was always better than the f1.8/50. However, the late f1.8/50 is a far better lens than my early f1.4/50 ... My copy of the f1.8/50 was bought in as new condition in the late 1990s for about Oz$80 (IIRC), and is a very late serial number (#3,9xx,xxx) and has "made in Japan" inside the filter attachment thread.

http://canopuscomputing.com.au/gallery2/d/7709-3/_6144736_Ew.jpg

This above piccy was taken with my E-510 and OM f1.8/50 using IS1 at ISO 400 f/1.8 @ 1/20th (no flash, inside our main art gallery). EXIF data in image.

Declan79
11-28-2010, 02:06 AM
s/n:3044926

Just taken this earlier
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y205/Declan_26/big4.jpg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y205/Declan_26/big3.jpg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y205/Declan_26/big1.jpg


always like the fast, clean& sharp of this OM can't wait to using it with Olympus extube 14/25:camera: