Olympus OM 50mm F1.8

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by David Jones, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. David Jones

    David Jones Member

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    I have had a few cameras but I thought I would try an Om-1. I have a 50mm F1.8 marked "Made in Japan". I was a bit disappointed with the results as it seemed not as sharp as I was expecting, nothing like a contax 50mm F1.7 T* I once owned. The images don't really look sharp anywhere and the out of focus areas when using a larger aperture look a bit unpleasant, not smooth like the Zeiss or another 50mm lens I have, a Canon Fd 50mm on an old AE-1. Have I got a dud lens? I like the little OM-1 so should I just try another lens on it? Maybe I just had a bad day when I took the pics!
    Dave
     
  2. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Member

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    All Zuikos, esp. the 50mm MIJ, should be able to produce sharp images. From what you are telling I can only presume your body and/or lens have issues.
     
  3. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    +1. Never had any trouble with my 50mm f/1.8 Zuiko lens. In terms of sharpness, it is as good as many more prestigious lenses. For the OOF area, sorry I can't tell you as I don't pay attention to it.

    Take care.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    +2. Check to see if the lens is clean, sounds like a previous owner was lax on housekeeping. The problem with older used gear is you never know how it was stored and may even have some fungus.
     
  5. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    Grab the lens and shake it. If you hear a something rattling around a retaining ring may have loosened and one of the lens elements is out of place.

    I have two of these lenses and they're like any normal lens of the era, a bit soft wide-open but sharpen up nicely when you stop down. Olympus lenses are generally very good, but it's also possible that you have a dog. It can happen.

    Jim B.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2012
  6. David Jones

    David Jones Member

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    Ok, thanks for those answers. I have been thinking about this and have a vague memory of a review of the Om4ti in which they were surprised by the supplied lens not being very sharp. I wonder if there was a bad lot? I can't see that there could be anything wrong with the camera that would spoil sharpness. The pressure plate looks ok. The lenses are so cheap that I may get another one to try. I wonder if I am being too fussy?

    Rick and Jim- I will have a close look at the lens.
    Dave
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have two early version 50/1.8 lenses and both are super crisp except wide open, then they show a dreamy cool out of focus back ground. One is from the 70's (OM-1) and one from the mid 80's (OM-4).
     
  8. Matthew Wagg

    Matthew Wagg Member

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    Photo24_21-3.jpg
    This is a shot from my OM2 with a 50 1.8 from a couple of weeks ago in Manchester. Other than my Helios 44-2 and my Canon 50 1.8 it is about the sharpest lens I have.
     
  9. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    Mine is super sharp on both my om-10 and om-20. i even have an example that has enormous amounts of dust, some speckles and scratches too, i almost cant tell the images apart from my mint 50/1.8.
     
  10. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    I had an earlier version of the 50/1.8, it's probably the nicest all around lens that I had (sharpness, OOF areas,size). Here is an example shot with it at f1.8:

    6675227049_f2732c297e_b.jpg
     
  11. David Jones

    David Jones Member

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    img172.jpg

    Here is a snap I took. I think the two chaps had started moving. It is a straight scan of a 200 asa negative. I have not fiddled with the file. It doesn't look as saturated or as sharp as the other uploads in this thread. Maybe the film I used is not as good?

    Dave
     
  12. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    Never make any judgements based on a negative scan. Get something printed.
     
  13. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

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    As Mopar Guy says, you can't make a good judgement with a scanned negative, unless your scanner is properly set up and adjusted. That said, I have come across a couple of Olympus lenses which were junk. No big deal, it was easy to find good replacements cheaply.
     
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  15. Ipno Tizer

    Ipno Tizer Member

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    When I saw the first pictures I made using my Olympus OM2 and the 50mm f1.8 lens, if anything, I was a slightly shocked by the sharpness. I suspect it might need the attention of a good lens repair expert.

    Chris B.
     
  16. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I have a half dozen OM 50/1,8's and two are so hazy inside they definitely suffer.

    The latest versions ("Japan" & "Made in Japan") have some funky sealed front lens setup that can't come apart - making cleaning impossible. (unless there is a secret way to open them?)

    While I prefer the silver nose and earliest MC versions, I do have a pristine 1.8 MIJ that I haven't even tried yet.
     
  17. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    I think the Zuiko is one of the best lenses in it's category. It's better than the f/1.4. I have five. I prefer the silver nose ( F.Zuiko)
     
  18. randyB

    randyB Subscriber

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    I don't see any hard shadows in your photo, looks like it was a cloudy/hazy day, which can desaturate any color vividness. Very few lenses can "improve" the color of a scene when the light is devoid of the full spectrum of light. You might want to try again when the light is clear and bright. Color negative film is the least accurate way to test color quality of a lens. You might consider color slide film if at all possible. RandyB
     
  19. David Jones

    David Jones Member

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    Thanks for the new replies.
    Dave
     
  20. JPD

    JPD Member

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    You're trying a "very good" Zuiko and comparing it to the "superb" Zeiss Planar. You have been spoiled with the Zeiss lens. :wink:

    I had an Olympus OM-20 and used the Zuiko 1,8/50 lens and was happy with it as my main small format camera until I bought an old Kodak Retina Ib with the Schneider Xenar 2,8/50. The Zuiko was sharp, but the Xenar is razor sharp.
     
  21. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    I agree. I have a Retina IIIc.
     
  22. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    sharp vs razor sharp... To make such statement, you need to compare lenses in the exact same situation and on various circumstances, and to eliminate any variable which could distort the result. Then you can be affirmative.

    In you case and as you wrote, you did not compared a Zuiko with a Xenar but an OM20 SLR + a Zuiko vs a Retina + a Xenar which is not exactly the same thing.

    take care.
     
  23. lacavol

    lacavol Member

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    Have you tried taking off the lens and seeing if the dust on the ground glass is in focus. You may need a dioptric correction lens or there may be one already there. You should be able to see the focus on the screen. Also check the mirror and the screen to see if they are in their proper place as these things can affect focus. You could also try any other Zuiko lens to see if the focus is lens related.
     
  24. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    When I was young I bought a brand new Contax 139 with a 50mm Carl Zeiss Planar because I wanted "the sharpest lenses". Soon after I joined St. Louis Camera Club. They would project our slides and

    critique them. There were photographers with Contax RTSll's, Nikon F3's and Canon F's. There were also photographers with Pentax K1000's, Minolta XGM's, Olympus OM1's, etc.. etc.

    When I looked up upon those images, to save my life I couldn't tell you which photos were taken with which cameras.

    I'm not saying that all 35mm camera lenses are completely equal but if you really want a difference in sharpness then you need to move up a format.

    My daughter has an Olympus OM1 and her 50mm is plenty sharp. It sounds like you just got a hold of a bad example.
     
  25. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    AAMOI after reading about different versions of this lens:- I have two versions one with no mention of "made in Japan" on the front dust cover but it has "made in Japan" on the silver mount AND the other has "made in Japan" on front dust cover and just "Japan" on the silver mount. What's the point? In tests I can't see the difference. :wink:
     
  26. David Jones

    David Jones Member

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    Maybe I just had a case of the d.t. s when I took the OM out!
    Dave