OM-2: What's the perfect lens for this nifty camera

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ulysses, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. ulysses

    ulysses Subscriber

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    OK, I've been a Nikon user for a long, long time (and I have a couple of Minoltas that I bought for the Rokkor Fisheyes I was able get for a reasonable price and ended up keeping when I sold the Fisheyes) but I've always kind of thought OMs were fairly interesting cameras. I recently picked up an OM-10 that turned out to be in pretty good shape, with a nice 50/1.8, and then I saw a black OM-2 for not much and now I have a third line of 35mm cameras that I don't really need, but there you go.

    I have to say the the OM-2 is a pretty cool camera. The prism is so low and thin that you can look through the viewfinder *and* look over the prism *at the same time* which proved to me once and for all that a 50mm lens is the natural choice for a "normal" lens for a 35mm camera. The layout of the controls on the OM-2, with the shutter speed selector around the lens mount really didn't take much getting used to, even after 40+ years of Nikons with the speed dial on the top right (I never owned a Nikkormat.) With Zuiko lenses, which have the aperture ring toward the front, it's a natural. With the Tamron zoom, I sometimes get tripped up because the aperture and shutter controls are close enough together to get confused. But the exposure compensation dial, placed where the shutter speed dial would be on the Nikon, is in the perfect position -- easily accessible with no need for a lock release button. Likewise, the auto-off-manual switch, right there on top where I won't forget to turn if off when I'm done.

    Shopping for lenses for the OM presents some questions, such as why do I have this thing. I already have several 50mm lenses (nikkors, rokkors, and now the zuiko) as well as lenses in various other focal lengths. The compact size of the OM-2 really wants a compact lens to complement it, but none of the zuikos seem especially small. There's nothing I've found like the pancake 50/1.8 that really works well with some of the smaller nikon bodies. The Tamron 35-135 that came with the OM-10 is nice enough, but nothing special. I see a lot of 50/3.5 macros available, but I have a 55/2.8 micro-nikkor, so it's hard to justify. I really want a lens that says what the OM system is all about. So what was Olympus' signature lens, the lens that was the reason that people bought into the system? Something like the Olympus equivalent of the Nikkor 105 f2.5 -- not that focal length but that reputation. If I can't find a lens that gives me something I don't already have with my Nikons and Minoltas, I should at least have *the* lens for the OM series.

    Ulysses
     
  2. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The f/3.5 35 mm lens is great.
     
  3. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I decided to stick to 49mm filter lenses (small) with my OM and I really like the three I have: 35mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8 (also have a 50 f1.4 but prefer the 1.8) and the 100 f2.8. The 100 is amazingly small and particularly wonderful. I think you'd have a hard time finding a smaller 3 lens set in an SLR (and pretty inexpensive!). I think the 24mm f2.8 would be next on my list.
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I used to think this as well, though about the 55mm focal length. However, when I mused on such here on A.P.U.G., I learned that this appearance can vary from one camera's viewfinder to another camera's viewfinder. I remarked that the 55mm lens was very intuitive for me to use, because when I put it up to my eye, things did not appear to get much larger or smaller. I was then informed that viewfinder magnification differences could very well make the same focal length appear otherwise on a different camera.

    I don't know Olympus well, but I do think that if I were in the same boat as you, with a third 35mm SLR camera system that I just sort of happened into, that I would: 1. get a 50mm f/1.4, even if it is redundant, simply because every 35mm SLR that I am going to shoot should have my most-used, and probably the most versatile, lens, and 2. After the 50, shy away from redundancy. I would seek out lenses that are unique to the system, or in focal lengths or speeds that I do not have in the other systems.

    I do shoot Canon FD and Nikon F systems, and I have a Pentax Spotmatic that I got for free and a K1000 that I got for five bucks, just in case cheap and good lenses should come my way. All the systems have a fast normal lens. Other than that, there is little redundancy between them. I have 28, 55, and 200, and 300 for Canon, and 24, 35, and 135 for Nikon.

    Oh yeah. I almost forgot EOS. I have two bodies (one digital and one film), and my only lens that I actually own is the 50mm f/1.2. Why is my EOS system so limited? Because it is EXPENSIVE STUFF (and I don't use it all that often any more).
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    One lens alone - 85 mm f/2.0.

    Or, my favourite 3 lens kit - 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2.0 and 85mm f/2.0
     
  6. c.w.

    c.w. Member

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    The smallest lens for the OM system is probably the pancake 40 f2. It's pretty rare though.

    There's a whole bunch of wide angles a bit smaller or the same as the 50 f1.8. There's the 21 f3.5, the 24 f2.8, the 28 f3.5 and f2.8, and the 35 f2.8. I think the 18mm is pretty small too, but rare and expensive. I guess there's also the 16mm fish eye, if you're into that sort of thing.

    The big deal lenses are generally the 21mm f2, and the 85mm f2, the 21 simply because it's an f2 but still remarkably small. The 85mm is really small for being an 85. The 50 f1.4 with a serial number above 1.1 million is considered really good. The 50 f2 macro is nifty since it's fast enough for normal shooting but can still go macro.

    In general, most focal lengths Olympus produced came in an f2 and they are very very good. Personally, i've got the 24 f2.8, 35 f2, 50 f1.4, 50 f3.5 macro, 85 f2, 135 f2.8 and 300 f4.5. I find i might as well have the 35 glued on. I use the others a lot, especially the 24, 50 and 85. If i was going to get one other lens, it'd be the 21 f2, i just can't find one in my price range.

    To me, it's not the lenses or the bodies, it's how the whole system gels together into an incredibly smooth fast way to take pictures. I've never got that feeling from other cameras.
     
  7. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    I use an OM1 and OM2 as my main shooters. B&W in one, colour in t'other. I have 24mm (sigma filtermatic) 35mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8, 135mm f4, 35-70 f4 zoom, 70-150 f4 zoom and a sigma 70-210 zoom.

    For me, the lens that nearly always gets taken out is.......

    the 35-70 f4 zoom. Not the smallest zoom - there is another zuiko zoom the 35-70 f3.5-4.5 which I don't have, but I get on really well with the 35-70 f4. My version is certainly sharp enough - to the extent I don't notice any difference between that and the 50 or 35mm primes in terms of image quality.

    No 2 lens for me is the standard 50mm 1.8. Check out my pix. virtually all shot with the 35-70
     
  8. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    75% of my OM pictures over the last 35 years were on the 28/2.8

    I also enjoy the 24/2.8

    My 50/1.4 has a 'dreamy look' but I really love it. The 50/1.8s are sharper.

    I have always wanted an 85/2.0 but never got around to getting one.

    The 75-150 zoom and 35-70 are good but I prefer primes.

    If I could recommend only 1, it would be the 28 (3.5 or 2.8)
     
  9. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    My OM-2 stays with the 28mm f/2.8
    For sharp pictures: 50mm f/1.8 ( one of the most underestimated lenses in the world )
     
  10. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    Another to keep an eye on is the 100mm f/2.8
     
  11. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Ulysses,

    As is obvious above, opinions definitely vary. My own view is the both the 50mm ƒ1.8 and 50mm ƒ1.4 are excellent. For sharpness, however, the 100mm ƒ2 really stands out. It may be a little hard to find, and it probably won't be cheap, but it's a real winner.

    Konical
     
  12. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I have an old silver-ring 50/1.4 and it's nearly a special-purpose lens because it's rather soft and flarey, but it does give a nice boke. The 50/1.8 is very good, and hey, you can get them for like $30.
     
  13. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Yes.
    The 35 mm (i have to go and have a look what max. aperture. I haven't looked at my OM kit for years now) and the 100 mm were my favourite Zuiko lenses. Often the only two i brought along.
    The 24 mm i liked a lot too, though. And the 50 mm macro. And ...
     
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  15. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    The 24mm f2.8 is one that pleases. My most used is the 85mm f2, however that is a personal taste sort of thing. I've owned most of what Olympus made other than the "Big Whites" over the past few years. If I were putting together a light kit, it would have the 24mm f2.8, 50mm F1.4 (1,100,000 + serial number), 85mm f2 and a set of auto extension tubes. Bill Barber
     
  16. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    What are auto extension tubes?
     
  17. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    They are extensions for close focusing and macro work. They're called 'auto' because they have (or supposed to) linkages to work the aperture stop-down.
     
  18. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I picked up an OM-2 (sold "as-is") early last year for around $100. It is such a great camera (even though I dislike electronics and SLRs.) It came with the 50/1.8 which is excellent. I added the 35/2.8 which is also really nice, and the 70-150/4 which is really good, too. That's all I've really needed, and I don't even use the 35mm that much.
     
  19. ulysses

    ulysses Subscriber

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    Wow, nice to see there are still a lot of OM users out there. I now have the 50/1.8 that came with the OM-10, and the Tamron 35-135/3.5-4.5. I just got a Zuiko 35-105/3.5-4.5 that's quite minty and looks to be a keeper and a 70-210/4 Tokina that unfortunately has some internal haze (but otherwise good and cost next to nothing and should be good for portraits.) I have a Tokina 28/2.8 on the way and I'm working on a 50/1.4 (just because) and an 85/2. Thanks to all for the suggestions. I think I'm building the kit that will go in the old Tamrac bag I'll grab as I run out the door.

    Ulysses
     
  20. BoxBrownie

    BoxBrownie Member

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    35mm f/2.8 - cheap and good for most things - street, landscape, environmental portraits.
     
  21. delac027

    delac027 Member

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    I recently picked up a black OM-2n as well with the original box/manuals/case/flash for a great price and this is just the thread i needed!
    [​IMG]
     
  22. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    The 50f1.8 was made in several variations over the years. The last two (marked "Made in Japan" and "Japan") are considered the best. I have tested my MIJ against an earlier model 50f1.8 and it is definately sharper. If you want small, the 40f2 is likely the smallest fullframe 35mm SLR lens ever made. Some folks have been disappointed with the image quality, but mine is very sharp with great color and contrast. All three 28's are well respected, and they give you a free puppy when you buy the f3.5. If you like zooms, the 35-70f3.6 is the best in the range, but large for a Zuiko (I'm being practical. The 35-80f2 is widely considered the best zoom ever made by any company for any camera, but you'll never find one.) The 35-70f3.5-4.5 is well respected, and hardly bigger than a 50mm prime. The 90mmf2 Macro is one of the best lenses you'll ever find.

    The list could go on and on, but it is rather pointless without knowing what kind of shooting you do, whether you prefer primes or zooms, etc. Get a lens that suits your shooting style. They are all Zuiko's, they all produce "Heavenly Light".
     
  23. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    I have a couple of "redundant" lenses - 50mm f1.4 and 28mm f3.5, across various mounts that I can compare and it sure looks like there are quite obvious differences in size. Probably an aesthetics consideration in the design to match body and lens. Obviously the Pentax M lenses for the M Series were also designed small just like the OM system.

    [​IMG]

    There are special off brand lenses (also available in other mounts) that are worthy of consideration for use on the OM - the Kiron 105mm macro and the Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm. I am not sure how much they could have shrunk the design though but they're exceptional lenses.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    BTW, the OM2, 3 & 4 have the most sophisticated metering system as they continuously monitor exposure while most all others meter just before shutter fires. For instance on long exposures, if the light gets brighter on the target after the shutter has fired, it will close the shutter sooner accordingly. Most all others - even latest and greatest, will simply stay the course and obviously overexpose. Of the classics I own and others I've tested, only the Pentax LX works this way too.
     
  24. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    No. The OM-3 is a completely mechanical camera and you will get the shutter speed and aperture that are pre-set, just like the OM-1. The OM cameras with electronic shutters (OM-2, OM-2N, OM-2S Program, OM-4, and OM-4T) will make an adjustment during exposure and close the shutter based on an Off-The-Film, real time meter reading. Only in Auto mode.
     
  25. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    And, correct me if I'm wrong, only on speeds slower than 1/60th. On speeds greater than 1/60th, the camera releases the second curtain before the first curtain has reached the other side of the film gate. So, the whole "off-the-plane" metering thing is only effective for slow, tripod-type exposures.
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Sorry - you are wrong :smile:.

    The various versions of the OM2 and OM4 (and the OM40?) read the light reflected off of both the shutter curtains and the film itself, so they do adjust the time mid exposure.

    Oh, and the OM3Ti does offer TTL flash metering, so at least with respect to TTL flash, the camera will cause the flash to make an adjustment during exposure.
     
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