It is a wonderful little lens, very sharp. I love it especially for building details or landscapes:
Mantova von kanzlr auf Flickr
The ones that are very expensive are definitely good glass. The ones that are medium expensive are also definitely good glass but more common. Some of the ones that are dirt cheap are definitely good glass but are cheap because every camera came with one (50mm f1.8 For example). The rest are the cheap other lenses which have a slightly more mixed review - most of the zooms, but as they're cheap go buy one, try it out and form your own opinion. As "walkabouts" I often use zuiko zooms, and I am seldom disappointed. The only one I don't like is the 35-70 f3.5-4.5 - the small one. Much prefer the 35-70 F4.
Detail from the 35-70 F4. No such thing as bad Zuiko glass!
All Zuikos are good. I even have some older silvernoses which I have nothing to complain about There seem to be some rules of thumb to identify exceptionally good ones though.
I will try to compile all Zuiko lens-lore I could gather:
The 3.6/35-70 is said to be as good as primes and should be preferred to the 3.5-4.5 version.
The 1.8/50 lens, which has the 'made in Japan' inscription on the front ring, is said to be one of the best normal lenses ever.
Between the 1.4/50 lenses, the one with serials > 1 mio. should be preferred. I have nothing to complain about mine, which is in the 700k range, though.
All 2.0/n are said to be exceptionally good.
The 2.0/90 should be preferred over the 2.0/85 if the main subject isn't portrait, as it is said to be sharp as a razor-blade, which female subjects do not appreciate mostly.
There does not seem to be a general rule to identify single coated lenses. All what can be said seems to be:
All silvernoses are single coated
All non-silvernoses manufactured in the time of transition are marked MC if they are multi coated
All late lenses are multi coated even if they are not denoted as being such.
Unfortunately there is no way to identify a single coated lens if it is not a silvernose as Olympus later dropped the term MC
thank you very much!...
OK,only a last question:you didn't write any info about the 200 mm lens.I'm searchnig for a cheap but good version!
Is there a F 3.5, F 4 or F 4.5 (they should be more cheaper than the F 1.8,F 2...ecc ecc)?...I'm not searching for a fast lens,simply I'm seraching for a good Zuiko glass...Thank you very much!
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I prefer the 200mm f/5 lens to the 200mm f/4 version. They are both quite good optically, but the f/5 version is tiny for such a long focal length, and used 49mm filters.
It is however a bit dim to focus in poor light.
It is also a bit harder to find then the f/4 version, because fewer were made.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I like my 135/3.5 Zuiko but if I am shooting with a 135 it will probably be the f/2.8 Vivitar Close Focusing. The Viviar 135/2.8 TX lens is also nice on an Olympus because of its small size.
My rule of thumb... Use the lens hood. You will never know the difference between a silver-nose and a black-nose, which all a bunch of baloney anyway.
Use a lens hood on a 75-150 and you will have a new love. Oh yeah, the lens hood on the 75-150 is built-in. So use it.
I think the 135/3.5 also has a built-in hood.
Although there are times when you want flare, then you can leave the hood off.
Thanks for posting that pic, Mr Rusty. It is a great example of the quality that Olympus put into lowly "kit" lenses. I have seen others cast asparagus at the 35-70f3.5-4.5, with comments regarding barrel distortion. But I used one for years (it was my only lens for quite a while) and never noticed any problems with the images. And it is so small - smaller than most primes in that range. It is still always a puzzle to decide between carrying that one or the f3.6 whenever packing for a trip. I need to do a side by side comparison.
I also vote for the 200f5. It is certainly among the smallest (if not the smallest) 200mm ever made. It is much more portable than the f4 with a negligible difference in speed. The T-converters that Olympus made for the IS cameras can extend these into long zooms without the light attenuation of a typical teleconvertor. Since I was travelling on the day of the transit of Venus, I needed a really tiny kit that would fit into the spare pockets of my bag. That ended up being the 200f5, the 1.5X T-con made for the IS-1000, and a barlow lens jigged up for the purpose. With the 2X factor of the Lumix G2 that gave nearly 1600mm in a size smaller than most manufacturer's kit lens. It was so small and light it could sit on a "pocket" tripod. The weakest link was the solar filter made from layers of mylar window film, but the results were still not bad.