I've been wanting one of these for a long time, however haven't been able to justify the expense. Truly one of the best Olympus OM lenses ever made.
Another recent image, taken at f/11 and using the T8 ring flash 2 on wet/slimy subjects, emphasising the textures and reflections in a rather unusual way.
(from a 9x12in darkroom print of a photo taken on Ilford FP4+ with an OM-2n)
The more images I print from this lens, the more I realise that it has a "different" way of drawing. I can't put my finger on what exactly "it" is, but it definitely does something "different" in terms of the - shall I say - "luminous" quality of the images. Unless all of us happy owners of this lens are just seeing things?
Anyway, this is an otherwise boring flower snapshot taken at f/2.0, and with the T8 Ring Flash 2 (OM-2n, Ilford FP4+):
Originally Posted by philosomatographer
Walk-around lens for beach abstracts
One of my favourite photogrpahic activities is to walk around on the beach and take abstracts of fairly close-up subjects, usually in harsh light - I much prefer the deadly bright, clinical and flat light of mid day for my type of images. The 90/2.0 is my favourite lens for this - long enough working distance to not get my own shadow into the images (which I typically take perpendicular to the sand surface), and with the 1-8 focusing screen (which is exceptionally smooth) complex, fine-grained structures like beach sand just snap into focus unlike any other combination I've tried before.
For this type of work, I am generaly also always around the 90/2.0's 1:10x optimum magnification ratio, so even wide open performance is eye-popping, but for depth of field I am usually at around f/11 such as in this recently printed image:
(9x12in darkroom print on Kentmere VC Satin paper, Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f/2.8 enlarging lens)
Anyway, I just thought I'd continue to contribute some thoughts and images to this long-term review thread. When I was looking for this lens last year, I could not anywhere find a concise set of grouped examples, especially as used in traditional analogue processes.
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Two more recent examples
For my style of work (when it comes to people and street photography), I often think of using a rangefinder. A Summicron M Apo ASPH 90mm f/2.0 is mighty tempting. But optical merits aside, every now and then I realise the value of a big SLR viewfinder when using the Zuiko 90/2.0 Macro. In this shot (taken at f/2.0) the little girl (at a wedding) was moving all the time.
Still, the combination of the super high-resolution of the 90/2.0 and the fine 1-8 focusing screen made it possible to instantly focus on the child's severely off-centre eye and take a shot. I would have loved some bubbles in the picture, but alas it never happened.
(OM-1n, 90mm Macro at f/2, Ilford XP2, 5x7in darkroom print)
I am not saying that this shot is impossible with a rangefinder, but focus + recompose would never get her eye in perfect focus this far off-axis without focus adjustment, and it would take extreme experience or luck to adjust "by feel" the focus just enough.
I am not sure how much the lens really contributes to it, but this next image was a bit of a study in high dynamic range (and especially my printing technique): Incident-metered difference between the highlights (in the sun) and the shadows under the bridge was 6+ stops. It's just a fairly general example of a street shot with the 90/2.0 Macro, and again a bit of that "luminous" quality I see in the photographed objects. Unless it's just me...
(OM-2n, 90mm Macro at f/11, Ilford FP4+, 5x7in darkroom print)
Balance on OM-1?
Thanks for posting so many great examples. One of the things I love about the OM cameras is their small size and light weight. How do you find this largish lens (at least by OM standards) balances on the OM-1?
In terms of Balance on an OM body, I have to say that this lens is great. The 90/2.0 is heavy and quite chunky (a bit against the original ideas of the OM system), but not very long when focused at infinity. The black lens on a silver OM-1 body is, to me, a very pretty combination, and everything falls to hand perfectly.
Originally Posted by Ben 4
This is because of the lens' position of the aperture ring (at the rear, not at the front like most OM lenses) so this, together with the co-incident shutter speed ring, makes for a very fast "shoot by feel" combination. The equivalent combination I used to shoot was a Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro on a 1Ds Mk II body, and (if you're a manual shooter) there's no comparison in which combination is quicker or easier to shoot. You simply cannot operate a modern body with spinning dials by feel (i.e. pre-set exposure and focus while the camera is hanging off your shoulder) like you can an OM body.
Auto exposure and auto focus try to make up for this, but it's not the same thing at all. Horses for courses :-)
Just to keep this thread going with some more recent examples from this ever-enjoyable lens (I have not seen another concise thread on this lens elsewhere), here are two recent prints:
(Fomapan 100, 90mm @ f/2.8, OM-3Ti, T-8 Ring Flash 2, 8x10in print on Ilford MG IV Multigrade)
(Ilford Delta 400, 90mm @ f/16, OM-1, Long natural-light exposure (30s+), 5x7in print on Ilford MG IV Multigrade)
One of my favourite images with this lens so far, taken on Kodak TMZ P3200:
(OM-1, 90mm at f/2.0, 5x7in darkroom print partially toned in Thiocarbomide)