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a 28/2 ... choices?

  1. pdeeh
    I'm just moving into the OM world and I'm wanting a 28mm f/2 for my OM-1n (I want the extra stop, though I'm sure some will say 2.8 is quite fast enough )

    The Zuiko versions seem tricky to find and a bit variable. Of two I have recently found, one looked like it had been cleaned with Ajax and the other had fungus and "unknown marks" in the centre of the elements. Both only just under £200 ... I see others on e(xpensive)Bay for £400-£500 and that just seems a bit mad of a price

    There are Kiron and Vivitar (Komine) alternatives which are much more inexpensive, but I wondered what the compromises are compared to the Zuikos?

    Will I really notice the difference (shooting Tri-X or HP5+ and printing 11x14 or smaller) if I spend £50 rather than £250 on a 28/2
  2. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    pdeeh, you don't say what you will be shooting and under what conditions . Do you REALY need f2.0. The Zuiko 28mm. f3.5 has always proved good enough for me, but perhaphs you're shooting black cats in dark places. Personally, I would stick with Zuiko's. Are you talking 11/14 inches or cms?
  3. wblynch
    I can say that I would rather use a Zuiko OM 28mm/2.8 than any other brand of 28mm, f/2.8 or f/2.0

    The price for used Olympus mount lenses has risen due to digicam users who think they're getting away with something. Of course new lenses designed for those electronic gizmos are better suited since they come from the same robotic plastic injectors as the cameras they serve.

    These same people are convinced they need f/2.0 or f/1.2 or even f/0.9 lenses yet their cameras can shoot at ISO 25,000.


    I say, if you are needing this lens for a digicam then buy the third party lens and rid the film world of them. It won't matter to you since digicam photos are crap anyway.

    If you're shooting film on an OM then stick with Zuiko. There's a reason they have their following.
  4. pdeeh
    @Allan Swindles - the difference between f/2 and f/2.8 is my being able to handhold at 1/15s (which I can do with acceptable results) and 1/8s (which I can't) under the kinds of lighting conditions I not infrequently encounter. And I mean inches. Of course one rarely shoots wide open all the time, but when one needs the extra stop, one needs it.

    @wblynch - I'm not quite sure why you have chosen my innocuous question relating to a film camera as an opportunity to launch a bizarre anti-digital rant, but it is neither appropriate nor helpful.
  5. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    pdeeh, you have answered your own question, if you think you need f2, then go for it. I can't answer as to the quality of the other lenses you mentioned but if you think a £50 lens will compare with a Zuiko equivalent at a lot more money, then go for it. I don't know what your standards are. I can't say what will suit you and whether it would be acceptable to me. As a Hasselblad and Rolleiflex user, 35mm. does not come close but I do appreciate it's usefulness. For £50 I would be inclined to try it, it may prove adequate for your needs.
  6. darinwc
    Ultimately, you will need to decide for yourself.
    The vivitar f2's made by kiron are excellent, and not very expensive. Why dont you start with one and give it a try?
  7. pdeeh
    I'm perfectly capable of making a decision, and indeed I wasn't asking for anyone to make a decision on my behalf, but I was asking to what extent one could compare other lenses with Zuikos, and, if you read my post fully, what the compromises might be .
    Of course, if one has no experience of alternatives, one's opinion is necessarily less informed and of less use to me than informed opinion.
    I can also do without being condescended to.

    Thank you darinwc for your answer.

  8. wblynch
    La dee dah

    La Dee DAH
  9. darinwc
    What I meant was that the lenses vary widely in price. My best guess on ebay prices: 28mm f3.5 $50 ; Kiron 28mm f2.0 $100; Zuiko 28mm f2.0 $300

    The only lens testing I know of comparing these lenses is gary reeses lens tests. I think he liked the Zuiko f2 best, but the kiron tested excellent as well.
    But the particular samples will very widely enough that those tests are meaningless.
    So ultimately you will have to weigh the price with the perceived value.
    If you are OK with plopping down $300, go for it. At least you will never be wanting for the best available.
    If $300 hurts, the f3.5 or kiron will be very adequate.
  10. thuggins
    If you occasionally need the extra stop, then push the film or use a support. The f2.8 and f3.5 are both excellent lenses, are cheap and available.
  11. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    As an prof. photographer, now retired, I recall my move from my Yashica TLR to my longed for Rolleiflex. In my early 20's there was no way I could afford the 2.8F and I opted for the 3.5F Planar. I still have and use the camera. I have never found the need for a faster lens, FOR MY TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY. Only you can decide on what you require for your needs. Wide aperture lenses are not necessarily better quality than their smaller aperture counterparts, but if MOST of your photogrphy is to be done in low light situations, then you may need the wider aperture, if you don't want to use a tripod or flash. In short, we don't have enough information about your intended use, so it's impossible to advise further.
  12. greenbank
    Allan Swindles is right (as usual!): only you can say if the higher cost of Zuiko glass would be justified for your particular requirements.

    One thing Allan didn't mention is that in most cases the ultimate performance of any particular lens is only found when stopped well down (say to f/8) - so the image quality wide-open is not going to show you the best that lens can do anyway. Given that you are apparently shooting at maximum aperture a lot of the time, you may well find that results with a cheaper non-Zuiko lens will be just as acceptable.
  13. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    I'd have to agree with that greenbank, the bit about ultimate performance, that is, not that I'm always right. My opinion is based on personal experience and many years as both professional photographer and photographic retailer. As a retailer the first question I would ask a prospective customer was "what do you want to use it for, anything in particular ?" Silly question, usual answer, "no not really, just pics. of the family and holidays etc.. The etc. would often involve a deep interest in wildlife or close-up/macro photography never mentioned when choosing the camera.
    So the point I am making is, that unless all the facts are known it is not possible to give a definitive answer.
    pdeeh, If one is shooting black cats in dark places, most of the time then one must go for it, if one can justify the cost differencial.
  14. Jon202

    There is a further advantage with fast lens, the image in the viewfinder will be clearer than with a slower lens. As such I would always recommend a faster lens


  15. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    Jon202, the image will be brighter. If that makes it clearer to you then that's fine. The OM 'finder and screen system is IMHO the best, most versatile and well thought out system of it's day, as was the entire OM system. Sorry to use the word system so frequently, but that is just what it was, or should that be, is? The viewfinder is superb anyway but the choice of screen can make a big difference depending on eyesight and chosen subject matter.
    BTW, I am, what's now known as a senior citizen. One lazy eye, one reasonably good but I wear specs. all the time. I use 1-4/4n screens in all my bodies, lenses from f1.4 to 5.6 with no problems. Well, to sum up, if I was taking photographs of BC in dark places regularly, I might just prefer an f2.. Ah! No, then I would go for the 85/2, but if it was pics. of groups of people in a nightclub, then the 28/2 might be a better choice, despite the distortion, afterall it's seen on the tele. all the time these days, so it must be OK.
    DOF hasn't been mentioned. However, all this is getting away from the original post. The Zuiko f2's are a much more recent introduction than the original f3.5 (which I have and is excellent) and f2.8 versions, regardless of maximum aperture, will therefor be more expensive and beyond my means, but then I don't need them anyway.
    pdeeh, here's a possible solution. If you are committed to a maximum aperture of f2, then why not try one of the less costly Vivitar or Kiron (I used to sell those) and see if it meets your needs. It would give you a chance to evaluate before you splash that much cash on a Zuiko.
    Oops! I see darinwc has already suggested that, so perhaps it's a not so bad an idea.
  16. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    pdeeh, this may be of interest:-


    Perhaps not. I've just read the description, haze will soften the image and could be the start of something even more nasty and you don't need that.
  17. Jon202

    I'm not disagreeing with anything that you've said, like you I happen to think the OM system is brilliant and would have no hesitation in recommending any of the 28mm lenses, but, cost aside, think that the faster the lens the clearer the view plus the more options available to you in controlling DOF.

    BTW I'm no spring chicken myself and have less than 20:20 vision as well.


    Hope that you haven't been too confused with us 'old uns' bangin on


  18. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    Jon, you are correct about the DOF options but I personally have never had problems with focus or composition whether I was using a f1.4 or smaller aperture lens and to be honest I've never noticed or even given it consideration. Perhaps too busy concentrating on the subject but it really has been the last thing on my mind.

    pdeeh, you're very quiet. You don't say what you need this lens for (well perhaps that's your business) but we're all friends here and only trying to help.
  19. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
  20. M6F6E6
    Just get the 2.0 and the 3.5 - forget the 2.8 completely. USe the 2.0 for low light and you will be very happy, and take the 3.5 bushwalking for landscapes etc and you will be happy too!!! It is so small and unassuming for street work also. I used a 2.0 for years and only sold it recently as it was worn out and the front was damaged and it became hard to get filters on and off, which i find essential for bw work - such is life.
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