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90 years of the Olympus company - Olympus F.Zuiko Auto-S 50 mm f/1.8 versus Olympus ZD 50 mm f/2.0 Macro

1 September 2009
Szymon Starczewski

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2009-07-06 on Optyczne.pl

As our first articles, comparing old lenses with their modern counterparts on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the F bayonet mount, have been very popular, both in Poland and abroad, we decided to present a similar comparison of the Olympus lenses. It is worth notice, though, that it’s a task not as easy as in the case of Nikon.

90 years of the Olympus company - Olympus F.Zuiko Auto-S 50 mm f/1.8 versus Olympus ZD 50 mm f/2.0 Macro - Introduction

Before, we dealt with 50 years of the bayonet mount continuity so we could use both old and new lenses with the same body without any adapter. What’s more, the full frame Nikon D3x body, used in the tests, had the same sensor the new and old lenses were designed for.

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In the case of Olympus we have a bit more problems. There are two systems to be compared: OM and ZD. One serious difference is the time, that divides old and new products. In the case of Nikon it was easier because the difference was as much as half the century. For Olympus we can speak of more or less 25 years. It’s twice shorter so there are less obvious differences to catch. The second issue was the body, used for the tests. It was a contemporary E-3 so a camera with a sensor twice smaller than a film frame. So on the one hand we have a modern lens, designed to cooperate with a small sensor, on the other – an older model, designed for full frame. The latter is tested using a special adapter, which enables connecting OM system lenses to modern reflex cameras.

90 years of the Olympus company - Olympus F.Zuiko Auto-S 50 mm f/1.8 versus Olympus ZD 50 mm f/2.0 Macro - Introduction


One more thing is worth mentioning here. Adapters are tricky devices. We’ve been given opportunities to use several of them and sometimes they managed to bend the lens’s axis at the wrong angle to the sensor and, as a result, caused some serious off-axis aberrations. Here, we have the right to think that it won’t happen – the adapter used by us is an original Olympus product.

Both lenses were lent courtesy of the Olympus Poland company.

Information about our review method can be read in our article “How do we test lenses?"

90 years of the Olympus company - Olympus F.Zuiko Auto-S 50 mm f/1.8 versus Olympus ZD 50 mm f/2.0 Macro - Introduction


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