Lens review

Olympus Zuiko Digital 50 mm f/2.0 Macro ED

15 January 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

In the folded position the Olympus’s 2.0/50 ED dimensions don’t make it stick out among classic 50 mm devices, produced by other companies. When we start to take pictures from the short distance though, the front element extends significantly making the lens two times longer. Although the producer states the distance will amount to 0.24 m from the main plane, the photographed object is in fact situated just 10 cm from the front element.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 50 mm f/2.0 Macro ED - Build quality

The build quality and ergonomics of the ZD 2.0/50 ED are difficult to fault, especially as it features a weather-sealed, splash-proof casing. Of course you must get accustomed to the lack of zoom switch, typical for an Olympus. The focusing unit can only be driven from the camera body and sometimes, especially in the case of macro lenses, it might be troublesome. If you dismount the lens in an extended macro position, you'll have to put it back on the camera to retract it to infinity focus.

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Olympus Zuiko Digital 50 mm f/2.0 Macro ED - Build quality

The casing of the ZD 2.0/50 ED makes a good and solid impression – the manual focus ring is comfortable and positioned in the right place so it allows a very precise work. The distance scale is clear and the mount of course made of metal. One thing that might make a negative difference when you compare the lens to its competitors, is the lack of a focus range limiter switch FULL/LIMIT. That device is very useful in macro lenses as changing to the LIMIT mode might speed up significantly the work of a focus mechanism.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 50 mm f/2.0 Macro ED - Build quality

When it comes to the inner construction, the ZD 2.0/50 ED consists of 11 elements in 10 groups. One of the element was made of low-dispersion ED glass. Inside the lens we can also find a 7 diaphragm blades aperture which can be closed down to f/22 and a non-rotating filter thread with a diameter of 52 mm.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 50 mm f/2.0 Macro ED - Build quality

The buyer gets a petal-type LH-55 hood, a case and two caps in box.