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Lens review

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD

13 October 2009
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • very solid, dust/splash proof barrel,
  • very good picture quality at all focal and aperture range in the frame center,
  • good frame edge picture quality,
  • well corrected chromatic aberration,
  • low distortion,
  • average coma,
  • vignetting properly reined in,
  • autofocus silent and accurate.

Cons:

  • noticeable astigmatism,
  • average work against the light,
  • autofocus can get lost in worse lighting.

Looking at the list of pros and cons of the tested Olympus and other 70-200 mm f/2.8 lenses, produced by Canon or Nikon, we see that the Olympus fares a bit worse. Is this a serious problem? I don’t think so. Don’t forget that the ZD 50-200 mm costs just about 1100 $ so still within range of advanced amateur photographers. The list of its advantages is really impressing and everybody who decides to buy it will get highly satisfactory results for sure.

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One question that remains to be explained is the independent manufacturers’ offer. There is another Four Thirds lens already available: a very promising Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8, around 300 $ cheaper than the Olympus and a bit faster. If only the Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 had a Four Thirds mount and could work on an Olympus, the Four Thirds users would have a really interesting choice and more competition would also mean lower prices.


Sample shots:

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 83 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.2 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 50 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.4 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 96 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.1 MB
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 50 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.0 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 137 mm, f/7.1, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.2 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 200 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/640 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.3 MB
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/3200 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.5 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 101 mm, f/3.2, exp. 1/2500 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.2 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 147 mm, f/3.4, exp. 1/2500 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.5 MB
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 200 mm, f/3.5, exp. 1/2000 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.5 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 50 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 250
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.8 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 69 mm, f/3.0, exp. 1/200 sec., ISO 250
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.9 MB
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 101 mm, f/3.2, exp. 1/200 sec., ISO 250
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.3 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 200 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.7 MB
Camera: Olympus E-3
Parameters: 169 mm, f/3.4, exp. 1/1600 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3648x2736 pix, 4.5 MB



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