Lens review

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

13 October 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Olympus 50-200 mm SWD is a clear example what we can get by using a small detector. Looking at the following chart you see that the dimensions of the ZD 50-200 mm SWD are always smaller than its competitors, no matter whether you compare it to the full frame instruments with the similar focal length range or to the lenses with the same aperture values.

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

The quality of the tested lens is difficult to fault. In fact, we found one fault or rather a minor flaw because a fault is a word too strong for it. On zooming the lens becomes physically almost two times longer and running through the scale causes loud sucking and pumping of the air. When we are traveling from 200 to 50 mm pretty quickly, we hear a loud whistle and the air, pumped by the movement of the elements, passes through the sides and goes straight towards the sensor. This effect can be compared to the classic “pump” – the Canon 100-400 L. There is one problem, though - the 50-200 mm SWD is not a “pump” but a classic zoom.

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

The lens starts with a metal bayonet. Next, there is a place on the barrel where you can attach a robust tripod adapter, included in the set. After that we find a big and comfortable zoom ring, which works beyond reproach. Then we have a distance scale behind a glass window and a big and mechanical manual focus ring, which works smoothly and precisely. The front extendable element is surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread with a diameter of 67 mm.

The Olympus ZD 50-200 mm has a complicated architecture. It consists of 16 elements in 15 groups and as much as three elements have been made out of a low-dispersion glass ED. Inside we’ll also find a circular aperture diaphragm with nine blades which can be closed to f/22.

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

The buyer gets a very solid tripod adapter, a lens hood and both caps in the set.

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