Lens review

Olympus Zuiko Digital 35-100 mm f/2.0

10 May 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution of the tested lens was based on the strength of RAW files from an Olympus E-3 camera. The files were developed using the dcraw program and the MTF50 values were measured by Imatest.

Let’s see how the lens performs in the frame centre.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 35-100 mm f/2.0 - Image resolution

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Such graphs you would like to see more often. The results in the 35-65 mm range at maximum relative aperture are excellent. On stopping down the situation becomes even better. Really it would be difficult to find a system standard prime lens which would have noticeable better results than the ZD 35-100 mm by f/2.8-11. At the maximum focal length the lens fares a bit worse and the difference is the most pronounced at the maximum relative aperture. Even there, though, the value a tad above 38 lpmm guarantees images of at least good quality. On stopping down to f/2.8 the situation improves and the images become simply beyond reproach.

Now let’s have a look at the frame edge performance, presented on the graph below.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 35-100 mm f/2.0 - Image resolution

Here again the situation is difficult to fault. The results are relatively even at all focal lengths (once again 100 mm is a bit worse than the 35-65 mm range) and fully useful up from the maximum relative aperture. On stopping down by 1 EV the image becomes simply splendid.

We have tested several 70-200 mm f/2.8 class lenses so far. This group includes both older Canons, Nikkors, Sigmas and a new Tamron. Undoubtedly the Olympus 35-100 mm fared the best of all when it comes to resolution. Because of that we are even more curious, how the new 70-200 mm f/2.8 lenses from Canon, Nikon or Sigma will fare. Their duel with Olympus promises to be very exciting.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 35-100 mm f/2.0 - Image resolution