Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro

18 December 2016
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart presents basic parameters of the tested lens and other macro devices with similar angles of view designed for sensors smaller than full frame. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro is physically the smallest and the lightest in this group but that stems mainly from its aperture fastness. Most of lenses in our chart are as fast as f/2.8. Still the Olympus sticks out with its minimum focusing distance and the reproduction ratio resulting from it. That feature is a serious advantage but you also should remember that in order to profit from it you have to come very close your object so it is positioned about 1 cm from the front element.

In the photo below the tested lens is positioned between the Sigma C 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN, and the Olympus M.Zuiko 45 mm f/1.8.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro - Build quality

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The Olympus M.Zuiko 30 mm f/3.5 Macro starts with a metal mount. It surrounds contacts and a rear element, less than 24 mm, which doesn’t move. The element is hidden inside the casing almost 0.5 cm deep and area next to it is nicely blackened and ribbed. A black ring with embedded contacts also features an inscription “MADE IN VIETNAM”. It seems the Olympus primes series is produced in different locations: apart from Vietnam we’ve also seen Japan and China.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro - Build quality

Moving to the proper body of the lens you find a wider ring, made of plastics. It has ribs on its left and right side which are supposed to ensure you a firmer grip and problem-free attachment to a camera. The ring doesn’t move and it features information concerning the focusing range (0.095m/0.312ft–∞), the serial number of the lens and the Micro 4/3 mark. On another narrow, smooth ring you see the name and the parameters of the lens.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro - Build quality

Further on there is a manual focus ring, as wide as 28 mm, which moves smoothly and is properly damped. The ring’s work is based on servomechanisms only so, contrary to some Olympus lenses, you can’t move it up and down in order to reveal a distance and DOF scale and change the focusing mode into manual. The working range of the ring depends on the speed of your turning.

The next narrow ring has a blue strip made of metal with the name and parameters of the lens. The lens lacks a hood mount but you can buy a POSR-EP11 shading ring and screw it into the filter thread.

The front element of the tested lens is just 13 mm in diameter and is surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 46 mm in diameter.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro - Build quality

When it comes to the optical construction you deal here with 7 elements positioned in 6 groups. One of the elements is aspherical, another one is aspherical and made of low dispersion glass at the same time (EDA – Extra-low Dispersion Aspherical) and another one is “doubly aspherical” (DSA – Dual Super Aspherical). Between the elements you can find a round aperture with seven blades which can be closed down to f/22 at the maximum.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro - Build quality

Buyers get only two caps in the box.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30 mm f/3.5 Macro - Build quality