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The Olympus Zuiko 24mm f/2.8
Using the 24/2.8
That said, half the fun of using some of these old lenses is having to learn, or for some of us, return to using the lens distance and depth of field scales.
I used liveview on my 1Ds Mk3 to check for best focus for the tests below.
The Canon EF mount is a very flexible design - you can see how much bigger it is than the OM mount below.
Note that there is no mechanical activation of the aperture stop-down for the lens. You will have to manually adjust the aperture ring of the lens.
There is a list of some of the kit we found, when having an office clearout, on our 'assorted old lenses test page' Some or all of these will be looked at over the next few months...
This is one of the lenses I used to use regularly on my Olympus OM2
This image is taken using the 24/2.8 on Tri-X film
I have it as a 78"x43" print, so I know it's not bad...
But it was taken over 20 years ago.
Here's the lens when I first 'went digital' with the Canon 1Ds
The lens on the 1Ds is the EF16-35 2.8L (original Mk1 version)
BTW - We still have the article that I wrote at the time (2004) on the site - Going Digital
How I'd love to get a -35mm full frame- DSLR the size of that OM2n (four thirds - no thanks ;-)
- This article tries to give a bit of a feel for using the old lens rather than any detailed optical analysis - and when it comes down to it (IMHO) photography is about actually taking photos.
I'd suggest doing some quick tests like this for any new lens you try out, just to get a feel for what differences it might offer.
Since I use my EF24-70 2.8L lens quite a bit, I chose it to compare with the Zuiko 24mm.
I've used liveview to focus on the brickwork next to the red door over the road.
If you move your mouse over the images, you can see the improvement at f/8 compared to f/2.8
Note the vignetting and lower contrast at f/2.8
It's a busy street - empty parking spaces don't last for long...
I've used the camera white balance in Adobe Camera Raw, to convert the RAW files.
Next, the centre of the frame - Zuiko.
and Canon 24-70
When is 24mm not 24mm?
It's important to remember that the focal length and field of view of similar lenses is only the same when focused at infinity. At closer distances there may be differences.
Look at this close shot of a flower in the conservatory (all at f/2.8).
This first one is the 24-70 at it's closest focusing distance
This next one is taken with nothing moved, just swapping lenses to the 24/2.8
The Zuiko focuses closer, so this is as close as it goes.
With a subject like this, the vignetting is no problem at all.
The two lenses tested. Notice how far ahead the front of the 24-70 at 24mm is compared to the Zuiko.
And before anyone asks - I did take that filter off the 24-70 for the pictures ;-)
At f/2.8 in the centre of the frame, I'd say the Zuiko just edges out the 24-70.
100% crops both taken at minimum focal distance.
First the 24-70
then the Olympus 24mm
Just a few quick tests, but I believe that for shots where I just need 24mm and no autofocus, then the 24/2.8 is a very good lens. The vignetting at wider apertures would be something to factor in to your composition, but like chromatic aberration is easily correctable in many RAW file converters.
An excellent lens to use when first got it in the 1980's and unlike many others I used then, still worth keeping in the bag.
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At f/8 it's probably my best quality option for 24mm, until the Mk2 version of the TS-E24/3.5 comes out later this year.
A good lens design that give very good all round performance.
Just remember that (IMHO) it's about actually taking photos not just the techy stuff ;-)
Keith is always happy to discuss matters raised in his articles. You can Email Us
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