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Thread: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

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    Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1




    A lovely lens from the Olympus Pen F lens line that makes very nice photographs. Small, light, fast ...

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    A lovely lens from the Olympus Pen F lens line that makes very nice photographs. Small, light, fast ...
    I have been contemplating this lens. Small, light, fast - all that is good. But is it any good? What is your impression/opinion on resolution and contrast, flare resistance, bokeh and aberrations?

    What i really would like to know is if it beats the CV 75/2.5 Color Heliar which is an excellent lens. The Pen FT 70/2 is faster... but what about the other parameters?

    curious, /Jonas

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
    I have been contemplating this lens. Small, light, fast - all that is good. But is it any good? What is your impression/opinion on resolution and contrast, flare resistance, bokeh and aberrations?

    What i really would like to know is if it beats the CV 75/2.5 Color Heliar which is an excellent lens. The Pen FT 70/2 is faster... but what about the other parameters?
    I've only used it a little ... 70mm is fairly long for my usual shooting .. and mostly shooting wide open to two stops down. It impresses me as being much the same character as the G.Zuiko 40mm f/1.4: a little soft wide open with lovely imaging quality, and extremely sharp, contrasty by f/2.8-4 with similar bokeh.

    I've had both the Pentax 77/1.8 and 70/2.4 Limiteds (used with Pentax DSLR format cameras) and I'd say it's about on par with them, although I think they might be just a hair sharper when wide open. It's certainly in that ball park. I found the 77 to be a match to my old Leica Summilux-M 75/1.4. I've not had the Color Heliar 75/2.5 to be able to say how it performed.

    I've always used it with the lens hood as shown: I've not seen any evidence of significant flare.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I've only used it a little ... 70mm is fairly long for my usual shooting .. and mostly shooting wide open to two stops down. It impresses me as being much the same character as the G.Zuiko 40mm f/1.4: a little soft wide open with lovely imaging quality, and extremely sharp, contrasty by f/2.8-4 with similar bokeh.

    I've had both the Pentax 77/1.8 and 70/2.4 Limiteds (used with Pentax DSLR format cameras) and I'd say it's about on par with them, although I think they might be just a hair sharper when wide open. It's certainly in that ball park. I found the 77 to be a match to my old Leica Summilux-M 75/1.4. I've not had the Color Heliar 75/2.5 to be able to say how it performed.

    I've always used it with the lens hood as shown: I've not seen any evidence of significant flare.
    If it behaves similar to the 40/1.4 I think I would like it. Using a good hood is a given to me and perhaps more important than usual with the Pen FT lenses in general (judging from comments at various places on the Net).

    The Color Heliar performs very similar to the FA77, the LTM mount version maybe even better than the SL version.

    A problem I recall with the FA77 was the CA that always was present, sometimes also in smaller prints. Do you see alot of it with the Olympus 70/2?

    thank you, /Jonas

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
    If it behaves similar to the 40/1.4 I think I would like it. Using a good hood is a given to me and perhaps more important than usual with the Pen FT lenses in general (judging from comments at various places on the Net).

    The Color Heliar performs very similar to the FA77, the LTM mount version maybe even better than the SL version.

    A problem I recall with the FA77 was the CA that always was present, sometimes also in smaller prints. Do you see alot of it with the Olympus 70/2?
    An efficient lens hood makes sense on the Pen F lenses ... they are after all from the 1960s, prior to multicoating ... that said I don't see flare as too intrusive even without it on the 40mm.

    I don't recall a CA problem with the FA77 (later on I'll look through my library and see what I find). I've not used the 70/2 enough to really get a feel for CA characteristics yet, but I don't think it's intrusive as I didn't do any CA corrections at all on the photos I posted from it.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Flare has always been a major problem with this lens from the film days. An efficient hood helps but does not avoid it completely.

    The origin of flare of this goes farther than the lens coatings, IMO.

    That said, it is one sweet lens. No (objectionable/unrectifiable) CA, even under difficult lighting (this goes for 150/4 and 250/5 as well.).


    Here is a sample at f/2.


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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    I find the Pen lenses to be very sharp as a rule. Here is the 60/1.5.



    I really like the 25/2.8, the 38/1.8, and 40/1.4. I did some comparisons between the 38/1.8 and a 40/2 Summicron-C, one of my favorite Leica lenses, and was very impressed. Bokeh is excellent and close focus is no contest.

    Oh, and the 38 Macro. How could I forget that! Probably my most used lens of all.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Hmm. A major problem to one person, no problem for another ... eh? Just put a good hood on and work with it. ;-)


    G.Zuiko 70mm @ f/2

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    You can put as a long hood as you want but the flare (and as a result lower contrast) wide open is there. It has been that way for me >10 years and it has not got any better with digital.

    This is not an odd user experience either. Those who are familiar with Pen F lenses know it is true about the 70/2.

    The 60/1.5, on the other hand, does not have this problem, even wide open.

    The 100/3.5 (though slower) does not have this flare/low contrast issues at all.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    You can put as a long hood as you want but the flare (and as a result lower contrast) wide open is there. It has been that way for me >10 years and it has not got any better with digital.

    This is not an odd user experience either. Those who are familiar with Pen F lenses know it is true about the 70/2.

    The 60/1.5, on the other hand, does not have this problem, even wide open.

    The 100/3.5 (though slower) does not have this flare/low contrast issues at all.
    I've heard exactly the opposite from other people using the 60/1.5 lens and 70/2 lens, Vivek. I don't know who is right as I have never used the 60/1.5. The 70/2 I've got here has very little flare even wide open, far as I can see. It has some, yes ... it's not a lot by any means.

    (I did have Olympus Pen F cameras twice before this over the past thirty years, however, and had the 24, 38, and 70 lenses, as well as the 50-90 zoom. The only one that had serious flare problems as far as I recall was the 50-90 zoom, like most zoom lenses of its day.)

    I don't pretend to speak as an authority on all Pen F lenses, though: I'm just reporting what I see with this one.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    An efficient lens hood makes sense on the Pen F lenses ... they are after all from the 1960s, prior to multicoating ... that said I don't see flare as too intrusive even without it on the 40mm.

    I don't recall a CA problem with the FA77 (later on I'll look through my library and see what I find). I've not used the 70/2 enough to really get a feel for CA characteristics yet, but I don't think it's intrusive as I didn't do any CA corrections at all on the photos I posted from it.
    I can live with single coating.
    About the CA, there I think our preferences are different.

    The Pen FT 40/1.4 is nice. The softness and glow wide open is OK and from f/2.8 it is sharp enough for anything the camera can do. It is a pity that the foreground bokeh is more soft and gentle than the background bokeh but then again the overall rendering is very pleasing to my eyes.

    I now have the 70/2 on its way and I hope it performs about the same. I'll compare it to the CV75/2.5 and decide which one to keep. I have several lens decisions in front of me. Some more has to go (although the Canon primes I have up for sale seem to move very slowly...).

    Thank you for the input, /Jonas

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Godfrey, Over 30 years ago, I did not own a single camera. Plain fact. I am hardly an "authority" on pen F gear (or any other photography gear for that matter). Sadly, many pen F "authority" figures now are too old or even no more.

    It is that very factor (age of the gear), the ultra compactness and the overall performance that is fascinating.

    All the more power anyone who is still interested in and using such classic tools.

    Eagerly awaiting the Olympus m4/3rds offerings.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Two bokeh test sequences of the Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens are now available on my website:

    http://www.gdgphoto.com/Oly70mm_bokeh_test/

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Thanks for that Godfrey. Wide open, there is sort of a vintage Sonnar glow on the top of the fence (akin to a 50s Nikkor 50/1.4 or a CZO Sonnar 50/1.5) but it is pretty much gone by f/2.8. Some people call this 'veiling flare', it's inherent to the design. I presume these were taken with the shade?

    On my old Nikkor, stopping down only a half-stop is enough to do away with the veiling flare and increase contrast. I wonder if the same thing is true of the Zuiko 70/2...
    Last edited by monza; 18th May 2009 at 19:47.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Thanks for that Godfrey. Wide open, there is sort of a vintage Sonnar glow on the top of the fence (akin to a 50s Nikkor 50/1.4 or a CZO Sonnar 50/1.5) but it is pretty much gone by f/2.8. Some people call this 'veiling flare', it's inherent to the design. I presume these were taken with the shade?

    On my old Nikkor, stopping down only a half-stop is enough to do away with the veiling flare and increase contrast. I wonder if the same thing is true of the Zuiko 70/2...
    I think the 70/2 does a quite lovely job, just like the 40/1.4 which is a very similar design.

    I notice very little CA in these tests ... they are processed from RAW at the Lightroom defaults without any additional tweaking.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Thanks for that Godfrey. Wide open, there is sort of a vintage Sonnar glow on the top of the fence (akin to a 50s Nikkor 50/1.4 or a CZO Sonnar 50/1.5) but it is pretty much gone by f/2.8. Some people call this 'veiling flare', it's inherent to the design. I presume these were taken with the shade?

    On my old Nikkor, stopping down only a half-stop is enough to do away with the veiling flare and increase contrast. I wonder if the same thing is true of the Zuiko 70/2...
    One of the common ways to test for veiling flare is to photograph something like the WhiBal card wide open into the sun or a bright light. Then look at the black area of the card once you have the file in photoshop and see what is the black level. Obviously something approaching 0 is ideal. Then repeat the same test at various apertures each time looking at the black level. If the lens has substantial veiling flare (i.e. light that bounces around inside the lens reducing contrast) you should see the black level improve continuously as you go to smaller and smaller apertures. Not super scientific but a very good first approximation

    Woody

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    I guess I'm not so much interested in "testing for veiling flare" as I am in doing a simple test so I can understand a lens' imaging character and put it to use. :-)

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    The 70 has a very nice character indeed. The veiling flare is part of the character, too, though; could make for a long dreamy portrait lens wide open.

    Here is a quick comparison showing the veiling flare @ f/1.5 vs f/2.0 with a Zeiss Opton Sonnar 50/1.5. (Click the link and roll mouse over the image.)

    Last edited by monza; 19th May 2009 at 07:44.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Robert, Neat demo (I will get in touch about the rollin' mouse very nice).

    As I also agreed (with Godfrey), I am also not in the business of doing the tests for the sake of them and I deliberately did not use that "veiling flare" term.

    Here is a casual portrait through the pen F 42/1.2 at f/1.2 (ISO 200, handheld shot). The lens had a hood. Now, I have an extra long hood on it. This lens shows less of the flare, wide open, than the 70/2.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Nice portrait, Vivek. Is the 42 worth the extra speed over the 40?

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Thanks, Robert.

    Yes.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    I kinda figured that would be the answer. I've been enjoying the Pen lenses on the G1 for a while (thanks Vivek) but enjoy them even more, with the new Hawk adapter. Focus scale is in the proper location now, and the lenses are easy to remove without the flange unscrewing.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    The day the G1 reached me, the first to get fitted was the Zuiko Macro 38/3.5 (easy as it was a direct fit). It still is one of my all time favorites for the m4/3rds.

    Here is a macro shot of this strange flower (it grows along dandelions):



    It glows under UV (blacklight) to give this beautiful (visible light) fluorescence:


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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Nice portrait, Vivek. Is the 42 worth the extra speed over the 40?
    Not basing this on personal experience, but most of the people I know who had the 42/1.2 always told me that the 40/1.4 was a better performer. Sure is neat thing to have the option, but I'm happy with the 40. :-)

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    The day the G1 reached me, the first to get fitted was the Zuiko Macro 38/3.5 (easy as it was a direct fit). It still is one of my all time favorites for the m4/3rds.

    Here is a macro shot of this strange flower (it grows along dandelions):

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3307/...28d908e4_o.jpg

    It glows under UV (blacklight) to give this beautiful (visible light) fluorescence:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3389/...62fa5ef4_o.jpg
    Very nice!

    I have the Olympus ZD 35/3.5 Macro, it is of similar quality. Olympus makes darn nice lenses, always have. :-)

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Not basing this on personal experience, but most of the people I know who had the 42/1.2 always told me that the 40/1.4 was a better performer. Sure is neat thing to have the option, but I'm happy with the 40. :-)
    Yes, that is exactly what I heard as well.

    Focus and metering (very important for fast lenses) can be achieved more accurately on G1 and this demonstrated to me that the 42/1.2 is one fine lens.

    These are very basic factors but needed G1's liveview and metering to realize them.

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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    I think that's true. I can get the Pen F focused pretty accurately most of the time at wide apertures, but the G1 is in an entirely different league. Since the 42/1.2 was only usable on the Pen bodies until recently maybe it didn't get a fair shake back in the day...

    40/1.4 with 6mm extension tube, Velvia


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    Re: Olympus G.Zuiko 70mm f/2 lens for the G1

    One key thing to look for in the 42/1.2 lens is the absence of any traces of "cloudiness". There is one cemented pair in the front group that is prone to de-cementing. When that happens, one loses speed and sharpness.

    This propensity for de-cementing of the 42/1.2 is kind of unique among all of pen F lenses.

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