Olympus Zuiko Lens Review Part 1: Sharpness & Chromatic Aberration

In June 2017, I sold my electronic lenses to spend some money on some legacy lenses & now I have the Olympus Zuiko 24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, & the 65-200mm f/4 - I am amazed with these lenses, they are so sharp, they do produce a wee bit of chromatic aberrations but that can easily be removed in Lightroom. Below are some images I shot with these lenses. I switched to these lenses because I shot some film for a fair bit with the Nikon FM2 and really enjoyed how it changed the way I photograph by simply having a limited number of exposures, it really makes you focus on getting the shot in camera and without being distracted by automatic floozies. I now tend to shoot like I have a roll of film in my Sony A7. These lenses are also fairly cheap to buy and are much much tougher than the plastic crap on modern lenses. 

Olympus Zuiko 24mm f/2.8

Here is an image I shot up in Lochgoilhead, Scotland - just outside the Drimsynie Estate. I used the Zuiko 24mm f/2.8 for this one, which is my favourite so far. It is very sharp for landscapes and general photography. 
Below I have cropped this image to reveal the chromatic aberrations the lens has produced and to show before and after the CA corrected in Lightroom, I've also done the same with sharpening and noise adjustments.

This was shot at f/8 | ISO: 400 | Exposure: 1/160 | Handheld | Body: Sony A7MK1 | Lens: Olympus Zuiko 24mm f/2.8

Chromatic aberrations before and after removed in Lightroom.

(not corrected on the left and corrected on the right - click for full screen)  

You can notice CA on the edges of the trees and brances.

Sharpening and noise adjustments

No sharpening or noise adjustments (left) Sharpening and noise adjustments (right) 

Olympus Zuiko 65-200mm f/4

A lens you can buy on eBay for £20, which produces pretty detailed shots. I use this lens mostly for Ted (dog) and far away landscapes. It's quite a cool lens , it has a built in lens hood & it's a push-pull lens.

This was shot at f/4 | ISO: 400 | Exposure: 1/3200 | Handheld | Body: Sony A7MK1 | 

Chromatic aberrations before and after

Notice purple fringing around the edges of Ted's face.

Sharpening and noise adjustments before and after

click for full screen

Zuiko 50mm f/1.8

This is a great wee lens , good for portraits and bokeh filled backgrounds.

I aimed the focus at the eyes and you can see the reflection of my house through Ted's eyes. I wouldn't say this is 100% sharp, it's quite soft and this might be because I shot wide open at f/1.8. It's quite a good image to show the bokeh this lens produces.

- Zuiko at night - 

An image I shot back in August 2017, which I planned to use for this blog. This was at Grassmarket, Edinburgh while the fireworks for the finale of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was about to be set off. Grassmarket is a lovely place  and has a great atmosphere and loads of shops & restaurants to visit.

This was shot at f/8 | ISO: 100 | Exposure: 13 seconds | Tripod: Manfrotto 190 Go | Body: Sony A7MK1 | Lens: Zuiko 24mm

I decided to do a quick test shot with the 24mm of this scene since it has a lot of objects and text to observe the sharpness. I would say it does quite well at night, the ''telephone'' text is in clear focus, the ''french connection'' text is clearly visible and even right beyond to the restaurants behind it. 

click for full screen

Bang Bang

An image of the finale fireworks to mark the end of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This image was taken at the Vennel Steps, which was a great place to watch and photograph the fireworks. click for full screen

This was shot at f/8 | ISO: 800 | Exposure: 2.5 seconds | Tripod: Manfrotto 190 Go | Body: Sony A7MK1 | Lens: Zuiko 24mm

The image is fairly sharp with the old buildings being in clear focus and Edinburgh castle as well as the windows being visible on the castle. The glare from the light and the high ISO of 800 I used does affect the quality so it did pretty well imo.  

click for full screen

  • Astrophotography


Disc shaped stars! With these old lenses, stars are rendered as disc shaped which is not good! Well, for me anyway. Although the stars appear disc shaped, at least they aren't out of focus. I guess the only way to avoid this problem is to do a longer exposure so that the stars begin to trail a tiny bit, at least they won't look too disc shaped. This was an 8 second exposure but the photo below is a 25 second exposure which has caused the stars to trail but appear less disc shaped.

Back to the Zuiko 65-200mm f/4

An image I shot on a cold and frosty morning while out with the dog. The Isle of Arran was covered in snow which I had to photograph, so I used the 65-200mm f/4 and found a nice spot on top of the sand dunes on Stevenston beach. No tripod was used for this shot, just a bit of oxygen was cut off for 3 seconds, lol. Big breath , hold, shoot, exhale. 

This was shot at f/8 | ISO: 400 | Exposure: 1/500 | Handheld | Body: Sony A7MK1 | 

sharpness crop click for full screen

to be Continued...

 As I shoot more with these lenses, I'll add more shots here in the future. I'm planning on having a shot of the Zuiko 80mm f/4, a macro lens, which will be quite interesting. Until then, here are some of the rest of the images I have with these lenses.

 f/4 | ISO: 400 | Exposure: 1/3200 | Handheld | Body: Sony A7MK1 | Lens: Zuiko 65-200mm f/4

f/8 | ISO: 400 | Exposure: 1/1600 | Handheld | Body: Sony A7MK1 | Lens: Zuiko 50mm f/1.8

f/8 | ISO: 400 | Exposure: 1/1600 | Handheld | Body: Sony A7MK1 | Lens: Zuiko 50mm f/1.8

sharpness crop

f/8 | ISO: 320 | Exposure: 1/200 | Handheld | Body: Sony A7MK1 | Lens: Zuiko 24mm f/2.8

f/8 | ISO: 400 | Exposure: 1/250 | Handheld | Body: Sony A7MK1 | Lens: Zuiko 24mm f/2.8

f/2.8 | ISO:100 | Exposure: 20 seconds | Tripod: Manfrotto 190 Go | Body: Sony A7MK1 | Lens: Zuiko 24mm f/2.8