Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm

Started Nov 26, 2011 | Discussions
Alupang
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Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
Nov 26, 2011

Has anyone here done real tests with these lenses? I'm thinking to fill my 24mm gap and narrowed the field to one of the following lenses. I cannot decide which so perhaps someone here can help me make a decision.

I have both FD and OM adapters so that doesn't figure in the equation here.

Here we go---the lens list and brief thoughts bouncing around in my brain:

1) OM 24/2.8. About $200. Small and light but about twice the cost of the FDn. I like the size and OM style but wonder if it is as good optically as FDn.

2) Canon FDn 24/2.8. About $100-130. Yawn. I worry about low contrast--I read someone complaining about that with this lens.

3) Olympus 24/2. $500+. I wonder if it's really better than the FDn f2. Hmmm.

4) FDn 24/2. $380-400. I know this lens is great but I also know it will develop 1mm focus play over time (if it doesn't already have) due to the rubber bushing design defect. I can live with a little focus play so throw that out of the equation.

uhoh07
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to Alupang, Nov 26, 2011

Alupang wrote:

Has anyone here done real tests with these lenses? I'm thinking to fill my 24mm gap and narrowed the field to one of the following lenses. I cannot decide which so perhaps someone here can help me make a decision.

I have both FD and OM adapters so that doesn't figure in the equation here.

Here we go---the lens list and brief thoughts bouncing around in my brain:

1) OM 24/2.8. About $200. Small and light but about twice the cost of the FDn. I like the size and OM style but wonder if it is as good optically as FDn.

2) Canon FDn 24/2.8. About $100-130. Yawn. I worry about low contrast--I read someone complaining about that with this lens.

3) Olympus 24/2. $500+. I wonder if it's really better than the FDn f2. Hmmm.

4) FDn 24/2. $380-400. I know this lens is great but I also know it will develop 1mm focus play over time (if it doesn't already have) due to the rubber bushing design defect. I can live with a little focus play so throw that out of the equation.

The nFD or Fd 24/2.8 is perfectly fine as is the nikkor 24/2.8 (but not the 24/2)

The nFD 24/2 is likely the best MF SLR 24 ever made

The nFD 20/2.8 is every bit as good and much cheaper: far underrated.

The OMs will be good too, but not better than the canons--I don't think. Certainly not better than the 24/2

Bushing issues are no more likely than any number of high performance lens issues seen with floating elements etc. The lens in fact is pretty tough, by many accounts.

You might consider also:

which is about the same price as the 24/2, and has incredibly sharp centers, but will not do as well on the edges becasue of some SA.

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Alupang
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to uhoh07, Nov 26, 2011

I'm on the hunt for the FDn 24/2. But I have to move some lenses first--I feel guilty owning too many lenses. How's that FDn 20mm? At what aperture is it great edge to edge?

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Karsten Meyer
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to uhoh07, Nov 26, 2011

uhoh07 wrote:

You might consider also:

Is this a lens for the old Pen F? It's clearly no OM lens, the adapter is much too short.

Regards,
Karsten

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KM Legacy
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to uhoh07, Nov 26, 2011

Bushing issues are no more likely than any number of high performance lens issues seen with floating elements etc.

What is the story with these bushings? Are they plastic, so they wear a lot? I bought a used Minolta MD 24mm F2.8 which had floating elements. It focused with a gritty noise and feeling, and gave horrible softness away from the center. I suspect it had a bad "floating" mechanism.

That Minolta commands a high price in the used market (higher than equivalent Canon FD), so it presumably is good.

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Carl Schofield
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to Alupang, Nov 26, 2011

My Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 also has some focus play, but it is still a fine lens and probably the best bargain of all the 24s if you get a good copy. It beat out the Zeiss 25 2.8, Pan-Leica 25 1.4, and Skopar 25 4 for edge to edge sharpness when I was using m43 and it is a great performer on the NEX-5N as well.

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uhoh07
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to KM Legacy, Nov 26, 2011

KM Legacy wrote:

That Minolta commands a high price in the used market (higher than equivalent Canon FD), so it presumably is good.

Could have been just helical issues with your MD. Prices FD vs MD vs Nikon have nothing to do with lens performance. The nFDs beat them all at 20 and 24 simply because they were very "late" designs with incredible coatings.

The 20 is sharp accross the frame at all apertures, if I'm not mistaken.

The Olyumpus Pen F 25/2.8 above is just that--and yes, it is WAY smaller and lighter than ANY SLR lens. It is also sharper in the center than just about any 25, but has SA issues which preclude proper focus on the edges.

How sharp?

100

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Jonas B
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to uhoh07, Nov 26, 2011

uhoh07 wrote:

How sharp?

Hi,

The colour casts... is that with the Nex-5 or 5N?

Jonas

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cxsparc
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to uhoh07, Nov 26, 2011

@uhu: You didn't write the used aperture. To my eye, even at this low res pic I can see the corners being very soft.

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Alupang
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to KM Legacy, Nov 26, 2011

KM Legacy wrote:

Bushing issues are no more likely than any number of high performance lens issues seen with floating elements etc.

What is the story with these bushings? Are they plastic, so they wear a lot?

It is my understanding that only certain FDn lenses have little rubber bushings on a cam like pin that slides in a track to initiate focusing. These rubber bushings simply deteriorate over time and so there is no way to avoid the resulting 1mm of focus play unless you change out the bushings. This focus play is annoying but does not effect optical performance whatsoever. The metal pin still works without the bushing--but you can feel the play from the gap produced by the worn bushing.

It is my experience that ONLY the following FDn lenses suffer from the bushing defect/problem: FDn 24/2, FDn 28/2, FDn 35/2, FDn 24/2.8.

All my other FDn lenses do not have this issue. Obviously Canon used these rubber bushings only in certain lenses.

Ive own or have owed all the lenses above and they all had bad bushings. Some are/were in mint practically unused condition.

As a side note watch out for Zeiss ZM too--they are known to develop focus play from sloppy tolerances. My ZM 35/2 had some focus play.

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Alupang
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to Carl Schofield, Nov 26, 2011

Yep and I will add that other Canon f2.8s are great too. My 28/2.8 matches my ZM 25/2.8 in corner sharpness at f2.8. Stopped down, the 28/2.8 is super critically sharp edge to edge with screaming contrast. For about $20-40, the 28/2.8 is a great deal.

So that's the catch for me. My $20 160 gram 28/2.8 is so "good enough" and so close to 24mm--It's hard for me to rationalize paying $400 for the 24/2. Also, the 24/2.8 has the focus play issue and 28/2.8 does not. The 24/2.8 is considerably heavier and more expensive too.

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uhoh07
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to cxsparc, Nov 26, 2011

cxsparc wrote:

@uhu: You didn't write the used aperture. To my eye, even at this low res pic I can see the corners being very soft.

Guess you do understand what SA means?

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Alupang
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OT but here's a sample of FDn 28/2.8 @ f5.6
In reply to Alupang, Nov 26, 2011

Nice and sharp edge to edge at f5.6. f8 is even better. Equally important is the very high contrast this lens delivers. You can't beat this lens for the money imo.

Perfect balance of good sharpness and high contrast is why I like this lens. The kit zoom may be even sharper at 28mm, but does not have the matching contrast.

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Sosua
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Unimpressive
In reply to Alupang, Nov 27, 2011

Top left and right corners are very soft haha!
--

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uhoh07
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Re: Unimpressive
In reply to Sosua, Nov 27, 2011

do you really test your glass with close shots like that? Any 24 is going to look fantastic at that range

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Alupang
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Re: Unimpressive
In reply to uhoh07, Nov 27, 2011

uhoh07 wrote:

do you really test your glass with close shots like that? Any 24 is going to look fantastic at that range

LOL

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Jonas B
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to Jonas B, Nov 27, 2011

I wrote:

Hi,

The colour casts... is that with the Nex-5 or 5N?

uhoh07,

Maybe it's a secrete?

Jonas

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cxsparc
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to uhoh07, Nov 27, 2011

uhoh07 wrote:

cxsparc wrote:

@uhu: You didn't write the used aperture. To my eye, even at this low res pic I can see the corners being very soft.

Guess you do understand what SA means?

No, I don't. Instead of writing such an informative reply, why not simply spell it out?

Probably there are more readers having difficulties with that cryptic abbreviation?

Using abbreviations may save you time writing, but if there are problems with the audience, it does not make you look more professional, only rather unhelpful.

And why not tell the used aperture?

P.S. And I second the question of used 5 or 5N, by the way

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RussellInCincinnati
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a tad confusing to refer to SA instead of curvature of field
In reply to uhoh07, Nov 27, 2011

UhOh07: The Olyumpus Pen F 25/2.8 above is just that--and yes, it is WAY smaller and lighter than ANY SLR lens. It is also sharper in the center than just about any 25, but has SA issues which preclude proper focus on the edges. How sharp?

By SA presume you mean lens spherical aberration, which further presume to imply curvature of field. For those of us who don't BYOD Bring Your Own Dictionary, probably best to spell out abbreviations at least the first time you use them.

The Pen 25/2.8 you showed us is indeed wonderfully sharp in the center. Did you mean to say that this lens is never sharp in the corner, because the "plane" of sharpest focus is actually "bent" away or towards the camera at the corners? Or do you only mean to say that it's hard to have sharp corners wider than some certain aperture (for example the unspecified aperture you showed us)?

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uhoh07
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Re: Opinions Needed: Olympus OM 24mm VS Canon FDn 24mm
In reply to cxsparc, Nov 27, 2011

cxsparc wrote:

uhoh07 wrote:

cxsparc wrote:

@uhu: You didn't write the used aperture. To my eye, even at this low res pic I can see the corners being very soft.

Guess you do understand what SA means?

No, I don't. Instead of writing such an informative reply, why not simply spell it out?

I wrote "It is also sharper in the center than just about any 25, but has SA issues which preclude proper focus on the edges"

Had you asked-- what is SA? before describing the edges as soft, i would have been happy to reply.

Instead you ignored the sentence altogether and made a mindless observation which I had already explained.

earning my snarky response.

a) Spherical aberration. Basically, a beam of light passing through a lens parallel to the optical axis converges to form 3 focused image on the film. Spherical aberration is the term for an optical fault caused by the spherical form of a lense that produces different focus points along the axis for central and marginal rays.

the lens is not soft on the edges---that means you cannot get sharp edges. The lens shows alot of SA on the nex----you CAN get razor edges, but the centers suffer.

@ russell you are spot on as usual ;). I should do some detailed expeirments at f/16 to see if you can get it all together. It's a shame, since the lens looks as if built for the nex, and really is wonderfully sharp.

That shot is at f/4 I think.

The 42/1.2 has no SA and is also very sharp at f/8

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