Olympus Pen F 40mm 1.4 comments

Started Sep 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
zink Contributing Member • Posts: 582
Re: Olympus Pen F 40mm 1.4 comments

saintz wrote:

I had this lens and sold it.

The real benefit of this lens is the size. It's tiny, and the adapter is also tiny. The build quality and focus feel is very good. The 40mm length makes it a little more general purpose and a little less of a portrait lens than the typical 50mm. It's also fast at f1.4, which is common for 50mm lenses but rare for anything wider. On paper, this seemed the best lens for the NEX.

As for the negatives, I found the lens too soft. I am not a sharpness junkie, and this is probably the only lens I've ever sold for being too soft. Wide open it's just too soft and that softness makes it also very difficult to focus using focus peaking, which further exacerbates the problem. Looking back, I found all of my shots with this lens were just blurry and uninspiring. Stopped down it performs better, but you're paying a premium for speed.

As said, I had two versions of the 40/1.4, a Pen-F and a younger FT version. The older one was a bit less sharp wide open. Or a bit soft if you like. But nowhere as soft as a Canon FD 50/1.4 wide open. It was even sharper wide open as my Konica 40/1.8 at f/2.8. But the older Pen 40 was a bit beaten up in the past and had a lot of coating damage. That may have been an issue. But even with this lens, focus peaking was not a problem.

As you can see in the samples posted here, this is not a lens that produces blurry pictures at all. Take a look also at the test from Forpetessake. Something else must have caused blurred pictures. Bad repair in the past, fungus, separation,...?

I would probably look at the cheaper 38 since you won't be shooting wide open. Or really the Sigma 30 is a better bet. Cheaper, about the same size, very sharp, and although slower, you might be stopping the PEN down to f2.8 often anyway.

My Pen 38/1.8 was softer wide open than my 40/1.4. Stopping down to f/2.8 for acceptable results is not necessary.

The Sigma must be a very good lens. No doubt about that. The only thing I doubt is the build quality. I once dropped my Pen 60/1.5. After I got myself together, I picked it up, and there was only damage to the laminate floor, no damage at all to the lens.

Also, the attachment mechanism is not very good. I once had the lens come unseated on a vacation and had to leave the camera behind because I couldn't get it to latch back on securely to the adapter.

Sounds like a bad adapter. You can not blame the lens for that.

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