Which do you think is Zukio's best lens, and why?

Started Aug 11, 2012 | Discussions
lbuglinbilly Junior Member • Posts: 37
Which do you think is Zukio's best lens, and why?

Of all the lenses that Zukio makes, which do you think is the sharpest and best lens overall?

Have a good one. BB

citizenlouie Contributing Member • Posts: 796
Re: Which do you think is Zukio's best lens, and why?

Very interesting you are posting this one.

Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD (and its predecessor).

The reason is not it's the best Zuiko in term of IQ or sharpness (those will belong to SHG Zuiko lenses for 4/3 and 50mm f/2 Macro for 4/3), but I chose it because it's the greatest asset to Olympus like EVER. Most of us who are not leaving 4/3 platform because of this lens. Best value for the money. You cannot find another lens just like it from competitors' offerings, and certainly not at that price tag. It makes an ordinary scene looks magical. Brilliant faultless bokeh (I've yet to find a lens with better bokeh performance).

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daddyo Forum Pro • Posts: 12,431
I'll second the 50-200mm vote!

I'm with you on this one. The 50-200mm is still the lens I have made more of my personal favorite images with than any other ZD lens. I has a special character that is unmatched in my opinion.

God Bless,
Greg
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OP lbuglinbilly Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: I'll second the 50-200mm vote!

I just happen to have that lens, along with a few others, and it seems to render some pretty good stuff.

I also have the fixed 300/2.8 and the 90-250. Both of those are really good lenses, but that cost so much more, are so much heavier and although great lenses are far more limiting than is the 50-200. And I have shot a lot of stuff with all those lenses.

I aslo have the 50 MM macro lens, but have used that very little. For those of you who use it a lot, what situations do you find it better than the above lenses.

I would like to thank each of you who responded to my question, as I wondered if I was the only one who felt that way. My 300 is super sharp and I love it. but its very limiting.

Again thanks. BB

historianx
historianx Senior Member • Posts: 2,876
Re: I'll second the 50-200mm vote!

count me in the 50-200 SWD camp. it's my bread and butter. let me put it this way: if I ever dropped and busted it, Id be on the computer to Amazon to get another asap. Value, performance, sharpness, resolution, a/f speed, price yeah it's not a SHG but I have models beating down my door to shoot their portfolios with it. and if U work on your backgrounds, the bokeh is just, just, .... : )

I rented a 35-100 for a spell but it seemed awfully persnickety in the a/f dept. But WOW what images!! So that'd be my second choice--with the 12-60 SWD and 50/2 not far behind.

PS I find the 50-200 SWD better for portraiture than the 50 and the 35-100, because it's not as sharp. sharpness not always good thing. well-lit portraits have a defined, yet soft glow to them with the 50-200 SWD. Best Zuiko Digital lens hands down, for the money.

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citizenlouie Contributing Member • Posts: 796
Re: I'll second the 50-200mm vote!

Zuiko 50mm macro.... For macro and macro only would it be better than 50-200mm SWD in term of overall performance. SWD version is revised to have rounded aperture diaphragm, so the bokeh is like SUPER buttery.

50mm macro, being a macro lens, means its very specialized in the sharpness aspect. The six-blade non-rounded diaphragm just doesn't cut it in the bokeh department. But the short focus distance is very handy for macro. You may experience more out of focus area CA in doughnut ring style.... You will not win bokeh award with this lens, but it is the sharpest 50mm prime lens ever made (of any brand). So bottom line, macro lens (Olympus's own ring flash and dual macro flashes both requires 52mm filter thread this lens has, so yeah, it's your best lens for macro).

If you look at the 50-200mm SWD's MTF chart, you'll realize why it's only a HG lens. Light does fall off at the corner, but for most part in the field, it's negligible. However, that light fall off is really good for portrait. I don't know how they did it, but light spheres in the corner of bokeh area is really beautiful, even at corners. In fact, I tried 14-35mm SWD before (I know, different focal range...), while that SHG is better at sharpness department, and definitely better when it comes to vignette, but bokeh is not better than 50-200mm SWD's, which is pretty close to flawless.

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OP lbuglinbilly Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: I'll second the 50-200mm vote!

What aperture setting are using to get the best bokeh, with the 50-200?

Thanks once again for all the informative replies. In a couple days I am heading to Wyoming to shoot antelope, badgers, and various bird photos. I will be sitting in a blind so most will be pretty close (for wildlife) shots and I would like to improve the bokeh on some of my shots. Any suggestions there?

Have a good one. BB

historianx
historianx Senior Member • Posts: 2,876
Re: I'll second the 50-200mm vote!

For me, it's more the distance I have between the lens and my subject, coupled with the focal length and aperture setting. I find the longer the distance and wider the F-stop (and what is in the background) to be the combined factors. IOW, when I do head and full length shots, Im usually 10-12 feet away, E-3 on tripod with wired remote, shooting at 300-400mm+ w/o as possible, to squeeze in the background perspective and knock it out of focus. Your results may vary. All I know is when I show clients the portraiture work I do with this peerless lens, you can see the delight : )

My only wishes? 50-200 SWD 2.8 through the range and have an internal zoom barrel. But that would add thousands to the cost, so I am happy the way it is mostly because 3.5 at 400mm is quite OK and the bokeh like others have said is flawless and artistically gorgeous. MTF graphs are an OK guide, but the results are the bottom line. This lens delivers : )

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photoholiko Senior Member • Posts: 1,732
Re: Which do you think is Zukio's best lens, and why?

For $1200 it better be good!

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historianx
historianx Senior Member • Posts: 2,876
Re: Which do you think is Zukio's best lens, and why?

worry not. It is.

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citizenlouie Contributing Member • Posts: 796
Re: Which do you think is Zukio's best lens, and why?

It compares well with Nikon's lens in the $2000-3000 range.

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citizenlouie Contributing Member • Posts: 796
Re: I'll second the 50-200mm vote!

Which aperture? Like all 4/3 lenses Olympus Make in the HG and SHG range, EVERY aperture is good. But 4/3 sensor is optimized for f/4-8 range. So you should stay in that range. Diffraction will kick in at f/11, so avoid that and smaller aperture (but it also depends on the lighting). f/2.8 is perfectly usable, but at 50mm end, you might experience more vignette than other focal length, especially if you have a thick filter in front (I use a polarizer filter sometimes), but usually it's not a big of a deal. Depends on lighting condition of course (stronger the light, wider the focal length and wider the aperture, more likely you'll experience vignette).

With studio lighting, you don't have to worry about it. It's negligible.

So in short, f/4-f/8 are all good. f/3.5 at the long end is also perfectly usable. That's the good thing about Zuiko lenses. You don't have to think too much.

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historianx
historianx Senior Member • Posts: 2,876
Re: I'll second the 50-200mm vote!

another perspective: I get more saleable prints and downloads with the 50-200 SWD than any of my other lenses, inc a couple classics I have from the OM era the 100/2 and 90/2 Macro.

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OP lbuglinbilly Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Which do you think is Zukio's best lens, and why?

Well I am leaving early in the morning to spend about a week in Wyoming shooting antelope photos. I will try to apply some of what you who were kind enough to post explained to me. And we will see how I do. Again thanks to all for posting here and for your help.

Here's one of my many photos from last year. Hopefully I have learned enough to improve on a few of them this year.

Have a good one. BB

papillon_65
papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
Bokeh on the 50-200mm can be poor..

citizenlouie wrote:

Very interesting you are posting this one.

Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD (and its predecessor).

The reason is not it's the best Zuiko in term of IQ or sharpness (those will belong to SHG Zuiko lenses for 4/3 and 50mm f/2 Macro for 4/3), but I chose it because it's the greatest asset to Olympus like EVER. Most of us who are not leaving 4/3 platform because of this lens. Best value for the money. You cannot find another lens just like it from competitors' offerings, and certainly not at that price tag. It makes an ordinary scene looks magical. Brilliant faultless bokeh (I've yet to find a lens with better bokeh performance).

The bokeh on this lens is not great, it can be pretty horrible at times, especially with foliage in the background. It's a great lens but it's no "bokeh monster" that's for sure.
--
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