I love my Olympus OM1n camera, it is my forever 35mm SLR and I have shot with it long enough to know this true. The other thing that I know to be true is that Olympus Zuiko lenses are fantastic and completely underrated by those that do not know. I currently own the 50mm f/1.8 which was the ‘stock’ lens that came with the camera and the 28mm f2.8 which is one of the best around in my opinion. So as you can see I have wide and standard covered but what about longer focal length? I did own the Zuiko 135mm but I found it heavy and it made the camera feel unbalanced in my hands. Thus I started the quest to find something that worked for me. At this point I should mention I am not a portrait shooter, thus I discounted the Zuiko 85mm f/2 and started my coveting of the Zuiko 100mm f/2.8.
There is also a Zuiko 100mm f2 which is the stuff of legend and has a price to match. Reading up on Zuiko lenses, I was immediately attracted to the 100m f/2.8 as it is in the ‘snub nose’ variety of lens, which basically means it is small (read short) and lightweight. This lens is relatively hard to find in the UK, but examples are on a certain auction site from Japan. It took me nearly two years to get a good version at the right price and even then I ended up getting it from Australia. So now I have it, what are my thoughts?
Well aside from nearly selling it (Hasselblad purchase required funding) I am keeping it. The size and weight is fantastic. Portraits look good through it, but the biggest and unexpected factor for me was the options it opened in terms of composition. In my admittedly amateur photographer head I imagined that it would only give me options for portraits or distance. What I didn’t appreciate until using it was how much better I could frame images.
To expand, the 28mm can sometimes be too wide and bring in elements on the sides of the frame that I do not want. The 50mm is fine but sometimes I ended up too close to the subject and didn’t get everything I wanted in the frame. With the 100mm I realised I could stand back a little and really compose the elements I wanted in the frame. You can judge the quality for yourself with the images in this review. I am in my early days with using this lens but can already say it’s a keeper.