5 frames with...

5 Frames with the Olympus OM Zuiko 100mm f2.8 – By Sandeep

November 13, 2018

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.

Sandeep (@givemeabiscuit)

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Mr J D Higgs
    November 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Some lovely images there Sandeep, I too love my 100mm f2.8, I managed to pick one up very cheap on ebay and have got some excellent results with it. One day I’ll save up enough for a 100mm f2 or 24mm f2. I have just invested in an OM1 body as well to compliment my OM2n, I have fallen for these cameras in a big way. Keep up the good work.

    • Reply
      Sandeep
      November 24, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Thank you, the OMs are great little cameras. Good luck with search for the lens

  • Reply
    Scott Edwards
    November 13, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Nice post, nice pics.

    • Reply
      Sandeep
      November 24, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Thank you

  • Reply
    Nige cliff
    November 13, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    I don’t have an Olympus SLR yet but use this on my OMD,it’s a stunning lens that I would never think of getting rid of

    • Reply
      Sandeep
      November 24, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Yes, I would have regretted it if I ended up selling it. I use my Zuiko lenses on my mirrorless camera as well

  • Reply
    Philip CHAZEN
    November 13, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Best camera system I ever owned. Had OM-1 and OM-2SP. Sold because of worsening vision. Had 28 f2.8, 50 f1.4, 135 f2.8 and 35-100 f4. Miss it, nothing could beat it.

    • Reply
      Sandeep
      November 24, 2018 at 8:03 am

      50 1.4,is on my wishlist

  • Reply
    Boris Samacovlieff
    November 13, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Have a look at https://ffordes.com for used analog equippment in the UK. They are based in Scotland close to Inverness. I bought allready 4 lenses there and 2 of them were as new condition for very little money. Cheers Boris

  • Reply
    Rifki Syahputra
    November 14, 2018 at 12:37 am

    for compact portrait shooter, this 100/2.8 is a gem.. still, my favorite 100/2.8 goes to Serie-E Nikkor 🙂

  • Reply
    Bent_Brent
    November 14, 2018 at 1:23 am

    Absolutely love that third shot in the old Ford. Great colour rendition from that lens.

    • Reply
      Sandeep
      November 24, 2018 at 8:04 am

      Thank you

  • Reply
    Barry Reid
    November 14, 2018 at 11:27 am

    As a guy who mostly like Contax kit but has added some Olympus gear on the side – mainly for the OM-4’s handling – I’ve a thought about why Zuikos may be less heralded than some other brands, in spite of some outstanding lenses at very reasonable prices. My theory is that what really sets Zuikos apart, and makes them less popular, is their very particular colour signature which tends towards cool with a hint of cyan. While this suits some tastes a warmer tone (like from Contax and Canon) is more widely preferred.

  • Reply
    Barry Reid
    November 20, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    The reason IMO Olympus glass is under-rated today is colour rendering; Zuikos tend towards the cooler end of things and have a cyan/blue tint compared to, say, Contax or Canon SLR lenses. That warmer look (e.g Velvia 50 vs Kodachrome 64 for us oldies) will typically please more of the people, more of the time.

    • Reply
      Sandeep
      November 24, 2018 at 8:06 am

      Zuiko Blue is definitely a thing, but if you know that it can be used to your advantage

  • Reply
    Neale MacMillan
    November 23, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    I agree with Barry’s comment above. I have this lens. While I love the form factor and build quality, it is the predominance of bluish tints that puts me off.

  • Reply
    Neale MacMillan
    November 23, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Should also add that I too love your old car shot! Very nice. And the point about the framing advantages of a shortish telephoto is a good one.

    • Reply
      Ssumal71
      November 24, 2018 at 8:10 am

      Thanks, agree that some Zuiko lenses have a bluish tint. The framing point was a real surprise and bonus for me in using this lens

  • Reply
    Rich T
    August 4, 2019 at 1:47 am

    I just bought this lens, but it is an older version that is not multicoated. I hope I don’t regret that. Your pics look great. What film did you use for these photos?

    • Reply
      Ssumal71
      August 4, 2019 at 7:00 am

      I think you will be happy with the lens no matter which version. The car shot is provia, the blue London one’s are Velvia 50, can’t recall which one for the portrait

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