Olympus Zuiko M. 75mm f/1.8

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Finally it arrived, the 75mm Zuiko M. with final firmware. This lens was halfmade for a couple of months while Olympus tweaked the firmware. Was it it worth the wait? Definitely. Now, after one day of shooting with it, I can summarize my blog by saying that this lens is one of the finest short tele lenses I have ever used. Believe me, I have used a lot of short teles. For twenty years as mainly a studio shooter, using something else than a short tele was an exception. By a shot tele I mean a lens which has an angle of view corresponding roughly to lenses between 70mm and 200mm on a 35mm full frame camera. With Sinar I had Rodenstocks, Schneider Kreuznachs, Sinarons, for medium format several systems from Hasselblad to Fuji and Mamiya and others and then Canon, of course, as 35mm DSLR format. Plus Nikon for a few years. My favorite focal length for my own stuff is 35mm, again expressed as 35mm equivalent angle of view. But a short tele, that´s my second nature. 

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I shot my standard test target. As you can see there is very little to say about it. Quite boring. From f/2.8 to f/8.0 nothing happens. Maybe we only need a better sensor than the one in E-M5 to see what this lens is capable of. At f/2.0 and f/1.8 it is "worse". Yes it is, not as good. Seeing this, I did almost all the normal shooting at f/1.8. And why not? A collection of these can be seen at my sample gallery. I had this lens right now just for a day. I will add more samples when I get my own copy.

Actually there is some or notable purple fringing at f/1.8 and f/2.0 and a little of it potentially always depending on conditions. But fringing was also always, when seen, correctable with one click of Lightroom 4.1 Defringe tool. Wide open there is slight ghosting and loss of contrast which can be mostly corrected by adding contrast and clarity. (In test shots above there is no such extra correction, just a normalized grayscale.) A little chromatic aberration can be seen and it is removed entirely by checking Lightroom 4 Chromatic Aberration check mark. Practically no vignetting and no distortion can be seen. Yes, post processing Zuiko M. 75mm files is boring, not much to do and what is is left is quite repeating shot after shot.

I have been accused of being an Olympus fan boy. Because of that I am not saying that Zuiko M. 75mm is THE best short tele I have used, just one of the best, ever.

What comes to construction and finish, 75mm is a very beautiful and solid piece of metal and glass. This lens is quite compact compared to anything seen on other platforms. The only moving part outside is the smoothly rotating focusing ring. The feel is very much alike Zuiko M. 12mm. Auto focusing is instantaneous and I ran into no hunting. I don´t know what Olympus was tweaking for a so long a time, but what ever it was, to me it looks like they got it just right.

This lens should start arriving to shops in Europe on the week of July 9th. Price is 899€. It does not include the tone in tone metallic hood which goes at about 80€.

Conclusion

Well, the conclusion was already above. I have very little more to write about this lens. When something is average, there are usually many sides you can ponder. Now there aren´t. Just add all the superlatives you can think of if you want to make this blog longer.

-p-