View Full Version : Test: an Olympus Zuiko 21mm F2 on the R-D1

Charles D. Orze
04-09-2005, 12:30
I’m going to be headed to China in a few weeks and have been casting about for a reasonable wide for a price cheaper than Leica glass. The Zuiko 21 F2 is still the speed king in this focal length and one of the most highly regarded Olympus lenses (see an overview here: http://www.star.ucl.ac.uk/~rwesson/esif/om-sif/lensgroup/21mmf2.htm and here http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/shared/zuiko/htmls/21mm.htm). The lens is remarkably compact and even with the CameraQuest focusing adapter (couples the lens to the M mount) its total length is 62mm and 60mm around—smaller than the CV 35mm F1.2 by a good deal. That said, the combo of the R-D1 and 21mm OM is larger than the lens on my OM1n or OM4. The CameraQuest adapter (nicely done itself) is rangefinder coupled. To focus one first focuses the adapter and then one transfers the reading from the distance scale to the scale on the lens. This is more complicated than full coupling but not really much bother. Fit an finish on the lens is superb and everything is smooth and tight. For reasons that are not immediately apparent to me one must focus carefully at close distances wide open or risk soft shots.

In terms of sharpness the Zuiko is almost, but not quite as sharp as my CV 28mm Ultron. Here is a link to some published lens tests: http://members.aol.com/olympusom/lenstests/default.htm. Vinetting at F2 is no more than that of the lens on an OM body and I would see no need for correction. At F8 there is no visible vinetting at all. Here are two white field shots of the side of my shed at F2 and F8 and a shot of the Zuiko on the R-D1:

Charlie Orzech

21mm Zuiko at F2
21mm Zuiko at F8
Zuiko on R D1