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Zuiko 40mm compared to 35mm & 50mm lenses
Old 03-10-2007   #1
CaptB
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Zuiko 40mm compared to 35mm & 50mm lenses

My OM travel kit consists of OM1, OM2......and 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8 &100mm f2.8 lenses. Usually I only carry one body around at a time. I really like the view of a 40mm lens.....but the Zuiko is pricy. If the price were in line with the others......I would only have the 28, 40 & 100.....which would be just about perfect for me. I know about the problem with using a polarizer with the 40.....I don't use them much though. How good is the 40mm? How does it stack-up to the 35mm f2.8 and any of the 50's? Thanks for your input.


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Old 03-10-2007   #2
ChrisPlatt
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I owned this lens before it became a cult classic.
IMO it's good but not great, and definitely
not worth its current stratospheric price...

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Old 03-10-2007   #3
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I bought the 40mm at near to its stratospheric price. Sometime after that I bought a brand new later model 50 1.8 for $39 Cdn. I believe the latter is the sharper lens. I don't think the 40mm is particularly good at F2, which is something you might want to consider if you were looking for additional speed to replace the 35 2.8.

That said, I do like the 40mm angle of view. And stopped down, it is a nice lens. And of course, very compact.
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Old 03-10-2007   #4
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You can buy an OM-mount 40/2 from Cosina Voigtlander now (modified
CV Nokton, small and sharp). Check with the Bartender.

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Old 03-10-2007   #5
Doug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider
...40/2 from Cosina Voigtlander now (modified CV Nokton, small and sharp)...
Roland, are you sure it's a modified (50mm?) Nokton? Small, as you say, different max aperture, different focal length, needs rear clearance for SLR mirror, labeled an "Ultron"... Certainly a fine premium-level lens, and I think rare in OM mount, so it would be quite a prize.
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Old 03-11-2007   #6
Trius
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Cameraquest states " Most SL lenses were available in Nikon AIS, Canon FD, Pentax K-A, Pentax 42mm Screw Mount, Minolta MD, Contax / Yashica MM, and Olympus OM." The 40mm is f2 Aspherical, so I would be shocked if it weren't in the same price range as the Zuiko, especially as I suppose it is rare.

Unless there is another choice, I would stick with a Zuiko 35. The 35/2 is not nearly as cheap as the 2.8, but it is a better lens than the 40/2 from everything I've seen and read. I also would prefer 40 to 35 if I had to choose, but as an excellent 40 seems to be nearly impossible to find, I would hunt down a 35/2.
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Old 03-11-2007   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug
Roland, are you sure it's a modified (50mm?) Nokton? Small, as you say, different max aperture, different focal length, needs rear clearance for SLR mirror, labeled an "Ultron"... Certainly a fine premium-level lens, and I think rare in OM mount, so it would be quite a prize.
Looking at the lens diagrams on the Cosina website, it looks to me as more of a modification of the 40 Nokton than the 50 Nokton.
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Old 03-11-2007   #8
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The only CV lens that I can find is similar in design is the
50/1.5 Nokton (5 groups, 6 elements, aspherical). But it's called Ultron ...

Seems very compact.

In any case, seller markhsu_100 sells them both for AIS and M42 for
US 350 new, your know where (200080797286, 200080797293). Stephen
quotes US 275 for AIS mount and might be able to order OM mount
for you, I suggest to check by email (and let us know ).

But Earl's suggestion of a 35/2 is a good one, too, IMO.

Roland.

Last edited by ferider : 03-11-2007 at 07:11.
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Old 03-11-2007   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trius

Unless there is another choice, I would stick with a Zuiko 35. The 35/2 is not nearly as cheap as the 2.8, but it is a better lens than the 40/2 from everything I've seen and read. I also would prefer 40 to 35 if I had to choose, but as an excellent 40 seems to be nearly impossible to find, I would hunt down a 35/2.
I have Zuiko's 35mm/f2 for my OM setup, and it makes sparkly pictures that print themselves. It's the lens that showed me the practical benefits of really good glass, and got me looking at Leica.

It's a big chuck of glass, though; not a good choice if size is more of a factor than focal length.
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Old 03-11-2007   #10
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Biggles: Yes, the 35/2 is much larger than the Zuiko 40/2. The 40/2 is a pancake lens and the design intent was as a "perfect" normal-ish focal length for press work which, when combined with the size of the OM, made it as close to a Leica RF as you could make an SLR.

If you look at Gary Reese' lens test data here, you can see that the performance at 2.0 is the achilees heal. However, otherwise it looks like a pretty good to excellent lens:

40mm f/2.0 Zuiko (multi-coated)

OM-1 with mirror lockup
Vignetting = B- @ f/2, A- @ f/2.8, A @ f/4
Distortion = moderate barrel
Aperture Center Corner
f/2 C C
f/2.8 B+ A-
f/4 B+ A-
f/5.6 B+ A-
f/8 A A
f/11 A- A-
f/16 A- B+
Notes: Moderate contrast images with high resolution.

OM-4T with mirror and diaphragm prefire, different sample from above
OM-1 test
Vignetting = B @ f/2, A- @ f/2.8, A thereafter
Distortion = none
Aperture Center Corner
f/2 C+ C-
f/2.8 B+ C
f/4 A- B
f/5.6 B B+
f/8 A- A
f/11 A A
f/16 A A-
Notes: Moderately low contrast in center and low contrast in corners at
f/2; moderate contrast in center and moderately low in corners at f/2.8;
moderately high contrast in center and moderate contrast in corners at
f/4; moderately high contrast in center and corners at f/16; high
contrast in center and corners at f/11; very high contrast in center
and corners at f/8.


Notes:

The tests are from two different samples, so there may be even better or worse samples out there. I would plan on a full CLA by a really good lens tech if I were to purchase one.

Second, my guess is that the pancake design of this lens did not allow for a design to better correct at full aperture... not that I'm an optical engineer. At the time the lens was designed, wide-open performance for DOF control was probably not as important as it is today, or at least performance at moderate apertures had greater priority.


CH Ling (very knowledgeable Olympus user http://www.accura.com.hk/OM/lenscom.htm) had this to say:

"40mm F2
High resolution, normal contrast and high color saturation. Bokeh and flare resistance is very good, slight barrel distortion. Amazing performance for a lens that was originally design as a low cost press lens. "

After reading and thinking about this lens some more ...

More info here.
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Old 03-12-2007   #11
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Thanks for the input folks. I think I will keep my Zuiko 35mm f2.8 and late model 50mm f1.8. I checked-out a Zuiko 35mm f2........but I think I prefer the the 2.8. I like my Olympus gear alot......and most is still inexpensively replaceable. I have always wanted a 100mm f2........but just too expensive. I wanted a Leica for about 30 years......but they are just too precious..........I'd be affraid to use it. I hear of folks leaving their Leica (and other expensive gear)......at home....... when they travel abroad......or under trying conditions (hiking, safari etc.) I babied my beautiuful black OM-1md for the first fifteen years. It now sits on a shelf as a back-up with a 55mm f1.2.......for my one small GAS indulgence. I bought an OM-2n crome........and really "use" the stuff now. That black OM-1 is still flawless.......and sure is pretty to look at and handle. But......anything I purchase now is strictly "user gear"......that I am willing to take "anywhere". My wife is Russian and we try to get back there once a year. I would never take anything "precious"......as the chance for theft is too great. 90% of the time my OM-2 and 35mm 100mm is all I really need on the streets.........when in Russia. Going really light......I'll take the Canonet. Again.......thanks for the input.


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