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85mm lens compatibility


New Member
I'd like to purchase an 85mm lens (preferably a 1.8). I've searched for the Zuiko 85mm, but I can only find one (on eBay). My question is whether anyone has tried other 85mm's, what they like/dislike about the lens, and what I would need to purchase to make the lens fit the E-500. Most of my work deals with portraits, and I like what I've seen the 85mm do. I'm not a professional, more like a self-taught intermediate, so I may have messed up a lot of the "camera speak" above. I've only worked with the kit lenses so far, and I've had the camera for a little under a year. I love it, by the way.
> Hello Brandiin, > A few comments. I have no experience of other makes of 85mm lenses other than Olympus. The (OM) Zuiko 85mm is f=2.0. If your intention is to use it on your E-500 it offers the equivalent angle of view of a 170mm lens on a 35mm camera. It will be too much telephoto for conventional portraiture. On the E-500 it becomes a non-auto lens; you will have to use it in stop-down mode. Non-Zuiko Digitals are not AF lenses. The Zuiko 85mm on an E-system camera is disappointing. See http://www.biofos.com/cornucop/omz_e1.html. Should you wish to pursue a manual Zuiko lens for portraiture might I suggest you try a 50mm x f=1.8 as they are widely available and inexpensive. For less sharp results you might look for a F=1.4 version. Such lenses will give you an effective FoV of 100mm.

Many experienced E-System users have adopted the Zuiko Digital 50mm x f=2.0 lens as a portrait lens with great success. I have no experience of this but many on this forum have.

Good luck,

John F.
The Zuiko 50/2 is a great lens, BUT ... it is a macro lens and it is realatively scarce by OM standards. Hence, it commands very high price, typically higher than the 85/2, IIRC. If I were going to use an OM System 50 as a portrait lens on an E-System camera, I would go for the 50/1.4 or a 50/1.8. The 50/1.4 has bokeh that I really like (though some don't care for it as much as other lenses, and being a fast lens it offers better DOF control. On a 4/3s body that can be very helpful.

The 50/1.4s are relatively cheap. Expect to pay $50-100USD for a good copy with a late serial number, i.e. 1,100,000 or higher. The last version of the 50/1.4 started around that number, and were the best in terms of design evolution and manufacturing. I have an earlier version, and they are very fine, so I wouldn't worry if you can't find a later one.