Olympus OM 100-200mm 5

Front view of an Olympus OM 100-200mm f5 lens
Olympus OM 100-200mm f5

Focal Lenght: 100-200mm
Max Apeture: 5
Lens Mount: Olympus OM
Min. Focus2.4m
Filter Size: 49mm
Weight: Half a kilo of potatoes (570 g)
Coated: Yes
One-touch zoom
Built-in hood

LENS STORY

I tend to avoid zoom lenses, especially on the long end. 

After I got my Nikon FM2 and the Micro-Nikkor 55mm 3.5 lens, I decided that would be my go-to film camera. But I wanted to get a different setup for my Minolta XE-5, so I got a faster 50mm 1.7 lens for it. 

What was left was my Olympus OM2, which I wanted to be as versatile as possible. I got a 35-70mm lens and the Olympus OM 100-200mm f5 lens.

I’ve mentioned in the past, if you give me a zoom lens, I tend to focus on using it at the longer end, so most of the time I shot at 200mm

HANDLING

The Olympus OM 100-200mm f5 is a very compact lens for what it offers. It’s a very versatile lens.

It has a 49mm filter thread and a one-touch zoom ring, which are both good things in my eyes. The built-in hood is easy to use and blends seamlessly with the lens when not in use.

All in all the lens handles well, but I didn’t enjoy the way I had to handle my camera, because of its slow aperture. It could be that I simply didn’t pay enough attention or tried to shoot with it in conditions that weren’t ideal, but having to stay above a shutter speed of 200 to avoid motion blur and above f5, since that was the maximum, meant I had to crank the iso up. (and shoot wide open)

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

It’s not the sharpest lens, but it gets the job done and you can get good detail out of it. The corners are sharper than I expected for such a big zoom range, especially stopped down.

I didn’t like the contrast and colors that the lens produces thought, I ended up editing a lot more than usual in post. Don’t let that turn you off thought, the end result is what people see and you might be the only one who knows what your raw files (or negatives) look like. Really, don’t worry about it too much. I loved the end results of using the lens.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Olympus OM 100-200mm f5 lens, although sporting a slow aperture, makes up in size and ergonomics. If you only shoot jpg, you might not get the most inspiring photos, but a little editing really makes the lens perform. 

This lens was really nice for walking around during the hot hours of the day and trying to shoot birds. If you’re fine with doing that, this lens might work for you.

If you’re using it on a film camera, consider getting some higher iso film (e.g. 400-800), I made the mistake of using it on an Olympus FT and forgetting the crop factor, so got some shaky results.