Olympus OM 24mm 2.8

Front view of an Olympus OM 24mm 2.8 lens
Front view of an Olympus OM 24mm 2.8 lens
Zenitar-M 50mm 1.4

Focal Lenght: 24mm

Apeture: 2.8

Aperture blades – 6

Lens Mount: Olympus OM
Min. Focus: 0.25

Filter Size: 49mm
Weight:177 g

Coated: Yes

 

LENS STORY

This isn’t one of those lenses I sought out and bought. On a trip to Germany I wanted to sell my Carl Zeiss Flektogon 20mm 2.8, since I had done my review and had my fun, sating my curiosity in the progress.

After a camera store offered half the price for the lens, the same of which they had on display I was a bit disheartened. (If you’re curious why -> it’s because their Flektogon was Canon EF mount. Adapting the 20mm Flek to full-frame Canons might be problematic, since it can hit the mirror. I still think changing the mount on such a lovely lens is a bit of a waste.)

As I was browsing websites, cameras stores and so on,  I saw a bundle of a camera I wanted – The Olympus OM-2n, together with an Olympus OM 24mm 2.8, original hood and pouch included and an Olympus OM 50mm 3.5 Macro.

The lens was pristine and it made sense to give my 20mm, but get a 24mm in return. 

I was itching to try it on the Om-2n and see what it could do on film as well.

HANDLING

If you’ve used an Olympus OM lens you know what this lens is about: It’s small, light and has wonderful ergonomics.

The aperture ring is located at the front of the lens as with most other OM lenses, which I personally prefer. (It reminds of those older aluminium barrel Zeiss lenses with the preset aperture at the front.) 

The close focus distance is neat and a good extra.

As someone who prefers to pack lightm I’m not a big fan of carrying around filters and step up rings and so forth, the 49mm filter thread, common on many OM lenses, is perfect.

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

This is a lovely to use and shoot with lens.

Colors are amazing – they have a really nice kick, punch or whatever you call it , to a point where you look back in your Lightroom (or whatever you use) in awe and try to recall if it was really like that in person. 

Sharpness is excellent for such a tiny thing, with good center sharpness wide-open, usable by f4 to 5.6 for more demanding shots

Bokeh as expected is rather busy, but with such nice close focus, you can use it to your advantage, just avoid backlit shrubs and trees, unless you want a dotted mesh of chaotic light.

Flaring, well, this lens flares. The front element is not recessed at all and is rather large, considering overall lens size. I did have the original hood, but it’s a thing of metal, with no way to fit a cap on, so I found myself leaving it at home most of the time. 

With lovely colors, nice close focus and the freedom to flare at will, you can get some pretty creative close ups.

The only place this lens might turn you off a bit is that due to it’s small size, you can notice slight barrel to moustache distortion, as well as strong vignetting when shooting wide open. I’ve seen far worse, and personally can live with both of those.  

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’re an OM shooter, this lens might a valuable part of your kit, with teh 21mm 3.5 alternative and some of the cheaper ones – the  28mm and 35mm, both a stop slower at 3.5. If you’re shooting a mirrorless digital camera, you might have better options, although this is one of the better lenses I’ve shot with so far.

Since I mentioned the 20mm Flektogon at the beginning, I’d say this lens is a worthy contender, although not as hyped and praised (on altars with occult candles around from what I’ve read). 

I might be comparing lemons to a random pineapple I bought for some reason, but as it stands, this tiny piece of metallic perfection has lots to offer in a small and light package.