Olympus OM 50mm 3.5 Macro

Front view of an Olympus OM 50mm 3.5 Macro lens
Front view of an Olympus OM 50mm 3.5 Macro lens
Olympus OM 50mm 3.5 Auto-Macro


Focal Lenght: 50mm
Max Apeture: 3.5

Lens Mount: Olympus OM

Min. Focus:  0.23 mm

Macro Reproduction ratio: 1:2

Filter Size: 49 mm

Multicoated: Yes
Weight: 200g

LENS STORY

For a while I was fascinated by two things, which I sought after: Macro lenses and Olympus OM lenses.

Macro lenses: I read about how painfully sharp they were wide open and how this type of lens is the sharpest you can get.

Olympus OM lenses, for their compact size and build quality. I had just gotten a custom Olympus OM to Olympus PenFT adapter as well and was excited to try it with more lenses.

I kept an eye out for this lens, since it’s bigger brother the Olympus OM 50 f2 macro was a bit too pricy for my taste. In the end, after a few months of prowling websites and frequenting camera stores, I got my hands on one, while on avacation in Germany – together with another much dreamed of piece of gear – The Olympus Om-2n camera.

HANDLING

Compared to other 50mm 3.5 Macro lenses, this one is tiny. It’s about the size as a normal 50 1.8.
Handling is really good, with the focus really ring smooth, with a long focus throw for that good, good precision.
The aperture clicks satisfyingly into place. I’ve come to expect nothing less of OM lenses to be honest. (Although if you’re not used to the aperture ring at the front, it could get getting used to.)


I haven’t had any trouble with flare, since the front element is very recessed.

Bonus points for the 49mm filter thread, I can load up a bag of OM lenses and bring less filters!

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

Sharpness wide open is good, better in the center as expected. Overall it’s much better than most 1.8 fifties out there. If that’s to be expected of a lens stopped at 3.5 and a macro on top of that – I’ll leave to you, dear reader.

 

You get good overall sharpness wide open, with corners a tad softer. It seems to be better at closer distances

If you stop down to f8 corners get decent. and you get as sharp as you’d get with this lens, sharp enough for landscape, macro and anything that you’d need more details for.

 

Colors are a bit on the warm side, which I didn’t quite fancy. I only noticed while editing the batch, that I corrected color more than usual.

 

Portraits turn out great if you have a tight crop, but keep in mind sharpness might be a bit unflattering to most skin types, making minor imperfections evident. Perhaps for B&W portraits that accent on the models face it’d do wonders.


Contrast was great, vignetting wasn’t anything to complain about. (perhaps because you usually shoot macro at lower apertures, to get a wider depth of field?)

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

Although the way it renders colors doesn’t make my heart flutter, I adore this lens.

Versatility, great sharpness, a filter thread almost universal to OM lenses and small size on top of that? If I carried a macro lens with me all of the time, It’d most likely be this one instead of the more heavier 100mm’s and 1:1 macro’s.