Olympus OM S zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70 3.5 – 4.5

Front view of an OLYMPUS OM S ZUIKO AUTO-ZOOM 35-70 3.5 - 4.5 lens

Focal Lenght: 35-70 mm
Max Apeture: 3.5 – 4.5
Lens Mount: Olympus OM
Min. Focus: 0.75 mm (with close focus capability 0.45)
Filter Size: 49mm
Weight: 195
Coated: Yes

LENS STORY

One of my photography goals is to have a film camera of every mount, that I can pick up and test lenses on when I need to. 

In my mind these cameras would be true and tested and I’d have a lens or two that I’d keep for them. They’d be manual, if possible, not reliant on batteries and sturdy.

The Olympus camera I picked is an OM-2n and with it I decided I’d go for a daylight kit that covers the whole range – I skipped out on primes and traded my way to an Olympus 35-70 3.5 – 4.5 and a 100 – 200 OM zoom.

I was aiming for one of three versions of this lens, which had a fixed max aperture of 3.6, but in the end could find this one.

HANDLING

If any lens handles well, that’s an Olympus – this one lives up to it’s name. 

It’s a small thing for a 35-70 vario lens and at infinity focus it rivals some 50mm 1.8 lenses. It’s weight is just as impressive as it’s size.

The aperture ring is placed near the lens mount, which is okay, but I’d prefer the filter-thread OM lens aperture ring. The 49mm filter thread is always a plus for me and is the same on the 100-200 Olympus OM lens I got as a sibling to this one.

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

Perhaps due to the slow maximum lens aperture, I was happy with using this lens wide open. Vignetting was present, but in my mind that is just another tool in your arsenal of photographic techniques. It’s not extreme but it is noticeable.

Stopped down, sharpness is great overall, with no compaints from me. I’d use this lens for my amateur landscape needs. 

Colors are well balanced, natural and not in-your-face or noticeably different than what you want to see. It feels as though you record real life and not try to get a creative looks. It’s a modest, but good rendition. 

The Close-focus capability is brilliant. With most vario lenses, you have to set the lens to a specific length and then turn the focus ring, limiting you to e.g. 200mm or the longer end of the zoom range. This lens has close-focus at all focal lengths,  giving you the ability to go down to 0.45mm close-focus.

Bokeh – We’ll you can get it, but I personally didn’t find it exciting or annoying. If you want to get the smooth defocus areas, get a faster or longer lens.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This lens is pretty simple on paper, it’s a lens from an age that had the kit lens slowly moving from 50mm primes to vario-focal 35-70’s. 

It’s a pretty vanilla example in terms of rendition and that’s not a bad thing, I’m happy I chose it for my OM-kit, especially considering it’s low price-point.