Here you find it in italian.
I'm not a snob person or a nonconformist at any cost: I dream the Canon 135mm f/2 L. But I don't have 1000 € to spend on a lens. So, what to do? Waiting? Buying the charmless (and quiet expensive: 400 €) Canon f/2.8 Softfocus? Or using the old Olympus Om Zuiko 135mm f/2.8 in wich I stepped into?
The latter, obviously. Who already follows this blog knows that I appreciate a lot vintage lenses: this summer I made a review (here) of the Pentacon Mc 50mm f/1.8 on Canon 450d.
The only extras are the integrated lens hood (very practical) and, nice accessory, the elastic attached to the cap. I tought it was really useless, but I found it very comfortable.
The 135mm f/2.8, on Ebay, starts from 140€.
HOW DOES IT LOOKS LIKE
Little. This 135 is incredibly little (the diameter is 60mm, the lenght 80/92mm; it weights 360gr).
Perfectly built, it really feels as a Japanese lens.
It's totally made of metal, also the focus and aperture ring: because of this, in winter it becomes very cold and sometimes uncomfortable.
The 8 blades aperture goes from f/2.8 to f/22, with 1 stop intervals (it can't be used on intermediate values).
Both the focusing and the aperture selections are manul; it mounts 55mm filters.
If this enfant terrible is a real pleasure to handle and (most of all) to carry, the same can't be said for the eyes: mounted on the 5d, it's simply awful (and it doesn't get much better on the 450d).
|On 5d Mk II.|
Not a problem: as we'll see, this Zuiko has solid arguments to make us feel happy anyway.
The cap: a part from the already seen elastic, it has central clips (Canon has uncomfortable lateral ones). Not beautiful, but efficient: well done.
For the bokeh quality, de gustibus: see the shots. It can be appreciated or not: to me, I like it.
The depth of field is the same (given the same focusing distance) of the 85mm at f/1.8: but the latter has an inferior focusing distance (0.85m vs the Zuiko's 1.35m), so it's possible to achieve an even slight dof.
On full frame, the 135mm is equal to an 85mm on aps-c (85 x 1.6 = 136), but it doesn't allow you to get very close to the subject, because of what we have just seen.
Well, actually, the fantastic Canon 135mm f/2 is due to focus at an incredible 0.9m. Chapeu.
HOW TO USE IT
It requires a simple Eos/Olympus Om adapter ring: if you're looking for outstanding building quality visit Adriano Lolli's web site, if efficiency is enough, buy (as I did) a 13€ ring from the ebay seller Big_is.
We're talking about really slight prices, so I higly recommend you the chip adapter: set it (here how to do it), and you'll have complete exif and focus confirmation.
I forgot: infinity focusing is possible.
Wide open, you can use it like a normal manual focus lens.
Closing the aperture, you have two choices:
- If you don't mind about exif, set the camera (NOT the lens) on f/2.8, focus (wide open is much easier), close the aperture with the ring on the lens and shoot. You'll get correct exposure, but the exif will be stuck on f/2.8.
- If you do mind correct exif, the process is a little more boring. With the lens wide open, set the camera (NOT the lens) on the aperture you want (i.e. f/8), focus, block the exposure (I use Ae block on the shutter and focusing on the back: i find it much comfortable), close the lens aperture with its ring (don't forget to keep the exposure blocked), and, here we are, shoot.
Not a tragedy but, yes, speed it's something else.
The Olympus performs very well. Here are the link to download not-elaborated raws of a wooden door near my house (yes, it's the firs subject in wich I stepped into). They are taken (at Iso 50) with a Canon 5d Mark II, a camera that really shows if a lens performs well or not.
In the exif you'll always read f/2.8, as I forgot to change it on the camera: don't mind it, the lens aperture was the right one.
It is definetly a lens made in its own way. I love it. Far from speed, certainly not a versatile one, what it does is very well achieved.
Being such a little lens, you'll pass unnoticed; more difficult that this happens with the huge Canon 135 f/2.
On full-frame, I love this focal.
On aps-c (450d) it becomes a 200mm but, in my opinion, it's less useful than on ff.
Manual focusing makes naturalistic/sport photography really difficult.
WHATS' GOOD, WHAT'S BAD
- Optical and building quality
- Weight, dimensions
- Cap :)
- Only manual focusing
- Stop-down exposure
- Uncomfortable in very cold days
Incredible quality for price, good performances, and the strong feeling that "once thing were very well built".
Only, don't ask this lens what it can't do and, most of all, don't say "The Canon f/2 is much better". I know, you know: but we also know that it costs 800€ more than the Zuiko.
Given this: enjoy.
Ps: here you find all my Zuiko-photos.
Pps: here you find other posts about photography.
Ppps: on Lawrence Ripsher's blog you can find another review of this lens.