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Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 lens


  • a unique telephoto zoom lens for Olympus Four Thirds dSLR system offering field of view of a 100-400mm zoom lens combined with weatherproofing, wide aperture and relatively compact and light size for such a range, plus one gets close focus capability not available on comparable Canon or Nikon lenses.
  • this is one of my favorite lenses
  • unfortunately it is not designed for contrast-detect AF thus when used on current Micro Four Thirds system cameras, AF in bright light takes 3-6secs. Olympus has addressed AF speed with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 having phase detection AF.
  • most users would now be better off buying the smaller, lighter, CDAF-optimized Olympus mZD 40-150mm f/2.8 pro lens although you don't get as much telephoto reach and there is no 2x teleconverter for this new lens as yet
non-SWD original version
  • Olympus macro flashes can be attached via the bayonet method
  • nice lens but some vignetting wide open; good bokeh; ~$A1400;
  • 1.07kg; 67mm filter; close focus 1.2m;
SWD version
  • no longer allows the macro flash to be attached
  • similar to older model but adds faster SWD autofocus and improves color blur property
  • 157mm x 87mm / 6.2 in. x 3.4 in. (extends to ~225mm)
  • 1.07kg / 2.4 lb (with tripod plate)
  • filter 67mm
  • focusing is internal, and the filter thread does not rotate on focus
  • 16 elements in 15 groups, including 3 ED elements
  • 7 rounded blades
  • close focus to 1.2m giving 1:2 macro
  • matches beautifully with either the TC-14 or TC-20 teleconverters
  • RRP $A1599

comparison with Canon or Nikon lenses

Olympus ZD 50-200mm SWD Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L Canon 100-400mm L IS Nikkor 80-400mm VR Nikkor 200-400mm VR Canon 70-300mm DO IS Olympus ZD 90-250mm f/2.8
focal length reach in 35mm terms 100-400mm 70-200mm FF 91-260mm 1D 112-320mm APS-C 100-400mm FF 130-520mm 1D 80-400mm FF 120-600mm DX 200-400mm FF 300-600mm DX 70-300mm FF 91-390mm 1D 112-480mm APS-C 180-500mm
aperture f/2.8-3.5 f/2.8 f/4.5-5.6 f/4.5-5.6 f/4 f/4-5.6 f/2.8
weight 1kg w/o tripod mount 1.57kg 1.36kg 1.36kg 3.275kg 0.72kg 3.27kg
length 157mm 197mm 189mm 171mm 358mm 100mm 276mm
filter size 67mm 77mm 77mm 77mm 52mm rear 58mm 105mm
color black white white black black black black
close focus 1.2m (0.42x macro) 1.4m 1.8m 2.3m 2m 1.4m 2.5m
weatherproof yes yes yes no? yes no yes
aperture blades 9 circular 8 8 6 circular 9 circular
internal focus yes yes yes yes yes
zoom mechanism  rotate, lens extends on zoom rotate push-pull rotate rotate rotate rotate
RRP 2008  $A1599 $A3395 $A3979 $A2470 $A2299
dSLR max. ISO cw 4/3 0EV +1EV full frame +1EV full frame +1EV full frame +1EV full frame +1EV full frame 0EV
image stabiliser 5 axis 4-5EV optical 2-3EV optical 2-3EV optical 3EV optical 2-3EV optical 2-3EV 5 axis 4-5EV
will it fit mounted to pro camera in a 24cm deep shoulder bag YES NO needs 28cm deep bag No needs 27cm deep bag No needs 25cm bag NO CHANCE, needs 43cm deep bag YES, easily, but this is only a f/5.6 lens No chance, needs 35cm deep bag
AF at max. telephoto with 1.4x TC?  YES, = 560mm f/4.9 YES, f/4.0 maybe, f/8 but image quality? maybe, f/8 but image quality? YES, f/5.6 maybe, f/8 but image quality? YES, f/4.0
AF at max. telephoto with 2.0x TC?  YES, = 800mm f/7, hand-holdable at 1/200th sec YES 640mm f/5.6 on APS-C but image quality? No  No  maybe f/8 but image quality? No  YES =1000mm f/5.6


    • “a fast and robust telephoto zoom lens”
    • “With the lens attached to an Olympus E-5 camera body, focusing is extremely fast and, thanks to the Supersonic Wave Drive auto-focus motor built into the lens, essentially silent too”
    • “Lateral chromatic aberrations, typically seen as coloured fringes along contrasty edges, are a non-issue with this lens. A truly exceptional performance!”
    • “some light fall off especially at 100mm”
    • “Build quality is outstanding, with a solid construction and superb fit and finish. It's also very good in the optical department, showing pretty consistent sharpness results across most of its aperture range”
    • “only slight distortions throughout the range. It shows a bit of barrel distortion at 50mm changing to slight pincushion distortions from 100mm onwards”
    • “vignetting of ~0.8EV in the 100-200mm range which can be visible in critical scenes. Stopping down by 1 f-stop solves the problem. At 50mm vignetting is a non issue”
    • “produced very convincing resolution results in the MTF lab. At 50mm the quality is next to perfect across the frame. At 100m the center performance remains excellent from f/2.8 all the way up to f/8 whereas the border quality decreases slightly. It's impressive that the Zuiko is capable of keeping the center performance on very high levels at 150mm and 200mm. The borders suffer a bit more but stay on a very good rating even wide open”
    • “Lateral chromatic aberrations (color shadows at hard contrast transitions) are very well controlled - less than 1px”
    • “bokeh is variable depending upon the background but in critical backgrounds can get a touch nervous” - “but this occurs with most other comparable zoom lenses as well”
    • “build quality of the Zuiko is exceptional”
    • “All in all a highly desirable lens”
photo/olympuszd50-200mm.txt · Last modified: 2018/05/05 09:27 by gary1

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