Shooting the 50mm f/3.5 Olympus Zuiko MC Auto-Macro lens on the Olympus OM-2n

All of the major SLR manufacturers made close-focusing macro lenses in 50 or 55mm focal lengths with maximum apertures ranging from f/2.8 to f/4. They won’t replace a 50mm f/1.8 lens for low-light shooting, but they’re a fine choice for everyday photography in good light. Most of their focus range is toward the close end. For non-macro work, you can just focus these lenses to infinity and go.

Olympus’s 50mm macro lens comes in four variations. I’m pretty sure the optical design is identical among them.

  1. Marked Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Macro 1:3.5 f=50mm, single coated, silver-tipped outer ring.
  2. Marked Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Macro 1:3.5 f=50mm, single coated, black outer ring.
  3. Marked Olympus OM-System Zuiko MC Auto-Macro 1:3.5 f=50mm, multi-coated, black outer ring.
  4. Marked Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Macro 50mm 1:3.5, multi-coated, black outer ring.
OM Zuiko MC Auto-Macro 1:3.5 f=50m

Until recently I owned three of these lenses: two of the third type and one of the fourth. I passed the latter along to its next owner recently. Of the two that remain, the first came from the father of an old friend and it’s in mint condition in a hard case. The second one came from a reader who donated a great deal of Olympus OM gear to me this year. This lens looks like it got a lot of use.

I mounted this lens onto my Olympus OM-2n and took it out on some of my last bike rides in October, and on some walks around the neighborhood after that. I shot Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 in it. Of course, it did lovely close work.


This lens tends to flare when you shoot into the sun. I rather like the effect in this photo.

Leaf flare

I enjoyed shooting other things with this lens because I could just leave it focused at infinity.

Barn in the harvested field
Suburban autumn
Autumn country road
Suburban autumn

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10 responses to “Shooting the 50mm f/3.5 Olympus Zuiko MC Auto-Macro lens on the Olympus OM-2n”

  1. Reinhold Graf Avatar

    Nice images you made with this little lens. An OM macro lens is still missing in my OM lineup ;)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      They don’t cost all that much, maybe you can find one on that auction site!

  2. arhphotographic Avatar

    Hi, Slightly off topic but is that your Nikon f2 in your new profile pic. I’ve now got mine and put half a roll of Kentmere through it, awesome!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It is! I cropped it from this:

      Bathroom mirror selfie

  3. Jerome (EarthSunFilm) Avatar

    Will this lens do 1:1 magnification alone or is an extension tube component required?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s 1:2 magnification, so yep, extension tube.

  4. analogphotobug Avatar

    Fabulous! I miss mu REAL Midwestern Fall Color….Aspens and Cottonwoods just aren’t enough………

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Except for a short time I lived in Germany I’ve always lived in Indiana. Everyone I know who left here and came back says that having four distinct seasons is critical to emotional health.

  5. Sam Avatar

    I had one for almost two decades sold it a pennies. You’re making me miss it, great images!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      They’re easy to come by. I had three for a while, and all of them were given to me.

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