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.
- Marked Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Macro 1:3.5 f=50mm, single coated, silver-tipped outer ring.
- Marked Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Macro 1:3.5 f=50mm, single coated, black outer ring.
- Marked Olympus OM-System Zuiko MC Auto-Macro 1:3.5 f=50mm, multi-coated, black outer ring.
- Marked Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Macro 50mm 1:3.5, multi-coated, black outer ring.
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.
I enjoyed shooting other things with this lens because I could just leave it focused at infinity.
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