This is the fifth of a detailed series of posts for photographers who want to try cheap but very fast manual focus lenses on an APS-C DSLR. This one’s dedicated to the Zuiko 85mm f2 – a direct Olympus equivalent of the Helios 85mm f2 reviewed earlier. The APS-C crop factor make this a 136mm equivalent, and at f2 it’s pretty fast.
It’s well built, light and all metal and in size just a few mm longer than the 50mm f1.4. The filter size is the Oly standard of 49mm, minimum focus is around 85cm and the aperture range is f2 to f16.
Test shots then – here’s the frame.
f2 – A good start but some softness in the centre.
f4 – well as sharp as it gets!
f8 – slightly improved at the edge – excellent.
f16 results were identical.
In conclusion then, a very impressive result – capable of lovely bokeh blur wide open, and at smaller apertures sharp and contrasty. At around £100 its a bargain, 3 stops faster than a kit lens and just as sharp at similar apertures. The only disadvantage it has by comparison with the Helios is it’s cold, almost clinical rendering of colour, which is something which can be easily fixed in post-processing or with custom white balance.
As a ‘Zuiko-holic’ I’m very pleased with this, though the bonkers Helios is still a very nice lens, in the same way that a Lensbaby is – sheer eccentricity!
Thanks for reading and hope this is useful!
If you’re interested in using other MF lenses on your DSLR have a look at the other reviews on the film, camera and lens review index tab.