Manual Focus Lenses on a Canon 60D – A Zuiko 24mm f2.8

This is the ninth of a detailed series of posts for photographers who want to try cheap but fast manual focus lenses on an APS-C DSLR. This time it’s the tiny Zuiko 24mm f2.8, on loan from fellow photographers Pete and Jayne, who’ve also leant me a few quite exotic lenses to play around with. I’ve never used this lens before so this is a complete unknown for me.

_MG_8767s

At close to minimal focus distance and quite a stunning start. Sharp, contrasty, nice bokeh with a great colour rendition.

_MG_8771s

Closer to infinity and this is superb again. This was shot at f5.6 and it’s pin sharp with no chromatic aberration in the trees to the top right.

On full frame this is nudging into ultra wide territory, but on an APS-C DSLR it’s the equivalent of a 38mm, making it close to the widely (no pun intended) favoured focal length of 35mm. At f2.8 it’s around one stop faster than a kit lens so a useful advantage. The filter size is 49mm (no surprise there), the minimum focus is around 25 cm which is very close, and the aperture range is f2.8 to f16.

_MG_8748s

Same again – excellent….

_MG_8752s

Another cracking result – sharp, good colour and definition.

Olympus priced their lenses by maximum aperture, maintaining that they all were built to a high minimum standard. There’s a 24mm f2 from the old Zuiko range which is usually very pricey, but the build quality of this 2.8 equivalent lens is top-notch.

IMG_0124s

Physically the lens is tiny and very light – so small that the aperture ring is easy to nudge accidentally when focussing. The focus rack is very fast – infinity to 25cm in 1/4 of a turn making focussing easy.

So then – a test and here’s the frame. This was shot on the ‘standard’ colour profile and the colours are just zinging out. There has been no tweaking with the saturation.

f5.6s

f2.8 – These huge (300 pixel) enlargements from the centre and far left show a slight softness at no CA at the edges so not bad at all – definitely useable. I’m not convinced that the focus point was correct on this one but it looked correct on the LCD.

f2.8comp

f5.6 – As sharp as it’s going to get I’d say.

f5.6comp

f11 – just the same.

f11comp

Well – wow! It even makes my favourite Zuiko 28mm f2 look a bit second-rate… As a general purpose 35mm equivalent focal length lens it’s a real gem and a good choice as a ‘walk around’ lens or a supplement to a kit lens – which it should easily outperform at f4 or lower. The close focus distance, though not marketed as a macro mode, is very useful, and the images are saturated (possibly overly so for some), sharp and contrasty with no CA. A bit of a star all round.

At under £100 it’s a great bargain and unreservedly recommended.

Now – I wonder how much Pete and Jayne want for it?

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.

To see how this – and virtually every other known Zuiko lens known to man – performs on four thirds and micro four thirds sensors have a look here – an excellent series of tests at biofos.com!

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Manual Focus Lenses on a Canon 60D – A Zuiko 24mm f2.8

  1. Yummy and thanks for sharing. I understand that some rate this to the best 24mm ever made for any mount. I am seriously looking for one to use on my fuji x-e1. Still unable to locate one in Pakistan. Wish me good luck and I may find one.

    • Hello Dr_IQ – I can understand why many rate this lens so highly after playing with one for a few days, I’m very impressed by it! There seem to be a few on Ebay but some are going for silly prices – $350 which isn’t far off a modern AF equivalent. One was $81 though which is much more like it. Good luck with your search and let me know if you find one.

  2. Hi, I have the same lens as yours. On the lens, there are two aperture switch, when pressed, the aperture will close down based on the selected aperture on the aperture ring. If I have the om to ef mount (t4i), will the aperture close down as I turn the ring?

    • Hi Dennis – on my Fotodiox adaptor the aperture set on the aperture ring is set immediately – i.e. if you set f16 you’ll see the depth of field increase and the viewfinder darken (a lot!). The best way to use lenses in this mode is to focus at max aperture then stop down for DOF/exposure. The ‘depth of field’ button on the bottom of OM system lenses is pretty much useless.
      Have fun with that 28mm!
      Rob

      • I bought an adapter on amazon and it’s not from Fotodiox, the stopped down aperture does not work, I have to press the button. Does that mean the fotodiox adapter will enable the stopped down aperture?

      • Ah – I see what you mean. The adaptor isn’t stopping the lens down so you need to use the DOF preview button. That does sound quite odd – was it a cheap adaptor? The Fotodiox adaptor closes the aperture to whatever is selected immediately – there are alternatives which aren’t so expensive.

    • Hello Dennis – things have moved on a lot since I bought mine, but a quick google search shows a cheap Fotodiox, a Leitax and lots of generic adaptors. It boils down to how important using your Zuiko lenses is – they were my mainstay until I bought some decent Canon lenses, so the expensive Fotodiox was worth it and still gets used for macro photography.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s