Olympus OM 100mm 2.8 Zuiko
The Olympus 100 2.8 is a beautiful prime tele lens. The lens was manufactured by Olympus for their OM range of SLRs. The lens was produced from the 1970ies until the early 1990ies. The Olympus 100 2.8 is the “little brother” of the faster Olympus 100mm f2.
The lens is very sharp and ideal for portraiture. Like most other Olympus lenses manufactured for the OM camera system, the 100mm 2.8 Zuiko is a great little lens and a joy to use.
- Great portraiture lens
- Small and compact
This is one of my favourite portraiture lenses. When you have the luck to be able to choose from a lot of glass, there are always some lenses you will end up opting for. You feel familiar with these lenses. You know what they can do and how the image will look like. For me, the Olympus 100 2.8 is one of those lenses.
When I want nice sharp images, a shallow depth of field, loads of details and beautiful colours, this is the baby I go for. When someone asks me to shoot a portrait, I will most likely go for this lens.
The OM camera, for which this lens was manufactured, is itself a surprisingly compact 35mm film camera. So obviously the engineers at Olympus wanted the lenses to fit the bill. They managed to create a 100mm lens with the size of a 50mm lens. That is remarkable! If you compare this lens to say a Leica Summicron 90mm f2, the Olympus is much, much smaller and lighter (yes the Summicron is faster hence bigger but the size difference is still amazing). Don’t get me wrong, both are amazing lenses but at the end of the day the Olympus will see more action due to its compact size. The Olympus 100 fits neatly in my camera when I am traveling.
The OM mount works amazingly with an adapter. It almost feels like a native lens on most camera bodies.
The lens is very easy to use. The Olympus 100 is beautifully crafted. Everything is at the right spot. Aperture settings is with clicks. The finish is superb and feels very sold. The focusing feels very neat and precise. All in all the lens is very well manufactured and feels solid.
There are really not many things I can criticize the Olympus 100 2.8 for. At f2.8 it is certainly not the fastest lens around. Obviously Olympus were smart enough to also add a 100mm f2 to their lineup. So if you are worried about speed, there is an alternative.
In some situations there is a bit of flaring but all-in-all the coating of these lenses are pretty amazing. Although the Olympus 100 has a rather large front glass element flaring is kept to a minimum and you won’t really need a lens shade.
Another thing that some people might dislike is that the image turn out very neutral and neat. The Olympus 100mm 2.8 creates images that are almost on par with modern lenses. It does not have the character of some vintage lenses. No swirling bokeh, no vintage look. If you want more playful results you might want to check out other portraiture lenses.
Olympus OM 100mm 2.8 Versions
Various versions of the Olympus 100 2.8 were manufactured throughout the years. Although the lens stayed pretty much the same the coatings did evolve over time and the engravings on the lens were altered for various reasons.
- Angle of view: 24°
- Aperture: 2.8 – 22
- Mounts: Olympus OM
- Made in Japan
- Aperture blades: 6
- Elements: 5 in 5 groups
- Filter mount: 49mm
- Weight: 230 gr
- Minimum focusing distance: 100cm
First Version – E.Zuiko AUTO-T 1:2,8/100 mm – “M-System”
The first version was released with the Olympus M1 camera. Hence the lens is marked “M-System”. The tip of the filter mount is silver. If you have pictures of this version, please contact me.
E.Zuiko AUTO-T 1:2,8/100 mm – “OM-System” with a silver ring
The second version is pretty much identical but is now branded as OM System (Olympus has had issues with Leica due to using the M-System branding – hence the system was rebranded OM). The tip of the filter mount is still silver. If you have pictures of this version, please contact me.
E.Zuiko AUTO-T 1:2,8/100 mm – “OM-System” without the silver ring
The third version is pretty much identical but the tip of the filter mount is still silver.
Zuiko MC AUTO-T 1:2,8/100 mm
The fourth version is again pretty much identical but the branding now changed to Zuiko, droping the E.
Zuiko AUTO-T 1:2,8/100 mm
The fifth and final version now drops the MC and is simply branded as Japan instead of “Made in Japan”. The following pictures have been kindly provided by J. Ribas: