A Trio of Zuiko Pen F/FT Lenses

A Trio of MF Olympus Zuiko Lenses

A Trio of Olympus Zuiko Pen F/FT MF Lenses

'Legacy Lens Review - A quick look at a trio of Olympus Pen FT lenses -  F.Zuiko Auto-S 38mm F1.8, E.Zuiko Auto-T 100mm F3.5, and E.Zuiko Auto-T 150mm F4'


Introduction and Overview

I have a trio of well used and battered Olympus Pen-FT manual focus lenses, which were originally produced for the Olympus Pen-F half-frame SLR camera system, carefully stored away in their silica gelled plastic packs in the storage bin. It has been quite a while, and it was not until I came across this article, F.Zuiko 38mm F1.8 Lens Review, that I realize that these lenses are worth more than just being kept where they were.

The three lenses are the F.Zuikon Auto-S 38mm F1.8, E.Zuiko Auto-T 100mm F3.5, and E.Zuiko Auto-T 150mm F4.

Of the three, the 38mm F1.8 has the cleanest glass, the smoothest moves, but is a bit quirky as its aperture ring tends to jam when mounted on the Pen-FT. The other two are missing both their caps, has stiff focusing rings, and both have minor traces of fungus infection within their lens elements. That does not deter me from taking them out of the storage for a test session.

Olympus Pen F Review (35mm half-frame camera)
Getting these lenses mounted on my ILC, the Olympus Pen E-P5 means that I have to get a lens adapter to do the job, and easy enough, Pen-F to Micro 4/3 lens adapters are easily available on the Internet. Mine arrived within a week after ordering. Though the adapter was not a perfect fit, the slight play at both the camera body and lens mount ends is not a deterrent.


The Lenses

While minor traces of fungus growth on the peripherals of the lens elements will have little or no effects on images at all, while a heavier infestation will sort of blurs the image and reduces contrast to a certain degree. A way to reduce this impact is to shoot with the light from the side or back, and never directly at you or facing the camera.

What you can expect from these lenses, or at least the three I tested, is a degree of softness which seems to the main trait of these lenses, characteristic neutral mid-tone colors, and a pastel creaminess to the backgrounds that adds to the classic touch of the images.


F.Zuiko Auto-S 38mm F1.8

A Trio of MF Olympus Zuiko Lenses, F.Zuiko Auto-S 50mm F1.8 01
A Trio of MF Olympus Zuiko Lenses, F.Zuiko Auto-S 50mm F1.8 02
Olympus E-P5, F.Zuiko Auto-S 38mm F1.9

Olympus E-P5, FZuiko Auto-S 38mm F1.8
The F.Zuiko Auto-S 38mm F1.8, the lightest of the three, weighs in at 135 grams and is of a 6-elements in 5-groups construction. The lens has a 5-blade iris and aperture scale is calibrated from 0-6, or F1.8-F16 on the F scale.

Minimum focusing distance is 0.6 meters, takes 43mm filters, and the 35mm equivalent focal length is 55mm.

On the 2x crop-sensor E-P5, the lens has an equivalent focal length of 76mm, which slots it into the short telephoto category You might find this setup works well as a portrait telephoto lens.


E.Zuiko Auto-T 100mm F3.5

A Trio of MF Olympus Zuiko Lenses, E.Zuiko Auto-T 100mm F3.5 01
A Trio of MF Olympus Zuiko Lenses, E.Zuiko Auto-T 100mm F3.5 02
Olympus E-P5, E.Zuiko Auto-T 100mm F3.5

Olympus E-P5, E.Zuiko Auto-T 100mm F3.5
The E.Zuiko Auto-T 100mm F3.5, is of a 5-elements in 4-groups construction, with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 140mm, and weighs in at 250 grams. The 5-bladed iris is graduated from 1 to 6, or F3.5 to F22 on the F-scale.

The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1.5 meters, takes 43mm filters, and comes with a screw on hood.

On the 2x crop-sensor E-P5, the equivalent 35mm focal length of the lens is 200mm. This slots the lens into the telephoto category and is still manageable hand-held.


E.Zuiko Auto-T 150mm F4

A Trio of MF Olympus Zuiko Lenses, E.Zuiko Auto-T 150mm F4 01
A Trio of MF Olympus Zuiko Lenses, E.Zuiko Auto-T 150mm F4 02

Olympus E-P5, E.Zuiko Auto-T 150mm F4
The E.Zuiko Auto-T 150mm F4, slightly heavier at 380 grams, is of the same 5-elements in 4-groups construction, and a 35mm equivalent focal length of 210mm.

A 6-bladed iris is graduated from 1 to 5, or F4 to F22 on the F-scale. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1.7 meters, takes 49mm filters, and comes with a built-in sliding hood.

On the 2x crop-sensor E-P5, the equivalent focal length of the lens is 300mm, pushing the lens into the super-telephoto category. This may prove to be quite a handful to handle. You will need super steady hands, or a lens support system (I would not recommend using the camera's tripod socket for this) that can hold the camera/lens steady.


Olympus Pen F Series Lenses

This trio of lenses is part of a large collection of lenses which were released by Olympus for their Pen F Half Frame SLR Camera System. Categorically, the lenses produced can be subdivided into the following:

Wide Angle
  • G.Zuiko Auto-W 20mm F3.5
  • E.Zuiko Auto-W 25mm F4
  • G.Zuiko Auto-W 25mm F2.8

Standard
  • F.Zuiko Auto-S 38mm F1.8
  • G.Zuiko Auto-S 40mm F1.4
  • H.Zuiko Auto-S 42mm F1.2

Telephoto
  • G.Zuiko Auto-T 60mm F1.5
  • F.Zuiko Auto-T 70mm F2
  • E.Zuiko Auto-T 100mm F3.5
  • E.Zuiko Auto-T 150mm F4

Super Telephoto
  • E.Zuiko T 250mm F5
  • E.Zuiko T 400mm F6.3
  • Zuiko Mirror T 800mm F8

Zoom
  • Zuiko Auto-Zoom 50–90mm F3.5
  • Zuiko Zoom 100–200mm F5

Others
  • E.Zuiko Auto-S 38mm F2.8
  • D.Zuiko Auto-S 38mm F2.8
  • E.Zuiko Auto-Macro 38mm F3.5

These range of lenses are not easy to come by and may cost you a hand and a foot when they are made available on the auction sites.


A Short Note on Lens Adaptability

A lens adapter, as we know it, is designed to accept a lens from a different camera manufacturer to be used on the camera body you are using. One important factor incorporated in the design of these adapters is the provision of a correct flange focal distance, the distance from the mounting flange of the lens to the film plane.

The flange focal distance of the Olympus Pen-FT half-frame SLR, for example, is 28.95mm, while on Micro Four Thirds System cameras, the distance of 19.25mm. This means that a Pen-F to M4/3 lens adapter needs to have an effective depth of 9.7mm to provide for a fit flange distance.

On the same token, the flange focal distance for Nikon Z-mount cameras are 16mm, Fujifilm X-mount cameras are 17.7mm, Sony E-mount cameras are 18mm, while for Sony FZ-mount cameras, 19mm. All these cameras will need Olympus Pen-FT lens adapters that are less than 10mm thick.


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