OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4

OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4 01

Olympus OM S Zuiko MC Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4

'MF Zoom Lens Review - A quick look at the Olympus OM S Zuiko MC Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 lens with images captured on the Olympus Pen E-P5'


Introduction and Overview

A standard zoom lens, one that can be used in place of popular primes with focal lengths of a moderate wide-angle, a standard, and a short telephoto is one of the regulars that one can find in a photo enthusiast's camera bag. Often bundled as a kit lens with an SLR camera, these lenses are usually of the 35-70mm focal length category.

OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4 02
While one can look back and say that the trend was pioneered by Canon with the Canon T50 and the plastic-bodied FD 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 bundle introduced in 1983.

Olympus, in their effort to match the interest and popularity the lens, and in a move probably to offset the large numbers of lower-priced versions produced by third-party lens manufacturers, produced a series five models of this lens:

  • Zuiko OM Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F3.6
  • S-Zuiko OM Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4.0
  • Zuiko AF OM Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4.0
  • S-Zuiko OM Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F3.5~4.5 Macro
  • S-Zuiko OM Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F3.5~4.8

Although acknowledged as the sharpest of all the lenses introduced by Olympus, the Zuiko OM Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F3.6 is priced much higher than its the second iteration, the OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 25-70mm F4 which was in parallel production. The 'S' designation is an indication that the lens is more for the consumer market, priced lower than the original F3.6 version.

OLYMPUS OM2n, ZUIKO 1:4, 35-70mm, overview.
The S-Zuiko AUTO-Zoom 35-70mm F3.5~4.5 was probably the first Zuiko zoom that carries a variable aperture design and macro shooting mode with a closet focusing distance of 0.45 meters.

The S-Zuiko OM Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F3.5~4.8 was the new standard introduced with the (Cosina built) Olympus OM2000.


Design and Build

OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4 03
The unit I have in my collection is the OM S Zuiko MC Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4 version of the lens, the second iteration of the series. The lens was mounted on the Olympus Pen E-P5 via the Olympus OM Adapter MF-2 for these sample images.

Though light and compact in its origin as a lens for the OM-System cameras, the S-Zuiko OM MC Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4.0 does impose its weight bulk when fitted on the E-P5.

The lens weighs 380 grams, and added to the 30mm length of the lens adapter, its protrusion from the P5's body is a total of 101mm (71 + 30mm).

Lens construction is of 7 elements in 7 groups, 6-blade diaphragm, and is designed for automatic full aperture metering operation.

OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 01


On the Pen E-P5

OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 02
@35mm
OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 03
@50mm
OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 04
@70mm
Mounted on the Olympus Pen E-P5, though with the bulk, the lens is easy to handle. The lens is designed with its form factor the opposite of a normal Olympus prime.

On the zoom, the three independent segments, each for focusing, zooming, and aperture setting are placed front to back with the aperture control ring nearest to the lens mount.

This makes way for easy manipulation, with the body of the camera placed in the palm of your hand, manipulating the focus and zoom rings is very convenient with the thumb and index finger, whilst adjusting the aperture ring, is equally easy with the thumb and middle finger combination.

On the E-P5, however, where I practiced a pre-set option for aperture setting, using the thumb and middle finger for aperture adjustment is hardly a necessity.

Focal lengths on the 2x crop-sensor E-P5 is a range from 70 to 140mm, making the lens equivalent to a short to a medium telephoto lens, a very handy and handholdable setup.

OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 05
OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 06
OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 07
OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 08

Images remain clear and sharp throughout the parfocal range, if you can to look through the reflection, and I have mentioned in other posts and articles, what I like most about these Olympuses are the 'neutral Olympus colors' which are of inherently moderate contrast, a characteristic fairly consistent across the Olympus OM range of lenses. Images, though, may come with a tint of blue.

OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 09
OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 10
OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F4, Sample image 11

The original S-Zuiko OM Auto-Zoom 35-70mm series is one of the few standard Olympus OM lenses that take 55mm screw-in type filters, while the (Cosina built) S-Zuiko OM Auto-Zoom 35-70mm F3.5~4.8 is retrofitted to take 52mm screw-in filters.

The OM S Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 are easily available on auction sites at fairly low to moderate comparative prices. Should you be interested in one, go ahead, don't hesitate.


For Sale: Olympus OM Mount MF Lenses

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