The best lenses for Olympus & Panasonic camera's

Lens advice
Starters

Starters

Lens advice
Amateurs

Amateurs

Review OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO 30mm F3.5 MACRO

0
0
0
s2smodern

With the arrival of the Olympus M.ZUIKO 30mm F3.5 Macro, there is no lack of choice in macro lenses in the Micro Four Thirds system. Olympus namely also makes a 60mm f/2.8 macro, and Panasonic has a 45mm f/2.8 as well as a 30mm f/2.8 for sale. What does this little macro have to offer?

Small and mighty: Olympus M.ZUIKO 30mm F3.5 Macro

Looking at the specifications, two things stand out immediately. The Olympus 30mm is the least bright of the four macros for Micro Four Thirds. At the same time, it is also the lens with the highest magnification factor. The Olympus 30mm namely magnifies to 1.25x, where the other three do not go any further than 1x, or 1:1. That 1.25x is possible because of the sensor size multiplying by a factor of two in order to get to the magnification that you would get with a full-frame camera. With this Olympus, you can thus get a subject enlarged by 2.5x in frame. That is unique.

Specifications
Olympus 30 mm f/3.5 Macro
Image Stabilization:-
lenses/ groups:7 / 6
length x diameter:60 / 57
filter size:46
Weight:128
Lens hood:-

BUILD AND auto focus

M30mmF35MC BLK stand

The Olympus 30mm f/3.5 Macro is small. The dimensions are 60x57mm, and the weight is 128 grams. That is even smaller and lighter than the Panasonic 30mm macro. It is so small and weighs so little that you can really carry it with you all the time. If you see something small that is worth the effort of photographing, then you always have a macro with you. Despite the low weight and the slight dimensions, the 30mm f/3.5 feels solid. It is equipped with a very broad focus ring, and that is a pleasure to work with. Of course there is no aperture ring on it. What is a shame is that you do not have any indication of the focal distance or magnification on the lens. Focusing is done completely internally. The lens thus does not become any longer, and that’s good. That makes the lens a good choice to use in underwater housings. Due to the internal focus, the auto focus is also quite fast and practically silent. The lens unfortunately does not have a switch for limiting the setting range and—like many Olympus lenses—does not have built-in image stabilization. For these kinds of short focal lengths, the five-axis image stabilization is more than good enough.The Olympus 30mm f/3.5 Macro is small. The dimensions are 60x57mm, and the weight is 128 grams. That is even smaller and lighter than the Panasonic 30mm macro. It is so small and weighs so little that you can really carry it with you all the time. If you see something small that is worth the effort of photographing, then you always have a macro with you. Despite the low weight and the slight dimensions, the 30mm f/3.5 feels solid. It is equipped with a very broad focus ring, and that is a pleasure to work with. Of course there is no aperture ring on it. What is a shame is that you do not have any indication of the focal distance or magnification on the lens. Focusing is done completely internally. The lens thus does not become any longer, and that’s good. That makes the lens a good choice to use in underwater housings. Due to the internal focus, the auto focus is also quite fast and practically silent. The lens unfortunately does not have a switch for limiting the setting range and—like many Olympus lenses—does not have built-in image stabilization. For these kinds of short focal lengths, the five-axis image stabilization is more than good enough.

istest

Specificaties
 

 

IMAGE QUALITY

Olympus 30mm Macro REview

The optical performance of the Olympus M.ZUIKO 30mm F3.5 Macro is outstanding. The lens is included in the list of the 10 best lenses that we have ever reviewed for Micro Four Thirds. The unsharpened RAW files already show at full aperture a very high sharpness, both in the center and in the corners. The shift toward the corners is very limited, as it should be with a macro. Stopping down to f/5.6 provides a small improvement in sharpness, even though that is sooner measurable than visible. One stop further, at f/8, the values drop a bit again. Smaller apertures are still usable if that is really needed to achieve the greatest focal depth, but you won’t get back to that highest quality again. A better solution would then be to make use of the focus stacking settings that you find on the newer Micro Four Thirds cameras. That naturally only works if the subject remains nice and still.

JPGREZZ
At full aperture, the vignetting is a bit more than one and a half stops. At one stop smaller, that falls to less than one full stop.

RAWvignet

Bokeh

bokeh

When you buy a 30mm lens with low brightness of f/3.5, then bokeh will probably not be important. Even so, it is not a disappointment at full aperture. The aperture has 7 blades, but at full aperture it still produces beautifully round light spots. There is a trace of “onion rings” visible in the light spots. Those disappear after a bit of stopping down, but then the light spots in the background do become very small.

bokeh60mm2p8vs30mm3p5mini

UP CLOSE

HoekscherpteminiThe shortest distance setting for the Olympus M.ZUIKO 30mm F3.5 is 9.5 cm. But that is the distance from the subject to the sensor. The distance from the subject to the front of the lens is then just 1.4cm. Moving subjects like living insects will usually not let you get that close. And in many situations, it will be difficult at that distance to get enough light on the subject. A small soft box above the subject will sometimes help with that. For reproduction work, it will work well, and translucent subjects like the butterfly’s wing above are naturally ideal. Then the lens can show off its outstanding quality, and you can easily take advantage of the maximum magnification. If a bit less extremely close up is good enough, then the space between the subject and the front lens increases quickly, and it is not difficult to work with the 30mm macro. If you shoot a lot of living critters in nature, however, then the Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 is a better choice, due to the longer focal length. In comparison with the 60mm, the 30mm does have a faster auto focus. You notice that anyway when focusing, but especially in the macro range, where the auto focus will search quickly from 60mm.

ConclusiON OF REVIEW OF OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO 30mm F3.5 MACRO

Use the Lens Comparison or look in our list of reviewed lenses to compare this lens with other lenses.

Support CameraStuffReview with a purchase @ Amazon

WYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens if you save the files in the camera as jpg, where you have applied all available in-camera lens corrections. This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get"


Focal Length
mm @ FF
Total score
Resolution
lat. C.A.
Vignetting
Distortion
AF accur.
AF speed

35
70
8.3
7.5
8.4
8.3
9.9
9
Pure RAW score: This table shows the performance of this lens if the file is stored in the camera in RAW format. This score approaches the intrinsic quality of the combination of the lens and test camera. If you use lens correction profiles in Photoshop or Lightroom for the conversion of RAW files, then the RAW scores for distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration are even better.


Focal Length
mm @ FF
Total score
Resolution
lat. C.A.
Vignetting
Distortion
AF accur.
AF speed

35
70
8.1
7.8
9.3
8.7
9.4
9

PROS

CONS

  • High sharpness from corner to corner
  • Light
  • Compact
  • Super-macro: 2.5 magnification (35mm eq.)
  • No in-lens image stabilization (but IBIS)
  • Not very bright.
  • No indication of the magnification on the lens
  • Shortest setting distance is quite short

Olympus M.ZUIKO 30mm F3.5 Macro: Extremely sharp and extra big for a small price

The Olympus M.ZUIKO 30mm F3.5 Macro is a handy and useful lens. For users of older Panasonic cameras without built-in image stabilization, the lack of stabilization in this Olympus is a minus point. The Panasonic 30mm f/2.8 macro does have it. By contrast, the image quality of the Olympus is certainly as high as that of the Panasonic, and the ability to do extreme enlargements of small subjects with this lens is really unique. Those who can live with the shortest setting distance have a particularly good macro with this 30mm macro, and it can also be used well as a very sharp standard lens.

Jan Paul Mioulet
Author: Jan Paul MiouletWebsite: https://www.mioulet.nl/
Jan Paul Mioulet is zelfstandig fotograaf sinds 1994. Hij heeft zich beziggehouden met veel vormen van fotografie, van portret tot sport, van bruidsfotografie tot reclamewerk. Inmiddels is hij al bijna vijftien jaar gespecialiseerd in architectuurfotografie. Hij is een van de oprichters van DAPh, de Dutch Architectural Photographers, een collectief van een aantal van de beste Nederlandse architectuurfotografen. Van 2010 tot 2014 was hij hoofdredacteur van PF, Professionele Fotografie, het magazine voor de Nederlandse en Vlaamse vakfotograaf. Naast zijn fotografie schrijft hij voor PF en CameraStuffReview over techniek en allerlei bijzondere wetenswaardigheden rondom fotografie en camera’s.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Leave your comments

Posting comment as a guest.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location