Lenses

We put Olym­pus’s stan­dard macro lens through its paces to see how it stands up

Digital Photograper - - Contents -

Kevin Carter rates two op­tics

With all the talk of late con­cern­ing full-frame mir­ror­less, it’s easy to for­get that the first mir­ror­less mod­els were built around the smaller Four Thirds sen­sor with the prom­ise of truly tiny lenses. This 30mm lens is one such ex­am­ple. It’s the equiv­a­lent to a 60mm f3.5 on a full-frame cam­era, yet it’s won­der­fully small and not much heav­ier than a song­bird – you could stash it in over­coat pocket and eas­ily for­get all about it.

Macro lenses like this are a good all-round choice as not ev­ery­one needs a high-speed lens, though at f3.5 it’s a bit slower than we’ve seen in the past – but then that’s what IBIS is for. It might not be that glam­orous, but with no-lens ex­ten­sion and 1.25x (2.5x equiv­a­lent) mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, there’s a lot to like. It’s also nicely made even if it looks a lit­tle pla­s­ticky. With no AF win­dow there’s room for a large fo­cus ring, and although elec­tronic in op­er­a­tion the ac­tion is smooth and fo­cus­ing is very pre­cise. Aut­o­fo­cus, in­ci­den­tally, is an­other high­light. It is faster than you might ex­pect a macro to be and, on the EM-1 II used for test­ing, there’s very lit­tle hunt­ing.

Op­ti­cally the lens is an ex­cel­lent per­former. Sharp­ness and bokeh are very good and there’s prac­ti­cally no fring­ing. It is some­what prone to flare, so a hood would be use­ful. Not only that but the 14mm min­i­mum work­ing dis­tance can be re­strict­ing at times, but over­all, this lit­tle lens is eas­ily worth the ask­ing price.

Left aboveDEF­I­NI­TION The de­tail in this im­age is ex­cel­lent, and there’s no fring­ing vis­i­ble ei­ther. Op­ti­cal qual­ity like this isn’t usu­ally pos­si­ble at this price

Left be­low FLARE If the lit­tle Olym­pus 30mm Macro has a weak­ness, it’s lens flare. There’s no hood sup­plied so you may have to add one

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