Additional Information on Olympus Zuiko lenses
Zuiko Telephoto lenses - 180mm telephoto lenses - Part One

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For almost a decade after debut of the OM system into 35mm photography, the ZUIKO lense family may have been good enough to refer it as an extensive optical system to supplement every photographers' aspiration. But in order to position itself more comfortably against competitions, Olympus has began to pay more attention to develop optical products fittingly for ever demanding photographers. As edging towards 1980, the ZUIKO lens family has shown an apparent weakness at the telephoto range in particular at the 200mm focal length, there were only two lenses, E-Zuiko Auto-T 200mm f/4.0 with an moderate maximum lense speed and another even slower F-Zuiko Auto-T 200mm f/5.0 available for OM photographers. Optically, both lenses are extremely compact and able to deliver top notch quality one would expect from ZUIKO. However, a main issue that may hinder potential photographers switching over to OM system is the limited options for high speed lenses which often restrict photographers in ability to handle low available light photography. Instead of ensuring a possible high speed Zuiko 200mm telephoto, Olympus has created a new focal length for such purpose. The ZUIKO AUTO MC 180mm f/2.8 was the first of such series introduced by Olympus at 180mm focal length.

<<< -- Credit: Image scanned from a published 1986 OM system Sales Manual.
The next revision of ZUIKO lense at this focal length was even more amazing. In line with the debut of the sophisticated OM-3 and OM-4 in 1983/1984, the innovative Japanese camera maker launched an aggressive ZUIKO lense updating program with a series of new exciting ZUIKO lenses aimed to supplement the few newly introduced camera models (which includes the OM-2 SP which will be featured later in this PIM website) to extend their capabilities while on the other hand, made it more appealing to potential SLR buyers to take another good look at the OM 35mm SLR photographic system as their entry camera system. Among the new generation ZUIKO lenses introduced during this period, which covered from 24mm to 250mm, the least expected optic was the inclusion of a new ZUIKO MC 180mm f/2.0 ED-IF lense.

Yes, admittedly, I was very surprised at the time of its introduction. Although earlier Olympus has shown some positive signs by introducing a new range of ED glass-equipped lenses such as in a shorter focal length Zuiko AUTO-T 100mm f/2.0, along with other super tele-Zuiko AUTO-T 250mm f/2.0 ED-IF, Zuiko AUTO-T 350mm f/2.8 ED-IF etc. and amidst a few notable updated SLR bodies such as OM-3Ti and OM-4Ti which has a revolutionary high speed FP-sync mode incorporated for the first time in a modern SLR camera. So, the Zuiko MC 180mm f/2.0 was essentially a "by-product" in the Olympus change-to-aggression marketing strategies during that period. Why wouldn't Olympus gave their Zuiko 200mm f/4.0 lens a speed boost with a possible f/2.8 instead of slot-in a 20mm shorter focal length at 180mm? Except for Olympus, I don't think anyone can convincingly provide a good explanation for this but the only logical answer could be the missing gap in focal length from 135mm to 200mm was not well addressed all the years in the Zuiko lense family (except some selective Zuiko zoom lenses has this well and safely covered).

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The ZUIKO MC 180mm f/2.0 ED-IF is a high performance telephoto lense with every possible attempt to ensure it can rank at par if not better than the competitions. Other than an extra-ordinary maximum lens speed of f/2.0 to enable it to tackle low available light photography with finer grain film types and provide an excellent manupulation of DOF control; its ingenious optical design of 10 elements in 8 groups incorporates two important features, the first is the adoption of extra-low dispersion glass to ensure chromatic aberration be kept to absolute minimal level which would provides superlative image quality with faithful color reproduction. In fact, with inclusion of ED glass wares, such abberation was so well corrected that there is no need to incorporate an indication for infrared index ! The lense is cosmetically finished in an unusual gray-white, part of a design to ensure the lens elements within will not be affected under adverse heat in affecting the precision of placement of optical elements. Secondly, the lense uses an internal focus design which contributes greatly to its silky smooth operation while also ensuring there is no physical extension of helical focus. Such design also contributes greatly in the realization of one of the most compact high speed telephoto lense in this class.
Xiao Mei ... Another episode in Kuala Lumpur ..... Copyright © -free Images Collection, 2000. leofoo®

The distinctive look of this ZUIKO lense is partly due to its large front dimension. With an extra larger diameter of 100mm filter attachment size (the maximum diameter of this lense is 113mm). It was among a selective of special Zuiko lenses that demands the use of a new series of 100mm filter accessories. Weighing 1900g and with an long extension of 174mm in length, this lense is also the only Zuiko lens under 200mm focal length that carries such hefty weight and in its length. Although it is still permissible to be used for handheld shooting, but one would expect a removable type of a tripod collar is missing from its spec. sheet. For absolute blur-free shooting, you still have to ensure appropriate support is having to handle such tasks. in particular when low ASA film types is used.

<<< --- Credit: ALL images of this lense were specially taken by Mr. Jone Quinn <> for this OM project. Jone Quinn runs a popular Ebay Store and he specializes in selling OM photo gears. Image copyright © 2003 All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.


With a diagonal angle of view of only 14°, its optical behavior in compressed perspective at this focal length is well pronounced, making it a strong creative tool for taking compelling images in many photographic applications even under handheld shooting. The shallow depth of field generates by this lenses which is often used for portraiture to render out of focus unwanted background and foreground elements and draw viewer attention to subject. The f/2.0 maximum aperture also facilitates an extra-bright viewfinder image inside any OM cameras for pin point view, focusing and/or picture compositions. Note: most high speed telephoto lenses will not present an accurate interpretation of depth of field's "blur" generates especially when the maximum aperture is used, that is caused by limitation in focusing screen and the actual "blur" could be in a far greater effect than what you are viewing via the finder. An additional plus feature of this lense is, when used with the dedicated 1.4X Tele-converter A, the remarkable ZUIKO tele-lense will be converted into a 252mm f/2.8 super tele-lense !

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Horss Festival, Kabul city. Picture Courtesy of Vincent Thian®, AP Malaysia. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Within the normal telephoto lenses below 200mm focal length, this lense is the heaviest among all Zuiko lenses, weighing a massive 1,900g (67oz) yet achieving a remarkable close focus distance of 1.6m (5.2ft) - compares with the equivalent of Canon 2.8kg's FDn 200mm f1.8
L which can only perform a close focus capability of 2.5 m/8.2 ft.

* The telephoto with the fastest lens speed within the 180-200 focal length was a Canon FDn 200mm f/1.8L


Format: 24 x 36mm
Focal Length/Aperture Ratio: 180mm f/ 2.0
Type: Telephoto
Minimum/Maximum Aperture: f/2.0 - f/22
Optical Construction: 10 elements in 8 groups
Angle of View (35mm format): 14 degrees
Focusing: Internal Focus mechanism (Rotating cam)
Focusing Distance Range: 1.6 m/5.2 ft. to infinity

DOF button: Provided
Lens Case: provided
Tripod Collar: NOT provided
Lens Hood: Built-in
Infrared Index:
Not provided (unnecessary)
Filter Diameter/# of Usable Filters: 100mm front screw-in

Minimum Photographic Range: 25cm x 17cm
Usable OM Tele-Converter(s):
1.4X A
Length: 174mm
Maximum diameter: 113mm
Weight (grams/lb., oz.): 1,900g (67oz)

Recommended Focusing Screens: 1:1*, 1:2*, 1:3*, 1:4n*, 1:6#, 1.7#, 1:10*, 1:13*, 1:14* * Compatible. Focusing and exposure accuracy/indication will remain and/or indicates correct reading but in combination marked microprism, split prism edges of the finder may darken # Can be used, they provide accurate focusing but exposure error may occur in manual mode for OM1 and OM2 series models. ## More info on "Picture Angle" or make use of the Glossary section in PIM site..

| Previous | NEXT | The ZUIKO-T Auto MC 180mm f/2.8 Telephoto Lense

ZUIKO Telephoto lenses | 85mm | 100mm | 135mm | 180mm | 200mm | 250mm | 300mm | 350mm | 400mm | 500mm REFLEX | 600mm | 1000mm

A Brief overview on Zuiko Optics
Zuiko Fisheye Lenses
8mm f/2.8 Circular Fisheye | 16mm f/3.5 Full Frame Fisheye
Zuiko Ultra-Wideangle Lenses
18mm f/3.5 | 21mm f/2.0 | 21mm f/3.5 | 24mm f/2.0 | 24mm f/2.8
Zuiko Wideangle Lenses
28mm f/2.0 | 28mm f/2.8 | 28mm f/3.5 | 35mm f/2 | 35mm f/2.8 |
Zuiko Standard Lenses
40mm f/2.0 | 55mm f/1.2 | 50mm f/1.2 | 50mm f/1.4 | 50mm f/1.8 | Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 PF
Zuiko Medium-Telephoto Lenses
85mm f/2.0 | 100mm f/2.0 | 100mm f/2.8 | 135mm f/2.8 | 135mm f/3.5
Zuiko Telephoto Lenses
180mm f/2.0 EDIF | 180mm f/2.8 | 200mm f/4.0 | 200mm f/5.0 Auto-T (brief)
Zuiko Super-Telephoto Lenses
250mm f/2.0 EDIF | 300mm f/4.5 | 350mm f/2.8 EDIF | 400mm f/6.3 | 500mm | 600mm f/6.5 |1000mm f/11.0
Special application Zuiko optics:
24mm f/3.5 Shift | 35mm f/2.8 Shift | 500mm f/8 Reflex | AF Zoom 35-70mm f/4.0 | Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 PF

Tele-Converters: 1.4X-A / 2X-A

Zuiko Macro/Close focus lenses: Zuiko AUTO MACRO 20mm f/3.5 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 20mm f/2.0 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 38mm f/3.5 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 38mm f/2.8 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 50mm f/3.5 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 50mm f/2.0 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 1:1 80mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 90mm f/2.0 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 135mm f/4.5

Zuiko AUTO-Zoom Lenses - Main Index page
| S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 28-48mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/3.6 | S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AF AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/4.0 | S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/3.5 ~ f/4.5 | S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/3.5 ~ f/4.8 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-80mm f/2.8 ED | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-105mm f/3.5 ~ f/4.5 | Zuiko AUTO zoom 50-250mm f/5.0 | Zuiko AUTO zoom 65-200mm f/4.0 | S-Zuiko AUTO zoom 70-210mm f/4.5 ~ f/5.6 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 75-150mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 85-200mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 85-250mm f/5.0 | S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 100-200mm f/5.0 |

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About this photographic site.

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Copyright © 2000. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

Maintainers for OM Zuiko Site & Message Board: Rick Oleson (Email: Website:, Bruce Hamm (, John Orrell (, Simon Evans, (; Shaun (, Andy Radcliffe (

Special thanks to: Gregory P. Logiodice, Bob Gries, Erwin Voogt, Joel Wilcox, Rick Oleson, Simon Evan and many others for granting permissions to use their images of either lenses, cameras and own pictures appeared in this Zuiko website.

Credit: My old time buddy, Ahmad Ikram, Dr of Rubber Research Institute (RRI), Malaysia who shares the same passion with me and also lending his OM-1n, OM-4 and the Motor Drive 1 to me for preparing some images in this site; Mark Dapoz <>for reminding some broken links; Mr Poon of Foto Poon, Ipoh, Mr Richard, Ampang Park, Mr Lim and Miss Jenny of Foto Edar for their generosity for their OM1(n), OM2n camera and some Zuiko lenses. Mr Hans van Veluwen for mistakenly using some content earlier from his OM website; J Sorensen for providing some useful images to rectify some technical "flaws"; Mr Gen Holst for helping during the early stages of development of this OM site; Mr KKLow for some of his earlier images on the OM-1appeared in this website; Miss Wati and Mirza for helping me to convert this Operation Manual into a HTML format. Mr MCLau for rectifying some mistakes made on the earlier preview sites. A personal tribute to the creator of the OM system and also a site dedicated to all the fans of Olympuses and Zuiko Optics worldwide. Some of the content and images appeared in this site were scanned from OM official marketing leaflets, brochures and instruction manual(s) for educational purposes. Olympus is a registered trade name of Olympus Optical Inc., Japan. Site created 'unfortunately again with an IMac.