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Zuiko Zoom Lenses - Index Page

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* It was generally acceptable to refer the world's first zoom lense was a German Voigtländer 36-82mm f/2.8 Zoomar lense designed by Dr. Frank G.Back where he also first pioneered the name "zoom" for this lens type. You can referred to a few URLs that I compiled as a quick reference: (1) Captain Jack's Exacta Photo page, (2): A good write-up on the background of the lense and association with Bessamatc SLR; (3) A nice view of the lense cached in Google, (3) Nikkor 85-250mm f/4.0~4.5 Auto was the second of such lens type where you can read Nikon acknowledgment in their website.

The took subsequent twenty years for this lense type to perfect in form and design to establish itself as one of the most influential lense type in 35mm SLR photography. With the immense popularity of zoom lenses today, it may sound a little odd trying to discuss why photographers would prefer a zoom lense even to a level of professional applications. Although it has never been an easy route decades ago, but the distinctive advantages of a zoom lenses was already clearly evident via TV zooms. With their instantly variable focal lengths, zoom lenses are extremely flexible. Action-packed scenes and agile movements of wildlife, stationary photography such as portraits or still life, can all be photographed with a just a single high performance zoom yet may still produce crisps, sharp images with high resolution and utmost contrast. The varying angles of view permit different perspective on the subject and flexible framing, and also eliminate unnecessary footwork by moving forth and back. Over the years, optical quality of zoom lenses has improved tremendously. However, I would not like to exaggerate like the manufacturers up to a point and claim zoom lenses actually rival the best of prime focal length lenses. But general perception of users and photographers' overwhelming response to all those well advertised high performance zoom lenses had been very effective not just for general users but also ended up with manufacturers pouring all their attention in research effort into development of this lense type.

Anyway, the convenience factor alone provides with a zoom lense is good enough to see their popularity been soaring all theses years. It is a natural market trend and we are seeing many fruitful of those effort in research bearing fruits now. Today, there are many zoom lenses with exotic aperture range and high power zoom ratio keep surfacing regularly.

<<<---- My Esther gal at 1. She is a BIG-little gal now. Copyright-Free images collection leofoo® Malaysian Internet Resources

The extensive use of rare earth glass with high refractive Index, low dispersion optical properties like ultra-low, extra-low or super-low dispersion, or even artificial fluorite, fluorite calcium optical glass and aspherical lens elements with computer aided design have all contributed toward zoom lenses with superior design and performance. Unlike fixed focal length lenses, zoom lenses has a different approach in lense design. The zoom combines a range of focal lengths rather than just a single one. By simply moving a zoom control you change magnification, angle of view and perspective. But it's not quite correct to describe the zoom as a lens that only unites several focal lengths. It does a lot more. But the biggest advantage this lens type offers to a photographer is their flexibility inherent where be able to shoot not only at its minimum or maximum focal lengths, but at any intermediate focal length as well. Rather than change your location in relation to your subject, you operate the zoom control and move smoothly through changes in angle of view, magnification and perspective. For a photographer, it also means these lenses may, in a way changing one's shooting habit. You can referred a zoom lense as an optical solution provider in particular for those photographers who only wish to carry as light as possible for an assignment.

"Zoom ratio" is the maximum focal length divided by the minimum focal length. The larger this value, the greater the zoom range. A 35-105mm, has a three-to-one zoom ratio. Ratio as high as three-to-one or even slightly more are common. Generally, zoom lenses of higher zoom ratio (up to 10-12X) demands great deal of effort to maintain acceptable optical quality and usually that is where some of the finest in optical design comes in with clever use of rare earth glass or technical advancement in glass manufacturing process in order to achieve a respectably high optical performance. Basically, computers have automated such complex calculation and designing of any zoom lens; a task that was unimaginable in those early days. This has rendered zoom lenses viable to manufacture commercially in a large scale.
Zoom lenses section within the Zuiko lense group does not provide the largest selection of this lense type among all 35mm SLR camera/lense manufacturers. In fact, Olympus can be considered as quite conservative in this respect. In the Zuiko lens family, there are only about 10 Zuiko zoom lenses offers to photographers. It cover a range from 28mm to 250mm - range of very practical and frequently used focal length commonly used by photographers. If you study carefully (or smartly), a photographer will be able to cover almost everything you need from 28mm to 250mm with just three zoom lenses. The only complaint you can voiced out is, Zuiko lens system lacks high speed zoom lenses.

<<< ----- The late Zuiko Auto zoom 35-80mm f/2.8 ED that originally 'bundled' with the OM3Ti body is not cheap, but it packs some very impressive features such as a constant f/2.8 aperture, uses ED and other special glass to deliver top class optical performance across its entire zoom range. It also proves Olympus is capable of offering top rated optic as with any other manufacturers - except - how committed are they with such kind of continual commitment rather than doubting their capability.

Well, even the most hard-core zoom lense supporter will agree the weakest link in any readily available zoom lenses is their relatively slow maximum aperture. But things are changing for the better the last few years as even third party lense manufacturers are started introducing high speed zoom lenses which many OM photographers are turning to such an alternatives. Currently, high speed long tele-zoom lenses is considered still too bulky in size for carrying comfort and most zoom lenses flooding the market are the variable apertures zoom types with a zoom ratio of around 3 to 5 times. Well, other than the versatility, a more practical reason contributes to its widespread popularity is, their ability to substitute many prime lenses with just a single zoom lense that covers all the desirable focal lengths. This greatly enhance mobility and the needs to travel light from place to place. Secondly, one should be more responsive to changes in events or happenings as there is no necessity to physically change lenses of different focal length and for you to facilitate quick picture framing - and LASTLY, they are always cheaper in comparison.

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Death Valley Dunes

Mesquite Dunes Death Valley National Park Olympus OM-4 Zuiko 35-80 f/2.8ED 81B Fuji Velvia

<<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr Greg Logiodice® <GPaul64@aol.com>. Greg has an excellent landscape website on his own. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

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To be a happy zoom lens owners, you ought to understand the limitation and strength your lense can present in your aspiration to your personal photography. If you have a midrange zoom lense with slow-speed variable apertures type, probably you can use a faster film types, use under favorable light source or use artificial illumination to supplement the weaknesses.

<<<< ---- A quick snap of my staff, Amanda, taken with a sloooow zoom lense to shoot indoor. Combining slow sync with catch light provided by a tiny strobe Copyright-Free images collection leofoo® Malaysian Internet Resources

But even then, after set up your priorities , there are a few more related factors to be considered:

First and foremost, I am not entirely convinced Olympus is still committing to expand the OM 35mm SLR system due to recently market trend towards digital photography as during last half a decade, we have not actually seen any interesting upgrades for OM cameras and neither any Zuiko lenses being introduced. The excellent OM entry SLR camera, OM2000 which debuted in 1997 which has caused many OMers doubting whether it was actually an original Olympus effort or not - where most have concluded it was produced by Olympus's contract manufacturer, Cosina Optical Co. in Japan. Incidentally, the Company was also the contracted -manufacturers for many other entry level SLR labels such as Nikon FM-10, FE-10 and Canon T-60. To be honest, commercially Olympus has already established a good footing on a other platforms such as digital cameras, zoom lens reflex bodies and P&S (point and shoot) market - and I don't see any reasons why would they risk endangering their future financial position of the Company by turning back to development of film-based SLR/Lenses. So, great camera such as OM-3Ti and OM4Ti may become history one day.

Anyway, the next issue on our discussion is its weight & zoom control

A zoom lense is a solution if you are very particular in conserving weight and space in your camera bag during location shooting and/or traveling. One zoom lense will weigh considerably less than the combined weight of many fixed focal length lenses. This greatly enhance mobility and provide high portability for those who are always on the move. Naturally, with additional lense elements used in its optical design, a zoom lens should weighs more than most of the fixed focal length lenses singularly. However, while a Zuiko Zoom 100-200mm f/5.0, for example, weighs only 570grams while a Zuiko AUTO-T 200mm f/4.0 weighs 490g in comparison, the difference is not very significant. But weight should not be the only primary factor in choosing a zoom lense. There is no other way that you are going to have a range of focal lengths so readily available. With fixed focal length lenses, you would have to constantly change lenses thereby taking your attention away from shooting. So, a zoom lense also presents another plus point - they permits the freedom to select various magnifications and angles of view without taking your eyes from the viewfinder.

There are two types of zoom lense design. Most Zuiko Zooms adopted a dual rings design for independent zoom and focusing control. One-touch zoom started emerging towards end of the first quarter of the '80. Some of the zoom lenses incorporated with a close focus design (macrofocus) where at certain zoom setting, the lense can close focus closer than what the basic zoom lense can provide. This feature appeared first at some one touch zoom such as the Zuiko AUTO zoom 50-250mm f/5.0. In relation to which is better is very much depends on individual taste and preferences although each design has its own strength and weaknesses but undeniably, one touch design was gaining its momentum at later stage slowly replacing lenses with two-touch design. Some Zuiko zooms introduced at later stages incorporate a MACROFOCUS feature where it enhances the marketing aspect but it cannot truly be claimed as very useful as compared to true Zuiko Macro lenses that specially dedicated for such functions. Nevertheless, such feature does provides a handy solution should the photographer lacks such speciality lenses by the side and wish to work in closer with the subject.

Lastly, a factor that always make you shake your head and finding ways to increase usable shutter speeds during shooting - Smaller Maximum Apertures

Aperture of f/3.5 ~ f/5.6 is consider the 'standard' for most general zoom lenses in terms of corresponding size and cost. While many manufacturers are offering variable aperture scale such as f4.5-5.6 means at shorter focal length the zoom will provide a maximum aperture of f/4.5 while at the longer end of the zoom range, the aperture will be 'reduced' to f/5.6 at the maximum setting. Zoom lenses with aperture larger than f/4.0 are picking up in numbers, they are much bulkier and that also means they usually will cost at least more than double or more....

But when it comes to maximum aperture, comparable fixed focal length lenses are usually faster and should present a more enjoyable shooting experience with its bright viewfinder image for viewing, focusing and less hassle with selectable shutter speeds. The current fastest Zuiko zoom is a Zuiko ZOOM 35-80mm f/2.8 ED which has a remarkable constant aperture at f/2.8 across the entire zoom range. But such offer is a rare treat for OM photographers as it remains as the sole Zuiko zoom lense that really shines in lense speed. So, one way or another, if you often have to shoot with available light photography indoor, you have to use other means to offset such drawback presents in the current Zuiko lense group. Fortunately, options of high speed zoom lenses are plenty on the market with third party labels and you can turn to that source to find a suitable lens type to fulfill your personal needs and criteria of selection Lastly, good choice of focusing screen may facilitate easier shooting experience with zoom lenses.

Cornfield, County Road X30, Cedar County

OM-2S, Zuiko 85-250/f5, Agfa RSX-II 50

<<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr JOEL Wilcox® <jowilcox@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu>. Joel has an excellent landscape photographic website on his own. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Special optical Effects it presents

During the seventies, most users are so skeptical about performance of zoom lenses that most manufacturers usually use enhanced special effect to promote zoom lenses rather than features driven such as the convenience zoom lens can provide over fixed focal length lenses. Some optical effect used to be an amazing optical characteristic when zoom in or out while tripping the shutter release at a moderate speed to portray a strong sense of movement. But it has been over used and I have long been looking for a more creative application with such technique. If you still wanted to try it out, just by using the zooming mechanism during exposure, you can produce compelling images attainable only with a zoom lens. Known as "racking", it is an unusual technique is to change focal length during exposure. Another possibility is taking a series of multiple exposures on one frame, shooting the subject at a variety of focal lengths. The results obtained with either technique depend on subject, lighting and exposure. The following tells how each technique works.

Zooming during Exposure. First, you would be required to use a steady camera and accurate focusing on the main subject. In fact, framing the first impression is more important. Use of tripod if you want a clearer image in the blur. Focus with the lens at the longest focal length. Then decide whether you want to zoom from the shortest to longest focal length or vice versa. Choose a relative fairly long shutter speed but try not to exceed slow speed of one second (You may require some form of exposure compensation especially when using less exposure-forgiving slide films). Why slow speed ? Because the slower the shutter speed, the easier it is to zoom during exposure and has less error for 'uncompleted zoom blur'. This technique can be used with a static subject and creates an exploding effect when zooming from the maximum to the minimum focal length. You can also use it with a panning action for a moving subject to create a surrealistic blur of speed in the finished photograph. The possibilities are virtually endless. And each subject and exposure could results in a unique image.

Multiple Exposure Zooming. Multiple exposure zooming could provide an entirely different effect and is particularly suited to portrait photography. With the camera mounted on a tripod, first focus at the maximum focal range and frame the subject as desired. With this method, slow shutter speeds are not necessary. Make the first exposure, change the focal length and after making the necessary multiple exposure preparations on the camera, make the second exposure on the same frame. You can make just a few zoom changes and exposures or many, depending on the effect you want. With multiple exposure, as a guide line for exposure compensation, it is necessary to underexpose the image about onehalf f/stop for each exposure. If you plan four exposures, set the aperture two f/stops smaller than the meter reading. Otherwise, your final image will be overexposed.

You may not be achieving a best result using such technique for the first few initial trials. Both of these basic zoom lense creative techniques require pre-shooting planning and frequent experimentation to ensure higher rate of success. Also, please note NOT all Olympus SLR camera models have a provision for multiple exposures (and neither they are very friendly to use even if they can...) and most of them are not exactly very friendly to use either, especially when use in combination with a motor drive or power winder.

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 |

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

Olympus OM-2SP: Camera Operations | Other Issues
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About this photographic site.

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Home - Photography in Malaysia

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

Maintainers for OM Zuiko Site & Message Board: Rick Oleson (Email: rick_oleson@yahoo.com Website: http://rick_oleson.tripod.com), Bruce Hamm (bhamm@magma.ca), John Orrell (john@orrellj.freeserve.co.uk), Simon Evans, (http://www.mawddwy.freeserve.co.uk); Shaun (shaun@noemail.com), Andy Radcliffe (AndyJRadcliffe@manx.net)

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 <md@dementia.org>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.