This post follows on from my previous post where I described how I won my first online auction and picked up an Olympus OM-10 and 3 lenses plus a Manfrotto tripod.
Having purchased an adapter which allows me to mount Olympus O/OM lenses on my Canon 7D DSLR, I had a chance to put this lens to the test.
Let’s take a look at it. It’s aesthetically very pleasing. Like a ‘nifty-fifty’ of bygone days.
As I previously mentioned, this lens has fungus, not that much, but some, it also has dust and some haze. In addition, the aperture blades stick at f11 on opening, and the stop down is slow when releasing. These are signs of grease on the stop-down mechanism and, potentially, on the aperture blades as well. This means I can’t test all the f stops as 2 or 3 are missing when I turn the aperture ring either way due to the blades not opening or closing at certain higher f numbers.
However, none of this stopped me taking some shots with this. The results are very good. They are perfectly acceptable at all apertures. Reasonably sharp too. Here are some examples:
So all that fungus, haze and dust does not seem to have any noticeable affect. Maybe if you zoom in 8x you’ll see some softness but I have compared to modern lenses at same apertures and focal lengths and they are not distinguishable. This is a lens of a quality that, if it were a modern lens with auto-focus, would be selling for £100 plus, in my view. As I think I said before, these results are on a crop sensor; on a full-frame they should be sharper still and using it on a mirrorless Sony Alpha series would be a very inexpensive way to have a 50mm quality glass. Of course, on the crop frame you have to multiply the focal length AND the aperture by the crop factor, so imagine the bokeh at a true 1.8 with this lens – splendid isolation.
So what will I do with this little beauty? It’s quite a common lens and not the best example. I might try to sell it to see if it will fetch a few quid. If it doesn’t sell on eBay, I might consider cleaning it at the risk that I might not be able to put it together again! But there are many videos on Youtube showing how it’s done. is it worth investing in the tools and chemicals required to clean it? Time will tell. The only reason to clean would be to get a better price or just out of interest to see if I can actually do it. As I still have my Minolta 50mm 1.7, which is just as good and no fungus, there is no real reason to keep it long-term – unless, of course, I really have the collector’s bug.