Olympus E330 with OM mount lenses
- just to make it clear, for best results and ease of use, most users will
be best advised to buy the high quality autofocus lenses especially designed
for digital, BUT these are expensive and for the more adventurous who like
to have a bit of fun at a relatively low price, using manual focus lenses on
the E330 with its 10x live preview can give great results, albeit a bit
cumbersome to use and not for subjects that are moving towards or away from
- the Olympus E-series can use almost any manual focus lens with the main
exceptions being Canon EOS and Leica M lenses.
- see Olympus E digital for more info on
lenses that can be used.
- see also OM mount lenses used for Olympus E330 macrophotography
- as a general rule, the most useful manual focus lenses for Olympus digital
are high quality lenses (usually this means prime lenses rather than zoom
lenses, although many zoom lenses will give satisfactory results especially
when used stopped down eg. f/8) with focal lengths 35 to 300mm.
- should you buy a OM lens to use with an Olympus E digital SLR?
- for special usage such as astrophotography, macrophotography and
perhaps IR photography there may be good reasons to pay over $A200 for
an OM mount lens, but other than these, I would think twice about
spending more than $A150 for an OM lens if it is only being used for E
digitals (different story if you have a full frame digital SLR such as
Canon 5D or you still plan on doing a lot of OM film photography).
- for general usage, the 2x crop effect, the need to stop down 1-2 stops
to get reasonable image quality, the hastle of manual focus and then
stopping down manually outweighs the price advantage compared to Olympus
digital AF lenses.
- in other words, the Olympus Zuiko Digital 40-150mm
f/3.5-4.5 kit lens is probably better value than spending
$A230 on a Olympus OM 85mm f/2.8 as you would probably need to use the
85mm at f/4 anyway and it is no where near as versatile or easy to use
as the zoom lens.
- likewise, the Olympus Zuiko Digital 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 standard
quality lens is probably better value than spending $A230 on a Olympus
OM 300mm f/4.5 as you would probably need to use the 300mm at f/5.6-8
- not much point using OM wide angle lenses due to the 2x crop, may as
well use the 14-45mm digital kit lens.
OM mount lenses I have and will do some experimenting with:
- Zuiko 21mm f/3.5 - beautiful lens on the OM but not sure I would be
bothered using this as it becomes a 42mm on the E330 BUT it can be used as a
macro lens with the 49mm reversal mount.
- Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 -
- Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 - some residual purple fringing
at f/2; XS fringing and coma at f/1.4; focus slightly out;
- see Olympus E330 for some night shots
- this makes a nice portrait lens but would have to stop it down f/2 or
smaller for high contrast or astrophotography.
- Zuiko 50mm macro f/3.5 - minimal purple fringing
at f/3.5; focus as indicated - this is a beautiful, sharp lens
- Zuiko 75-150mm f/4 - my version is disappointing
- Zuiko 35-105mm f/3.5 with close focus - minimal
purple fringing even at f/3.5 at 105mm - another lens I love on
- Sigma 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Mark II - very versatile for bushwalking but purple fringing
wide open - need to use at f/8
- Tamron 28mm
f/2.8 - average lens not worth using on E330 given it is a
- Tamron 135mm f/2.8
- average lens OK at f/5.6 or smaller
- Vivitar 135mm f/2.5 - some residual purple
fringing at f/5.6
300mm f/5.6 SP flat field macro - close focus to 1.4m (1:1.65
with 2x crop) - purple fringing - need to use f/11 really.
80-210 f/3.8-4 - some residual purple
fringing at f/5.6 - see below
- Tamron 200mm f/3.5 - some residual purple fringing
- Hanimex 300mm f/5.6 mirror - see Olympus E330
for a shot
Tamron 80-210mm f/3.8-4 adaptall 2 tele macro lens:
- I bought this old manual focus lens on Ebay for ~$A15 plus postage this
year - unfortunately Australia Post seemed to have wanted to throw it
against a brick wall because when I unpacked it, the UV filter on it was
absolutely smashed, glass broken, ring dented badly, luckily I managed to
remove it and the lens itself seems intact. I doubt I would be that lucky if
it was a modern AF lens.
- so here was a chance to have a play with it - a social cricket game - I
gave it to a friend to use on my E330 with OM adapter. My friend had never
used a digital SLR before and I suspect never used an SLR before, so I set
everything up for him:
- exposure mode to Aperture Priority
- ISO to 800 - as I wanted to use the fastest shutter possible in the
- f ratio on lens - I think it was f/5.6
- shutter mode to continuous
- jpg mode to HQ
- the resultant shutter speed was about 1/2000th of a sec.
- told him all he had to do was zoom and focus through the viewfinder -
didn't want to explain Live Mode B to him - then press shutter down for
as many sequential pics as he wanted whilst trying to hold camera still
- no tripod here as he walked around the boundary of the cricket ground.
- these photos were part of a sequence taken at 210mm focal length (= 420mm
in 35mm terms) and feature me bowling (didn't get model releases for the
Firstly, an uncropped but resized image to show the field of view overall:
Next, a cropped and resized image:
well there is a bit of noise at 800ISO, but I think it was worth it in this
situation given I didn't know how well he would hold it steady or focus it.
Now a cropped but 100% size so you can see, it was OK detail, maybe the focus
wasn't exact as it is hard to focus accurately in the viewfinder and there is
not much depth of field at 420mm:
well not bad for $A15, and handheld at 420mm, although I think i would try
for a lower ISO next time. Remember one would not normally look at these images
at 100% so the middle image is more representative of how these would be used
and is certainly something you can get away with.
note there is some purple fringing along the overexposed white borders - this
is common on every lens I have tested at wide open aperture in high contrast
situations such as this. It can be reduced by stopping most lenses down by about
by the way - we lost the game - maybe too much wine at lunch :)