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Olympus OM 35mm f/2.8 shift lens


  • the Olympus OM 35mm f/2.8 is a lovely compact shift lens designed mainly for architectural use at f/8-11 where it is as it's sharpest resolution with the camera kept in a horizontal position parallel with the ground
  • it was initially introduced in 1976
  • the more expensive and wider angle Olympus OM 24mm f/3.5 shift lens was introduced in 1984
  • when used on Olympus OM system film SLRs, Olympus recommends use of 1:10 (checker matte) focus screen
  • unlike most other modern perspective control, shift and/or tilt lenses, this lens does NOT offer a tilt mechanism
  • in the digital photography era, shift lenses can be used not only to straighten building lines, but to take 3 shots in shifted position whilst on a tripod for more precise panoramic stitching
  • unfortunately, when used on Olympus Four Thirds dSLR system or Micro Four Thirds system, the 2x crop factor means this becomes a 70mm lens and not so useful for architecture, although when combined with a 0.7x speed reducer adapter, the effective field of view becomes 50mm


  • full frame 35mm f/2.8 shift lens
  • 60-62mm image circle
  • version I is notated “Zuiko Shift f2.8” &/or “f=35mm”
    • single coated (SC) and struggles with flare and internal reflections
    • neutral/yellow glass reflection is SC
  • version II is notated “ZUIKO SHIFT 35mm 1:2.8”
    • version II has multicoating (MC) and 59mm long instead of 58mm
    • those marked 'Sinaron' on the front lens barrel are MC and were converted by Sinar in the 1990's to be used on their early digital cameras - see
    • purple/green glass reflection is MC
    • much better suited to night shooting which includes street lamps etc
  • 49mm filter thread
  • 7 groups, 8 elements
  • relatively crude curved 6-blade apertures
  • close focus 0.3m giving subject size of 21cm x 14cm (8.3“ x 5.5”) on a full frame camera
  • full 360deg rotation of shift mechanism is possible
  • omni directional shifting: 10.4mm to each side, 12mm up and 13mm down
  • 83° maximum shift - if you stitch 2 fully shifted images together you get almost the FOV as a 21mm lens but with more detail captured and probably with less aberrations although as expected, lateral CA worsens the further from the centre one goes
  • manual aperture diaphragm!!!
  • for TTL metering on cameras:
    • BEFORE using the shift mechanism (ie. have it in neutral position), stop down the aperture to the desired aperture, then get the meter reading
  • 68mm (2.7“) diam x 59mm (2.3”) long
  • 310g (10.9 oz)


    • the friction-based movements are typically very smooth: though be warned that they do fail over time and through extended use to the point where they drift and become sloppy
    • compared with the Nikon and Contax, rotating and shifting mechanism is by far the quickest and most useful
    • simultaneous horizontal and vertical movements are possible, enabling part of the image circle to be mapped that would be inaccessible to any other lens of its type
    • vertical shifts in landscape orientation can be extended to almost 14mm
    • optically not as good as the Zeiss Contax PC 35mm f/2.8 but much better than the Nikon PC Nikkor 35mm f/2.8
    • almost as good as the Contax PC at f/8-f/16 and best at f/11, while the Nikon at any aperture should not be shifted more than 5mm due to very soft edges
    • “The Olympus is a great little lens, though, and the nicest of the bunch to use: it's the only one that connects to the camera without the shift mechanism trying to rotate – no arthritis-inducing contortions are required when demounting it. Also, it shifts 13mm in the vertical, which is a real boon. However, for optimal results, it is strictly limited to f11/f16. But in its sweet spot, with the sun in the right place, it comes so close to the Zeiss that you might wonder whether the extra spend is a wise investment. And if you can find a multicoated one, you might not even have to worry about pointing it at lights ”
photo/olympusom35mmshift.txt · Last modified: 2014/07/12 14:06 by gary1

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