Lens Reviews

Just over three years ago when I first brought my Pentax K-5 I wanted a lens that would cover me for most situations while I squirrelled money away to expand my system. Naturally I chose one of Pentax’s zoom lenses, the 16-50mm f2.8 which over the years I shared a love/hate relationship with. Optically it was great but it was big and suffered from some strange auto-focus issues. With an upcoming trip to Sicily I could not bear the thought of miss-focused, soft images. You can imagine my delight when the wonderful Pentax announced a Limited 20-40mm zoom lens, I could already see myself stood in front of Mount Etna with this gorgeous piece of kit mounted upon my K-5! I soon returned to reality and realised I needed to devise a way to finance this venture. Goodbye 16-50mm.

Just before I went abroad this year I decided to purchase one of Pentax's super-wide primes to see how it performs compared to my 16-50mm zoom lens. I have been interested in this lens for quite a while prior to purchasing, mainly because it is so small and it is also the widest fixed focal length lens Pentax offer, except for a fish-eye. Given I am a wide-angle man rather than a telephoto the purchase of this lens was imminent, I just needed an excuse, so three weeks before going abroad I made the leap.

I owned this lens for many years, and during this time I have come to realise that focal lengths longer than 135mm are something I rarely use.

This was one of my final OM Zuiko lens acquisitions. Having used the 135mm focal length for some candid photography, I was very aware that the distance separating me from my subjects was occasionally not quite enough.

In my opinion, this is one of sleepers of the OM System. Before owning one I used the f3.5 equivalent, which produced great results when stopped down a little, but I wanted something that could be used wide open to take advantage of the additional speed and subject isolation possible at this focal length. So I became interested in its bigger brother, the f2.8 version after I had realised that the 135mm focal length was very useful, despite it being branded as 'unfashionable' in a couple of articles I read.

The second Zuiko lens I purchased for my OM collection, as I had a requirement to replace an aging zoom lens with something much more portable. This was at least 20 years ago when analogue cameras were at their zenith and there was little sign of the digital revolution.

In its day, the Olympus OM system offered several high quality macro lenses which, in conjunction with the rest of the macrophotography group, combine to form what is considered by many as the finest macro system ever created.