Re: [OM] 180/2 at KEH

Subject: Re: [OM] 180/2 at KEH
From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2020 11:45:13 -0800
On 3/3/2020 9:17 AM, Jan Steinman wrote:
The legendary OM-System 180mm f/2.0 has just gone on sale at KEH for three 
days. With the additional 15% off, it winds up a touch over $4k.

According to my analysis of the Gary Reese lens tests, this is the second best 
OM lens ever, just a touch below the 250/2.

A couple of things to keep in mind when contemplating such a purchase:

CH finds CA a minor problem in the 180/2.8 wide open. 

He also posted a comparison of 180/2.8 and 200/4 that interested me. I did some 
PS work on it and commented:

"My 200/4 is not bad but just not as good as 180/2.8.
But by how much? And for what uses would the difference be significant. See 
It is now totally different, using live view and flash, error is absolutely minimized. Here is a test I just made, tripod mounted 40D, 430EX bounce off ceiling, live view, 2 second shutter delay. At least three shots for each lens with re-focus and selected the best one (actually very little difference for the same lens). Same development parameters, WB 5200K, sharpness=2. Both lenses set at F4, the results speak for themself.
Yes, they do indeed. However, I'm not sure they tell the story you think they do. As you pointed out before, perceived sharpness isn't actual resolution.

I saw the same thing you did when I first looked at the tests images. Then I did a little experimenting. I used PS to increase the contrast, so only actual resolution, not a combination of resolution and contrast, would be considered in looking at the sharpness of the samples. My conclusions are:

- The 180 is sharper at the bottom of the subject, but not by a great deal.
- Over most of the central area, it's a toss-up. If I mixed up sections of prints, I don't think anyone could tell which is which.
- On the upper end, the 180 is slightly sharper.

It's actually sometimes easier to see which is sharper by the size of the type. Where the 200/4 is less sharp in the bottom corners, the slight spread of the black areas ends up making them bigger when contrast is increased and black is clipped. <http://www.moosemystic.net/Gallery/tech/Lenses/Zuiko200-180/200-180.htm>

It's hard for me to imagine an application in which I would use either lens where such small differences in resolution would be significant. I understand that apparent sharpness differs by more than the actual resolution difference. The 200 obviously has lower contrast. However, that's not the issue, at least to me, that it was in the film era."

The exchange continued for a couple of posts, with no real resolution (tee hee).

If you really want a better 200 mm -ish MF lens, look for a clean Nikkor-Q 200/4. I have the original one, before reported slight improvements in resolution in the second. It clearly outperformed my 200/4 and 200/5 OM lenses on FF 5D, center and edge. Surprised me.

Although an earlier optical design than the Olys, it was the first long lens for any SLR, and was aimed at performance, without worrying about size and weight. The Olys were designed to be as small and light as possible, with decent optics.

The Nikkor is indeed larger and quite a bit heavier than the Olys. 
And <http://zone-10.com/tope2/main.php?g2_itemId=15145>

If you want cut yourself on it sharpness @ 150 mm eq., the Oly 75/1.8 on your 
E-M1 will do it.

I've been watching it for a while. It's regular price recently dropped by about 
that much. My guess is that if it doesn't sell during the sale, $4k will be the 
new regular price for it.

I'd love to have it, but that would result in an involuntary spousectomy at 
this point. Maybe if it drops to around $2k...

Second best would be an OM enthusiast from this list getting it.

They also had a mint Laowa 7.5mm f/2 for MFT for $399 recently.

Could have been mine?? Probably not, as I sold it to them quite a while ago.

It is an excellent lens, and, unlike so many UWAs, tiny and light. I simply couldn't take the lack of AF and EXIF.  A personal problem. :-)  Traveling about Bhutan, from landscape to temple to festival dancing, switching rapidly between two cameras with AF lenses and one with MF, I too often simply forgot to focus. A lens that wide is pretty forgiving with its deep DoF, but not enough.

Use a little stickum or tape to keep the tiny hood from disappearing. I almost 
lost it.

Wide, Long and Sharp Moose

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