I'll second that. Before this turn of the thread, the question was just
about Oly equipment, so I only mentioned the fact that there are some
great values in other makers' OM lenses.
The variously branded 19-35/3.5-4.5 is a very good lens
<http://homepages.caverock.net.nz/%7Ebj/zuiko/9552405.htm>, and very
reasonably priced new. It's always in my light kit for decent
light/faster film situations unless I know I have a partucular use/FOV
in mind for a prime. At the wide end, it's as fast as my 18 and 21mm
primes, but falls down against the 24.2.8 and 28/2 for speed.
Some other real values:
Tamron 35-105/2.8 asp. Excellent optical performance at the same size
and weight as the 35-80/2.8 for about 1/3 the cost.
Tamron 60-300/3.8-5.6. Excellent optics and about the same speed at
200mm as the 65-200, as fast or faster than the 85-250 over its range,
then it adds another 100mm of reach and amazing macro ability. Very
compact and light for its range.
Tokina 50-250/4-5.6. The special value here is the exceptional macro.
It's also much less expensive than the Zuiko 50-250, but slower on the
There are several lenses in the 28/35-135/200 range with first rate
optics and reasonable prices that cover a wide fl range that Oly never
covered. The value is in price/performance and wide zoom range. One of
my favorites is the Tokina AT-X 35-200/3.5-4.5. The Tamron SP equivalent
is bigger and heavier, but otherwise fine. I'm trying out a Tokina SZ-X
35-200/3.5-4.5 because it does its 1:4 at the long end instead of the
short end like so many zooms. Another excellent value if 200mm isn't
neded is the Kiron 35-135/3.5-4.5. There are more, but that's enough for
Another value area is in short tele macros, with the 90/2.5and 2.8
macros from Tamron, Tokina and Vivitar and the excellent Kiron 105/2.8
and bargain Vivitar 105/3.5.
But here I reveal my weakness, I just bought Tom's 90/2 even though I
have a Tamron SP 90/2.5 and Kiron 105/2.8. I've just gotta see how that
legendary Zuiko might work for me. I know Walt says it is a dead heat in
all reaspect but wide open speed with the Tamron 90/2.8 and not as sharp
as the 100/2, but Gary's tests showed the 90 and 100 in a dead heat.
Perjhaps they are close enough in performance that sample variatoin is
the difference. In any case, I am particularly interested in the 90's
macro performance and Oly claims "superb resolution at macro distances
and excellent performance even with subjects at infinity". I'm assuming
from the descriptioin in the eSIF that the 100 is optimized for 1:40
with 'floating' correction to hold performance to 1:5 and the 90 is
optomized for medium macro, with 'exclusive Olympus focus aberration
correction mechanism guarantees first class picture sharpness all the
way from minimum focus to infinity." I suspect thos extra couple of
pieces of glass in the 90 are for flatness of field in macro.
Guess I haven't stopped the insanity. :-)
>The 19-35 zoom sold under several brand names (Vivitar, Phoenix, et al.) is a
>good budget option in this range. It's still widely available new. I have
>always leaned toward zooms because of the framing flexibility and the fact
>you can carry fewer lenses to cover various focal lengths.
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