The second instalment in my look at classic Olympus OM Zuiko lenses and how they perform on modern full frame high megapixel digital cameras. This time we are looking at the Olympus OM Zuiko MC 24mm f2.8.
This is the second iteration of the versions produced by Olympus – the silver nosed H.Zuiko, the MC and the NHC. All three share the same construction of eight elements in seven groups in a compact body that is 31mm long and weighs 185g for the multicoated versions and 180g for the earlier single coated design. The filter size is 49mm.
Barrel distortion is very obvious as is a small amount of CA wide open at f2.8. The CA clears up quickly by f8. Wide open the lens is reasonably sharp in the centre and soft at the edges. By the time it is stopped down to f8 the centre improves as a consequence of an increase in contrast and the edges while appreciably improving still aren’t as sharp as the centre of the image. Flare is impressively controlled on a lens of this age (its been raining a lot here so haven’t had much sun to poke it at) and so I’ve not felt compelled to whack a lens hood on the front.
OK! OK! This isn’t the sexy f2 version, but with the modest aperture of f2.8 you get a very compact lens that is a very capable performer. Yes it does not exhibit the modern fetish of corner to corner sharpness but don’t let that put you off – this lens will handle landscapes, environmental portraits and reportage with aplomb. This lens will do most of heavy lifting work in my up coming new project so will end up with a Cokin P-series filter adapter mounted on it with a single lens hood extension and there are no signs of any vignetting with it mounted. Gotta love vintage glass – such modest filter sizes.