An exercise with OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 on Pen E-P1

After taking some photos around noon in the open I decided to take shelter from the blazing sun. Sitting at a shaded corner taking a break and drinking some water to cool myself down,  I started checking out the images taken on the Olympus Pen E-P1.  It was then that I remembered the OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 lens was in my camera bag.


The OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 lens was one of the lens in my collection that I rarely used during my OM 35mm film days. I tended to reach for the Tamron SP 90MM F/2.5 for portrait or the OM 200mm F/4 for telephoto usage. The OM 135mm F/2.8 lens happened to be somewhere in between the other two lenses.

After reading some positive on-line user experience on the OM 135mm lens I decided to try it out on my Pen E-P1 camera. A 135mm focal length lens on a Micro Four Thirds camera is equivalent to a 270mm lens on the OM camera or 35mm format camera. 270mm EFL (Equivalent Focal Length) is not an easy focal length to handhold or to manual focus nevertheless this is what I planned to check out.

Picture from OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 with the Olympus Pen E-P1
The OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 when match with the Olympus Pen E-P1 is a very usable lens, good sharpness and a good performer. -- Camera: Olympus Pen E-P1, Lens: OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 set at F/4 and 1/200s at ISO 800 in 6:6 square format.

So I mounted the 135mm lens on my Pen E-P1 and was wondering what to do with it when a young lady who presumably  just had her lunch with her colleague (as it was about 1.30pm)  walked towards my direction, then settled themselves on the ledge about 4 meters across from where I was sitting.  I noticed they took a look at me but soon realised they were actually starring at the Pen E-P1 that was sitting on my lap. Either they found the old fashioned retro appearance of the silver Olympus Pen E-P1 camera looked cool or looked funny or ugly with the black OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 lens on it.  Anyway, a while later they got back to their conversation and checking messages from their smart-phone.

With my E-P1 sitting on my lap as it was,  I turned on the camera and found it coincidentally pointing at their direction.  One of them was framed nicely on the LCD screen. Unfortunately I couldn't frame the two of them at the same time as the FOV (Field Of View) of the 135mm lens on a Olympus Pen E-P1 was too narrow.

I decided to take this challenge to check out how fast and how good I could manual focus with the OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 lens without lifting the camera to my face. They were good target to check my manual focusing skill because they were not sitting still. In fact they were rocking back and forth, chatting, laughing and operating their smart-phone at the same time. She was quite pretty and would certainly looked good in a natural environmental portrait as well.

Street Portrait with OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 on Pen E-P1
At a 35mm EFL or Equivalent Focal Length of 270mm the OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 lens is not really a portrait lens the focal length are just too long for normal portraiture. -- Camera: Olympus Pen E-P1, Lens: OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8, set at F/4 and 1/400s and ISO 800 in 6:6 format.

After a while I got used to focusing the OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 lens on the Pen E-P1 without lifting the camera to eye level. The OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 was fairly easy to focus despite the very shallow depth of field with this focal length.

This exercise and experiment have allowed me to check out two things with my Olympus Pen E-P1 and the OM 135mm F/2.8 lens. First the OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 is very usable as a manual focus lens adapted on The Olympus Pen camera. Second, it is possible to focus effectively with The Pen E-P1 with a 135mm lens in Focus-Assist mode without lifting the The Pen camera to eye level on live subject. This is something you can never do with an optical or electronic view finder.

On the Micro Four Thirds camera body the OM Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 lens has become a capable fast telephoto lens with an Equivalent Focal Length of 270mm EFL. The images taken with this lens show no noticeable purple fringing, sharpness is good. In my opinion this lens delivers good results and overall is a good performer on the Olympus Pen camera body.


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