Olympus M. Zuiko Premium 30mm f/3.5 Macro ED Lens Review

Olympus M. Zuiko Premium 30mm f/3.5 Macro ED Handling and Features

3 sec | f/16.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 100
 

The lens can only be described as compact, and as such, it is ideal wherever it is desired to keep equipment to a minimum. It weighs in at a very modest 128g and although it may be tiny it is also obviously well made using high-grade plastic materials. The finish is excellent.

The front element is also tiny and we can see the 7 bladed, rounded diaphragm quite clearly. The filter size is 46mm, which is in keeping with the overall size of the lens. No lens hood is provided, which is a pity as it is always a desirable accessory for any lens. The front element is not so recessed that it would be redundant.

The large manual focus ring is electronic in operation and very smooth. There is no facility to tweak the focusing point in AF mode, a feature that can prove to be advantageous. Nothing else adorns the lens as all functions are controlled by the camera body. The AF system is fast, accurate and locks on very positively. There is no hunting.

Focusing is down to 0.095m, a maximum magnification of 1.25x and a working distance of 14mm from the front element. Unfortunately, there are no distance scales and no depth of field scale, so some useful information is sacrificed to give us this ultra-compact form. To be fair, the absence of these features may not impact greatly on general macro shooting and the extra magnification is very welcome. Most macro lenses stop at 1x magnification (1:1).

Lens construction is 7 elements in 6 groups, with 1 Aspherical ED (Extra Low Dispersion), 1 DSA (Dual Super Aspherical) and 1 Aspherical element.

As mentioned, 30mm (60mm equivalent) is slightly unusual for a macro lens – most would be 50mm or 100mm in 35mm-equivalent terms. However, in practice, it proves to be very convenient and it does lend itself well to the shooting of portraits. We are given the greatest freedom, though, with the lens's ability to focus from infinity all the way down to ultra-close macro seamlessly. This makes for a powerful slightly long standard lens, in all respects except of course a large, bright aperture.

3 sec | f/16.0 | 115.0 mm | ISO 100
 

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