Good third-party lenses for Olympus OM cameras?

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Nige
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#1
Outside of the official Zuiko branded lenses, are there any third party makes (or specific lenses) that are worth looking out for for Olympus OM cameras?

I'm not on the lookout for anything in particular at present, but would like to have an idea on what is worthwhile should I happen across anything on my travels. :)

Thanks.
 
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StephenM

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#3
I chose the Tamron Adaptall 300mm lens over the Olympus offical one around 1980 on the grounds that the Tamron was smaller and lighter, and had close focusing capability (down to 1:4). I similarly went for a Vivitar 90mm macro lens over the OM 50mm one for the extra focal length; at the time it was 50mm or nothing from Olympus.

Many people chose the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 zoom over the OM 75-150 version; some even bought one and recommended the other to friends based on their needs. I now have both (although the Vivitar is on Pentax K fit) and both are fine for me, although the size and weight (now as well as then) tips the scales (pun intended) in favour of the Olympus for carrying around.
 

excalibur2

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#4
Yep agree with Stephen for Vivitar and Tamron as many of them are very good esp Vivitar 135 f2.8 close focus and the 28mm f2.8 close focus Komine made....quite a few other makes to get reviews on e.g. Ensinor some of their lens are very good.
 
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#5
I've always liked Kiron lenses, that was a company set up by ex-Nikon engineers and they went on to produce lenses under their own brand and for Vivitar under the Series 1 and regular branding. If a Vivitar lens's serial number begins '22', it's Kiron and '28' is Komine.

There's more about the 70-210mm Series 1 lenses specifically here. Essentially avoid any of the lenses that have "Series 1" branding in the rubber grip as those are from later production when it seems that Vivitar simply stuck the brand on anything to sell it at a premium.

Some of the bargain lenses like Prinz, Soligor, etc. can produce interesting results but never pay more than a few pounds for them. At one time I was collecting 50mm primes with a view to taking some comparison shots with my X-Pro1, I must get back to that at some point.
 
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#6
I have over the years acquired a number of Tamron primes and zooms. Initially because they were more affordable than Olympus and Nikkor glass, as time went on and I collected a range of mounts and I used them to try new and different camera bodies. Nearly three decades on I have a lot of top end glass, Nikkor, Zeiss, Pentax and others. I have kept a number of late model Tamron A2 lenses which in my humble opinion hold their own against some much more expensive glass. I particularly like the 24mm, the 28mm, the SP90mm and the 35-70mm. Mounts are cheap as chips too.
 

wontolla

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#9
Digitals are OM-D so I presume its the analogue cameras here.
 
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#11
I agree the Tamron SP90, especially the first ones, were and are legends.
I have one of those, along with the 2x TC and 2x extension tubes. Superb lens.
Came with an Olympus plate on it but those nice people at K & F Concept do Adaptall to Fuji adaptors so I don't need to pfaff around with the plate.
It's one of my favourite lenses.
 
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#14
Just to say I've had a couple of Tamron zooms (a 24-50 was one) that metered a stop or so darker than Pentax glass at the same shutter speed (ie had to open the Tamrons up more). No filters. Somehow this seems in my mind to be related to T values, although it was pretty extreme. I've sold the lenses now.
 

excalibur2

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#15
Just to clarify, this is for 35mm film OM cameras - I have an OM-1. That said, I might get an adapter at some point so I can try them with my Lumix GX7 MFT digital camera (which is fully compatible with OM-D lenses).
It might be a good idea to go over to a digi site and with their 24mp cameras they sort out the wheat from the chaff with old lenses for things like sharpness, CA and bokeh and I would assume if it's a great lens on a digi camera it would also be great on a film camera..the results are not a guarantee that it would be the same for every lens as unfortunately you have to consider "copy variation"...but I would wager you wouldn't get many copy variations for say Ziess\Contax lenses kept in good condition. But it is annoying when I've picked up a recommended lens and found it to be nothing special on my film camera.
I did know about copy variation at least 50 years ago as the pros would go to their friendly shop and test out say a selection of Nikon lenses and bought the one\ones that gave the best results, and the joke (many a true word said in jest) on the bay is:- If you have a great lens you keep it and all the inferior ones are up for sale o_O
One of my hobby is buying lenses at the bootie and seeing how good they are and often surprised as you would think going by the name it would be crap..one time was a Zenit with Helios and a preset 135mm Prinz galazy lens with 16 blades, all for £1...well testing the Prinz at wide open on subjects I couldn't see any difference between my other VG 135mm lenses...guess it was a good copy.
 
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#16
Tamron adaptall 2 lenses are great as not only are some of them absolutely brilliant performers, they can also be adapted to virtually any 135 format camera in existence.

I've acquired quite a few over the years. The stand out models that I've used are the 24-48mm (13A), 35-80mm (01A), 70-210mm F3.5 (19AH) and the 180mm f2.5 (63B). <- limited edition so hard to find and not particularly cheap. The 90mm macro is well known to be great, but the older f2.5 version has flare issues on digital cameras. I had an old AF model which doesn't have this problem. The lenses wider than 35mm aren't quite as good as the f2.8 zuikos though. The 17mm is great on film and strange on digital, probably down to angles of light out of the rear of the lens. A good guide as to what's available here.
 

excalibur2

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#17
That's a nice selection of Tamrons and more sensible than what I did (maybe not as interesting though) and that is:- I decided that any bargain lenses going and I'd have a camera body to fit, erm but ended up with lots of duplication and e.g. have about sixteen 28mms. Really all I needed was say three cameras One for screw lenses (already have two cameras), Canon or Nikon manual focus camera and an AF camera....but then it could be reduced to two as Canon can use screw lenses that can be stopped down and for AF Canon or Nikon.....anyway it's all enjoyment\fun over the years and that's important.
 
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#18
I had a Kiron 28-85mm F2.8/3.8 Varifocal which was excellent. For any one not familiar with varifocal lenses unlike a true zoom lens you needed to refocus after changing the focal length. I also owned a Vivitar 75-205mm twin touch zoom, which was incredibly sharp, the only downside was the separate zoom and focus rings, but it did make me think as it slowed my photography down!
 
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