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Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 on Fuji X-T1 mirror-less

The great thing about mirror-less cameras is that they make it easy to use a variety of classic lenses from the golden era of primary lenses – the days when every camera was supplied with a 50mm fast lens instead of a slow zoom. As a collector of vintage cameras, I have many of these lenses and over the last couple of days I’ve been trying a vintage Olympus lens, the Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, on my new Fuji X-T1 camera.

Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 on X-T1 sample photos

Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 on X-T1

The olympus Zuiko OM series lenses had a reputation of being super sharp when they were introduced in the mid 1970s so I was interested to see if this reputation was well founded and how well they would compare to modern lenses. To use the lens on my X-T1, I bought a very cheap K & F Concept Fuji x to OM adapter from Amazon for only a few pounds, and used the combination on an early morning walk about Stevenage.

First a few words about the adapter. I’ve found these units to be extremely well put together, to be of good quality, solidly built and fit the camera perfectly. I have bought several for my Nex 6 in the past and now I’ve bought a few for the X-T1 as well and I can say that the OM version is as good as any of the others I’ve used. As well as the fit of the camera to the adapter I’ve also found the lens fits the adapter well with no slack and I couldn’t see any reason to buy one of the expensive makes when the only function the adapter has is to act as a hollow tube between the lens and the camera.

With that out of the way, on to the lens. I took all the pictures above on Aperture Priority mode (well there aren’t modes on the X-T1, but with the shutter speed set to auto and the iso also on auto) and used the lens on a variety of apertures during my walk about. I was impressed with the close focus distance of the Zuiko and there is a nice softness to the out of focus areas when the aperture is opened up. With a focal length of 50mm this is an ideal portrait lens when the ASP-C crop factor is taken into account, and I might take some more shots soon and put it to that use to see how it performs.

Overall I was impressed with the definition and contrast performance of the Zuiko, and found it to have less CA than many lenses of a similar vintage and to be sharp right up to the corners once it was stopped down a bit.

The pictures above have been imported into Lightroom and have had a little bit of adjustment of levels & contrast and a little bit of clarity boost in some cases.

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I’m a software developer by profession but I’ve been taking pictures since I was about 8 years old. In that time I’ve owned cameras of all types and sizes from 120 roll film thro’ 35mm to my current Pentax K-5, Ricoh GXR + P10/S10/A12 28mm/A12 50mm, Canon S95 and recently acquired Sony NEX 6.

  1. David Winskill says:

    Good Morning simon and thanks for an interesting post. I have been using adapted glass on an XE2 for some time and rarely use a Fuji lens on the body any-more; the focus peaking is excellent and, like you, I have a large number of old lenses to experiment with.

    A basic tip for anyone going down this route is to thoroughly brush any new lens adaptor and then use a blower on it. You are right that they are generally well made and robust but a tiny, rogue metal filing can wreak havoc with the sensor.

    Best to be safe!

    Warm regards

    1. Good advice David

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