Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro

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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro
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Image: The New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro fitted to the recently released Olympus E-PL8.

08th November 2016, Singapore –  Olympus Singapore gave me a surprise recently by having the latest Zuiko 30mm F.35 Macro quietly sent to me. At that point, we had just published our review for the New Olympus E-PL8 and was about to send the camera back to Olympus then came this little macro lens. We were (of course) delighted as we get to keep the E-PL8 a little longer and now with a new macro lens to try out.

The New Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro is a new lens that was designed from ground up. (If you are thinking of the last generation’s 4/3 macro, no.). This mirrorless system (Micro Four Thirds) lens is newly designed to match the capabilities of the current crop of Micro Four Third system cameras and optimized for performance & image quality.

Before we proceed with the review, I would like to (again) share that if you ended up here looking for technical in-depth review, then you are certainly in the wrong place. Over here we are only keen how the lens behaved & performed, the image quality etc. If you are cool with this, read on.

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Image: The New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro fitted to the recently released Olympus E-PL8.


The New 30mm F3.5 Macro is a super light macro lens. Weighing at a mere 128gm, I was tempted to dismantle the lens and count the elements (just kidding Olympus!), and the size is like most Micro Four Third system lenses – it’s small & cute. Measuring at 57mm x 60mm, this is one lens that you might lost it in your own camera bag. The lens barrel build is “typically Olympus” and it feels right ergonomically when handled or during operations. The only thing that I felt missing from the hard ware was the weather sealing.

Inside the lens, there’s 7 elements in 6 groups including 01 x Aspherical element, 01 x ED element (extra dispersion) & 01 x Zuiko-licious Dual Super Aspherical element that promises excellent image quality, clarity, color accuracy and sharpness. The magnification is 1.25x and the 30mm starts focusing from 10cm and opens from F3.5 to F22 with 07 aperture blades. Although Olympus did not specify if the blades are rounded or regular, we noted that blades are “curved” gently but not rounded enough to be called rounded. An internal focusing (IF) lens, it is paired to a Micro-Motor resulting in quiet & fast focusing. The front accepts 46mm screw-on filters and from what we saw & know so far, this 30mm Macro should behave and works like any other macro lenses that doubles as a close-up lens as well as a portrait lens.

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Image: The New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro fitted to the recently released Olympus E-PL8.

Just when I was thinking what & how to do review the 30mm Macro, I decided to skip insects and the outdoors for once and tried shooting something else. To start, I took a shot of Bingo (my rabbit) at wide open (F3.5) to check out the bokeh. Pretty nice if you look at the image of Bingo below and see the off-focus area. The bokeh is smooth and well suited for portraits if you use this lens at wide open.

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Image: Bingo, my rabbit. Shot with the New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro fitted to the recently released Olympus E-PL8.

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So recently I decided to use the 30mm Macro for one of our event and see how this lens perform in an inconsistent-lighted environment. Long story cut short, Hawker Centre. (Singapore’s local food stalls that are consolidated and housed under a proper roof). It had been a casual food photography outing and I decided to put the new 30mm Macro through its paces.

Below is a Kueh, a local snack that was made from Tapioca (I was told) and comes with lots of shaved coconut flakes. I decided to take a shot.

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And I decided to select a section to crop out. This crop is loosely equivalent to about 75% crop. See the red box below which is the part that I will be cropping off the main image.

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After I cropped out the red box from above, see below for the cropped image. The image quality did not suffer much and there are still tons of details shown on the cropped image.
This also means the magnification (1.25x) helps a lot when retaining micro details like the below example.

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I was impressed so I went on to try out on other food that was available. Below is another snack that was made from glutinous rice and topped with caramel coconut. So I took a shot. See below.

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I decided to crop out the red box below which accounts to a 80% crop. I selected the area because it has both rice & coconut and the colors of blue and brown. I wanted to see if 30mm macro can still deliver at such a crop level. See below.

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After cropping from the above red box, see next image for the cropped image. The amount of details is amazing! This is really getting up & really close to the food. Had these snacks been insects, I can imagine what I can get out of this lens, just simply, simply amazing!

 

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Alan Photo

 

And since it was a food photography event, I decided to shoot any food that was within my range on that day and the next few images further proves that the new 30mm Macro is a real performer. Please go ahead and click on the individual images below and view at 100% or 150%. I am sure you will be amazed by what you see.

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Image: Shot with the New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro fitted to the recently released Olympus E-PL8.

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Image: Shot with the New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro fitted to the recently released Olympus E-PL8.

 

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Image: Shot with the New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro fitted to the recently released Olympus E-PL8.

 

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Image: Shot with the New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro fitted to the recently released Olympus E-PL8.

 

anigif final

 


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Image: Shot with the New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro fitted to the recently released Olympus E-PL8.

Editor’s Summary: 
Amazed by the images above? (Or are you hungry now?) As an end user, I like the images that I had produced using the new 30mm Macro. The sharpness is incredible, the color rendering is flawless and operationally, this feather-weight lens is easy to use, handles well and as a package, I will say this is one of the lens that you should buy and lost it somewhere in your camera bag. I have not even gone into the versatility of this lens yet.
Get it?

For those who are complaining that how come a macro lens review has no insect or plants images, here, I have a cactus for you below.

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– AL Lee, Editor.

 

Thanks You Olympus Singapore for the Lens!

For the rest of you, Buy your New Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro here!

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About Olympus
Olympus Singapore Pte Ltd is a subsidiary of Olympus Corporation, headquartered
in Japan. Olympus Singapore Pte Ltd is responsible for the marketing and distribution of Olympus consumer products in Singapore. The Olympus consumer range encompasses still and video imaging products, binoculars and digital audio recorders.
Your Vision, Our Future. http://www.olympusimage.com.sg

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About Ourshutterjourney.com
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About Editor AL

About The Web Editor: http://about.me/shutterjourney
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