On left the Olympus lens, on right the Zeiss Biotar 75mm f/1.5.
ePhotozine posted the full Olympus 75mm f/1.8 review. And it’s not a surprise that this lens gets another big appraisal: “It’s amongst the sharpest lenses currently available for any camera system, it’s well built and a pleasure to use. The price is actually quite good value when such high optical performance is delivered. It can certainly give the Zeiss’ and Leica’s a run for their money.”
The only real downside for them is that it is not weather sealed and that you have to pay extra for the original hood. At least some third party hoods are already made on sold in US ($7 on amazon), US ($32 better quality), Germany (ebay) and Hong Kong (ebay).
Olympus Lens alternatives (if you don’t care about the missing autofocus and electronic contacts):
1) Dallmeyer 75mm f/1.9 (Here on eBay). This is an extremely expensive lens and I don’t know why it is so. Only crazy guys would buy that 🙂
2) Leica Summilux 75mm f/1.4 (Here on eBay). Extraordinary high quality lens for an extraordinary price (although it’s still less expensive than the mysterious Dallmeyer). It’s the fastest of all 75mm lenses
3) Zeiss Biotar 75mm f/1.5 (Here on eBay). Fast and also a bit exotic lens made for the Exacta series.
4) Leica Summarit 75mm f/2.5 (Here on eBay). High quality and relatively compact lens. A bit slow compared to the Olympus (f/2.5).
5) Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 (Here on eBay). Probably the best alternative of the new Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens. Same aperture, superb high quality and cheaper.
6) Fujinon 75mm f/1.8 (Here on eBay). This is a very cheap TV lens and I don’t expect the quality to be very good. I wouldn’t buy that unlike your really need that focal length and you have a very low budget.