The list of Olympus 75mm lens alternatives…

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If you are interested in buying a 75mm lens but want first to check if there is an alternative to the just announced Olympus 75mm lens check this list. Of course keep in mind that you have no autofocus on these third party lenses.

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.

In short, if you don’t care about autofocus I would go for the Voigtlander Heliar. If you are rich like a Sultan go for the Leica Summilux! But than again, you will probably use it on the $8000 Leica M Monochrome and not on a m43 camera  :)

P.S.: And here are the preorders to the m43 Olympus 75mm lens if you still want it (LOL): Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, Amazon Germany and Amazon UK.

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  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/dummy00001/ Dummy00001

    > Dallmeyer 75mm f/1.9 *Bolex D mount*. This is an extremely expensive lens and I don’t know why it is so. Only crazy guys would buy that :)

    It appears they are technically not “crazy” but “collectors.” Very close anyhow.

    http://www.bolexcollector.com/

    But Dallmeyer brand is not on the list of lenses.

    Edit1. Yep, Dallmeyer is a collector’s material.

    http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/dallmeyer_2.html
    http://kevincameras.com/gallery/v/classics_collectables/albuw30/dallmeyer/

    • Daemonius

      No wonder it is, its brand from beginning of photography itself.

  • Gekopaca

    Hey you forget the C-mount Cosmicar Television 75mm f1.4.
    It’s a very sharp and non expensive lens. I bought it in 2009 for less than 100€. You can see the result on my Flickr stream :
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gekopaca/4467733076/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gekopaca/5748028590/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gekopaca/4888231550/

  • Mechart87
    • Jon

      You’re pictures helped me in buying the Cosmicar lens! Thanks!

  • Mike

    Nice list but none of them really seem inexpensive enough to give up autofocus.

  • bananacam

    How can the CV Heliar 75/1.8 be the best alternative to the Olympus 75/1.8 lens? The Heliar is designed to be a soft portrait lens circa good-ol’ film era while the Olympus is a modern sharpness-uber-alles lens.

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/sauce71/ Tom Ø.

    Looking at the Dallmeyer it seemes to have a ridiculous amount of aperture blades. It’s also pre WWII and a collectors item. Google mostly turns up eBay listings. Anyone have any links to provide some useful info about Dallmeyer lenses? Curious!

  • http://ranger9.net Ranger 9

    Interesting list.

    The link for the Zeiss Biotar lens actually points to an eBay search for the Summilux. I found some Biotars by editing the search; all were priced at US $ 1300 – 1500! I can remember when dusty used examples of this lens sat around on dealers’ back shelves under bargain price tags, but obviously those days are over! Other caveats: (1) is there an Exakta adaptor for M43? (2) Note that these are EAST German Zeiss lenses, so although the glass is top notch, the aluminum barrels and focusing mounts are a bit nasty; (3) going by the super-rare Leica screw mount example I owned years ago (bought for $25 in a camera show bargain bin!) the Biotar’s performance is idiosyncratic: at full aperture, only a circular area in the center is reasonably sharp, if a bit hazy with smeary outer edges. It’s a beautiful effect for some subjects but not conventional!

    Re the 75/1.8 Voigtlander lens, the official US distributor’s web page notes: “Unusually designed to give softer results for portraits at wide aperture, but sharp results by 5.6.” So if you are looking for super-sharp full aperture results for stage, concert, or indoor sports photography, this is probably NOT a good alternative to the Olympus lens!

    Also note that the price is US $759, and of course no AF. Wow, the asking price for the Olympus lens is looking more and more reasonable!

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/infared/ Bob Bowné

    If you look at the cost of the new Oly 75mm, the AF, the performance and the price…how competitive are most of these lenses????
    I would love to see side-by-side comparisons of images.

  • stravinsky

    I can use my Pentax 77mm 1.8, although the adapter makes it a little bulkier than it should be…

  • dude

    I detect a subtle sarcasm in this post (“…if you still want it (LOL)”). Ie: what a great deal for this Olympic lens.

    • mooboy

      sarcasm on sarcasm?

  • http://web.miiu.pl differ

    There are few 85mm manual lenses and are quite cheap. It’s 10mm more, but I don’t really think that makes a big dfference. Examples:

    Samyang 85mm f/1.4 – it’s quite huge & heavy.
    http://www.flickriver.com/photos/adi10times/5268189957/

    Zuiko 85mm f/2.0 – the smallest one, the hardest to find

    Jupiter 9 85mm f/2.0 – which I have – it’s quite blurry at f/2, but stopped down to f/2.8 it’s ok. Anyway – quite heavy too, so it’s not my fav lens.

    There are others too.

    Personally I prefer AF lenses, because 85mm f2.0 gives much pain at focusing.

  • Henrik

    I’m having a splendid time (and pics) with my olden Nikon 1,8/85 + no-name adapter. Would be splendider though with AF.

  • Paolo

    Fujinon 75mm 1.8 is not bad lens at all! Little soft wide open, can be very sharp stoped down. Very nice colors, light and cheap. No vignetting or corner softness on m4/3. Hey but why use 75mm, its similar to very popular and common 85mm lenses.

  • AFoolishMan

    Personally I’m using the Oly 50mm (4/3) with the 1.4 TC. About one stop slower at f 2.8, but amazing quality.

  • djmdgk

    Does the Oly have a mechanical MF? I mean, non just focus by wire?

  • http://www.ayton.id.au/wp02/ Gary A

    hmm.. and you forgot the Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 and Olympus OM 90mm f/2.0 macro, not to mention the ZD 35-100mm f/2.0 :)

    see http://www.ayton.id.au/wp02/?p=5609

  • http://www.flickr/photos/purecinema ChristianG

    Just get the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 and be done with it. Faster, more reach, sharp and cheap.

    Check out my photo called “My son” in my photostream on flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/purecinema

  • PEN

    If you can find one the best alternative may be the beautiful Zuiko 85mm f2. Matched with the E-M5 in manual mode you might think you were looking through a 1970s OM-1.

  • EnPassant

    One could also add the Leica Apo-Summicron-M 75/2 and the Voigtländer Color-Heliar 75/2.5 to the list.

    If exactly 75 mm is not a must there are a lot of older 85/1.8-2 lenses that can be found for very good prices.

  • Ilikeleica

    How about the summilux-R 1.4 80mm. Cheaper than the M. Still expensive but looks more like it!

  • http://VIMEO.com/killout KILLOUT

    I CHECKED TARCUS/COMPUTAR/NAVITAR 75MM 1.3 THAT IS THE SAME 1.4 ON LATER VERSION LIKE MY COMPUTAR…ALSO CHECKED COSMICAR 75MM 1.9 VERY SOFT BUT COOL…LOOK IN MY VIDEO ON VIMEO:
    VIMEO.com/killout

  • Daemonius

    Theres more exotic lens like this, Konica Minolta Hexanon 60mm f1.2 for example. Which actually is really nice.

    I would go with one of 58mm f1.2 probably or close to it, theres plenty of such lens and not super expensive.

    I should add that Voigtlaender themselves make 58mm f1.4 which in reality is bit like 60+mm. And its very good quality lens, tho not exactly cheap either. Advantage is that if you have Nikon or Canon system, you can buy version for them and use it via adapters on m4/3s. Which is something I really like about m4/3s.

    I think lens “issue” with m4/3 is more on wide-angle than anything longer than 24mm. Everything else can be adapted, but true wide-angle lens for m4/3s must be usually made directly for them.

    Tho Im not saying that AF version of 150mm f2.8 would be bad.. or 100-200mm f2.8 :)

  • Camaman

    Isn’t the Voigtländer Color-Heliar 75/2.5 pretty chap an damn sharp lens on m43?

    • Joel

      Yeah I have the Voigtlander 75mm f2.5, and would consider it a great alternative if you want to save hundreds of dollars and are not sure whether a 75mm (on 2 times crop) is a lens you would use often enough to warrant spending nearly a thousand dollars on..

      I think I spent around $300 new for it and have seen them mint cheaper on ebay..

      It isn’t jaw dropping amazing IQ, but it is pretty darn good, I have no complaints, also great build quality..

    • http://www.copperhead-design.com jeffharris

      +10
      Yes, I have a 75mm f2.5 Color Heliar. It’s a great little lens!
      Light, compact and nicely scaled for use with M4/3 cameras. IQ is excellent… sharp, rich color and lots of character. It’s become one of my favorite lenses, especially as a walkabout and street lens. I’ll often carry just it and my Voigtländer 25mm or 35mm f1.4.

  • peevee

    There are more 75mm Leicas, there are 70 and 77 mm Pentax, or you can just step back and use one of the million 85mm lenses.

  • avds

    Can’t see the Samyang 85/1.4 on the list. I wonder how it compares to the Oly, but all reviews I saw suggest it’s a very good performer.

  • JonS

    If you can find one secondhand,the Voigtlander 75/2.7 Color Heliar is a nice lens but prone to purple fringing so you need to be prepared to deal with that in post processing. I would expect the mZuiko to be a better performer but, given this isn’t a focal length I use terribly much on m43, the Voigtlander lens does the job more than well-enough.

  • http://www.Pekkapotka.com Pekka Potka

    I don’t think there really are alternatives to Zuiko M. 75mm if you appreciate wide open performance and super fast, accurate AF. If you want to shoot stopped down by two stops and focus manually… Then there are alternatives.
    -p-

  • The Master

    This whole 75 mm (150mm equiv) deal, really seems to have sucked people in and I’m not sure why. Olympus made it and suddenly people want it, seemingly without ever having experience with the focal length.

    So, If we look at Photography history, in 35 mm film focal lengths, 135 mm has pretty much been the longest for portraits, specially in studio conditions, where space is a constrain.

    For reportage mostly 180 mm 2.8 was the longest ( remember the Nick Nolte movie (Under Fire) That was the lens that Nick used to get a shot, of Gene Hackman getting kill by the bad guys- I think.

    The 180 mm sort of went out of vogue, when the 70 and 80 to 200 2.8 zooms became popular, due to the better optical qualities of zooms. I know there was at least one Nikon zoom that was 75-150, but other than that it wasn’t really a popular or useful focal length. But now, just because Olympus makes this odd ball focal length, people seem to think that the world has suddenly changed and dog shit, now tastes like apple pie, just because Olympus says it does?

    Well I’ve never tasted it, but it still smells like dog shit to me and I’ll leave it at that. :)

    • avds

      If it were shorter (50-60mm) it would perhaps have to be f/1.2 in order to attain a comparable level of subject isolation due to a wider perspective. If this were an equally sharp f/1.2 lens instead, it would possibly the first of its kind and exceedingly expensive. Simple as that. I’m sure Olympus just tried to provide the optimal combination of focal length, DOF, lens weight and cost for hand held portraiture.

    • Brod1er

      HA! I detect a troll. Do you own a NEX???!!! “Shoot without lens” must be a very important menu option for you I guess. Ho ho.

    • http://tmutzek.110mb.com/ TheEye

      The 75-150 Nikkor was Galen Rowell’s favorite lens.

      Just because 150 mm in 35 mm wasn’t a common prime focal length does not mean it was’t a focal lenght used when shooting with zooms. Also, many phtographers did use 85 and 90 mm lenses with 2x teleconverters.

      With its 75 mm (not 150 mm!) DOF characteristics, this lens is very useful for 3/4 and full body shots with decent subject separation.

      The 180 mm never went “out of vogue.” It was an expensive lens favored by many photographers for certain subjects. I bought my first one in ’89 and used it quite a bit, for example for full body portaits. Even if what you said were true, what would this mean in regard to the usability of this focal length? Nothing! With zoom lenses becoming optically sufficiently good, prime lenses in general became more popular than prime lenses. Prime lenses have remained in many photographers’ kits.

    • The Real Stig

      I don’t know what you consider yourself the master of – it obviously isn’t photography.

      Could you point us to any reviews that have conclusions similar to yours?

    • Bart

      1. longer lenses (then 135) are and were used for portraits as well, especially outdoors.
      2. 200mm primes used to be pretty popular, also for reporting, 180mm was definitely not the longest being used there, and 200mm was there way before the 70-200 zooms appeared.
      3. Nikon wasn’t really alone in having a 75-150
      4. There is a lot more in this world then portraits, and this is NOT primarily a portrait lens.

      The main difference between a 135 and 150 (equiv field of view) is having to take a step back to obtain the same framing at typical working distances. This will cause a slight change in perspective also, but the difference is rather small. Sure, that might be a problem in certain situations, but that goes both ways, and those situations are screaming for the extra flexibility of a zoom lens anyway, nice if your prime exactly matches the framing at the only working distance available, but pretty damn unlikely.

      So yes, it could as well have been 66.5mm, but the ‘spread’ between 45 and 75 is just a bit better, allowing for a little bit more flexibility when only using prime lenses.

      Your objections are funny because they are based on incorrect facts and misconceptions, but with an air appropriate to someone calling himself ‘the master’.

  • Designwallah

    If you propose other lenses, it might be a good idea to tell us what kind of adapters are required to use them on a m43 camera.

  • Jevfp

    I don’t see no advantage to purchase an alternative lens,.when the NEW OLYMPUS 75mm f 1.8 is really good or even better IQ than other more expensive lens,..

    Based on SLR GEAR review and Blurred index ,. The new Olympus might be the sharpest lens they ever tested. Not mention ,Pekka polka and Robin Wong real world review,..

    It is so unbelievable m43 system have the most outstanding Glass ,.20 , 25 12, 45 and now 75 also the new upcoming zoom 12-35 &35-100, Also Schneider Kreuznach 14mm.. It’s really promising system.

  • Mojojones

    There’s also the Carl Zeiss Planar 85mm f/1.4 (Contax):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/profsr_jones/7562672338/

    extremely sharp and great bokeh.

  • Tim van vliet

    I have a question! Anybody knows what dxo found out
    Found out about the em-5 ? Regarding this post?

    http://www.43rumors.com/dxo-says-about-the-e-m5-there-are-surprising-measures-and-silver-kit-in-stock-at-amazon/

    • Roy

      Perhaps it helps if you ask your question in the post it’s actually referring to?

  • BB

    Uuuh, crop factor.

    If you buy a non-m4/3 75mm full frame lens you aren’t going to get a 75mm equivalent.

    • Vlad

      No, you will get a 150mm equivalent, which the Olympus 75mm is. So same thing.

  • Martin Cohen

    I use my old Konica AR lenses with an adapter I found on Amazon. I have a Konica 40mm f/1.8 and Soligor 100mm f/2. Works nicely even with manual focus.

  • JHCCAZ

    My thoughts:
    1. The highest quality designs that address the actual issues and limitations of Micro 4/3 will be high-end, purpose-built lenses. The Olympus 75/1.8 is exactly such a lens. Other modern designs that are built _for_the_format_ like some of the purpose-built Voigtlanders also are legitimate contenders. It’s fun to discuss and experiment with all kinds of other adapted lenses, some give interesting effects, but almost all involve compromises for general high-performance work.

    2. Regarding very expensive modern “full-frame” lenses (specifically Leica): These are legitimately some of the finest lenses ever put on the public market. However, lenses designed for larger-format coverage (at a given max aperture) suffer lower theoretical limit of lines/mm resolution at the sensor. You are paying for performance across an unused full image circle and you are not getting the resolution (in the final enlarged image) that the lens achieves in its target system. For example, some of the modern Zeiss Hasselblad lenses are impressive, but become an ill-suited waste of money when adapted to 35mm-format cameras.

    3, Regarding Dallmeyer: He was a little young to be involved in the very birth of photography, but he worked for the early and important lens & instrument maker Andrew Ross in the 1850’s. More to the point, he married Ross’ daughter – and so his company was an important offshoot of the Ross firm. Both the Dallmayer and Ross names firms survived their founders’ deaths, and aside from telescopes etc., one can find Dallmeyer-brand lenses for many British cameras through WWII and well beyond (e.g. Ilford Witness).

    4. Regarding collectibility and price: As a technical instrument and camera collector myself, I don’t like to think that collecting, researching and preserving history is a totally crazy activity, despite the ridicule that often appears in discussion forums. However, it is true that there is no shortage of entrepreneurs who try to take advantage of some retro-fashion fad and ask thousands of dollars for items that might previously have been hard to unload at any price. Asking price may be totally unrelated to historical value. It doesn’t cost much to throw some sucker-bait auctions onto eBay. If you get 1 out of 100 to sell in a year – even for a “reduced” compromise price, you more than pay for the listings. This can be completely uncorrelated to actual optical quality or historical significance.

  • mvr

    Find a Nikon 100/2.8 lens…small, light, & sharp.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/42632173@N08/ Marcelo Guarini

    Sorry, but most of the lentes you listed are full frame lenses. I have the 135mm f3.4 Leica M Apo Telyt lens, which is regarded as one of the top, if not the best Leica M lens. I use it regularly on my E-P3 and is superb, but my 45 f1.8 is even sharper. According with all reviews, the 75 f1,8 is better than the 45, so I’m quite shure non of the lenses you listed are a replacement for the 75 if you are seeking the best image quality.

    Regards

  • Anonymous

    Here is an idea. Wait a bit and the Olympus will cost less soon after the few that need a long lens buy it. Its not a practical portrait lens and soon there will be excess supply and lower prices.

    • mooboy

      Uh, really? It’s possible, but I think not that likely. Olympus is marketing this as this as their best m43 lens: they’re not going to be mass producing one for each EM-5 they make. And, unlike cameras bodies, unlikely there will be a new version in a year’s time making the old one more or less redundant. So, if they don’t sell as fast as they’d like, just slow/stop production until more needed.

      So yeah, possibly will be some price drops if you’re patient, but, if you want/need the lens now, I wouldn’t hesitate.

      Personally, I’m waiting for the Pany 30-100 to come out to compare, but boy is this lens tempting.

  • Yun

    Anyone have conclusion between 75mm & the 45mm in sharpness comparation ?
    As I owed both , but still not yet conduct my own user test on it .

  • mooboy

    How can you have any sort of meaningful lens comparisons without mentioning the exterior colours! /shock

  • http://www.22ndplot.de Rolf Silber

    Hmmmm … currently asking price for the Oly here in Germany is about 1.100 Euro ….. price for the Voigtlaender is around 620 …. okay: Adaptor needs to be added if you do not have it.

    I own the Voigtlaender and am rather happy with it. Maybe because I am not too much interested in AF anyhow and especially as with the M43 sensor’s crop you sit in the “sweet zone” of the lens from start. So I have no issues when shooting wide open.

    And it’s really very small, little bit longer than the 25er, extremely robust design. Ideal for “streetwork”. But maybe that’s just me……

  • jazzcrab

    The excellent Minolta Rokkor 85mm f2 should also be mentioned here. Same weight as the Oly 75mm (of course without the adapter, which is fairly lightweight, though).

  • Richard Anderson

    Don’t be too quick to reject CCTV lenses in that focal length. Past 50mm, most do not vignette on m4/3rds. Also, some are very good. I’ve got a Pentax Cosmicar 75mm f/1.4 that while not as good as a Samyang 85mm f/1.4 wide open is as good stopped down a couple stops. The Fujis are about as good as it gets, they display very good bokeh, you avoid that “spinning field” effect you get when seeing out of focus backgrounds on lenses that has outer field astigmatism and coma aberrations.

  • Micmac

    There are good alternatives in C-mount like the Navitar 75 mm f1.4 which weighs about 300g. It’s a bit soft at f1.4 but sharper at f2.0

  • jake

    oh well, none of these are as good or sharp as the Oly, so none of these can be alternatives.

  • jake

    until , I tried the 75mm Oly myself ,I thought the Pentaax FA77f1.8Limited or Nikon AFS85f1.4G or the Zeiss T*1.4/85mmZF2 were sharp sharp almost crazy sharp but once I tested the Oly75mmf1.8 against these primes, Iwould not think they are sharp or as sharp as I thought they actually were.

    the Olympus 75mmf1.8 is actually sharpest lens I have ever used or at least one of these sharpest lenses I have ever used.

    so, as for now for MFT bodies , there is no alternative to this extemely good Oly 75mmf1.8 ED lens , if you want the focal length , get it, you wont regret it.

  • Ron
  • TTTulio

    You can have the excellent Samyang 75mm Nikon mount for €200. Why is it not on the list?
    otherwise, I got a Navitron 75mm f1.3 C mount for $50.
    but 150mm equivalent is not an easy focal lenght.

  • Walter Gilgen

    Hello All

    I own the Voigtländer (CV) Heliar 75mm/1.8. It’s a lens with personality! It’s not as sharp as the Noktons but a really nice lens.

    Last week I had the possibility to try out the M-Zuiko 75mm/1.8. It’s much sharper than the Heliar. But sharpness is not the most important thing. You can shoot great pictures with both of them.

    BTW, my next buy will be the M-Zuiko 75mm/1.8

    Take it easy – Walter

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/waltergilgen/7685948040/in/photostream

  • http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/hong0901g/gallery jackyhong

    hello:this is my Block Album http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/hong0901g/gallery
    about Leica75MM f1.4 and GH2 lens Test , Welcome to visit it,thank!

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