Information Library for Olympus Zuiko Lenses
Zuiko Telephoto lenses - 100mm f/2.0 & 100mm f/2.8

Two entry lenses into telephotography

A 100mm telephoto lens has an image size on film considerably larger than that of the standard 50mm. Its angle of view is about half that of a 50mm lens and it fills the 35mm frame with one quarter of the area that would be included in the same scene made with a 50mm lens.

Back in those days, where zoom lenses were still not as popular as they are today, most first time buyers would get a telephoto as their second lens. Lenses with focal length between 80-135mm were the most popular choice. Lenses starts from 100mm onwards would realize the differences in image size on film with lenses of shorter focal length.

While there is some perspective compression but such effect is not overpowering and possibly that is the reason why it is so appealing to someone who is so used to the 'ordinary view of a 50mm lens. Besides, depth-of-field of a 100mm lens is substantially less than that of the 50mm lens at the same focusing distance at the same working aperture, this could be the reason contributed to a very pleasing visual when compared with lenses of shorter focal length.

The 100mm lens provides great versatility, favored for casual shooters, serious portraiture, sports or commercial work and even good for landscape and scenic. The narrower angular field is great for isolating a portion of a scene and the slight compression of perspective gives a moderately powerful sense of compression to any scenery and landscape pictures.

There are two Zuiko options at this focal length. The E-Zuiko AUTO-T 100mm f/2.8 has been around since early days of the M-1 was available and it remains virtually unchanged in its optical construction. The other one being the 100mm f/2.0 high speed lens. I remembered the high speed Zuiko 100mm f/2.0 was only introduced after Olympus officially introduced the multi-spots metering capable OM4 back around the first quarter of '80 - because that was the first 35mm lens under 180mm in the market which claimed to use ED glass to minimize chromatic aberration.



Zuiko 100mm F2.0

Blending high lens speed, good weight distribution, moderately compact in size for its speed , this lens is fine choice for just about any kind of photography.

Focusing features floating rear elements to counter and contain distortion to absolute minimal level. While Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass and special dispersion glass with high reflective index are used in the front lens elements to provide high resolution and high contrast images. A thing to note is, despite the use of special low dispersion glass which has superior correction to chromatic aberration, the lens still need to adjust focusing whe using such technical film. The minimum focusing distance at 0.7m which yields an impressive 1/5 magnification ratio. The maximum aperture of f/2.0 is especially useful for it provides an extra stop in depth of field control.

While careful focusing is always important, depth-of-field control with smaller apertures can often help to overcome minor focusing errors - particularly useful when shooting fast action and no time lag for readjusting focus. Its main drawback is its seemingly very high retail price of more than USD700 - more than double that of the 100mm f/2.8 version which make it less appealing as an easy possess property for all but this lens packs some of the best of optical technologies from Olympus.


Len type: Zuiko 100mm f/2.0
Focal length
: 100mm
Lens construction: 6 groups, 7 elements
Angles of view: Diagonal: 24‘
* More info on "Picture Angle".

Distance scale: (m) 0.7m to infinity (OO)
Focusing: Straight Helicoid
Minimum and Maximum aperture: f/22-f2.0
Diaphragm: Automatic
2X A
Filter size
: 55mm
Length: 72mm
Diameter: 70mm
Hood: Built-in
Weight: 500g (17.6 oz) (Older version weighs at 280g (9.8 oz)

Recommended Focusing Screens: 1:1*, 1:2*, 1:3*, 1:4n*, 1:5#, 1:6#, 1:10*, 1:13*, 1:14*
* Compatible. Focusing and exposure accuracy remains # Can be used, they provide accurate focusing but exposure error may occur in manual mode for OM1 and OM2 series models.


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A more affordable version and a solid alternative at this focal length of 100mm but it is compromised at a f-stop slower in its maximum lens speed. But it combines some very logical reasons for investment such as compact and lightweight which provides a high portability for those who are always on the move. But a more convincing reason is its price tag that does not have to burst a hole in your wallet. It is a solidly built lens and famed for its high optical performance.


Its focal length makes it a favorite among many studio photographers for commercial shooting such as fashion and portraiture photography. The ability of 100mm that starts to fill the frame and the pleasing perspective are important advantages where subjects are small and have a lot of details. The 100mm focal length is also a fine snapshot lens because it allows the photographer to keep a comfortable distance between himself and the subject in order to retain the natural facial expression while the f/2.8 maximum aperture still provides a handy options for variable depth of field control. It is a good focal length with a useful lens speed for virtually endless versatilities such as multitude of subjects - sports, scenic, nature, people and photojournalism.

Zuiko 100mm F2.8

A mere 48mm in length, this lens is so useful, and so easy to carry around, there is no excuse for forgetting it. Image rendition is uniformly excellent at all subject distances.

The angle of view approximates to that when gazing closely at an object. The balancing and handling for this lens with any OM bodies is very good and the lens comes with a broader focusing grip. It is a good choice for those who are looking for a second lens other than the standard 50mm lens and the bright f2.8 can be a good experience for those who had invested into a slow speed zoom lenses.


Older version: E-Zuiko Auto-T 100mm f/2.8
Current version:
Zuiko 100mm f/2.8
Focal length
: 100mm
Lens construction: 5 groups, 5 elements
Angles of view: Diagonal: 24‘
Distance scale: (m) 1m to infinity (
Focusing: Helicoid
Minimum and Maximum aperture: f/22-f2.8
2X A
Diaphragm: Automatic
Filter size
: 49mm
Length: 48mm
Diameter: 60mm
Weight: 235g (8.3 oz)

Recommended Focusing Screens: 1:1*, 1:2*, 1:3*, 1:4n*, 1:5#, 1:6#, 1:10*, 1:13*, 1:14*
* Compatible. Focusing and exposure accuracy remains # Can be used, they provide accurate focusing but exposure error may occur in manual mode for OM1 and OM2 series models.


In choosing between the the two Zuiko lenses, it must relates directly down to the price factor. The f2.0 version costs more than double that of the f2.8 but you will have one stop extra lens speed which may be a plus point if you often have to deal with low available light photography.

However, with today's high speed film, I think the doubling of the cost to that of the f/2.8 lens is a little too excessive for a good justification but again, one would believe the f/2.0, other than its extra bright lens speed offers, should also provides a more superior optical performance with the use of rare earth glass such as ED glass and floating element design at its rear group elements. Which selection is very much depends on your personal budget and your type of photography.

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