I think by now most of my readers know all the good I think of my PEN F 38/1.8 lens, that spends a lot of time glued to my NEX cameras, and is probably my most used manual focus lens (and THE one I’ve kept over many, many other ones). Awed that I was by the 38, I decided to look for its bigger brother, the rare, pricey and much sought after 70mm F:2
and, pretty exceptionally, it comes with both caps, the original metal lens hood, and the Olympus PEN F branded leather/velvet case. The front lens is also metal and embossed with the gothic “F” letter characteristic of the PEN series
Icing on the cake, not only is it compatible with the FF Sony A7 and A7R, but it doesn’t exhibit any significant vignetting on their FF sensor ! (a light falloff at the worst). Looks pretty serious here on the A7…
I got the lens back from dismantling and cleaning last week, and decided to test it a bit more thoroughly today, on the NEX7. Here are the results of my tests, both “controlled” (same set up view at various apertures) and “real world” shots, full size, then some crops.
Ok, so it’s a beautiful object, it’s in perfect, near new stock condition (aside from the usual micro dust that is just unavoidable in +40 yrs old lenses and has *zero* impact on pictures), it’s obviously tack sharp, and very usable wide open… and I’m selling it ?? What’s the rub ?
I just happen to have *another* lens in the 70ish focal length, that I like better, and that’s the magical Navitar 75/1.3 I’ve been raving and ranting about
Plus, there is one small operational issue on the PEN that I have to disclose totally. The aperture ring rotates freely and clicks in nice, definite stops. However, there is a stiff area on the focusing ring, near minimum focusing distance. It’s not even consistent, it gets better, than gets worse, and I suspect repeated use might losen it. My friend who took it apart, entirely cleaned it up and regreased it, now tells me Teflon grease would solve the issue. I can’t see myself parting with it for another two months (plus giving my friend yet more work). So I’d rather advertise it as such, cut the price down accordingly, and find it a loving home. Truthfully, for a collector, it’s a dream come true. It’s in as minty condition as you’ll ever find one. And complete with all its equally mint accessories. For a disciminating photographer, it is very good, too, as long as you’re aware of the stiff focus ring issue. It’s does not prevent from focusing precisely (those wide open shots above demonstrate that), but it doesn’t take away a good deal of the joy of using it.So I’m pricing this beauty accordingly at 399€, will ship anywhere in Europe/UK for 20 extra. I do accept Paypal and will split fees with the buyer, which makes a grand total of 429€, delivered to your door. In all honesty that’s less than I paid for it, and the original seller wasn’t delicate enough to specify the focusing ring issue, which I want to be totally transparent about. It’s not a huge deal, it doesn’t prevent from focusing very accurately, but the closer the focusing distance, the less smooth turning that ring is. Just keep that in mind, but don’t let it sway you away from this excellent and rare lens, because the units in this condition and complete at it is don’t come by too often !