Bytesmiths's reviews

  • Olympus 7-14mm f/4 Zuiko Digital

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    zero distortion, very low flare
    big & heavy, price

    I bought the E-300 just so I could use this lens! No other DSLR manufacturer has anything like it. Only the full-frame hybrids can go as wide, but only with old film lenses, which are not designed for digital.

    I typically only use it at the extremes of the zoom range. I would have been just as happy with a fixed-length 7mm, especially if giving up zoom would have given me more aperture. But beggars can't be choosers -- at the time I bought it, it was the only way to get outstanding quality 14mm-equivalent field of view.

    reviewed October 25th, 2005 (purchased for $1,649)
  • Olympus 50mm f/2 Zuiko Digital Macro

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    image quality, light weight
    slow macro focus, bayonet attachment

    A wonderful portrait/macro combo! This fills the role of my OM Zuiko 90/2, my favorite film lens, but at a third of the weight and size.

    The bayonet hood/filter attachment is non-standard, and using the E twinlight or ringlight requires an expensive attachment.

    reviewed October 25th, 2005 (purchased for $639)
  • Olympus 1.4X EC-14

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Invisible! Essentially no image degradation at all!

    This is the first 1.4x teleconverter that I've used, of which I could see no discernible effect on the quality of the output. I use it a lot with the wonderful 35-100mm /2.

    reviewed February 22nd, 2019
  • Olympus 1.4X MC-14

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Invisible! No discernible image degradation.
    Extra bit of plastic keeps it from working with E-System adapters — I milled it off!

    This is a wonderful teleconverter that is essentially invisible, with respect to image quality. Put it on an outstanding lens, and the result will still be outstanding! But don't expect wonders if you put it on a mediocre lens.

    My biggest disappointment is that it would not fit any E-System adapter I tried. This turns out to be because of a bit of plastic that Olympus put in there to keep it from working on certain lenses, and an extra bit of plastic in every adapter I tried, including MMF-2, MMF-3, and several different cheap Chinese "no name" adapters.

    I carefully removed the extra bit of plastic, and widened the opening in my E-System adapters, and now it works with them like a charm!

    I further describe the modifications on

    My purchase price was for a mint used copy on evilBay.

    reviewed February 22nd, 2019 (purchased for $184)
  • Olympus 35-100mm f/2 Pro ED Zuiko Digital

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    • Extremely sharp, corner-to-corner, at all focal lengths and apertures! • The world's FIRST ƒ/2 lens! • Superb build quality.
    • More flare than I'd like... use the hood! • Big and heavy, but hey, IT'S ƒ/2! • Audible focus motor might be distracting in intimate places, like shooting theatre (for which it would otherwise be perfect!)

    I call this my "bag of primes." Yea, it's big and heavy, but how big and heavy would it be to pack a 35/2, 50/2, 75/2, 100/2, and a 141/2.8 (with the superb E-14 teleconverter).

    It's my go-to lens for events. I shot a conference with it, and the reach range was perfect for classroom settings. Adding the E-14 telecon made it very useful for dimly-lit auditorium shots.

    It is also perfect for live music and theatre, where you really need the /2 light gathering!

    I got my used, near-mint copy from, whom I heartily endorse.

    reviewed February 22nd, 2019 (purchased for $524)
  • Olympus 150mm f/2 Zuiko Digital

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    • Incredibly sharp, corner-to-corner, at any aperture! • Buttery creamy bokeh. • Incredible subject isolation. • Can be a real deal these days (late 2019). • Fast and accurate autofocus, even without a modern voice-coil motor. • Close
    • Big and heavy. (But hey, it's ƒ/2!) • Subject distance is a bit too far for portrait work, and a bit too near for wildlife. Consider the 35-100/2 zoom for portraiture, or the 300/2.8 for wildlife.

    When I first got this lens used from, I could not take it off the camera! I know I looked like a dork, pointing it at everything in sight.

    People react to it in a way they might not with a smaller lens, sometimes shying away, sometimes "puttin' on the Ritz," but they KNOW they are being photographed!

    Don't get me wrong I love my small, lightweight Micro 4/3rds glass, but the "Little Tuna" screams "serious photographer!" Not that it's all that important, but if you are being hired, it does impress clients -- the results, even more so.

    I've been hired to shoot an event later today. This one is going with me.

    reviewed September 27th, 2019 (purchased for $828)