I used to be green with envy regarding the ZD50/2.0 macro lens. For all intents and purposes, it is an excellent lens and is optically better than any of the lenses I own. It’s fast, weatherproof, light, and compact.
But, there are three things it doesn’t do well, and I guess I’m a little puzzled. Here they are:
1. It’s slower than molasses when it comes to focusing. Painfully slow. It’s not so bad when taking pictures of still life or things that don’t move (which is probably 90% of my subject matter), but it’s not very good for things that move, like kids. It also has difficulty locking focus when lighting isn’t ideal. This is expected behavior for this lens, but seriously, compared to the ZD35/3.5 macro (which I also own), it’s at least two-three seconds slower when it racks in and out of focus. That’s slow.
2. It doesn’t do 1:1 macro, which my ZD35/3.5 macro does – for half the price! Sure, I can get the EX-25 to give the ZD50/2.0 1:1 focusing capability, but I owned the EX-25 before and it’s not something that’s conducive to candid shots. If I have the EX-25 mounted, then I have to be consciously aware that I won’t be able to focus greater than 12 inches or so…
3. The 50mm FOV for 4/3 is quite narrow for everyday use. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by having the ZD35/3.5 as my go-to prime lens and I’ve gotten accustomed to the effective 70mm FOV. Then again, I also find that to be confined to such a narrow FOV is very challenging and is conducive to more creative photography.
Anyway, I knew of the above three observations before I got the lens, but I just had to try it out to see what all of the fuss was about. I don’t regret my decision to get it. I’ll have the lens and it will have very specific use – intentional shallow DoF shots…and maybe every now and then, a creative walkaround lens.
I’m taking a trip to Vegas in a couple days and I’m having a hard time deciding between the ZD35/3.5 macro or the Sigma 18-50/2.8 for the single lens which I’ll have with me…