OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro review

OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro lens delivers an extraordinary effective 4:1 magnification ratio

OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro
(Image: © OM System)

Early Verdict

It takes practice and patience to get the most from the OM System 90mm f/3.5 Macro, especially when shooting over magnification ratios of 1:1 to 2:1, but this is more about the operator than the lens. If you get it right, this lens will reward with amazing images.


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    Powerful 2:1 magnification

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    180mm effective focal length great for insect photography

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    Exceptionally sharp results

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    Great value


  • -

    Focal length too long for some macro applications

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The focal length magnification factor of a cropped sensor – relative to the 35mm format which is the reference size – delivers a ‘virtual’ telephoto effect thanks to a narrower effective field of view. The increased ‘magnification’ – actually the enlargement of the smaller image – is promoted as advantageous for various areas of photography including sports, action, adventure and wildlife, but build a good close-focusing lens and it has plenty of pluses for macros too. 

The Micro Four Thirds format – with its 1.97x focal length multiplier factor – delivers the most telephoto bang-for-your-buck in the mirrorless camera world and it’s something that OM Digital Solutions has been exploiting with lenses such as the OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4.0 PRO, which is significantly smaller and lighter than a comparable full-frame lens with a focal range of 80-300mm. Likewise with earlier Olympus models such as the M.Zuiko Digital ED 100- 400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS (equivalent to 200- 800mm), but still compact enough to be comfortably used handheld. 

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Paul Burrows

Paul has been writing about cameras, photography and photographers for 40 years. He joined Australian Camera as an editorial assistant in 1982, subsequently becoming the magazine’s technical editor, and has been editor since 1998. He is also the editor of sister publication ProPhoto, a position he has held since 1989. In 2011, Paul was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute Of Australian Photography (AIPP) in recognition of his long-term contribution to the Australian photo industry. Outside of his magazine work, he is the editor of the Contemporary Photographers: Australia series of monographs which document the lives of Australia’s most important photographers.