Olympus SuperZoom 160G


There aren’t that many film point and shoots that tried to achieve this level of zoom. At 38-160mm the 4.2X zoom lens required 10 elements in 8 groups with an Extra low dispersion element in addition to aspherical and hybrid elements (as per Olympus). The result of that reach though is an anemic f5.7 to f12.3 aperture across its zoom range. That final one is a speed that is more than 3 times slower than f4. To put that in perspective if you had an SLR with a 200mm f4 lens (a somewhat relative comparison) and were able to take a picture at a shutter speed of 1/250 second then the SuperZoom 160 would use what amounts to a  shaky shutter speed under 1/30 of a second. Right there is one reason so many people had so much trouble getting good results with these long zoom point and shoots. The manufacturers kept increasing the zoom because that’s what sold but the photographic results did not improve. With care, use of a tripod and a self timer, you can get decent results.  Although it defeats the purpose of a point and shoot and doesn’t seem worth the effort.

4 Responses to “Olympus SuperZoom 160G”

  • zoran vaskic Says:

    Defeats the purpose of a point and shoot. For sure. But personally I always find it interesting as to whether any camera and lens combo can actually produce an interesting if not decent looking photo after certain inconveniences are set aside temporarily and a more patient approach is taken. The pictures look not bad at all for the most part.

  • zoran vaskic Says:

    its funny. I’m 2 and 1/2 yrs into shooting pictures, semi consistently,primarily with my x100. I’ve accumulated various film cameras because i just plain like them and cant help myself but havent shot them because I lack a scanner, new notebook, film developing supplies, a local developing outlet, and most importantly the cash for these luxuries. The pics in your post from this camera are decent enough, soft at times, sharper in other photos. Not mentioning other qualities, when i think of soft I remember that only recently I realized I like grain, not always, but I like it. That was a revelation. So back to soft, sometimes soft can do the trick. There seems to be so much to learn about photography that only experience over time can do once a person starts getting beyond the surface of this fun activity. I look forward to shooting film and different cameras to enjoy the different renderings of them all, hopefully one day sooner than later. By the way, I’ve enjoyed looking thru your art log, lots of great and interesting photos and always enjoy the write ups

  • Wallace Says:

    Thank you Zoran. It certainly is different and fun to shoot film. As for soft while it is true that not every image is particularly sharp they tend to be better than the small versions I post online. Also few people ever printed their point and shoot images larger than 5×7. I hope you have an opera unity to try film at some point however your x100 is a pretty good analog. 🙂

  • Howard Says:

    There seems to have been a market for these long zooms; personally I would prefer a wider angle. The only way to use a long zoom like that would be to use fast film all the time and that has its’ own problems.

Leave a Reply