The Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 I own is a silver nose g. zuiko version. It is a reasonable amount larger then the 50mm f/1.8 both in weight and length. Its total weight is 8.1oz and is 36mm in length. This version is single coated. I purchased the lens through an online retailer and I had a mixed experience. The lens was shipped signiture required…which since I work and UPS was only delivering during the week I either had to take a day off from work or I had to drive to the warehouse (I drove to the warehouse). The original example I received was not even close to the description described. It was described as in fair condition, yet when I opened the package there was a massive gouge out of the front element as well as some major scratching which made the lens unusable (ugly/terrible condition is what I would describe it as). The company accepted it back and shipped me another example, which was described as excellent. However, this one even though cosmetically great, had slow/sticking aperature blades.
The sticking aperature blades don’t impact the lens in any great way as it will still stop down fine and quickly, it just requires about 1/3s at f/16 to open back up again. At any rate I paid $50 for the lens originally and an extra $20 in shipping (they wouldn’t pay for me shipping back to them, though they did cover shipping the new lens out to me).
If anyone wants to know which camera retailer it was pop me an email as I don’t really feel like smearing their name on the web as they did work with me very well once the ‘problem’ was discovered. It still left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. Just so no one gets the wrong impression, it was not Adorama, B&H or KEH (all of whom have either been great to order from and/or are very responsive), it was one of the smaller online/brick and mortar retailers.
Anyway, the lens is awesome despite the slow aperature blades. The bokeh on the lens is great as a number of people have claimed. I use this lens as my low light lens and I also slap it on my OM-1 for use as a spare/B&W loaded camera for when I want to shot both B&W and color. Below is an example of the 50mm f/1.4 in action in low light at f/2 and another one at f/2.8
Here is another picture for size comparison of the 50mm f/1.4 large
I recently acquired a 50mm f/1.4 multicoated lens (SN 1,050,xxx) to possibly replace my 50mm f/1.4 single coated lens. Recently I had bought an Epson 4490 scanner and looking at 100% scans at 3200dpi I was noticing that my 50mm f/1.4 single coated lens was rather soft wide open. Not something I had noticed before. The 50mm f/1.4 multicoated lens is the same approximate weight as the earlier single coated lens, but it is 4mm longer. I also recently did a test comparing the 50mm f/1.4 single coated lens to the 50mm f/1.4 multicoated lens and the multicoated lens did come out on top for resolution/sharpness (the only thing I looked at) at all aperatures. The test can be viewed here Zuiko 50mm lens shootout. Both lens are soft wide open, but the 50/1.4 sc is softer. Both are quite capable of making good photos wide open, but the softness is likely to be evident in a 5×7 or larger if you look closely, much less so with the multicoated lens (possibly not evident until you look at an 8×10 or larger). Stopped down even a stop or two and they both sharpen up a lot, the multicoated lens faster and further then the single coated lens however and there would be no complaints unless you needed poster size prints.
Apparently Zuiko made 4 versions of the 50mm f/1.4 lens over the years. An initial single coated version with a silver filter ring, a later version with a black filter ring, a multicoated version and then a version possibly starting at serial number 1.1 million and higher. In each version the elements were changed, though the same number and grouping was carried through out the lens design.