Olympus 40-150mm @150mm: "wide open" or "stopped down"?

Started Jan 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
Anders W
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Re: Olympus 40-150mm @150mm: "wide open" or "stopped down"?
In reply to richj20, Jan 9, 2013

richj20 wrote:

Anders W wrote:

How long a path the light must travel through the lens doesn't matter...

Thanks for the technical explanation! Now I have some grasp of this "wide open" or "stopped down" aspect.

You are welcome.

As I mentioned earlier, my interest in this is that it's common to read that zoom lenses are not so good "wide open," and that the Olympus 40-150mm is not sharp @150mm.

Most fast lenses (zooms as well as primes) are less sharp wide open than when stopped down. But slow lenses, such as the 40-150/4-5.6, usually benefit less from stopping down, especially on MFT where diffraction effects starts to make their presence known rather early. For this reason, it is rarely a good idea to stop down an MFT lens further than f/8 unless you desperately want additional depth of field.

Further, most zooms perform better towards the short than towards the long end and the 40-150 is no exception to this rule. However, a good copy should certainly be useable at 150 mm at f/5.6. When light permits, using f/8 at the long end is probably preferable to using f/5.6. But for reasons already spelled out, it usually isn't a good idea to stop down any further.

My own results have proven differently, and I'm happy to have this lens when I need the reach.

Regards,

Richard

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