µFT 40-150 F4-5.6 R : probably my best bargain ever for a new lens

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RoelHendrickx
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µFT 40-150 F4-5.6 R : probably my best bargain ever for a new lens
7 months ago

I am one of those that are slowly in the process of migrating from FT to µFT (step by step).

First step into µFT territory was the E-M5 with kit lens 12-50mm, in the spring of 2012.

At that time I did not have any other µFT lenses. (I have bought a few since, mainly some fast primes and a fisheye, because the 12-50 lens, though not bad, is sometimes not wide enough and very often not fast enough...)

I did not buy any telephoto lenses in µFT because I have all that great FT glass : the ZD50-200 and the ZD150 to name just those. But AF on the E-M5 was sluggish, and that is why I bought a ZD70-300mm almost simultaneously with the E-M5, at a very good price, in order to use that lens as my telephoto solution for µFT. On my first trip in the summer of 2012, that worked quite well. The ZD70-300 was cheaper than the µFT telephoto solutions, also a bit faster (in aperture) and with its PDAF-enabled design, AF was OK although never really fast nor silent.

But very recently I have started looking into possiblities for a light-weight kit to take with me on foreign travel.

At one point I will probably buy an E-M1 (or its successor), but currently I do not yet feel the need for a new body (even if it probably focuses ZD glass a lot faster).

And it is also likely that I will someday buy the mFT 12-40 (maybe quite soon) and 40-150 F2.8 lenses (later). At least, if those ever become available for purchase in a normal way, because the only one already on the market seems to be chronically backordered everywhere.

But back to my desire for a LIGHT telephoto solution.

For general travel purposes, I have found that having the range of 150-300mm available is sometimes a real bonus, but not often a necessity.

So for the first time, I started looking into the µFT 40-150mm F4-5.6 kit lens.

This was one of the threads that brought it solidly on my radar:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52973670

It is not very fast (F4 to F5.6), but it is a real good fit on the E-M5 and you cannot get a lens with that range any lighter, I believe. Construction is plastic but feels pretty solid. AF is very fast (in fact much faster than I had expected) and totally silent. Very nice for urban shooting.

I was prepared to pay around €180 or €190 for a new copy of this lens, when today I came across one at a shops clearance sale, for the price of €97.

Need I say more? (It even came in a box with a small "PEN shoulderbag" that would probably hold a smaller body and two lenses, but not the E-M5... Not going to use that bag, but hey.)

And now for the really good news : I've done just a few very quick test shots of a building across our street, using both the ZD70-300 and the µFT 40-150 at 70mm and at 150mm.  Handheld and therefor not scientific at all, but relevant for me, because I handhold 99% of the time.

And I must say that it seems that the little µFT lens is consistently just a fraction sharper than the larger (and much heavier) ZD70-300 lens with adapter. Maybe it helps that the little lens is just big enough to get a good lefthanded grip on, without feeling heavy.  And the fast AF makes handholding easier than the slower AF action on the ZD70-300.  Granted, I give up the range from 150 to 300 mm, but my shoulder bag is roughly half a kilogram lighter.

I think I have found (for now) my perfect moderate telephoto solution, weighing like a feather and at an unbeatable price.

In terms of "bang for the buck" probably one of my best (NEW) lens purchases ever (alongside with the ZD35mm macro and the original FT 14-45 and 40-150 kit lenses).

So please, share your experiences and shots with this little cheap telephoto lens.

Anything I should pay attention to in use?

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

Olympus E-3 Olympus E-M1
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