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Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm 1:4-5.6 review

June 2010 | By Andy Westlake
Buy on From $563.73

The M Zuiko Digital 14-150mm F4-5.6 is Olympus's fourth lens for its Pen series cameras, and the first to venture into the telephoto region. Its 10.7x zoom ratio places it firmly in 'superzoom' territory, covering a very useful 28-300mm equivalent range, and making it ideal for general purpose 'walkaround' or travel use. (Indeed Olympus says that with it on your camera 'you will never miss a photo opportunity', perhaps begging the question as to why the company still makes other lenses.)

Like all superzooms the 14-150mm uses a complex optical formula, with 15 elements in 11 groups including 3 aspheric elements (one of which is made from ED glass) to correct aberrations. But unlike others, it's a fairly lightweight lens, tipping the scales at less than 10 ounces. It's relatively small too - Olympus boasts that the volume has been reduced by 35% compared to its analogous DSLR lens - maintaining the Pen series' emphasis on portability. The autofocus system has been designed to meet the demands of movie shooting, and employs just two lens elements for focusing which promises fast, silent AF. There's a circular aperture diaphragm to give smoothly blurred backgrounds but, in what's becoming something of a trend for the Pen line, the lens hood is an optional extra.

One feature missing, though, is built-in optical stabilization, simply because Olympus uses in-body stabilization for its Pen cameras. This means that Panasonic G-series owners won't get any form of stabilization at all with this lens, which is an important consideration for a relatively slow long zoom. This is the key distinction relative to the most obvious alternative, Panasonic's own Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm F4-5.8 OIS; however the additional complexity of the stabilized lens results in a rather higher price. Let's see how the Olympus performs.

Headline features

  • 28-300mm equivalent zoom range; F4-5.6 maximum aperture
  • Compact design
  • High speed internal focus system
  • Micro Four Thirds mount for Olympus and Panasonic cameras

Angle of view

The pictures below illustrate the focal length range:

14mm (28mm equivalent) 150mm (300mm equivalent)

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm 1:4-5.6 specifications

Price • US: $600
• UK: £630
Date introduced February 2010
Maximum format size Micro Four Thirds
Focal length 14-150mm
35mm equivalent focal length 28-300mm
Diagonal Angle of view 75º - 8.2º
Maximum aperture F4-5.6
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 15 elements / 11 groups
• 2 ED glass elements
• 3 aspherical elements (1 is ED glass)
Number of diaphragm blades 7, rounded
Minimum focus 0.5m
Maximum magnification 0.24x (0.48x 35mm equivalent)
AF motor type Micro Motor
Focus method Internal
Image stabilization via camera body where available
Filter thread • 58mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories* • Front and rear caps
Optional accessories • LH-61C Lens Hood
Weight 280 g (9.9 oz)
Dimensions 63.5 mm diameter x 83 mm length
(2.5 x 3.3 in)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

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