Good value - light and handy

Started Oct 16, 2011 | User reviews
NZ Scott
NZ Scott Veteran Member • Posts: 4,962
Good value - light and handy

Compared with some of the eye-wateringly expensive lenses being offered for M43 cameras, it is refreshing to find a budget option that punches above its weight.

At the time of writing, the M. Zuiko 40-150 costs less than the equivalent of US$300 in many countries and has been offered online in the United States for as little as $105. I think most photographers would consider those prices to be more than reasonable for a telephoto zoom.

So what do you get for those few dollars?

You get a sturdy plastic cylinder that is quite a bit smaller and lighter (190g) than a standard can of coke. It zooms in and out firmly (no lens creep), almost doubling its length in the process, and it does feel solid in the hand despite the all-plastic construction.

Most importantly, image quality is good throughout most of the range. At the extreme ends it loses a bit of sharpness, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the general quality of the images (it maintains sharpness in the centre quite well, with little to worry about in terms of distortion, chromatic aberration or vignetting).

Focusing is accurate, although noticeably slower than the 14-42 kit lens. It does tend to hunt in low light.

This lens should be your first consideration when thinking about telephoto for Olympus M43 cameras.

Photographers with Panasonic bodies might want to think twice, as this lens is not stabilised. Stabilisation is important for telephotos, because they tend to amplify camera shake at the long end. Olympus builds stabilisers into its camera bodies, but Panasonic cameras lack this feature.

 NZ Scott's gear list:NZ Scott's gear list
Sony RX100 VII Olympus PEN E-P3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +14 more
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6
Telephoto zoom lens • Micro Four Thirds
Announced: Aug 31, 2010
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