Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3

Started Aug 29, 2019 | User reviews
Smaug01
Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3
17

At the time of this writing, these are frequently available new for $100. I found one for less than that on ebay.

Reading the reviews, I see it has a plastic lens mount. That's no problem, since the lens is so light and since the plastic Olympus specified is hard enough not to easily be rounded off.

I tested this out at the race track vs. my adapted OM Zuiko 135/3.5. I figured it'd be a wash, with the 135 being faster and easier to focus manually, vs. this one with modern coatings. But no, this inexpensive lens destroyed the old OM Zuiko. (and both lenses had hoods) The color rendition is also better and doesn't need correcting in post-processing.

I would buy this lens again in a SECOND, especially for < $100. The only place it would be a concern is if you REALLY need speed. Then, you better open your wallet or be ready to settle for some compromises of adapted glass.

Here's one example from this lens and the humble E-M10 III

OM Zuiko 135/3.5. Looks good after corrections, but not as good as the inexpensive, slow zoom.

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-Jeremy
*********
"Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength."

 Smaug01's gear list:Smaug01's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30 Olympus OM-D E-M10 III Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D +29 more
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R
Telephoto zoom lens • Micro Four Thirds • V315030SU000
Announced: Jun 30, 2011
Smaug01's score
5.0
Average community score
4.2
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus OM-D E-M10
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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 18,358
Re: Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3
5

Good, honest review. The lens is an "open secret" as perhaps the system's best bargain and I think of it as a must-carry for travel, when I'm taking a lightweight kit. Even if you have better lenses it's worth keeping in your inventory.

Cheers,

Rick

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onlyfreeman
onlyfreeman Senior Member • Posts: 2,285
Re: Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3
1

Agreed, it's very nice and has no equivalent.

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GohanX Regular Member • Posts: 106
Re: Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3
1

Great pictures and nice comparison, I always wondered how it compared with one of the old OM lenses. I keep this lens on my camera 90% of the time when I'm outdoors, I love it.

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Smaug01
OP Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
One correction
2

Upon looking at the EXIF data, I see that BOTH of these images were taken with the subject lens. I didn't keep any from the 135, apparently.  (that fact is telling...)

It becomes more worthy to adapt lenses where there is no affordable native lens option.

For example, my OM 50/1.8 and OM 300/4.5.

My old OM 135 is just going to sit, unless I use it with the OM1N.

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-Jeremy
*********
"Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength."

 Smaug01's gear list:Smaug01's gear list
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Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 3,185
Re: Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3
5

onlyfreeman wrote:

Agreed, it's very nice and has no equivalent.

What about the Panasonic 45-150  F4-5.6? much the same size, and is stabilized.

 Barry Twycross's gear list:Barry Twycross's gear list
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onlyfreeman
onlyfreeman Senior Member • Posts: 2,285
Re: Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3

Barry Twycross wrote:

onlyfreeman wrote:

Agreed, it's very nice and has no equivalent.

What about the Panasonic 45-150 F4-5.6? much the same size, and is stabilized.

Doesn't it cost around twice as much? Probably will depend on region however.

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Smaug01
OP Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
The Panny costs 50% more.

Panasonic: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1182676-REG/panasonic_h_fs45150ak_lumix_g_vario_45_150mm.html

Olympus: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?InitialSearch=yes&N=0&Ntt=olympus+m.zuiko+digital+ed+40-150mm&sts=ps

So being stabilized is not free and only works with Panny bodies, right?

Not sure about used/refurbs.

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-Jeremy
*********
"Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength."

 Smaug01's gear list:Smaug01's gear list
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Humansvillian
Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,177
The reason for Micro Four Thirds is lenses like this one
5

There are over ten million MFT cameras in the world, and more made every day.

Every one of them will accept Olympus' Plastic Fantastic 40-150 telephoto.

Every Olympus MFT camera body ever made, will stabilize it, and also every old 35mm legacy lens ever made, and do it with a ten dollar adapter, and keep automatic ISO and shutter speed. All you need to know how to do on a legacy lens is set the f stop and focus the lens, when you are starting out.

No other interchangeable lens system even approaches the ease of use, the availability of native and legacy lenses, and the affordability of Micro Four Thirds.

And it's all because of the gloriously sharp and cheap native lenses like the Oly 40-150 and the Oly 14-42 and the cheap fast primes from Panasonic like the Panny 25mm f1.7 and Panny 20mm f1.7 and the Panny 14mm f2.5.

For less than $300 you can buy a refurbished OMD M10II with 14-42 kit lens, another $100 for the Oly 40-150, and $150 more buys the Panasonic 25mm f1.7.

Anything more than that kit, is a luxury, for the photography enthusiast.

Because the hobbyist photographer doesn't need any "better" or more expensive gear than that.

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Felice62 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,080
Re: Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3
1

Yes +1 for this hidden little and light gem.

SUre it needs to be used outdoors. Yet, it is an unbeatable value piece of glass.

Cheers

Smaug01 wrote:

At the time of this writing, these are frequently available new for $100. I found one for less than that on ebay.

Reading the reviews, I see it has a plastic lens mount. That's no problem, since the lens is so light and since the plastic Olympus specified is hard enough not to easily be rounded off.

I tested this out at the race track vs. my adapted OM Zuiko 135/3.5. I figured it'd be a wash, with the 135 being faster and easier to focus manually, vs. this one with modern coatings. But no, this inexpensive lens destroyed the old OM Zuiko. (and both lenses had hoods) The color rendition is also better and doesn't need correcting in post-processing.

I would buy this lens again in a SECOND, especially for < $100. The only place it would be a concern is if you REALLY need speed. Then, you better open your wallet or be ready to settle for some compromises of adapted glass.

Here's one example from this lens and the humble E-M10 III

OM Zuiko 135/3.5. Looks good after corrections, but not as good as the inexpensive, slow zoom.

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I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade... And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 5,987
Not a fan. Let me explain

Not a fan of this lens, which I owned and got rid of.

If the only tele (or zoom in this range) that you can afford is $99, you might want to consider a cheaper hobby.

Given the limitations and IQ of this lens (there's no free lunch) you may be disappointed more than pleased. That is very discouraging to beginning photographers, and not good for m43 overall.

My best value/low cost would be the original 45-200.

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 HRC2016's gear list:HRC2016's gear list
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Olympus 12-100mm F4.0 +2 more
onlyfreeman
onlyfreeman Senior Member • Posts: 2,285
Re: Not a fan. Let me explain
2

HRC2016 wrote:

Given the limitations and IQ of this lens (there's no free lunch) you may be disappointed more than pleased. That is very discouraging to beginning photographers, and not good for m43 overall.

What limitations, is there a problem with the IQ?

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Smaug01
OP Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
I sure don't see any IQ limitations (nt)

No text.

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Doxa750 Regular Member • Posts: 463
Re: Not a fan. Let me explain
1

I own both kit and Pro versions of this FL lenses and see small IQ differences of the two.

Of course, the Pro provides better image quality overall even at the wider aperture at similar FL. But I am very impressed with everything this kit version generates. I recently bought the Pro version as there will be time when I need that extra stops.

Last but not least, to OP, good post and I couldn't have agreed more.

Cheers

 Doxa750's gear list:Doxa750's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II Olympus E-M1 III Olympus Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro +6 more
Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 3,185
Re: Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3
1

onlyfreeman wrote:

Barry Twycross wrote:

onlyfreeman wrote:

Agreed, it's very nice and has no equivalent.

What about the Panasonic 45-150 F4-5.6? much the same size, and is stabilized.

Doesn't it cost around twice as much? Probably will depend on region however.

Mine cost $147.99, Amazon will do the Oly for $99. Both are amazing bargains if you ask me.

I got the Pan 45-150 as it gets in under the "Lenses less that 3 inches" rule that some stadiums have (the Oly would be too long for that.)

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frst16 Regular Member • Posts: 172
Re: Not a fan. Let me explain
2

The 40-150R is a little gem and perfect for travel. Even used the 2.8 pro version sits at around £700 and while it is on my want list, the former is just perfect to pop in a bag in addition to a standard zoom or 25mm prime.

Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 3,185
Re: The Panny costs 50% more.
5

Smaug01 wrote:

So being stabilized is not free and only works with Panny bodies, right?

As far as I know, the stabilization works on all bodies.

 Barry Twycross's gear list:Barry Twycross's gear list
Panasonic GX850 Fujifilm GFX 50R Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 +9 more
Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 18,274
On sale for $99.99 now
4

Got an Olympus email today and this lens is on sale for $99.99:

https://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lenses/m-zuiko-digital-ed-40-150mm-f4-0-5-6-r.html

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Martian Flatcat
Martian Flatcat Regular Member • Posts: 457
Re: Affordable, sharp, compact tele-zoom for µ4/3
1

I liked this lens quite a bit until I got the 75-300, which has better IQ to my eyes.

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--Flatcat

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Humansvillian
Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,177
The 75-300 is several times the price of the 40-150
1

Martian Flatcat wrote:

I liked this lens quite a bit until I got the 75-300, which has better IQ to my eyes.

I want a 75-300 and I sure hope it has better IQ.

The 75-300 is several times the price of the $99 brand new Oly 40-150.

I'd wager that excellent cheap telephoto lens, the 40-150, has accounted for more of the "first extra lens" sales for Oly cameras than all the other lenses Oly has or ever will make.

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Humansville is a town in the Missouri Ozarks

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