Going kayak-birding with the cheap telephoto

Started 2 months ago | User reviews
Lichtspiel
Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 2,432
Going kayak-birding with the cheap telephoto
20

Getting a kick out of good value, the Oly 40-150 plastic-fantastic is very high on my list of favorite lenses. Over the years I have purchased a number of them, mostly when they are on sale "refurb" at the Oly outlet for $59. No wonder the Oly camera division wasn't profitable.

My easy BIF subjects... Swallows and Dragonflies come later.

All copies I have/had were/are outstanding, although I realize not everyone has been as  in the lens lottery. I too have had terrible lenses, just not among these.

Take-off

Wide open at the extreme tele end the lens is still sharp. At f5.6 there are few worries about lack of DoF.

Curious face

What I like best about this lens is the size and weight. It is perfect for hiking, or sneaking it in without arousing suspicion. Can't say that about its big brothers...

Heavily cropped, but still recognizable. Loon? Grebe? Duck in the park? Who cares.

What I like second best is the very very decent IQ. Matter of fact, I have no complaints at all.

Triple the fun

And let's not forget the price... Semi-regularly available at $100, and often for $60 at the outlet. It is a bit of a lottery, but all of the ones I have bought there looked/felt new.

These really liked noodles. I mean snakes. Eels. Something. Just a silly collage.

There isn't much negative to say about the lens. Maybe that it isn't f2.8? Well... Or: It is not built like a tank! That's true, but if you try to cut out weight when running up mountains it's more of a benefit.

This is setting the BIF-bar very low. Still looking rather good on my big 4k screen.

Some say the lens is soft at full tele, and needs to be stopped down for best sharpness. I can't really confirm that, at least with the copies I have/had.

This is a cormorant.

Let me show you what I mean, but keep in mind that the site compression does bad things to images. I am not going to post the raw files, just have to trust me.

This is the same cormorant with its body cut off.

Same image, just cropped a bit more. Looks very sharp on my screen. Of course I am not posting full size images but you get the drift. Good enough for me!

King of the Hill. Ay que chulo soy.

I have compared it to the big Pro Bro, and apart from the shocking size and weight difference and obvious opportunities at f2.8 vs 5.6, I have to admit I was not able to see a clear difference in the resulting images. I might be biased a bit towards the little guy, considering cost and all.

Brake-time. Note how sharp the face is, and how blurry the wings, both because they are not in focus, and moving quickly.

Just a few examples to show what can be done on the cheap. Mostly wide open at the 150mm end.

Terns are among my favorite birds.

I really think it hits a sweet spot between compact size and decent IQ.

So elegant.

So there. Thanks for looking.

 Lichtspiel's gear list:Lichtspiel's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus 8mm F1.8 Fisheye Pro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R +3 more
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R
Telephoto zoom lens • Micro Four Thirds • V315030SU000
Announced: Jun 30, 2011
Lichtspiel's score
5.0
Average community score
4.2
Michel Perez Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Going kayak-birding with the cheap telephoto
2

Great results with that inexpensive lens.

BostonBoy
BostonBoy Senior Member • Posts: 1,792
Re: Going kayak-birding with the cheap telephoto

Excellent work

 BostonBoy's gear list:BostonBoy's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1
EZGritz
EZGritz Senior Member • Posts: 2,894
Re: Going kayak-birding with the cheap telephoto

I've been tempted by the price to buy it but I have the 14-150 which is only slightly heavier and larger and much more useful. It too, delivers goo IQ, comparable to my 40-150PRO but only in bright light such as you have in your examples.

I wouldn't risk my EM1.2 or EM5.3 and the 14-150 on a kayak. - I don't trust myself. Think I might use a less expensive EM10.4 for that. Ultralight combo with the 40-150 where you don't need anything shorter and you can put $900 less gear at risk for the same result.

 EZGritz's gear list:EZGritz's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus E-M5 III Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital 2.0x Teleconverter EC-20 +10 more
Lichtspiel
OP Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 2,432
Re: Going kayak-birding with the cheap telephoto

Thank you Michel and Ralf! Appreciate the kudos.

Anyone else has a special place in their heart and camera bag for the Oly 40-150?

 Lichtspiel's gear list:Lichtspiel's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus 8mm F1.8 Fisheye Pro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R +3 more
Marko_Finland Regular Member • Posts: 106
Re: Going kayak-birding with the cheap telephoto

Lovely shots, certainly sharp enough. It's a remarkable lens for the price.

I've had it since getting into MFT but it hasn't seen too much use lately after getting couple of the longer teles.

Tried also the f2.8 pro but eventually sold it as I felt it's just too hefty for my use.

Marko

 Marko_Finland's gear list:Marko_Finland's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +8 more
dharma108 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,769
Re: Going kayak-birding with the cheap telephoto

Good lens--great photographer!

Rob

 dharma108's gear list:dharma108's gear list
Olympus C-2100 UZ Olympus E-510 Olympus E-5 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 +31 more
Lichtspiel
OP Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 2,432
Re: Going kayak-birding with the cheap telephoto

dharma108 wrote:

Good lens--great photographer!

Rob

Thank you Rob! [blushing] You're too kind.

 Lichtspiel's gear list:Lichtspiel's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus 8mm F1.8 Fisheye Pro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R +3 more
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