Olympus m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO Review and Samples
Olympus detractors continue to lose ground, and the Olympus m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO isn’t helping them one bit. But for those of us out there who love Olympus, is the $1500 price tag worth it, and how does it fare in regard to the Olympus hallmarks of image quality and portability?
Olympus m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO: PRObably Worth It
Let me level with you right now, folks: I am not a huge fan of telephoto lenses, because I no longer do a lot of distanced work. An 80mm lens is an extreme for me nowadays, as most of my stuff is shot on the street, a few yards (tops) away from my subjects. That being said, a few years ago when I lived out in the country (North Central Pennsylvania aka Coal Country), I used to loooove telephoto lenses. Well, if I knew then what I knew now…it probably wouldn’t have helped all that much because I would still have had to wait five years to get my hands on this lens. Because I would wait for this lens. Why? Because it’s that kind of lens. It works well – so, so well – with the OM-D E-M1, to the point where it feels as though the two of melded together to form some sort of super camera.
The Olympus m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO is built like a PROverbial brick house. A quality build all-around, you can feel it almost instantly when you pick up the lens. That metal body and all that glass inside give the lens some weight, though, and definitely detracts from the portability that so many people associate with Micro Four Thirds cameras. That being said, it is best to view this lens as a truly professional piece of equipment on par with an equivalently long lens from Nikon or Canon: it ain’t built for convenience, but for durability and performance. Included with the lens is a nice tripod color, but the real nifty amenity to this lens is the inclusion of a kind of shotgunning lens hood. You simply lock it onto the lens like any other lens hood, but then there’s this rubber grip around the hood. Twist and pull towards the camera and the hood slides back on it’s circular mount, allowing for easier stowing inside your camera bag or lens case. Twist the rubber the same way and push away from the camera, and the hood springs back out, protecting you from pesky flare. I know, I know: totally badass.
Well, the heaviness is a down side. But, the heft does help stabilize for handheld shooting. This characteristic, coupled with that f/2.8 constant aperture, makes shooting in sub-optimal conditions easy as pie. For instance, most of the images in this review were shot on a windy, cloudy day while the camera was handheld. Some images were shot at a higher ISO and faster shutter speed, but I did end up pushing the camera to a shutter speed of 1/200th. What I got was fantastic, considering.
Here, the Olympus m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO really PROves itslef worthy – not only of the price tag, but also of your adoration. Like every other top-of-the-line offering from Olympus, this lens yields excellent results. It handles portraits, it handles nature, it handles action. It does everything you need it to do, with no PROblems whatsoever. Chromatic aberration/color fringing is non existent on this baby. And once you pop on that no-hassle lens hood, flares are rendered moot. So are there any real down sides to the Olympus m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens? No, not really. Even though my test was brief, the samples will speak for themselves.
Need telephoto zoom? Need PRO telephoto zoom? Shoot with a Micro Four Thirds camera? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, give the 40-150mm PRO a look-see. Hold it in your hands. Gaze into its depths. Seriously, though, consider this lens if you do a lot of distance work, especially if doing so in low light or where faster shutter speeds are needed. Sports photographers, I am looking at you.
Sample images below. Click on any image to see full resolution.
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