M.Zuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 ED - Olympus Micro Four-Thirds Lens Roundup
M.Zuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 ED
The M.Zuiko 14-150mm F4-5.6 ED ultra-zoom lens provides a 10.7X optical zoom covering the equivalent of a 28-300mm lens on full-frame camera. This is an extremely versatile range usable for landscapes, interiors, portraits, street photography, close-up and larger wild animals. The F/4-5.6 maximum apertures are a little dim yet give some control over depth-of-field.
This lens is almost exactly the size of the M.Zuiko 40-150mm described later, despite having roughly 3X the zoom range. This one is noticeably heavier and a tad better built with a metal lens-mount. The zoom ring is tight and moves smoothly and the focus ring completely smooth. This lens uses a 58mm thread.
Wide-open, sharpness is good in the center and soft at corners near its wide-angle end. Corners do improve slightly stopping down but remain soft throughout the aperture range. Zooming in to 40mm, sharpness in the center is very good and a slight amount of softness is visible at F/5.6 in the corners. Stopping down to F/6.7, corners get quite sharp. At the 150mm end, things are soft all over the frame wide-open but improves dramatically stopping down ½ a stop to F/6.7. At F/8, things are a noticeably sharper and F/9.5 gives the maximum sharpness. This time, corner softness is minimal when compared to the center, regardless of the aperture.
Distortion is extremely well controlled. Unfortunately vignetting is terrible at both ends of the zoom and remains disturbing until stopped down to F/11. In the middle of the zoom range, between 30 and 60mm, it is much less noticeable.
Naturally, there is the question of using the 14-42mm and 40-150mm versus the 14-150mm. Referring to our analysis of the 14-42mm, it is clear that the shorter lens does much better near 14mm while the ultra-zoom performs exceptionally well at 40mm. Towards the telephoto end, it seems the 40-150mm has a slight edge in terms of sharpness. The level of vignetting shown by the 14-150mm at some focal-lengths is clearly too much. This hands over the winning performance to the pair of lenses rather than the ultra-zoom. This is unsurprising since ultra-zoom lenses always offer a compromise of reduced performance versus increased versatility.
What is shown below are 5 crops taken from a photograph, repeatedly captured for each combination of focal-length and aperture. The smaller pieces are cropped from the extreme corners of the image, while the middle wide crop comes from the center of the image. Select an aperture in a row for a desired focal-length to see the crops from the corresponding image. When judging quality, keep in mind that these crops come from a 12 MP image which is normally used to print an image up to 16x12". On a computer display, these may appear much larger which magnifies image defects.
M.Zuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 ED Sharpness
Neocamera Blog is a medium for expressing ideas related to digital cameras and photography. Read about digital cameras in the context of technology, media, art and the world. Latest posts links:
Fuji X-A2 Review
Mirrorless with standard 16 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor. Dual control-dials at an entry-level price, plus 3" tilting LCD, built-in WiFi and 5.6 FPS drive.
Canon Powershot SX610 HS Review
Ultra-compact ultra-zoom with a stabilized 18X wide-angle optical zoom and 20 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor. ISO 80-3200, 1/2000-15s, 2.5 FPS and full 1080p HD video, plus WiFi and NFC.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review
Ultra-zoom prosumer camera with a large 20 MP 1" CMOS sensor and stabilized 16X wide-angle optical-zoom lens. Records full 4K Ultra-HD at 30 FPS. High-speed 4K Photo-Mode and 12 FPS drive.
Canon EOS Rebel T5i Review
Entry-level DSLR. 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor with built-in Phase-Detect AF. 5 FPS drive and full 1080p HD video. Single control-dial and 95% crop 0.85X magnification viewfinder in a comfortable and light-weight body.
Nikon 1 J5 Review
The 1 J5 introduces a new 20 megapixels 1" high-speed CMOS sensor in a compact body with dual control-dials, a traditional mode-dial and a tilting 3" touchscreen LCD. Continuous drive up to 60 FPS at full-resolution, 4K Ultra-HD video capture and a 105-point on-sensor Phase-Detect AF system.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review
The new E-M5 brings 40 megapixels Super-Resolution capture to Micro Four-Thirds while improving 5-axis image-stabilization and showing off a new 2.4 MP 0.5" EVF with Eye-Start Sensor. Native 16 MP drive @ 10 FPS and full 1080p HD @ 60 FPS.
Fuji XQ2 Review
Ultra-Compact Fuji premium camera. 12 MP 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor with built-in Phase-Detect AF. Ultra-Bright F/1.8 wide-angle 4X optical-zoom. Dual control-dials, 3" LCD and built-in WiFi.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review
Unique premium compact with 12 MP effective multi-aspect resolution and ultra-wide ultra-bright 24-75mm F/1.7-2.8 lens. 11 FPS Drive and 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS. Plenty of direct controls plus a built-in 2.8 MP EVF with Eye-Start sensor, a 3" LCD and WiFi.
Nikon D7200 Review
New Nikon flagship APS-C DSLR with a revised 24 MP CMOS sensor without anti-alias filter. 6 FPS with deep buffer and 1080p @ 60 FPS video capture. Dual control-dials, 100% coverage viewfinder and WiFi in a weather-sealed body.
Mirrorless Camera Buying Guide - 2015 Edition
Our detailed mirrorless digital camera buying guide, fully updated for 2015. This is the best and more current mirrorless guide!