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M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/4-5.6 ED MSC - Olympus Micro Four-Thirds Lens Roundup

M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/4-5.6 ED MSC

M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/4-5.6
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The M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/4-5.6 ED MSC adds good telephoto reach equivalent to 80-300mm. This almost 4X optical zoom range covers the mostly used focal-lengths for portraits and candid street photography. Some larger wildlife animals can also be captured without getting uncomfortably close. It is generally too short for birding though and the maximum aperture is too narrow for classic portraits.

This lens is relatively light with a plastic barrel and mount. The zoom and focus rings are a little tight but move smoothly. Mounted on a compact SLD, the M.Zuiko 40-150mm looks a tad oversized but balances well. A 58mm thread is present to use most types of filters which one can share with the M.Zuiko 14-42mm using the suggested adaptor.

Sharpness is excellent in the center at wide-angle from the widest F/4 aperture to the F/13 before the diffraction limit hits. The corners are quite soft though at F/4 and improve slowly but do not become really sharp until F/9.5. By F/6.7 though, softness should only be noticeable in large prints. At telephoto, there is some softness wide-open in the center. Things improve stopping down, becoming reasonably sharp at F/8. The corners at 150mm show some light softness at F/5.6, improving noticeably by F/8 and become sharp at F/9.5.

Amazingly this lens is pretty much distortion free across its entire zoom range. Vignetting is noticeable at F/5.6 above 100mm but become unnoticeable at F/8. At wider focal-lengths, it is just a little noticeable at F/4 to F/5.6. Once at F/8 or further, vignetting becomes to low to notice on most subjects.

This lens too does quite well, with only disturbing softness at the corners near wide-angle. Once zoomed-in a little, there is very little to complain about. Overall, a solid performance.

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 40-150mm F/4-5.6 ED MSC Sharpness

Aperture @ 40mm  F/4 F/4.5 F/5.6 F/6.7 F/8 F/9.5 F/11 F/13 F/16 F/19 F/22
Aperture @ 150mm  F/5.6 F/6.7 F/8 F/9.5 F/11 F/13 F/16 F/19 F/22

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