M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO Review
Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO
The M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO is the only constant aperture telephoto zoom native to Micro Four-Thirds. It is designed to complement the 12-40mm by reaching 150mm without introducing a focal-length gap or limiting aperture below F/2.8. That gives it an equivalent 80-300mm focal-range which is almost 4X. Considering the classic full-frame bright telephoto zoom is a 70-200mm F/2.8, this M.Zuiko is more ambitious.
The 40-150mm focal-range makes this Olympus lens highly suitable for portrait, sports and street photography. With an F/2.8 maximum aperture, it can produce defocused backgrounds and gather plenty of light needed to use high shutter-speeds to freeze subject movement. This lens supports 72mm screw-on filters.
This is definitely one of the most solid Micro Four-Thirds lens thanks to metal barrel which is does not extend. Both zoom and focus are internal for durability and speed. Despite being unusually long physically for a mirrorless lens, it weights 760g which it is lighter than one would expect. Given that this is still heavier than the majority of mirrorless cameras, Olympus fitted the M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO with a detachable tripod mount.
The body of the 40-150mm F/2.8 is more spacious than other PRO lenses. There is a decent area to grab the lens while mounting it on the camera. The tripod collar forms a ring close to the mount where a mark shows when it is aligned. Around the middle of the barrel, there is a rather broad zoom ring. It turns smoothly and easily with about a 60° throw. Zoom creep is not possible with such a design. The final ring is the focus-ring which features the same hybrid fly-by-wire and mechanical design as other M.Zuiko PRO lenses. It behaves exactly the same way in both modes. The focus ring turns smoothly regardless.
The Olympus M.Zuiko 40-50mm F/2.8 PRO delivers an outstanding performance. Sharpness is excellent across its focal-range starting one stop down from wide-open. There is some mild softness in extreme corners at F/2.8 and F/3.5, yet the rest of the frame remains perfectly sharp. Details are rendered with superb clarity.
There is no visible distortion of any kind. At all focal-lengths, straight lines always remain perfectly straight. Vignetting is barely noticeable at F/2.8 against a uniform background. Stopped down, even a half-stop, it is completely invisible. Olympus cameras can correct for shading which makes it a non-issue. Chromatic aberrations are well controlled too and appear seldom in real-world samples.
This lens is equipped with Dual Voice-Coil-Motors (VCM) driving a completely internal focus system. Combined with a bright F/2.8 maximum aperture, this makes the M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO focus very rapidly. This new AF system is also unusually quiet.
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 16 MP image which is normally used to print an image up to 20x16". On a computer display, these may appear much larger which magnifies image defects.
M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO Sharpness
The M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO is an exemplary telephoto zoom. It covers focal-lengths typically used for portrait, street and sports photography while maintaining a bright maximum aperture. Plus, the optical performance of this lens is superb on all fronts. While it is one of the larger Micro Four-Thirds lenses, it is relatively light for its size. Mechanically, it is probably the most sturdy lens in this roundup thanks to a metal weatherproof body and internal focusing and zooming.
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