RSS Twitter YouTube

Olympus Micro Four-Thirds Lens Roundup Results

Conclusion

The M.Zuiko lineup is presently the most compact set of interchangeable lens. It only takes 3 lenses to cover the 9 to 300mm range: the M.Zuiko 9-18mm F/4-5.6, 14-150mm F/4-5.6 and 75-300mm F/4.8-6.7. These 3 lenses weigh 865g together with a combined volume of 841ml, an incredible feat for lenses covering the equivalent of 18-600mm in 35mm-terms!

M.Zuiko TrinityWhen weight is a primary concern, this triplet delivers a set suitable for photographic subjects from landscape and architecture to wildlife and birding. Even a relatively small top-loading back can keep the entire set close at hand while on the field.

In terms of performance all is not perfect though, nor did we expect it to be for such extreme compactness. What we see is that is most M.Zuiko lenses are really strong performers at the center of the frame, even at their maximum aperture. Corners softness is a notable problem which is consistently more pronounced near wide-angle, probably a side-effect de designing lenses with such narrow barrels. It is important to know that any form of softness is visible in proportion to display size. So, corner softness which can be seen at 24x18" may not be visible at 12x9".

For improved optical performance, one may take on a bit of weight by replacing the 14-150mm ultra-zoom with the 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm F/4-5.6. This gives a good jump in optical performance while covering the same range and even delivering an increased aperture range at some focal-lengths. The cost in terms of weight: 60g.

In some way, the M.Zuiko 17mm F/2.8 is the flagship lens of the Digital PEN series since it is both the smallest lens and one of the first two Micro Four-Thirds lenses available. Olympus even made a dedicated optical tunnel viewfinder for this lens. This is also the brightest lens in the lineup. At F/2.8 corners are soft again but stopping down a little produces acceptably sharp results for most uses.

The ultra-wide 9-18mm F/4-5.6 is particularly compelling. On any system, such ultra-wide zoom is difficult to design but Olympus managed to create a good performer which becomes reasonably sharp by closing down one stop.

By on 2018-03-08

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:

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

Your camera bag is empty.

Add cameras or lenses by clicking on the star next to their name.

Updates

    2020.09.08

  • 2020.09.08

    Fujifilm X-T4 Review

    Fujifilm X-T4 Review

    Fujifilm APS-C flasghip mirrorless with 5-axis builtin stabilization mechanism using the same high-speed 26 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as the X-T3. New 15 FPS mechanical shutter and builtin HDR. Professional mirrorless with mechanical controls, dual control-dials, dual memory-card lots, a built EVF with Eye-Start Sensor and a huge feature set.

  • 2020.08.04

  • 2020.08.04

    Canon RF-Lens Info

    Canon RF-Lens Info

    Info on all Canon native RF-mount lenses added to the Canon EOS R5 preview.

  • 2020.08.03

  • 2020.08.03

    Canon EOS R5 Preview

    Canon EOS R5 Preview

    Preview of the Canon EOS R5 flagship Full-Frame Mirrorless with 45 MP sensor on a 5-axis stabilization system effective to 8-stops. First 8K video capable digital camera. 20 FPS electronic and 12 FPS mechanical drive.

  • 2020.07.22

  • 2020.07.22

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review

    Third-Generation OM-D that packs a 20 MP Four-Thirds CMOS on a 5-Axis Stabilization System. Fast 121-Point Phase-Detect AF, 30 FPS Continuous Drive, Cinema 4K Video and more in a weatherproof and freezeproof body. Features dual control-dials and a builtin 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start Sensor with 0.69X magnification and 100% coverage.

  • 2020.07.07

  • 2020.07.07

    Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Review

    20 MP Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless with 7-Stop 5-Axis Image-Stabilization, 121-Point Phase-Detect AF 30 FPS Continuous Drive and Cinema 4K capability in a weatherproof and freezeproof body with dual control-dials and dual SDXC memory card slots.

  • 2020.07.03

  • 2020.07.03

    M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO Review

    M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO Review

    A review of the M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO added to the Olympus Premium Lens Roundup.

  • 2020.05.05

  • 2020.05.05

    Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

    Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

    Review of the unique Peak Design Travel Tripod with its own ballhead and the universal ballhead adapter.

  • 2020.04.15

  • 2020.04.15

    Nikon Z-Mount DX Lens Roundup

    Nikon Z-Mount DX Lens Roundup

    Review of Nikon Z-Mount lenses for APS-C mirrorless digital cameras. Covers all current Z-mount DX lenses available.

  • 2020.03.25

  • 2020.03.25

    Nikon Z50 Review

    Nikon Z50 Review

    The first Nikon APS-C mirrorless is built around a 20 MP BSI-CMOS sensor with ISO 100-204800, 209-Point Phase-Detect AF, 11 FPS Drive and 4K Video capability. Compact body with dual control-dials and 2.4 MP 0.39" EVF with 0.68X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor.

  • 2020.02.08

  • 2020.02.08

    Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide 2020

    Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide 2020

    The Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide was fully rewritten for 2020, including all new systems from Nikon, Canon and Leica joined by Panasonic and Sigma. This new extensive 2020 Edition shows in 5 simple steps how to choose a mirrorless camera.