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Testing out the Olympus 40-150mm f4.0 – 5.6 Lens at the Zoo

The Olympus 40-150mm f4.0-5.6is the micro four thirds version of the popular 70-300 lens for DSLRs.  The effective full frame equivalent of the Olympus 40-150mm is 80-300mm.

Lioness Soaking up the Sun

Lioness – ISO 100, f5.6, 140mm, 1/640 of a Second

I decided to purchase this lens as its focal length is in between my Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 and the Panasonic 100-300mm lenses.  Also, the price of this lens is extremely reasonable.

I picked up the lens when it was on sale at Amazon for $149.  If you decide to purchase this lens, don’t pay the full retail price of $199 as the lens frequently goes on sale.

How did the lens perform at the zoo?

Overall, the Olympus 40-150mm f4.0-5.6 performed well at the Zoo.   The focal length of the zoom was a good fit for the zoo.  I was able to photograph most of the animals using the 40-150mm lens.  I never took the Panasonic 100-300mm out of my bag.

I was happy with the quality of the images, although some of the images were a little soft.  The lens and Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera combo was light to carry around the zoo and the Olympus 40-150mm is small enough to carry in the pocket of my shorts.

The Olympus 40-150mm is a really good lens for the price, especially if you can get the lens for less than the $199 retail price.

Retro Giraffe

Retro Giraffe – ISO 400, f5.6, 150mm, 1/2000 of a Second

Well, here are a few of my likes and dislikes about the lens.

Likes

Size & Weight

The lens is small and lightweight making it easy to carry around all day.  The Olympus 40-150mm lens weighs only 6.7 ounces.  Its dimensions are 3.26 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter. 

The Olympus 40-150mm lens is much lighter than its full frame cousin 70-300mm lens.  The Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens weighs 22.2 ounces.  The Canon lens is 5.6 inches long and 3.0 inches in diameter.

The size is perfect for a walk around lens.

Price

The lens is a great deal at $149 or less.  The new Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO is rumored to be priced around $1,200.

Minimal Chromatic Aberration.

For a lens of this price, I experienced very little chromatic aberration on the photos.  I experienced more chromatic aberration on the Olympus 12-50mm kit lens.

Squirrel Olympus_40_150mm

Squirrel Zoomed in at 1:2 in Adobe Lightroom.  RAW file no sharpening.

Dislikes

Sharpness

The lens is a little soft especially at 150mm.  But, overall the sharpness is not bad for the price.  When photographing birds or wildlife, I’d recommend shooting using Sequential High or Sequential Low mode to increase the likelihood of a sharp image.

Plastic Construction. 

The lens is mainly constructed from plastic including the lens mount. 

Some Stickiness when Zooming In and Out. 

I did experience some stickiness when zooming in and out with the lens.  It wasn’t horrible and should get better after I use it awhile.

No lens hood

This is typical for Olympus non Pro lenses but I had to mention it.  Off brand lens hoods can be purchased on Amazon for $12 – $19. While the Olympus brand lens hood is priced at $24.

Written by Martin Belan

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