I rarely use telephoto lenses. But there are times when I have to use a telephoto lens. For example, if you take a picture of a Komodo dragon, if you use a fish-eye lens up close, it could be a meal for the Komodo dragon, right?
The choice of telezoom lenses for micro 4/3 cameras is quite a lot. The most capable options are the Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 PRO, and the Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8. For the cheaper consumer class, there are lenses with the same range, but with a variable diaphragm from 4 to 5.6.
My choice fell to the Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150 R lens. Equivalent to an 80-300 lens in full frame. I didn’t expect much from this lens when I held this lens in my hand. The construction is plastic, the lens mount is plastic, and it weighs only 190 grams!
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Olympus 40-150 R . lens construction
It’s so light, it feels like the EM10 camera that I’m using hasn’t been fitted with a lens. Putting it in the bag doesn’t feel heavy at all and doesn’t take up space. However, the construction of this lens is rather cheap. It doesn’t feel as solid as the PRO version of the lens (which is ten times the price anyway).
This lens is usually bundled with the 14-42 kit lens which also weighs just like cotton. The price is $ 199 on Amazon (sometimes there is a $100 cashback instead), but for some reason in Indonesian camera shops it becomes Rp. 4,750 thousand. That means 1 dollar is 20 thousand, right? Crazy. That’s why I bought this lens second hand to make it more affordable. There are black and silver colors, I happened to get a silver one.
This lens is quite sharp from the 40 mm to 100 mm range. For 100-150 mm it’s a bit soft but still usable. I almost always use a maximum aperture of 5.6 only, because if you lower it more than that, the sharpness will decrease somewhat.
Lens contrast is not as contrasted as the pro series or fixed lenses such as the 45 1.8 or 75 1.8. Often I have to increase the contrast in the camera to make it look more ‘punchy’ in color.
There is no image stabilizer in this lens because the Olympus camera already has IBIS (In body image stabilizer). Usually for a focal length of 300 mm (150 mm), we need a minimum speed of 1/300 second so as not to blur. However, with the Olympus body, I was able to hold the sharpness of the photo with only 1/30 speed. Of course with multiple bursts, expect one frame to be really sharp.
With a price like this, this lens is enough to present a qualified sharpness. Nothing to complain.
The Olympus 40-150 autofocus is very fast, like other Olympus lenses in general. In low light it also slows down a bit, but remains accurate.
Distortion & CA
On a telephoto lens, distortion may be ignored, not visible at all. Especially if you take a JPEG that has been processed by the camera. Likewise with CA, I haven’t found anything particularly disturbing.
The quality of this lens makes the blur area quite good. Because this is quite subjective, please look directly at the photos. If you don’t have a lens like 45 1.8 for bokeh, you can use this lens for a while, as long as the bokeh is long enough hehe.
Macro capability is not that great, still better 14-42 kit lens.
- The construction of this lens is very ‘plastic everywhere’
- The price is the cheapest if it’s bundled with a kit lens, if you buy it separately it’s a bit expensive (especially in Indonesia).
- The diaphragm should be 3.5-4.5 like the DSLR version, too bad it’s only 4-5.6
- The lens is small and light!
- Slight distortion at 40 mm, but it doesn’t really affect everyday applications because it’s been corrected by camera software.
- Autofocus is super fast and not noisy, the front element also doesn’t rotate, so using a CPL filter is no problem.
- There’s not much to say about this lens, if you want to learn to take photos with a telephoto lens with an Olympus body, this lens is highly recommended.
- For Panasonic bodies, it’s better to use a 35-100 or 45-200 lens because there is an Image stabilizer in the lens, for Panasonic cameras there is no camera stabilizer.
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