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My Olympus 40-150mm f4-5.6 R Lens Review


Andrew L (gryphon1911)

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Andrew L (gryphon1911)

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Background

You may not think much, or put in high regard a zoom lens for under $100.

 

While the Olympus 40-150/4-5.6R may fall into that category monetarily, it certainly out performs the price tag by a high margin.

New, the MSRP on this is $200, but there are plenty of copies of this lens floating around for under $100.

 

Let’s go on the review adventure together and find out why you might want to consider this lens for your m43 camera.

 

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Handling/Size/Weight

With a field of view of 80-300mm, you’d be forgiven to think that this lens might be huge. I mean, look at the size of the 40-150/2.8 that Olympus makes.

Well, this is a tiny lens. Helped not only by the micro four thirds sensor size, but also by the variable aperture of 4-5.6. It is made primarily of plastic. The lens body and the mount are both plastic, which keeps the weight down.

 

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nded

This plastic, though, houses some relatively impressive glass elements. You’ll see more when we discuss image quality.

The plastic seems rather robust and the build is well done.

 

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Weather Sealed

This is not a weather sealed lens, but to be honest a light rain or snow shower would most likely not hurt this lens.

 

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Image Quality

From 40-130mm, this lens has very little flaw. Even shot wide open, I still find it difficult to believe that the sub $100 lens is providing the level of images it is.

The only place it seems to falter, and only slightly is out past 130mm. Wide open, it is a little soft, but stopping down brings back the sharpness.

IBIS on the Olympus camera bodies helps this lens in low light, but those needing to cover faster action or shoot regularly in low light or indoors would be better served with an f/2.8 zoom or f/2.8 our prime lens. There is no substitute for more light, but even so, this lens is a fantastic performer when you have favorable lighting conditions.

 

Contrast and color are very good. Olympus lenses tend to lean toward the neutral to cooler side of image rendition. I much prefer that and can always add in some warmth via white balance in post later.

The owl image below was shot through glass of an office building.  It was also featured in an email ad campaign for Olympus USA.

 

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Focusing

Focusing never really seemed to be an issue. More often than not, if AF is missed it is an operator error.

AF speed is also top notch. Except in extremely low light conditions, the acquisition is fast and accurate.

Again, beating this dead horse.... this lens is performing way better than its sub $100 used price tag would indicate.

 

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Caught this group of guys playing cricket at a local park.  Captured with the unassuming 40-150/4-5.6 and on an Olympus PEN EP-5!

VR

No VR in the lens, that is taken care of by the IBIS in the Olympus and some select Panasonic cameras. If you have an M43 camera without IBIS, and that is something you need, then you’ll want to look at the equivalent Panasonic offerings that have OIS in the lens.

 

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Bottom Line

I paid sub $100 for this lens used. For that price, you may not think you'll get much out of this lens.

While it is in no way a perfect lens, it is small and light. It is more than acceptably sharp and the AF does not disappoint.

Many times Olympus will run sales and you can find this lens new for $100. Most used outlets will sell this lens for between $50 and $70.

I recommend this lens, whole heartedly. When I returned to m43, this was one of the top 2 lenses that I knew I wanted to get back into the kit.

 

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Edited by Andrew L (gryphon1911)
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Background You may not think much, or put in high regard a zoom lens for under $100.   While the Olympus 40-150/4-5.6R may fall into that category monetarily, it certainly out performs

Thanks for this great review, Andrew.   Cricket in America? Who’da thunk it?  

Although the batting style appears to be inspired by baseball....

Anthony
9 hours ago, Dallas said:

Thanks for this great review, Andrew.

 

Cricket in America? Who’da thunk it? ;) 

 

Although the batting style appears to be inspired by baseball....

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Andrew L (gryphon1911)
10 hours ago, Dallas said:

Thanks for this great review, Andrew.

 

Cricket in America? Who’da thunk it? ;) 

 

I have to admit that I know very little about the game and you don't see it played much around here.  It is getting more and more popular.

 

The guys were very nice when I asked if they minded if I took some pictures of them.   Those were from  this year during the pandemic and we were yelling across the pitch questions at one another.  LOL.

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Always good to see cricket being enjoyed. :) (I am a bit bemused that the batsmen here is wearing serious protective gloves for what appears to be a tennis ball, not the traditional hard-as-a-nut cricket ball). 

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