Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko Pro: Bright, portable and protected from the elements
posted Monday, September 15, 2014 at 9:18 AM EST
It appears that our friends in the Olympus lens design department have been very busy lately, creating a product that has us rather wowed here at IR, at least on paper. The Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro, as it is officially called, brings some rather serious innovation to the table in terms of optical performance as well as a design that allows for a more compact form factor than traditionally required for this zoom range and speed.
Offering a 35mm equivalent range of 80-300mm, the Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 Pro employs a newly designed inner zoom mechanism that allows it to remain at just over 6 inches in length, even zoomed to telephoto. Its construction boasts enough sealing power to render it dust, splash and freezeproof according to Olympus, furthering its appeal to the professional shooter.
Additionally, the lens ships with a hood specially modified for unique storage. A special knurled ring allows the lens to collapse onto the lens body when not in use, and thus there is no need to remove or reverse it for storage. The image below displays the hood in the collapsed state.
In addition to the constant f/2.8 aperture available across the zoom range, the lens incorporates a floating inner focus system driven by two linear voice-coil motors which power two of the lens elements, reported to achieve fast and quiet focusing for critical applications. The lens has a minimum working focus distance of 20 inches from the front of the lens across all focal lengths, giving it good macro capabilities for a zoom lens.
Inner construction consists of 16 elements in 10 groups of a rather complex array: 1 aspherical ED lens, 2 aspherical lenses, 1 Super-ED lens, 3 ED lenses and 1 HD lens.
To get even more reach out of the 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro, Olympus has unveiled the MC-1.4x teleconverter which boosts the range to an equivalent 420mm, and carries the same weather sealing quality of the lens and other Pro series offerings like the E-M1 body. Olympus is also offering a professional-grade lens filter, one they say is the first of its kind in the series. The PRF-ZD72 Pro sports ZERO coating (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) which is designed to reduce ghosting and lens flare, while the protector keeps your lens' front element free from unwanted scratches and abrasions from typical use.
A similar protective lens is now offered for the 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro: the PRF-ZD62 Pro.
Both the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150 f/2.8 Pro and the MC-1.4x teleconverter will be available in November of this year. The lens will carry an estimated street price of US$1499.99 and the teleconverter US$349.99. Price and availability have not yet been provided for the lens protectors.
Stay tuned for our full review of the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko Pro!