Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro Lens Review: The best current telephoto zoom for the MFT world


posted Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 12:15 PM EDT


To follow up on our hands-on look at the new Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 M.Zuiko Pro telephoto zoom lens, our full, in-depth review is now complete, including test results, sample test-chart images and our final conclusion!

Officially announced this year just prior to Photokina in September, this telephoto zoom lens is the latest move in Olympus's drive to sway professional photographers away from their big, bulky DSLRs and into the more compact yet still high-performance OM-D family. Boasting a versatile 80-300mm-equivalent focal length range, a constant f/2.8 aperture and a rugged, all-metal build with comprehensive weather sealing (splashproof, freezeproof and dustproof), the 40-150mm Pro lens is a serious optic for OM-D and other Micro Four Thirds photographers.

In the hand, the build quality of the 40-150 f/2.8, like the 12-40mm Pro, is excellent, with a very solid feel, buttery smooth zoom and focus rings. Compared to its DSLR counterparts, the Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 lens is refreshingly lightweight. If you're used to lugging around a large 70-200mm f/2.8-type lens for a DSLR, the Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 is a nice change not only for weight, but also for sheer compactness. (To be fair, the 70-200mm f/4 variants for DSLRs are very similar in size and weight to this Olympus lens.) Nonetheless, the entire system, with the lens on an E-M1, for example, feels very compact and comfortable, even for extended shooting periods. No longer are professional and enthusiast photographers beholden to their large, heavy DSLR telephoto zooms if they want a tele lens with bright apertures, rugged weather-sealed build quality and compatibility with teleconverters. 

E-M1 (with MC-1.4x teleconverter): 210mm, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 250
Image has not been retouched/edited. Click image for full-size (or RAW).

Sharpness is excellent -- we're talking prime lens quality here -- vignetting and distortion control is alsol spectacular. We did, however, find some issues with CA, particularly in the corners -- but nothing that a couple sliders in Lightroom or your photo editing software of choice can't clear up.

For all the nitty-gritty details, including our full range of test shots, graphs and analysis, head over to SLRgear.com for our in-depth Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko Pro review. For full-resolution sample images, head over to the Olympus E-M1 Gallery Page, for more sample images, including RAWs and JPEGs! (Just be sure to click on images with "-40_150Pro" at the end of the file name.)

The Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro is fully weather-sealed for splashes, dust and freezing.

The Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko Pro, as well as the MC-1.4x teleconverter (review coming soon) are currently available for pre-order for $1,499 and $349, respectively. Olympus's own online store indicates that both items will begin shipping in mid-November. The lens ships with front and rear caps, lens hood and a detachable metal tripod collar. Pre-order from one of our trusted affiliates: Amazon (lens, teleconverter), Adorama (lens, teleconverter), and B&H (lens, teleconverter) -- Purchasing this lens, or any other product from these retailers, helps support the site!

E-M1: 40mm, f/2.8, 1/1600s, ISO 200
Image HAS been retouched/edited. Click image for original (or RAW).
E-M1 (with MC-1.4x teleconverter): 210mm, f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 100
Image has not been retouched/edited. Click image for full-size (or RAW).