Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f / 4-5.6 lens overview
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I never stop telling my budding beginner photographers that a telephoto must be the second lens in their optics collection. Let it be inexpensive, not too powerful, with a low aperture … But such a lens will give the photographer the main thing – new subjects. And he will teach you to carefully and carefully build a frame, cutting off all unnecessary. Today in our test studio is just such a lens. This is the most affordable telephoto lens in the Micro 4/3 system – the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f / 4-5.6.
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Many fans of expensive optics, accustomed to “meet by the clothes”, can blame M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm for excessive “plasticity” of the design. Indeed, the lens body is made primarily of plastic parts. Even the mount is not metal. But looking ahead, I want to say that the material of the case does not affect the operation of the lens. Build quality is respectable: the details are tightly fitted, there are no backlashes and creaks, the zoom ring is moderately tight. But the weight! Where else have you seen a telephoto weighing 190 grams?
The lens design is simple and concise. No selectors or switches, there are only two rings on the case – zoom and focus. Focusing ring electronic, without mechanical connection with lenses. If we talk about zoom, then there is one interesting feature. With maximum zooming, the dimensions of the lens become twice as large – this extends the “trunk” with the front lens block. But there is nothing to complain about. There are no serious backlashes; under its own weight, the lens also does not fold out. Of the indisputable advantages of the design, it is necessary to note the non-rotating front lens, which allows the use of polarizing and gradient light filters. The diameter of the thread for them is a modest 58 mm.
Well, let’s move on to shooting? The range of focal lengths of the lens is not very wide, the zoom ratio is less than 4x. But if you think that the magnification of the zoom determines how the lens “approximates” objects, then you are mistaken. M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm makes it easy to take remote objects, buildings, animals and birds. This is an indispensable assistant for the photographer in a situation where it is impossible to come closer.
Due to the narrow viewing angle, the lens disciplines the photographer, forcing him to concentrate on the details. There are hundreds and thousands of interesting stories around us that we pass by daily.
I liked shooting various urban sketches on M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm. Like any other TV set, it can “squeeze space”, approximating distant objects and making them comparable in scale to objects of the middle or even the near plan. It is as if volume is being squeezed out of the frame: buildings begin to cling to each other, the prospect leaves …
Of course, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f / 4-5.6 cannot boast of high aperture. Nevertheless, if you shoot a subject from a short distance at maximum zoom and at the same time open the aperture to the limit, then you can count on a significant blurring of the background.
The minimum focusing distance is 90 cm. This is enough, for example, to photograph medium-sized flowers. The nature of the blur is not as perfect as that of fast fixed lenses: the glare has rather hard and contrasting edges. But the “scale effect” in the background almost never forms. Bokeh is more like a watercolor drawing with poorly readable individual strokes.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f / 4-5.6 can also be used for portrait shooting. But remember that to get a blurry background, you have to move a dozen steps away from the model.
On our test we had the first version of this lens, without the letter R in the name. A newer, restyled version boasts a slightly higher focus speed. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f / 4-5.6 autofocus speed left an extremely pleasant impression. To focus on sharpness, the lens needs a fraction of a second. Difficulties do not arise even when shooting animals. Focusing is fast, silent and accurate.
Well, what about optical quality? In the telephoto position, which is the most frequently used in the case of televisions, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm provides high enough detail for an open aperture for a 16-megapixel matrix. But in the pictures there is a light soft effect – noticeable at maximum magnification, halos around contrasting objects. Getting rid of them is very simple: just cover the aperture to f / 8. In this case, the sharpness increases significantly. Further closing of the diaphragm does not lead to sharpening any more – diffraction begins to affect.
Exactly the same situation with the short-focus zoom position. The detail is high on the open aperture, but there are halos at the edges of contrasting objects – a soft effect. With one-stop aperture, up to f / 5.6, the situation improves significantly, sharpening increases. The best sharpening result can be obtained with f / 8.
The lens holds backlight well, does not catch glare, does not lose contrast. With strong aperture, small rays can form around the single light sources in the frame, which can be used as an artistic effect. Pleasantly pleased with the low level of chromatic aberrations, which are almost invisible even in the corners of the frame.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f / 4-5.6 – affordable, but high-quality telephoto lens. Being slightly soft on an open aperture, it becomes very sharp when aperture is a step. Moreover, it is practically devoid of one of the main shortcomings of telephoto optics – chromatic aberration. Autofocus speed at altitude. A compact size and very low weight can really surprise. For them, you can forgive this model for everything, including a plastic lens mount.
- light weight and size;
- fast autofocus;
- high sharpness when aperture on a step;
- lack of chromatic aberration.
- all-plastic case;
- easy soft effect on an open diaphragm.
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