Olympus M.zuiko 40-150 2.8 PRO lens review

This is the English version of the review, you can check out the original in Bulgarian.

The newly released telephoto lens from Olympus M.zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO caught my attention with its design and expected performance. First PRO telephoto lens for E-M1. I got one of these lenses for testing from Olympus Bulgaria and this blog is my attempt to review. What I really wanted to test about this lens was fast movement and continuous autofocus, I already knew that its optical performance is great. I decided that the best way to test it is at a football game. Then I got photo accreditation from the Bulgarian Football Union for European Championship Qualifying game between Bulgaria and Malta.

Here is what I had for the review:

Olympus E-M1, 40-150 2.8, HLD-7, MC-14

Camera Olympus OM-D E-M1 M.zuiko ED 40-150 2.8 PRO, tripod collar, 1.4x teleconverter MC-14 and battery grip HLD-7. I didn’t use the tripod collar as the system was very nice for hand-holding. This is actually the heavier and bigger telephoto lens for the micro 4/3 system 79.4 x 160.0mm and 760 grams. I liked the lens hood very much as well.

In this review I’ll show JPEG from the camera with no noise reduction and sharpness -1. The pictures are 3200х2400, so you can view them larger.

Before the real test I made some checks and other pictures. Starting with one from a football game with 40-150 + 1.4x teleconverter. I didn’t notice much difference in focus and image quality with and without the converter.

Olympus 40-150 with 1.4x MC-14

Then I updated the camera firmware with the new one supporting 40-150 2.8 lens. Then I made few portraits with Cenestelle.

Olympus 40-150 2.8 портрет

I liked the sharpness and colors (from the JPEG).

40-150 2.8 портрет

The bokeh is not really the best, maybe the lens is too perfect for dreamy bokeh. But that’s not a dedicated portrait lens. Sometimes this is better:

olympus 40-150 2.8 pro test

The minimum focus distance of the lens is only 0.7m, so I found a little spider to test the macro capabilities:

Olympus 40-150 2.8 spider macro

I’ve tried to shoot some contrast objects to get chromatic aberrations or purple fringing. I couldn’t reproduce any optical defect here.

olympus 40-150 2.8 pro test

And some time for street performance.

olympus 40-150 2.8 pro test

If you are still not convinced in the optical quality of the lens check out the head of this bird:

olympus 40-150 2.8 pro test

The time for the real test – football game in artificial light.

I was not using monopod due the great weight for hand-held shooting. Most of the professional sport photographers can’t shoot without monopod with their large camera and lenses. For shooting speed over 1/1000s I needed ISO between 1600 and 2500. But even in these conditions the autofocus speed was very good. Here is the result 🙂

olympus 40-150 2.8 pro test

olympus 40-150 2.8 pro test

I tried all options for continuous focus and there were too many people to use tracking. Sometimes the continuous focus caught some players in the background instead of the nearest object. I’m not sure if there are any settings for that. Otherwise everything was just fine.

olympus 40-150 2.8 pro test

olympus 40-150 2.8 pro test

You can check out the whole gallery HERE.

I have accomplished my main goal here – Olympus E-M1 and M.zuiko 40-150 2.8 is a pretty good competition even for sport and continuous focus in various light conditions. The lens is one of the best telephoto lenses that I have ever tried and even with the teleconverter it gives great results too.


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