Lenses

Sample Gallery: Olympus M.Zuiko 40–150mm Pro Lens

The biggest gun in Olympus's arsenal lives up to its pro billing.

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At Photokina 2014, we got a brief hands-on with Olympus’s brand-new, much-anticipated M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro (MSRP $1,499)—a lens that the company hopes will win over professional sports and wildlife shooters tired of shouldering the weight of full-frame systems.

What we saw in Cologne was exciting, but we weren’t allowed to keep any photos. Luckily, almost as soon as we got back to Boston, a big package showed up on our doorstep.

This past Sunday we took the M.Zuiko ED 40–150mm Pro out on the town and grabbed some samples for your viewing pleasure.

Analysis

This weekend, our copy of the lens was mated to an Olympus OM-D E-M5. That means we weren’t able to evaluate it for fast action performance—the E-M5 lacks the E-M1’s phase-detect AF pixels—but we can say that in good light it focuses with lightning speed.

In good light, the 40–150mm Pro focuses with lightning speed.

The results speak for themselves, but here are some words anyway: This lens is sharp throughout the range, produces excellent contrast and pleasing colors, and doesn’t have a discernible color cast. We didn’t note any issues with chromatic aberration (color fringing), and vignetting was minimal even at 150mm f/2.8.

However, we were less than impressed with the 40–150mm’s bokeh under some circumstances. Busy backgrounds in particular tend to create rather “nervous” bokeh—moreso than comparable full-frame 70-200mm lenses.

Sample Photos

Take a gander at the shots below, and let us know what you think in the comment section!

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #1

EXIF: 55mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #2

Here you can see the faintest hint of magenta CA (on the leftmost index card) and slightly nervous bokeh. EXIF: 55mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #3

EXIF: 85mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #4

EXIF: 150mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #5

EXIF: 150mm, f/3.5

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #6

EXIF: 52mm, f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #7

EXIF: 40mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #8

EXIF: 85mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #9

EXIF: 82mm f/4

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #10

EXIF: 40mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #11

Here's another case of surprisingly shallow DoF. Brendan's finger is plenty crispy, while the lettering on the lens is a bit blurred. EXIF: 46mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #12

With simple backgrounds, the lens can produce lovely, smooth bokeh and real 3D pop. EXIF: 150mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #13

150mm f/2.8 on M43 doesn't get you the same razor-thin depth of field as a similar full-frame setup would, but it's still pretty shallow. Here, the bird's face is slightly out of focus while its wing is in sharp relief: EXIF: 150mm, f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #14

Here's a real bokeh torture test. The 40–150 Pro does okay, but we've seen better. EXIF: 150mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #15

Even in extreme lighting situations, the 40–150mm Pro shows little sign of chromatic aberrations. EXIF: 50mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #16

EXIF: 135mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #17

EXIF: 40mm f/5.6

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #18

The 40–150mm Pro resolves extremely well, even over great distance. EXIF: 110mm f/4

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #19

EXIF: 150mm f/2.8

Olympus 40–150mm Pro – Sample #20

Geese make for very patient subjects. EXIF: 150mm f/2.8

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