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