Olympus ED 40-150mm F/2.8 Pro lens | Long Term Review

March 12, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Olympus ED 40-150mm F/2.8 Pro

This lens has been a near-permanent fixture on the E-M1 micro four thirds body for over a year now. Long-Term it's held up extremely well, everything is still tight where it supposed to be and smooth as the day I received it. Initially I wondered how the retractable hood would wear over time but that remains very solid and without play. It's my goto when I need to head out in the field very light for sporting events, nature/wildlife shoots and video.

Focusing is very fast and accurate, though it struggles a bit when shooting towards a direct light source. That's something most cameras have trouble with but that seems to have been improved along the way with several FIRMWARE updates. Image quality is stellar giving me rich colors with plenty of contrast. Olympus hasn't equipped the E-M1 with a "LOG" setting for video yet so for the most part you have to determine your sharpness, color and contrast choices before shooting movies. While your at it make sure to set your white balance to 5000K so that you have a decent start with post processing in Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro. The video is not as flexible for editing but if you get the lighting and focus right it makes excellent files. The E-M1 has been upgraded...again via FIRMWARE and it's made the 5-Axis image stabilization system even better. Very rarely do I have to place the camera on a tripod during filming. 90% of the time I handhold it for very natural looking 1080p 24 FPS footage.

Perhaps the best reason to have this lens is the tremendous reach it gives when shooting sports or wildlife. You can rake in a lot of distance at the 300mm (effective) long end, then turn around and shoot subjects which are much closer than most other telephoto lenses in this range can match.

I've been in the photography industry long enough to remember when buying a lens like this on the Canon/Nikon platform was a art form. Most of the time you had to try a few copies of a lens to ensure that it didn't front/back focus out of the box...etc. We have come a very far way over the past 5 years. This copy is never going back. In fact the only thing I've done where it's concerned is to remove the UV filter which I only use now if it's rainy or dusty. Easier to clean a filter than the front element of a lens.

The images below are from my recent trip to the British Virgin Islands. A location tailor made for a lens in this category. If you are a micro four thirds user, this is the ultimate telephoto zoom for the platform. It outperforms the Panasonic version hands down.

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Point Pleasant Resort on Charlotte Amalie | ISO 200 40mm F5.6 1/500 seconds

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My Little Friend who shows up everywhere | ISO 200 150mm F5.6 1/640 seconds

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Portrait at 150mm | ISO 200 150mm F4 i/40 seconds

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Green Throated Carib Deep Crop | ISO 200 150mm F2.8 1/125 seconds

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Snorkeling at Coral World Ocean Park | ISO 200 150mm F4 1/2000 seconds

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Pearly Eyed Thrasher 25% Crop | ISO 200 150mm F4 1/40 seconds

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Pelican Deep Crop | ISO 200 150mm F3.5 1/320 seconds

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Nurse Shark | ISO 200 150mm F3.5 1/3200 seconds

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Anegada Ground Iguana | ISO 200 150mm F2.8 1/2000 seconds

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Lorikeet | ISO 200 150mm F2.8 1/100 seconds

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I saved his life...he was eating the villa-keeper's plants | ISO 200 150mm F5.6 1/125 seconds

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Turtle | ISO 250 150mm F5.6 1/320 seconds

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Golden Light | ISO 200 45mm F7.1 1/200 seconds

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Sunrise over Virgin Gorda | ISO 200 48mm F11 1/1250 seconds

For the shooting conditions I purposely kept the ISO at 200 or 250 because I wanted to show off the 5-AXIS image stabilizer at the slower speeds like 1/40th. The above images are all hand-held in "Single-Shot" mode which required some patience with moving animals.

The RAW (ORF) files were then processed in Adobe Lightroom CC.

 

 


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