Reviews |OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro Review

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro review
Review

Price when reviewed

£799

$899
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Our Verdict

The OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro is a great little lens that delivers performance beyond its diminutive size. It makes an excellent choice of lens for travel and sport photography, and photographing relatively tame wildlife, capturing high-quality images. However, if you want more scope to separate your subject from its environment and to get the very best autofocus performance from a camera like the OM-1, you’ll need to opt for the bigger, heavier Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8.

For

  • Very compact and lightweight
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Dust and weather-proof

Against

  • No customisable controls
  • No focus switch or clutch
  • No distance scale

What is the OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro?

OM Digital Solutions, previously known as Olympus, announced the OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro at the same time as it introduced its new flagship Micro Four Thirds camera, the OM System OM-1. It’s billed as a smaller, lighter and more affordable alternative to the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro.

On a Micro Four Thirds camera, the 40-150mm F4.0 Pro has an effective focal length range of 80-300mm, making it attractive for sport, wildlife and travel photography.

Specification

  • Product type: Telephoto zoom lens
  • Mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Format: Four Thirds
  • Focal length: 40-150mm (80-300mm equivalent)
  • Maximum aperture: f/4
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Construction: 19 elements 9 groups with 2 ED (1 Super-ED) elements and 1 High Refractive element
  • Coatings: Fluorine-coated front element, elements with ZERO (Zuiko Extra Low Reflection Optical) coating
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.7m
  • Maximum magnification: 0.21x (Micro Four Thirds), 0.41x (35mm format)
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 7
  • Filter size: 62mm
  • Weight: 382g
  • Diameter x length (extension from lens mount): 68.9 x 99.4mm

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro price and release date

The OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro went on sale at the beginning of March 2022 for £799.99 / $899.99

It is available to order from Adorama in the US and Wex Photo Video in the UK.

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro
Left: OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro, Right OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F2.8 Pro

Features

OM Digital Solutions constructs the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro from 19 elements arranged in 9 groups. Of those elements, two are the extra low dispersion (ED) type, with one being Super ED while another is an HR (high-refractive) element. These special elements play a key role in keeping the size of the lens down while maintaining image quality.

In addition to a fluorine coating on the front element to help shed water droplets and fingerprints, OM Digital Solutions has applied its ZERO coating. ZERO stands for Zuiko Extra Low Reflection Optical coating and it’s designed to suppress ghosting and flare.

Despite being new and launched with the OM-1, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro isn’t one of the lenses that supports 50fps shooting with continuous autofocusing. However, the focusing is internal so the lens doesn’t change length when the focus distance changes.

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro review

Build and handling

At just 382g, the OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro is almost half the weight of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro without its tripod foot. And even when extended to its maximum length of around 124mm from the camera, it’s over 35mm shorter. Naturally, its smaller maximum aperture means it’s narrower as well, in fact it has a maximum diameter of 68.9mm rather than 79.4mm (or around 94mm if you take the f/2.8 lens’s hood into account).

OM System has also given the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro a collapsible design which means it can be shrunk down to around just 115mm for transport. The lens is collapsed by turning the zoom ring beyond the 40mm widest point and you just rotate it back towards the 40-150mm zoom range to extend it again. There’s a click stop at the 40mm point to let you know when you’ve reached the right point.

Once the lens has extended for use, its length doesn’t change as you zoom from one focal length to another.

Consequently, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro is more portable than the more expensive M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro. In fact, when I was testing the OM System OM-1 I was able to slip it plus the OM System 8-25mm f/4 Pro, Olympus 12-45mm f/4 Pro and the 40-150mm F4.0 Pro in my carry-on bag for a skiing trip along with all the usual travel essentials. I was even able to take the whole kit out with me on the pistes in just a small backpack.

While the collapsible design is great for portability, on at least 50% of occasions that I powered up the OM System OM-1 withe the 40-150mm f/4 mounted, the camera had to remind me to extend the lens. It gets a little irritating, but I like to collapse the lens between shots because it makes a smaller target for knocks.

Overall, the 40-150mm F4.0 Pro feels well made but it lacks frills like a customisable lens function (L.Fn) button and a manual focus clutch. There’s also a little ‘chatter’ in the broad zoom ring if you rotate it quickly backwards and forwards, but to be fair, it works perfectly well.

The manual focus ring, which sits further towards the front element than the zoom ring, has a smoother, quieter movement that more befits a Pro lens.

Like the OM-1, the OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro has a weatherproof rating on IP53, which means it can withstand water spray. There’s also a thin rubber gasket around the metal lens mount to help prevent water getting inside the camera.

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro review

Performance

From f/4 to f/11, the OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro delivers impressively sharp images with only slight drop-off towards the very far corners of the frame. Closing down to f/16 makes the impact of diffraction apparent and f/22 is best avoided as the results look much softer than those captured at larger apertures.

A correction profile is automatically applied to Jpeg and raw images but you can turn it off for raw files in Adobe Camera Raw if you want to check its impact. Without the profile, the lens suffers from slight barrel distortion, but it’s certainly nothing to worry about, and anyway, the profile ensures that straight lines look straight in the captured images.

There’s a little vignetting visible in images captured at the widest aperture at the 40mm end of the lens, but it’s hardly noticeable and not problematic. Close down to f/5.6 and it’s just about gone.

Chromatic aberration is also dealt with extremely well and I was unable find any examples of it in my images from the lens on the OM-1.

With a maximum aperture of f/4 on a Four Thirds type sensor, the 40-150mm F4.0 Pro doesn’t offer huge potential for blurring backgrounds, especially when the subject is not within close range. However, where you are able to blur the background or foreground, it looks natural and small highlights are round without any really obvious aberrations.

On the OM System OM-1, the 40-150mm F4.0 Pro benefits from the subject detection system that makes it easier to focus on birds animals and vehicles. However, as I’ve found with other lenses on that camera, it often helps to narrow down the focus area a little so that the subject detection has an idea where to look. That’s especially true with messy background and when you’re shooting through foliage or branches.

Generally, the focusing is quick and effective, although perhaps not quite as snappy as with the f/2.8 lens. The focusing also very quiet so it’s unlikely to be an issue for anyone recording video with a mic mounted on the camera. Further good news for videographers is that focus breathing is controlled well.

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro review
Left: OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro, Right OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F2.8 Pro

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro sample images

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution images from the OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro on the OM System OM-1

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm F4.0 Pro image gallery

Verdict

While it isn’t quite as plush and well-featured as the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro, the OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 Pro makes an attractively small and light alternative at a more affordable price. However, the one-stop reduction in the maximum aperture size means that it’s not quite so easy to separate a subject from its surroundings and the autofocus system can’t perform at its best.

The image quality, however, is very good and while I’d be inclined to go for the 40-150mm F2.8 Pro or M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4 IS Pro if I wanted to get more serious about wildlife photography, it does a good job. It’s an excellent option for travel photography.

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Diribajosy
Diribajosy
1 month ago

Best camera