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This superzoom lens for Micro Four Thirds system cameras offers a 10.7x zoom range equivalent to a 28-300mm lens on a 35mm camera. It costs around £400 and sports Olympus' MSC silent focusing motor and a slim, compact and lightweight design.
As focusing is performed internally the 58mm filter thread does not rotate during use, making this lens ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. Focus speeds are quick and the manual focus ring is well damped, which makes applying fine adjustments fairly straightforward. The lens has a silent focusing motor and is labelled as one of Olympus' MSC lenses, suitable for taking movies and stills. The minimum focus distance of 50cm allows frame-filling close-up images to be taken at maximum telephoto quite easily.
With the zoom set to 45mm, sharpness levels are still outstanding in the centre of the frame at maximum aperture and the lens performs excellently towards the edges of the frame. Peak sharpness across the frame is achieved at f/8 for this focal length and sharpness is outstanding from edge to edge.
Finally, at 150mm, there is a slight drop in performance, but sharpness is still excellent in the centre of the frame at maximum aperture and very good towards the edges of the frame.
Resolution @ 14mm
Resolution @ 45mm
Resolution @ 150mm
How to read our chartsThe blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.
The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.
For this review, the lens was tested on aPanasonic Lumix G3 using Imatest.
Chromatic aberrations are well controlled at all but the widest end of the zoom when stopped down. At 14mm, fringing starts to exceed one pixel width at f/11 and gets more severe as the aperture is stopped down.
Chromatic aberration @ 14mm
Chromatic aberration @ 45mm
Chromatic aberration @ 150mm
How to read our chartsChromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.
Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc. to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.
For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix G3 using Imatest.
Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is constant throughout the zoom range. Corners are one stop darker than the image centre throughout the zoom range at maximum aperture. Visually uniform illumination is achieved with the aperture stopped down by one stop from maximum throughout the zoom range.
Distortion is very well controlled for a superzoom lens. Imatest detected 1.7% barrel distortion at 14mm and a negligible amount of pincushion at 150mm. This low level shouldn't pose many issues, but if absolutely straight lines are needed, you'll be glad to know that it should be relatively straightforward to correct as the distortion pattern is uniform across the frame.
No lens hood is supplied as standard with this lens, which is a shame. However, it is quite resistant to flare so a hood may not be required in many cases.
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 Sample Photos
Wide angle | 1/1000 sec | f/5.6 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Telephoto | 1/640 sec | f/5.6 | 150.0 mm | ISO 160
A minimum focusing distance of 90cm allows you to get reasonably close to your subject | 1/1300 sec | f/5.6 | 150.0 mm | ISO 160
Out of focus backgrounds are rendered quite smoothly | 1/160 sec | f/5.4 | 80.0 mm | ISO 800
1/125 sec | f/5.4 | 63.0 mm | ISO 500
1/320 sec | f/5.6 | 150.0 mm | ISO 250
1/320 sec | f/5.6 | 15.0 mm | ISO 160
1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Value for moneyBeing priced at around £400, this lens represents good value for money, given that it is capable of delivering very sharp images throughout the zoom range. The closest equivalent available for Micro Four Thirds system cameras is Panasonic's 14-140mm lens, which retails for around £70 more. The Panasonic lens does include optical image stabilisation, which will be especially useful if the lens is to be used with Panasonic cameras.
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|The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-150mm f/4-5.6 lens is a compact, lightweight lens with excellent sharpness in the centre.|
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-150mm ProsExcellent sharpness in the centre throughout the zoom range
Falloff and distortion are well controlled
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-150mm ConsNo lens hood supplied as standard
High CA levels when stopped down to f/11 or beyond at 14mm
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 Specifications
|Focal Length||14mm - 150mm|
|Angle of View||8.2° - 75°|
|Max Aperture||f/4 - f/5.6|
|35mm equivalent||28mm - 300mm|
|Box Contents||No Data|