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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 review: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6

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The Good Good image quality. Very lightweight. Good price.

The Bad Plastic construction. Lens can be difficult to extend because of the plastic friction, though this does loosen up. Relatively slow.

The Bottom Line The 40-150mm is a good telephoto lens for interchangeable lens cameras that is incredibly lightweight and pretty sharp.

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7.5 Overall

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Design and features

Despite the mouthful of a name, this is a Micro Four Thirds lens designed for interchangeable lens cameras made by Panasonic and Olympus. Covering a generous 40-150mm focal length, the telephoto lens comes as part of the twin lens kit with the E-PL2, or is available to purchase separately.

Its all-plastic construction is the main indicator of its stand-alone price (AU$349). This is most certainly an affordable zoom solution rather than a specialist lens like the Voigtlander Nokton f/0.95 lens. There's a focusing ring towards the front of the barrel, though all other controls are taken care of in the camera, such as aperture adjustments. Given the plastic construction there is a fair amount of friction as the zoom is extended and in this respect the lens feels a little cheap, but it does become easier to extend with use. It's not particularly fast in terms of the maximum aperture, at just f/4 to f/5.6.

Weighing just 190 grams, this lens is lighter than many compact cameras and sits elegantly on the front of the E-PL2 (the camera we tested it with). Rather than being lens-heavy, the camera sits comfortably in your hand and adjustments to focal length and focus can be made relatively easily. The lens uses a 58mm filter thread and is optimised for near-silent autofocus for stills and movies (denoted by the MSC acronym on the lens barrel).

Image quality

The 40-150mm only displays very moderate amounts of pincushion distortion at the telephoto end. Sharpness decreases as you move towards the 150mm focal length; however, for a lens of this price it performs quite well.

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