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. 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).
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.