Oly 14-150mm lens vs 12-40

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Imjinman, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. Imjinman

    Imjinman Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Sep 22, 2011
    Out of interest does anyone have any views of the quality of the Oly 14-150mm lens versus the 12-40mm? I used to use the 14-150 as my day-to-day knock around lens (using the usual prime suspects for dedicated shots) with my trusty old EP3, but now that I have the EM1 and12-40mmm I was intrigued about the quality difference? I am tempted now to use the 12-40mm as my always-on lens, but I do miss the occasions when I want to zoom in. Now if Oly had a prime 150mm...
  2. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It also depends on what you want to carry around & what you will be doing with the photos. I ended up getting the Oly Stylus 1 instead of the E-M1 body (to go with my E-M5 kit) that gives me the same as a 14-150 f2.8 lens in a very compact form. It's great on its own & can be a 2nd camera to your E-M1 kit too. I was reasonably impressed with the results & for many uses (end results) it is very good.
  3. Imjinman

    Imjinman Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Sep 22, 2011
    Bizarre- I thought that this would spark more interest. I am surprised by how little coverage the 14-150 gets
  4. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    Super zooms are an even bigger compromise then normal zooms, hence their lack of popularity. And you don't buy a interchangeable lens camera just to stick one lens on it permanently. My guess would be not that many people on M43 use them.

    Having said that, I opted to get the 14-150 over the 12-40 just a week ago. I have no doubt the 12-40 is the far better lens, but it all boils down to what you want to do with a certain lens.

    In general I am a prime shooter, but there are some circumstances where a zoom is better. And while most wedding photographers and journalists would prefer the wider aperture and quality of a high end zoom, I prefer the long reach of a super zoom for event photography. The pics of events, parties and kitefests I make with such a lens are not used commercially, and they are not intended to end up as large prints, so the image quality of a top notch zoom is a bit of overkill. On the other hand, the ability to go from wide angle overview to close up with one turn of the wrist doubles my chance of getting all the pics I want. Most events are in daylight, and even when not, ISO 3200 and 6400 on my OMD are good enough to cover the loss of wide aperture.

    There are other solutions. Two bodies with the complementing zooms are better then one super zoom (a second body is always a good idea if you want to make sure you get the pictures), And if I were a zoom person, I would have probably bought the 12-40 and have used the digital teleconverter or cropping to make up for the lack of reach (a better lens allows for more cropping). But both the second body or the 12-40 are a lot more expensive then the 14-150. So in the end, for me the 14-150 was the best solution.

    A quick test of my 14-150 showed more AC then I care for, but I use Photoshop and shoot raw. The build in RAW adaptor from Photoshop offers an automatic AC correcter that seems to solve that quite well.
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  5. Edmunds

    Edmunds Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    Well, I have the 14-150mm. I have been pondering this question myself.

    While the corners of this lens leave a lot to be desired, it is sharp in the center. So the first question is, do you need edge sharpness? Because this is not always necessary, but for others it is critical.

    Another question is, what other lenses do you have? Because if you already have say the Olympus 12mm f/2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 + Olympus 45mm f/1.8, then you might find the f/2.8 aperture of the 12-40mm underwhelming and can probably make do with a slower zoom. If you don't have any of these primes, buying the 12-40mm will be a large improvement.

    The only way to realistically compare the two lenses is if you compare it vs 12-40mm + 40-150mm. Can you make do with the larger weight and inconvenience of changing lenses and higher cost vs the brighter aperture and better sharpness?
  6. The 14-150mm doesn't compare entirely favourably to the Panasonic 14-140mm MkI superzoom, so I imagine that the 12-40mm f2.8 would also show some useful improvements in sharpness as well as having the advantage of a much faster maximum aperture.

  7. zulfur666

    zulfur666 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 30, 2014
    having both and about to make the switch to another Tele zoom (waiting for the 40-150 f2.8) I'm selling my 14-150, it is a good lens for daily walk around but if you must use it say in a forest the slow f5.6 really gets in the way for shooting anything. And sharpness leaves a lot to be desired in my book. But then again I used to have a FF with L glass before. The 12-40 is MUCH sharper so I'm hoping the same from the hopefully soon released 40-150 f2.8. For now I use my 12-40 f2.8 as walk around and the 9-18 for super wide in the cities.
  8. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    You can adapt a 135/3.5 prime for around $40. I have a few and they're as good as the 40-150. Or, just get the 40-150 in addition to the 12-40. It's only $100.
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