Olympus 40-150 R

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by datagov, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I have had this lens for a few months and have tested it against a vareity of legacy lenses and consistently find it better than all of them. I tested it against the Pentax-M 100 f2.8 and the Olympus had equal resolution and less CA at comparable f-stops. I also tested it against the Konica Hexanon 135mm f3.2 and the Olympus is has far better resolution, nicer colors, and less CA. Contrast was also better in all cases. Because the olympus barrel extends so far, it also has excellent bokeh at focal lengths greater than 100mm.

    Reviews say this isn't a pro lens. Some complain it is too plastic and light. Others complain that it can't shoot f2.8 or f3.5.

    But for a lens that sometimes retails for $99, weighs less than 120 grams, and shoots better than most of the best legacy lenses in its upper focal range, it is am amazing tool to put in your bag.

    I picked up a Super Takumar 135mm f3.5 on fleabay for $10 and will test it when it comes and report results. But so far, I'm not seeing a compelling reason to hold on to legacy glass in this focal range.

    Anyone have different experiences?
  2. I found the 40-150 to be better than a legacy Zuiko OM 135mm f3.5. Especially in the corners. And at full aperture.
  3. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    I bought a Canon FD mount 135 f2.8 just to see if it was better: no, the 40-150 was definitely superior. Granted, the legacy lens was a Soligor (made by Sun), so perhaps not one of the best, but I thought maybe since I'm using only the centre of the image circle, it might be good.

    I'll still keep my eyes open at flea markets and such, but the 40-150 delivers some excellent results.
  4. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I keep an FD 200/2.8 around just in case I need more light but in general the 40-150 is pretty good. MF is a pain at long focal lengths.

    I have owned three of the 40-150s. I can say that they are not all equally good and that the first one I obtained has proven to be the sharpest (better than one of the newer R versions. There was a clear difference in image quality as found by shooting test patterns from a tripod etc etc in a controlled environment.
  5. Lindsay D

    Lindsay D Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2013
    West Sussex, England
    I think the 40-150R is amazing, optically it's hard to distinguish from my Canon 70-300L.
  6. Joltinjess

    Joltinjess Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Port Moody, BC
    For outdoors when there is lots of light, I love it. For shooting my 2 year old daughter or amateur sports, it's awesome.
  7. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    The Super Tak 135mm 3.5 arrived today and it is certainly sharper than the Konica Hexanon 135mm 3.2. It is closer to the 40-150, but still not as sharp and without SMC the contrast is lower and it the focus ring is stiff and hard to turn. I can see some advantages to the Super Tak and I'm not sorry I bought it, but I can't see using it that often as the 40-150 is sharper, lighter, has better contrast, and is much easier to use.

    I thought it was a useful exercise to do these comparisons and everyone's else experiences seem to confirm the point. The 40-150 may not be considered a "pro" lense because its made of plastic and doesn't have a constant f2.8 aperture. But in comparison to all the pro 135mm prime's we've tested it is superior.
  8. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I shot this with the 40-150 in Namibia in March. 150mm at f8.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
  9. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I agree that the 40-150 R is a terrific lens. I have had some very good luck with legacy lenses, though. Below are examples of first the 40-150 taken yesterday, and the second of a hawk shot with the zuiko 135mm f3.5, a nice sharp lens that works well on the E-M5. No, they are not as sharp as made for digital lenses, but some of them are quite capable in their own right.

    Shot with 40-150

    shot with zuiko 135 f3.5
  10. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I agree. It's a great value lens. Amazingly light and small for what it offers. IMO, the IQ is considerably better than what I get with the 12-50. I find it silly when folks criticize it for slow maximum apertures. Maximum apertures are comparable to what you find in the kit level zooms from Canikon.
  11. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    It depends on what you're shooting - I like to shoot at gigs when I can. I tried with my 14-150 (very similar speed to the 40-150) and you just can't get a high enough shutter speed keeping below iso 3200.

    I bought the OM100/2.8 and it manages to cope...just. Most recent tip, MF on people's feet, they're the only part that stays still for more than a second on stage!

    I'm interested in how reliable people find the focus on the 40-150. I find I get inexplicably missed focus more often than I'd like with the 14-150. I'm only using single, centre-point focus most of the time but find I get many more blurred shots than e.g. with the 45/1.8 or 17/1.8.
  12. DWhite

    DWhite Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 23, 2013
    Shot hand-held last weekend. 'nuff said

    Not bad for a $99 lens!

    (but as good as it is for $99, I'm still trying to figure out how to pay for for 40-150mm f2.8 Pro Oly lens that was rumored today!)

    Attached Files:

  13. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I have taken tripod photos with this lens vs other lenses of the same focal length at the same focal lengths.

    Results: The 40-150R beats Konica Hexanons 40/1.8, 50/1.4, 55/3.5 macro, 57/1.4 and Pentax 50/1.7 both A and M versions.

    What I have NOT compared yet, because they're too long to do in my living room, is the 40-150R vs my Hexanon 135/3.2, 135/3.5, or Pentax M 135/3.5. I have used them all in the field though, and I can honestly say that I think everyone of the older lenses beat the 40-150.

    Why? Well, the first time I took it to the zoo I was confused about the results. Every shot I took at a long FL was blurry. But even at 140mm and I had a 1/500 shutter speed it was blurry. So I was thinking hand-holding was impossible. But then I read SLR Gear's review and I see that it's not sharp over 100mm. This fits my findings exactly. So at 135, my copy anyway, does not perform well. Up to 100mm, however, it beats everything I have (I don't have the 60, 75, or any really good older glass in 70-100 range).

    The below shot is pretty indicative of everything I've tried at full zoom with this lens. Even the 135's beat it taking moon shots. And, I realized (and this was confusing me), the only really sharp shot I have near full zoom I ended up taking at 5MP, so of course it looks sharper. I took several shots this tiger and only kept a few. Normally I would delete a photo such as this, or else downsize it to 2MP just to remember, but this I kept at a full 16MP. Not good IMO:

  14. Roterneylastergen


    Aug 31, 2013
    Wow man..those are some awesome pictures out there..thanks for sharing.
  15. ntblowz

    ntblowz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 13, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    My copy is pretty sharp across all focal range, I used GH2 with it so 0 stabilization
    The CA is definitely less than Panasonic zooms when paired on Oly body

    Here is some couple shots between 270-300mm focal length


  16. Lindsay D

    Lindsay D Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2013
    West Sussex, England
    Mine is super sharp right across the zoom range and aperture range (on my OMD) but it's a very lightweight lens so it can be hard to hold it still when zoomed out - I have to concentrate on good technique far more than when using heavier lenses.
  17. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I have tried a number of legacy lenses, and I do sometimes enjoy shooting with my Super Takumar 135mm f3.5 instead of the 40-150 R. It can shoot indoors at f3.5 and it is reasonably sharp. I also have Nikon 200mm f4 AIS which is sharper af f4 than the 40-150 is at f8. But when I travel, I take this little lens and pull it out for street shots and macro with an adapter.
  18. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I'd say it's VERY sharp. Beats all my legendary legacy glass.

    What macro adapter are you using, extension tubes?
  19. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I use a Raynox DCR-150. It attaches on the end of any lens easily an gives 5x magnification.