Olympus 40-150 vs 75mm f1.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by datagov, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I don't own the O75, but I did compare reviews on photozone. At 75mm at f5 the O75 is about 9% sharper than the 40-150 at 75mm @f5. Of course the 40-150 is slower, but it's also 900% cheaper.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
  2. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:

    For me, it's more about 1) shallow DoF, 2) more pleasant, less nervous bokeh, and 3) and light gathering ability which separates the 2 at 75mm. The 45-150 is nice, cost-effective and versatile but subjects can be harder to isolate than on the 75. The 75/1.8 is razor sharp wide open which translates into around a 3-stop advantage (over the 40-150mm wide open) when you need it. :thumbup:
  3. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Real Name:
    Once around f/5.6 diffraction starts to appear which ends up bring most decent lenses to the same level. I own both and have done a couple non-scienctific comparisons. Stopped down they are close, but the 75mm at 2.8 is noticably sharper than the 40-150 at 75mm and any stop.

    I compared the 40-150 at 150mm and the 75mm taken from the same spot and then cropped to the same view. Printing those at 5x7 (too cheap to print bigger) I found details were exactly the same but the overall color/contrast was nicer on the 75mm.

    For the final comparison I tried to compare them at 1.8 but ran into technical difficulties.
  4. RFC1925

    RFC1925 New to Mu-43

    Sep 8, 2012
    I can't seem to find the same data from Photozone. There are MTF results for the 40-150 at 40mm and at 100mm but no 75mm.

    Olympus Digital Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 ED Review / Test Report - Analysis
    Olympus M.ZUIKO 75mm f/1.8 ED - Review / Test Report - Analysis

    Photozone MTF results:

    Oly 40-150/4-5.6

    center: 2194
    border: 2072
    extreme: 1891

    center: 2258
    border: 2079

    Oly 75/1.8

    center: 2786
    border: 2734
    extreme: 2641

    Compared to 40-150 @ 40mm
    center: +27.0% better
    border: +31.9% better
    extreme: +39.7% better

    Compared to 40-150 @ 100mm
    center +23.4% better
    border +31.5% better

    Based on the above it seems very unlikely that the difference at 75mm would be only 9%.

    I wish the 40-150 was that good because that will be my next purchase :smile:
  5. garfield_cz

    garfield_cz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2011
    Czech Republic
    Real Name:
    Are you really comparing premium telephoto f/1.8 prime to crappy f/5.6 all-round zoom? World is going crazy :confused:
  6. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    I own the zoom. Only lust after the prime. While the zoom is a very good lens for the price, I would never expect it to be even in the same league as the 75. Oh, to have the 75. A man can wish can't he?
  7. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I don't own the zoom, sold it a while back - but I really do long for the 75 prime. :126:
  8. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    John M
    I really don't know how they did it.

    It's extremely difficult to stop down the 75mm to F2.8 let alone F5. :biggrin:
  9. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    I have the 75mm and the 40-150mm oly. I use a lens testing chart in the basement to check lenses when I get them and I always compare primes to my zoom lenses to look for potential issues with the lens. I buy the primes for the lower f-stop but I compare them at identical f-stops as a sanity check.

    I shoot in identical light (artificial from multiple simultaneous sources) and from the identical location (tripod squared up carefully on target). With the zoom set at 75mm, I shoot all f-stops, and then I mount the 75mm and do the same.

    One thing I will note, after owning 3 of the 40-150s, is that they are not all the same. I guess you don't get 100% consistency from an inexpensive plastic case lens made in China.

    OT: I have found the Oly 40-150 to be surprisingly close in resolution capabilities compared to the 75mm in the f4.5, f5.6, f8 range.

    For me, when I have great light, I feel pretty good about using the 40-150mm lens. I consider it one of the best bargain lenses in the system and a must have addition when starting out in m4/3 on a budget.
  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    I am sorry to hear that your 40-150 is crappy. Mine has allowed me to print 20"x30" prints that are amazingly sharp. My copy may be budget, but I would not say it is crappy.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Real Name:
    This is to be expected with almost all m4/3 lenses as once in the 5.6+ range diffraction becomes a equalizing factor. Looking at either Lenstip (12mp) or photozone (16MP) you will see the 75mm has its highest resolution between f2.2 and f4 so I am not sure what the value is in comparing it at higher apertures.
  12. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    If I have to shoot my 40-150 anywhere over 100mm I'd rather just sit down, enjoy the view, write a sonnet about it, and remember the details in my brain. If I had a 75 the story might be different. I have the 40-150. Can it compare to the 75, at 75mm, in decent light, at f4? Maybe. But, since the comparison is on, if anyone wants to send a 75 my way I'll give you my 40-150 any day!

    I just bought a Konica Hexanon 57mm f1.4. That comparison, at 2.8, might be worthy, but the 75 will win. I was going to buy the Konica 85mm 1.8, but, again, why spend the $400 when the 75mm will win? There are no alternatives to the 20/1.7 or 75/1.8. The 45/1.8 is compromised in the sense that there are several 50/1.4 or 50/1.7 lenses out there that perform. The 25/1.4 is great for $400 but not when you can get a 28mm 1.8 for under $100.

    There are some lenses over the past few decades that are just special. That 75/1.8 is one of them!
  13. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    I find value in just giving all my lenses a quick check at all f-stops. There are lens to lens variations in these mass produced optics and it is possible to end up with a problem lens. A recent review I read of the 12mm Olympus noted that the tester had to return 2 lenses before getting what he found to be an acceptable copy. My simple testing probably would not find whatever he was worried about but I have found interesting things.

    I don't find all m4/3 lenses converging in IQ at f > 5.6 I had a 14-42 kit zoom that was poor at best when zoomed to 42 and compared to the 45mm at equivalent f-stops in the 5.6-8 range. I also found that a newer R version of the 40-150 was clearly not as sharp as my older original copy. Comparing carefully taken back to back shots over a range of f-stops made this very clear.

    I am trying to make two points. 1. Some simple lens testing and comparison is a good reality check and can help you feel confident that your lens is working properly. 2. The 40-150 lens, assuming you have a decent copy, is a pretty good lens that resolves well with good color (IMO). If someone has this lens and is happy with it, they should keep it and be happy.

    If you have 7 or 8 hundred dollars laying around, the 75mm is a special lens for sure and going down towards f1.8 it will do things the 40-150mm cannot. But I just was trying to confirm for a budget minded m4/3 shooter that they should not feel like they have a crappy lens in the 40-150mm.
  14. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Real Name:
    I've used both the 75mm and 40-150mm. Until now I wasn't aware that they weren't the same lens. Thanks OP!