Olympus 40-150mm f4-5.6 OR 40-150 f2.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RickBowden, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. RickBowden

    RickBowden Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 2, 2016
    Richard Bowden
    I've just switched to Olympus and I need to start getting some more lenses.
    I do mostly landscapes and I need a telephoto zoom.
    I was looking at the 40-150mm f2.8 but the f4-5.6 is way cheaper.
    I don't need the wide aperture so is the image quality that much different between the two?

  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Well, yes, the image quality is quite a bit better in most regards on the PRO lens. There's a reason it costs 10x more! Still, the 40-150 5.6 is cheap and capable of nice results, especially if used at f8. Just depends on what your needs and expectations are.

    If you want a slightly higher end zoom that doesn't cost a fortune, I like the Panasonic 45-175mm X. That's what I use. The "X" series are a higher end series from Panasonic that work beautifully on both Olympus and Panasonic cameras. The 45-175mm is especially cheap if you import it from Japan via ebay and Amazon (and potentially forfeit warranty).
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  3. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I've only used the 40-150 R and the 40-150 Pro, so it's only by comparing these 2 that I say 'yes'. The Pro version is amazingly sharp and contrasty, but much heavier.
  4. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
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  5. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    If they were directly comparable nobody would buy the Pro 2.8 lens! The safe thing to do is buy the 4-5.6 R version and see how it works. They're all over the for-sale board at under $100.

    The good news is that it works very well. In fact all of the "slow" zoom lenses work very well. I have owned it, the panasonic 45-200 and the panasonic 45-175 X lens. Of the "cheap" ones I totally agree with tkbslc, the 45-175 is the best of the bunch.
  6. Nawty

    Nawty Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2015
    I have both and am constantly amazed at how good the cheaper one is.

    Yes the pro lens is much better optically but the little one is plenty sharp enough and is tiny and light, I still use mine a fair bit as it is perfect to just put in a bag or suitcase on the off-chance you might need something longer.
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  7. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Olympus's 40-150mm "kit" lenses have always been very well received as being a fantastic value and surprisingly sharp for what they are. This goes back to the old 4/3rds version (there were two of them) and now the micro versions. They seem to have that formula down.

    So to echo other people's comments above, of course the PRO version is going to be better, but I doubt you could call it ten times better to match the price difference. And at less than $100 used, the kit version is a cheap try out to see how it fits into your photography. Even if you end up with the Pro version later, the kit version makes for a nice compact, light lens if you even want to take a longer zoom with you but don't want to carry the big one with you.
  8. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Zero technical advantage in the cheaper lens. The only advantage is lower cost. If you have the budget get the Pro and TC.
  9. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Also way lower weight and size. Important for travel.
  10. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Qld Australia
    You could always look for a Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 if that length works for you. I have it and it's a great lens which is much smaller than the pro Olympus.
  11. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    I've used Nikkor 80-200 and have the Pany 100-400 on order, but I'm keeping the 40-150. at 1 stop down from max and just a bit of micro contrast in LR or PS the images are amazing. Best part is it is so light I just put in a pocket and forget about it. I have the 12-35mm and soon the 100-400, but I've found m43 zooms in the f4-5.6 range plenty good enough for stock sales as well as 16 x 20 prints. Big bonus for the 40-150 is the MCON1 which can be found very cheap for a good long focus macro which again weighs nothing so to speak. I'll be posting some samples from a recent trip with just the 14-42 & 40-150 in the native lens section. I suggest you look at the work others have done with the 40-150 and perhaps my Mcon1 image I am going to post.
  12. Benzy

    Benzy Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2014
    For the going rate of $99 it's worth it to try and even keep even if you chose to go for the f/2.8. There's no replacement for a super compact tele when traveling.
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  13. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL
    Picked up the 40-15 kit lens on here for 60 bucks shipped. It's great to stick on the extra PL5 body for some quick zooming if I am shooting with a prime on my EM5ii
  14. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    I've been through the 40-150 R, Pana 45-200, and 4/3rds Zuiko 50-200 SWD. I sold the 45-200, but kept the little R and the big 50-200. The latter is far better and is good at 2.8 - 3.5, but the little R is so light and compact that it's a no-brainer for travel. I picked it up new for $99 with the purchase of my EM5 kit, and it's not worth trying to sell it. I felt it was better than the 45-200 and well worth keeping for those times when I want a telezoom and a small, light kit. As someone said earlier, you could get the R for very low cost and find that if you use a telephoto frequently and need something better, you haven't wasted your investment. Either the Pana 35-100 f2.8 or the Oly 40-150 Pro will cost you well north of $900, especially the latter. You could get the Zuiko 50-200 SWD and adaptor for less than $500 (although usable only on an EM1 though). I've heard the Pana 35-100 f4-5.6 is pretty good, but about twice as much as the R.
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  15. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Unless you always want to lug around a tripod you will get better pictures with the f2.8. It is quite heavy,but very good.
  16. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    Another vote for the Pana 45-175 if you want to stay at the non-pro end of the price scale. I have both the Oly 40-150 f4-5.6 and the Pana 45-175, and I prefer the 45-175, largely because it doesn't extend. When the Oly is extended, it strikes me as wobbly, but I don't have the steadiest hands in the world and don't often use a tripod. Still, you can't beat the price, and the general consensus here is that the Oly is a lot better than you'd expect for the price.

    If you travel and don't like carrying a lot of lenses (or don't like switching lenses on the fly), you might want to look into the Oly 14-150 or the Pana 14-140. I have the Oly 14-150, and it pretty much lives on my camera when I'm traveling. The 14-150 or 14-140 and the Pana 20mm 1.7 (for lower light situations or when you need to make your camera more pocketable) make a good travel combo for the basic m43 shooter, particularly if you're traveling with non-photographers and can't keep your companions waiting too much. (I know a lot of people here have a selection of primes that they would recommend for an m43 travel kit, but different strokes for different folks.)
  17. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    I have the 40-150R and I borrowed the 40-150 PRO.
    If money was no object I would still rather have the 40-150R instead of the venerable PRO.
    After schlepping the PRO for just half an hour I was reminded of the good old days of DSLR: backbreaking. :(
    Now, if I was too shoot in a static position, no need to tote the big monster very far from the car, and needed the extra f stops, then maybe, just maybe I would go for the PRO.
    For the images I take, that are often a decent walk away from wheeled access, I love the 40-150R
    That lens is an outstanding value but often under-appreciated because is inexpensive? "good things can't be cheap, right?" mentality :hide:

    Landscape image where I would have NOT taken the PRO lens: 2 weeks sea kayak trip!
    I did a print of 36"X24" and I did not wish for a sharper lens.

    20919285365_2872a46d4b_h.jpg Spunk cliffs_Saggo on_1 by gnarlydog, on Flickr

    Urban shot where I would have not used the PRO lens: too crowded and cumbersome for tripod. I would not be able to hold heavy lens, shoot images for this one to appear after 40 minutes. Last but not least: a smaller lens looks more stealth and attracts less attention in environments like this. I don't want to be "that" guy with all the gear and no idea :laugh1:

    25216923729_c12fa44495_h.jpg Crossing the Bridge_BW_c by gnarlydog, on Flickr

    When I will be a better photographer and I will feel the need to get a "sharper" lens then maybe the PRO might be reconsidered
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  18. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    the 40-150 2.8 is a great lens, but when compared to the r version, it loses some flexibility I think, I own them both and I don't think I can just replicate one by the other. the 40-150 4-5.6 is capable, the pro version is seriously productive if you ever need the best focusing, build quality. etc.
  19. rfortson

    rfortson Mu-43 Veteran

    As others have said, it's hard to compare the two. The Pro gives outstanding shots, but you pay for it. The kit zoom is almost too cheap not to buy, and it's tiny. Very handy for travel. I eventually sold mine for the 14-150, but if you want to add cheap telephoto, that 40-150 is the best by far. Before the 40-150, I tried the Panny 45-200, but it was a little bigger/harder to handle on a Pen, and I didn't think the images were quite as good as the 40-150.

    For now, get the 40-150R, and the buy the Pro later. You'll enjoy both.
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  20. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I've shot some pictures with the R lens that I'm really proud of. That said, I can't imagine not using the Pro version now that I have it. The Pro 40-150 is one of those beasts that is so sharp and fast focusing that it becomes indispensable.