Lens review

Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5

3 March 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The dimensions of the ZD 14-54 mm are typical for the equipment of this class, in fact very similar to its counterparts with APS-C sensors like the Sigma 17-70, the Tamron 17-50 or the Sigma 18-50 mm. In the photo below it is positioned near a significantly bigger ZD 12-60 mm (quite understandable as the latter offers a wider range of focal lengths and an SWD motor after all) and a prime Leica 1.4/25 lens.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Build quality

The housing of the lens is made of a very characteristic material, similar to plastics to the touch. It’s not magnesium alloy like in the more expensive lenses from other producers but modern technologies allow to manufacture artificial materials not less durable than metals. The bayonet mount is made of metal for a change and the ZD 14-54 mm is weather- sealed - a rare thing among the “kit lens” substitutes in this price segment which places the barrel’s quality in a favourable light.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Build quality

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We’ll find two solid, wide, rubber-coated rings on the barrel. Looking from the side of the mount we first meet the zoom ring, next a clear distance scale window and the second ring, used to set the focus manually. Both rings move smoothly and are well-damped, allowing you to choose precisely the parameters you need. At the very end of the lens there is a 67 mm filter thread.

During zooming the front element extends on an one-part inner tube which gives an impression of solidity. The thread doesn’t rotate on focusing or aperture change which guarantees a seamless cooperation with filters of different kind.

When it comes to the inner construction we deal here with 15 elements in 11 groups. The manufacturer doesn’t mention any low-dispersion glass components but as many as three elements are aspherical. Inside, we also find a seven diaphragm blades aperture which can be closed down to f/22.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Build quality

The buyer gets a petal-type lens hood, both caps and a soft case included in box.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Build quality