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Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO

27 July 2016
Szymon Starczewski

3. Build quality

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40–150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO is an equivalent of an 80-300 mm full frame lens but, to be honest, it would be hard to find any direct rival of such a device either in mirrorless systems or among full frame lenses so it is hardly comparable to any other device.

In the photo below the tested lens is positioned next to another PRO series device, the M.Zuiko Digital 300 mm f/4.0 ED IS PRO.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Build quality

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The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40–150 mm starts with a metal mount surrounding contacts embedded in a black metal ring; the same ring also features an inscription “MADE IN CHINA”. The rear element doesn’t move, is about 23 mm in diameter and hides inside the entire construction about 1.5 cm deep; the tube round it is sensibly matted.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Build quality


The proper body is made of metal; it starts with an immobile ring, getting wider after a while, on which there are several inscriptions. They state the name, parameters, the serial number of the lens. The “SPLASH PROOF” inscription informs us that the lens feature a comprehensive weather sealing. There is also a red dot making an alignment with a camera easier and information about the focusing range (0.7m/2.3ft–∞). Then you see two other smooth rings, one titanium-coloured, the other one black.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Build quality


The next part of the lens enables you to attach a very solid tripod adapter, also made of metal. The adapter is of course detachable. Further on you see another smooth, black ring with a so-called L-Fn function button, programmable from the menu level of a camera. Then there is a huge, ribbed zoom ring, as wide as 39 mm. It turns smoothly, with appropriate resistance, and it includes markings at 40, 50, 70, 100 and 150 mm.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Build quality


A manual focus ring 24 mm wide, with metal ribs covering most of its surface, is the next part of the lens. In the standard position the ring’s performance is based on servomechanisms but if you pull it back toward the mount it engages the mechanical manual focus ability, also revealing the focus distance markings expressed in feet and meters. Running through the whole distance in the mechanical mode needs a turn through an angle of about 100 degrees. What’s interesting, in the fly-by-wire mode that value hardly increases.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Build quality


Behind the focusing ring you see another small, immobile ring with the name and the parameters of the lens which relatively smoothly turns into a blue and gray stripe. Behind that stripe there is a hood mount.

The front element doesn’t move, is 56 mm in diameter and around it you find a non-rotating filter thread, 72 mm in diameter.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Build quality


When it comes to the optical construction, it consists of 16 elements positioned in 10 groups. The producers weren’t stingy with special elements: you deal here with three made of low-dispersion ED glass, one made of Super ED glass, two aspherical elements, one HD and one EDA (meaning Extra-low Dispersion Aspherical). Inside you also find a circular aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/22 at the maximum.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Build quality


Buyers get both caps in the box. Our specimen featured a front cap from the 90th Olympus anniversary edition which is…translucent. In one situation such a solution proved to be tricky – I forgot to take it off and tried to take a photo anyway. Light, even though filtered through milky plastic, reached the sensor but the camera couldn’t set the focus for obvious reasons. Still, for a short moment I was sure that the autofocus broke down…

Apart from the caps you get also a very solid tripod adapter, a retractable lens hood and a lens case. It is also worth mentioning that the lens is often offered in a product bundle with the MC-14 teleconverter for less than 7,000 PLN.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Build quality