LensTip.com

Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO

26 October 2021
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart shows clearly that the Micro 4/3 system now offers you some very interesting devices in the ultra wide-angle segment. It is also the first system that features two models which angles of view range from near 100 degrees to less than 50 degrees – we mean here the older Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH, and the smaller, physically lighter but also slower Olympus.

In the photo below the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO is positioned between the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO and the Voigtlander Nokton 25 mm f/0.95.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount that surrounds a black, plastic ring that goes round contacts. It features an inscription 'Made in Vietnam'. The rear element of the lens, positioned on the same level as the contacts, is 21 mm in diameter and it doesn't move. The area round it is properly blackened so from this side everything looks as it should.

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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO - Build quality

The first part of the proper barrel of the Olympus 8-25 mm is a black, metal ring that doesn't move. It features a red dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, the name and parameters of the lens, a programmable lens function button L-Fn, and, on its other side, the serial number and information about the minimum focusing distance (0.23 m/0.75 ft), and protection about moisture (splash proof).

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO - Build quality

The next part is a ribbed zoom ring, 27 mm wide. It turns with a proper, even resistance, featuring focal lengths markings at 8, 10, 14, 18, and 25 mm and a dot that marks the resting position. When the ring is in that position the lens is folded, and inactive - you can't take photos with it. Only after passing from the rest position to the 8 mm mark you activate the lens and its front element system extends, making the whole instrument noticeably longer.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO - Build quality

Further on you see a manual focus ring 20 mm wide, most of its surface covered by fine ribs. Depending on its position, adjusted via a push-pull mechanism, it can work in different modes. When the ring is pressed towards the front element it works as a focus-by-wire mechanism. If you shift it towards the mount, a distance scale is revealed and the ring starts working in a traditional manual focus mode. Its performance is beyond reproach – it moves smoothly and is properly damped. The focus throw amounts to an angle of about 110 degrees in the mechanical mode. Then you see an immobile part of the barrel with the name and parameters of the lens, and two narrow rings, a blue and a grey one.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO - Build quality

Next is the front element system, surrounded by a hood mount – it is the most extended at 8 mm and it starts to hide with the increase of the focal length, reaching a local minimum at 18 mm; then it starts to extend anew but it never sticks out as much as at the shortest focal length.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO - Build quality

The front element is convex, 40 mm in diameter, surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 72 mm in diameter.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO - Build quality

When it comes to its optical construction you deal here with 16 elements positioned in 10 groups. The number of special elements is really impressive: inside you can find aspherical elements, both ordinary ones (one) and made of low dispersion ED glass (two), and also double aspherical DSA elements (one). Add to that two low dispersion elements (one ED and one Super ED), and elements made of glass with high refraction index (two HR and one Super HR). There is also an aperture with seven diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/22 at the maximum.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO - Build quality

Buyers get both caps, a petal-type hood and a case. Still that case should be rather called a thicker cloth...

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm f/4 PRO - Build quality