Err, package, I guess.
All these boring brown boxes.
Oh, shiny lens.
It’s the Olympus M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 that I mentioned in an earlier post that Cameta is selling through Ebay for $159 shipped (USPS priority btw). They are factory demo models and the one that showed up was in more or less perfect shape. Everything seems to be working just fine with the lens and it should be a good, smallish and light weight addition to
my my wife’s kit.
116mm, f/5.3 (wide open). Decent performance, though the camera focused on the branches in front of my son, there is enough DoF that his face is in focus unless you really pixel peep, which is a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view.
I played around with the lens last night for about 90 minutes running around trying to keep my little
hooligans sons from getting in to too much trouble playing outside with their friends. Overall I like the lens. It would never be my favorite, but if you need a compact, lightweight 80-300mm equivalent zoom lens and don’t mind that it is a little on the slow side, then it seems perfectly acceptable. The few shots I took (about 50 total) came out either acceptably sharp or very sharp from center to corner. Center performance seems very good wide open at all focal lengths and corner performance is more or less quite good a stop down and fine wide open.
40mm f/4. Not bad strong backlighting performance. Some haloing, but it is also about 7EV difference in light level between being in the shade of that tree and out in the open and the worst of it is right where the sun is around that tree branch.
A note about my standards. My standard of performance may or may not be higher than yours, but for me acceptably sharp means that it doesn’t look particularly soft or smudged in an 8×10. Of course if the lens only gets acceptably sharp several stops down…that isn’t actually acceptable for the lens (not much use if I have to shoot one or more stops down just to produce an acceptable image). I have rarely printed larger than 8×10, though it has happened. Ideally, I’d like something like a razor, but realistically, if it can handle 8x10s at all apertures, or maybe a stop down for the corners to look very good, then that is fine performance for me. I WANT something better than that, but I don’t need it generally.
Very good performance to me is something that is going to look sharp in an 11×14. Excellent or very sharp would look good in a 13×19. Anything beyond that is pretty much still just excellent to me and I probably can’t accurately judge if something is going to produce a really sharp 13×19, or if you could push it to an 18×24 or something larger and still look very sharp. On top of that, what looks nice and sharp to me at one print size might not to you, or it might be exceptionally sharp to you at that print size. I can’t judge your standards. Soon I plan on creating a reliable test target (probably varying size printed text combined with actual MTF test lines if I can get them to print accurately on the printer I have) for when I do through lens testing. For now it is general opinions though.
40mm f/7.1 very strong backlighting
100% crop from the bottom left corner (click on the images for the full size view). What I think is nice performance/sharpness wide open. Some definite CA, that should be removable in your favorite image editing program.
116mm f/5.3 (wide open)
100% crop from the center, nice and sharp.
One thing I should mention, the IS in the E-PL1 is very good at wide settings, but not so good at longer settings. At least in my opinion. It seems like anything much longer than about 25mm and I generally only get about 1 stop of handholding beyond the 1/(35mm equivalent) focal length rule and get sharp results. I can sometimes get good results below that, but it gets to be very hit or miss. Handholding wide I can get very slow speeds. At 14mm with the 14-42mm lens there are plenty of sharp results that I have gotten at 1/4s and I can generally get sharp results at that shutter speed if I am rather careful. 30mm…well 1/30s is generally the slowest I can go or maybe 1/20s if I am being very careful I can get sharp results most of the time. With the 40-150, in my limited testing I could generally manage sharp results at around the listed focal length on the lens (IE 1/40 to 1/150s depending on how zoomed in I was). Some decent stuff a little slower on the wider end of things. I think part of the issue is that the lens is so light, so it doesn’t provide much stability (the high winds were not helping, 25mph gusts).
Hopefully the new IBIS in the OM-D E-M5 really is an improvement. The E-PL1 IBIS isn’t terrible, but especially on the long end, it only seems to help a little (for me). Even just 1 extra stop reliably would be really sweet. 2 would be amazing. Of course a lot of my subjects, twice the 35mm equivalent focal length for shutter speed and lead weights on their ankles might not ensure blur free pictures…but that is not as a result of camera shake 😀
150mm, f/5.6 (1/80s, I had a concrete wall to brace against to help with getting this image sharp).
Top crop, 100%. Not bad performance even at the longest end and wide open (focusing was on the direct back of his head, not the top portion, so especially the top most hairs are starting to get out of the plane of focus).
Anyway, my early conclusion is a good lens at a really cheap price. I don’t recall “kit” lenses being nearly this good 10 or more years back. Also a great deal if you can get one used, in good shape for cheap (or new cheap). Maybe not up to snuff for a “real” pro, but it is at least as good a performer, and I personally think better, than the 14-42mm kit lens that comes with the camera. I should also mention focusing is quieter than the 14-42mm kit lens, which it should be since it is one of Olympus MSC focusing lenses. Focus is also at least slightly and noticably faster on the E-PL1 than the 14-42mm is.
In general Bokeh seems more or less nice.
A size comparison, it is about twice the length and slightly larger diameter than the 14-42mm lens is collapsed when the 40-150 is in the 40mm position. When zoomed to 150mm it extends pretty far, about half to two thirds again its 40mm length. Weight wise, in the hand it feels almost as light as the 14-42mm.
More to come on the lens later when I have a chance to play with it more, get my E-M5 and can actually setup a reusable test target that can glean some kind of repeatable information out of all of the lenses.
A final note, here is the auction again in case you are interested (no, I have no affiliation with Cameta, B&H or anyone else, at least at this time…but gosh it would be nice to get commissions :D) http://www.ebay.com/itm/200733805585?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649 is the lens going for cheap on Ebay. Looks like Cameta has sold something north of 100 demo lenses and have 7 or 8 left according to the auction. Don’t fret too much though if you can’t jump on it immediately (if you are even interested). Early last week they had sold 60 or 70 and had 7 or 8 left and when I bought one last Friday, they had 6 or 7 left and had sold 80 odd lenses. At some point though I assume the well will go dry.