14-150 II with Extension Tubes

This article features a selection of handheld photographs captured with the M.Zuiko 14-150 II with extension tubes. Many photographers enjoy doing macro-type photography but can’t justify buying a dedicated macro lens. This posting demonstrates some of the flower images that are possible when using the M.Zuiko 14-150 II with extension tubes.

My wife and I recently added the M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II zoom lens to our Olympus kit. Our rationale for this addition will be covered in a future article.

This morning I decided to test this lens with a set of Kenko M4/3 extension tubes. So, I attached both the 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes to see what would happen.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 67 mm, efov 134 mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

My first image opportunity this morning was a large mosquito perched on the outside of my patio door. I captured the image above shooting through two panes of glass.

I then wandered around my yard for less than 20 minutes to capture all of the photographs in this article.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 75 mm, efov 150 mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-4000, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

I used the M.Zuiko 14-150 II with extension tubes in exactly the same manner I would use my Nikon 1 gear. I adjusted the focal length of the lens to acquire approximate focus and subject framing, then used single point auto-focus to nail down the composition.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 80 mm, efov 160 mm, f/5.5, 1/400, ISO-6400, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

It was fairly breezy this morning so I had to use somewhat faster shutter speeds with my photographs. In some cases I had to wait for the wind to subside a bit before grabbing a quick image capture.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-4000, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

Since my knee injury from earlier this summer still limits my mobility to some degree, there were a number of occasions when I used the articulating screen on my Olympus OM-D E-M1X for low-to-the ground photographs. This worked very well.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 100 mm, efov 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-6400, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

Extension tubes shorten the minimum focusing distance of your lens which helps create a magnifying effect. The trade-off is that they also reduce the amount of light reaching your camera’s sensor. You’ll notice that many of my photographs this morning were at high ISO values. I never hesitate to shoot my Olympus gear up to ISO-6400 as I always use RAW files and can easily address noise in post.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 100 mm, efov 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-2500, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

Misinformation about using M4/3 cameras abounds on the internet. ISO limitation is one area of misinformation. Another of the most common fallacies is that you cannot achieve shallow depth-of-field when using a M4/3 camera.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 90 mm, efov 180 mm, f/5.5, 1/400, ISO-6400, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

As you look at the various compositions in this article, it will become evident shallow depth-of field can easily be achieved with a M4/3 camera.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 135 mm, efov 270 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-5000, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

Sensor size has nothing directly to do with depth-of-field. Lens focal length, aperture, distance to subject, and the distance of the subject to the background, are the determining factors.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 120 mm, efov 240 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-2500, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

I found the auto-focusing performance of the M.Zuiko 14-150 f/4.-5.6 II zoom lens to be excellent. It was virtually instantaneous and very accurate when used with my E-M1X.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 135 mm, efov 270 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-6400, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

As blossoms were bobbing around in the breeze I had to time my shutter releases during split seconds of calm. As could be expected smaller blossoms were the most challenging.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 90 mm, efov 180 mm, f/5.5, 1/500, ISO-5000, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

As you review the EXIF data for each image you’ll notice that I didn’t bother to stop the M.Zuiko 14-150 f/4-5.6 down when creating these macro-type images. Instead, I shot it wide open at whatever aperture the focal length of this variable aperture zoom lens would dictate. This is a wonderful, little zoom lens that produces sharp images when shot wide open, with very nice colour rendition.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 90 mm, efov 180 mm, f/5.5, 1/400, ISO-2000, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

Overall, I was very pleased with how the M.Zuiko 14-150 II with extension tubes performed. It is small, light and very easy to handle.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 90 mm, efov 180 mm, f/5.5, 1/400, ISO-1000, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

Folks who enjoy macro-type photography from time-to-time, but can’t justify adding a dedicated macro lens to their kit, would certainly enjoy how the M.Zuiko 14-150 II with extension tubes performs. It is a small, lightweight and cost affordable zoom lens that is suited to a wide range of general photography as well as travel..

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f/4-5.6 II @ 100 mm, efov 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-3200, 10 mm and 16 mm Kenko extension tubes used

How you can help keep this site advertising free

My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to tom@tomstirr.com through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.

Article and images are Copyright 2020 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

4 thoughts on “14-150 II with Extension Tubes”

  1. Very nice images.
    I was looking (on the ‘net) at the Kenko extension tubes the other day, you’ve wetted my appetite (even though I don’t have the 14-150).

    1. Hi Jim,

      Extension tubes can be used with a wide range of different lenses as long as they don’t shorten the minimum focusing distance to the point where the lens simply cannot focus.

      Tom

  2. Tom
    Knowing the array of lens you already have, I am curious as to why you would want another one to do these type shots. Would your 40-150 or 12-100 not do as good or better job than the 14-150?

    1. Hi Joel,

      Further to your comment, “I am curious as to why you would want another one to do these type shots.” We did not buy this lens specifically to do these kinds of shots with extension tubes. Our rationale for selecting this lens will be in our next article.

      Tom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *