M.Zuiko 150-400 Pro Zoom

Olympus has officially launched the M.Zuiko 150-400 mm f/4.5 Pro IS zoom. I thought some readers may have an interest in this game-changing lens. This short article provides some links to three reviews of this lens done by Matt Suess, Rob Knight and Mike Inkley.

To start, here is a link to the Olympus Americas website and the information that is available for the M.Zuiko 150-400 mm f/4.5 pro zoom.

Here is the YouTube review of the M.Zuiko 150-400 mm f/4.5 done by Rob Knight.

Readers with an interest in motor sports may like to view the YouTube video done by Mike Inkley.

The YouTube video done by Matt Suess contains some wildlife video scenes shot with the M.Zuiko 150-400 mm f/4.5, as well as some nature images in Yellowstone National Park.

I’m sure you’ll find the information and impressions in the three YouTube videos above of interest.

I have no doubt that the M.Zuiko 150-400 mm f/4.5 pro zoom is an incredible photographic tool. It will likely cause more professional nature and sports photographers to switch to the Olympus camera system. Just like highly regarded pros like Petr Bambousek, Andy Rouse, David Tipling and Jari Peltomaki have done (just to name a few).

No doubt many internet chat rooms will be full of typical Olympus naysayers and bashers. They’ll complain that the M.Zuiko 150-400 is too big. Too heavy. Too expensive. The important question is “Compared to what?”

With an equivalent field-of-view of 300-800 mm at f/4.5, and 375-1000 mm at f/5.6 when the built-in 1.25X teleconverter is used, there is nothing that can touch this pro zoom in terms of size/weight, flexibility, or price.

Look at full frame professional telephoto lenses from Nikon and Canon that offer similar fields-of-view. You’ll find that they are considerably larger, heavier and far more expensive.

This is not a lens that fits my specific needs (I have an M.Zuiko 100-400 f/5-6.3 on order)… but it will be a game changer for a lot of photographers. The M.Zuiko lens line up now has three excellent long telephoto options.

M.Zuiko long telephoto lens options: 150-400 f/4.5 PRO IS with built-in 1.25 teleconverter, 300 mm f/4 PRO IS prime, 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS

All are weathersealed to IPX1 standards and when paired with professional cameras like the E-M1X or E-M1 Mark III provide outstanding performance.

Additionally, when we consider the Subject Tracking AI available with the E-M1X (i.e. airplanes, trains, motosports, and soon to also include birds) photographers can leverage industry leading, breakthrough technology for their work.

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8 thoughts on “M.Zuiko 150-400 Pro Zoom”

  1. I have exactly the same kit as you and I also own a M1X in addition to Mark 3. To me at $7500 it’s not a worthwhile investment. Now to your question compared to what? For $7500 you can buy a FF whole kit with reasonable zooms and TC. That gives you a cropping advantage too. Olympus is generally being used for BIF and macro photography by most Olympus users and with genre it doesn’t make commercial sense to invest $7500 on a lens. A FF with just the trinity of zooms opens you up to landscapes, weddings, portraiture and what not. That’s my two bit.

    1. Hi Jim,

      Thanks for adding your perspectives to the discussion!

      Choice of camera gear is always an intensely personal decision. I know of a few professional wildlife, auto-sports, and sports photographers who have the M.Zuiko 150-400 f/4.5 on order. They see it as a very efficient lens in terms of usage flexibility and cost. Since I don’t do any paid client work where this lens would be needed, it just didn’t make any sense for us from a business or personal perspective. We ended up buying an E-M1 Mark III body and added 4 M.Zuiko lenses (14-150 f/4-5.6 II, 75-300 f/4.8-6.7 II, 100-400 f/5-6.3 IS, and PRO 12-100 f4 IS) to our kit for a smaller investment than would have been required with the M.Zuiko 150-400 f/4.5. That was a much better business decision for us.

      I used full frame gear for a while and there was nothing about it that I enjoyed… different strokes for different folks. 🙂 Luckily I got most of our investment back when I sold it all in July 2015. I haven’t missed it for even a second.


  2. Greetings, Tom!
    I was very curious upon learning that you have opted for the 100-400 instead of the 150-400.

    Was there anything specific that led to this choice?

    1. Hi Aron,

      I wrote a detailed article on this subject a little while ago: https://smallsensorphotography.com/m-zuiko-100-400-decision

      In a nutshell it came down to a few main factors: size, weight and cost. Back in my full frame days I used a long telephoto zoom lens coupled with a full frame body. This combination weighed a little over 6 pounds and was simply too heavy for me to use comfortably handheld for extended periods of time. After about 3 hours some fatigue would begin to set in. The size of that kit also made it more difficult to travel with it. Opting for the M.Zuiko PRO 150-400 would have put me back in that same kind of situation with a larger, heavier lens/camera combo in the 6 plus pound range. I simply had no interest in doing that again.

      The other factor was cost. From a business perspective I simply could not justify an expensive lens like the M.Zuiko PRO 150-400. It was far better for us to purchase the M.Zuiko 100-400 (which is an amazing lens in its own right) and add some other pieces of Olympus gear to fully build out our kit. For less money than the M.Zuiko PRO 150-400 would have cost us, we were able to add an OM-D E-M1 Mark III, M.Zuiko 100-400 f/5-6.3, M.Zuiko PRO 12-100 f/4, M.Zuiko 14-150 f/4-5.6, M.Zuiko 75-300 f/4.8-6.7, and M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter. My wife and I now have significantly more photographic capability… with a smaller investment than the M.Zuiko PRO 150-400 would have required. This was a better business decision for us.


      1. I love what you bought with the $$$ instead of the 150-400. In reading your posts on the 100-400 with image samples, I intend to pull the plug on the 100-400. In using the 300 Pro, it is sometimes impossible to “zoom with your feet”. The 40-150 Pro is a little too short for what I like to shoot with. BTW, I have the old Minolta 100-500 f8 zoom (lens alone 2488 grams), which weighs as much as my EM1X and the 300 Pro with the Spider Holster bracket attached (2610 grams) I suppose I could add the EM1mkiii also so I could have the astro focusing feature. 🙂

        1. Hi Randall,

          When I first bought into the Olympus system, the M.Zuiko 150-400 had really piqued my interest. Then, after the 100-400 mm was announced I reconsidered things. It just made logical sense to expand the overall functionality and breadth of our system, rather than investing in the 150-400. No doubt it will be a superlative lens… but not the best fit for us.


  3. Tom,
    I have been following your posts for years, watched you go from the small Nikon to this incredible system. You have to do a ‘WHAT’S IN MY BAG’ for us. Oh, and for the record, knowing the bag(s) you use would be helpful too. I read a number of blogs, many are light weight and obviously driven by things other than giving a true evaluation. Yours is a breath of fresh air.

    1. Hi Ron,

      Thanks for your support for all of these years… much appreciated!

      I do have a “What’s in my Bag” article planned and have been waiting for my final piece of Olympus kit (i.e. M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3) to arrive so I can do a comprehensive break down for readers. Our kit is fairly extensive so I will probably break it down into three subsections… Client/Indoor/Low Light kit, Outdoor/Nature/Birding kit, and Travel kit. Hopefully my 100-400 will arrive sometime in November. I ordered it back in August. I know from my contacts at Olympus Americas that orders have been very strong.


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