PRO 40-150 Choices

With the latest zoom lens introduction by OM Digital Solutions,  M4/3 owners now have two M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm choices. This short article discusses the three key differences between these two lenses: cost, size/weight, and functionality.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 PRO @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/8000, ISO-800, Pro Capture mode, subject distance 1.7 metres

Cost

The first thing that one notices when comparing the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/4 with the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 f/2.8 is cost. In Canada the f/4 version retails for $1,150 compared to $2,000 for the f/2.8 model. That’s a difference of $850 which is not an inconsequential amount of money.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2000, ISO-200, subject distance 700 mm

Obviously one of the key factors to consider is cost. Photographers would be well served to spend some time tightly defining their needs to help determine if the price premium for the PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 is worth it to them based on their style of photography.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X with M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko M20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO-1250, subject distance 37.6 metres

Size and Weight

Photographers looking for a smaller, lighter option will appreciate the small size and weight of the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/4. It weighs only 382 grams (~0.84 lbs.) and measures 99.4 mm X 68.9 mm (3.9 X 2.7 inches). When in use this lens measures 124 mm (~4.9 inches) in length. I did not see a tripod collar as an accessory on the website so I assume that this is not an option. This makes sense given the small size and weight of the f/4 lens.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 plus M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 104 mm, efov 208 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 3.6 metres

By comparison the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 is much larger measuring 160 mm X 79.4 mm (6.3 X 3.1 inches). It is also significantly heavier weighing 760 grams (1.67 lbs.) without the tripod collar, and 880 grams (1.94 lbs.) with it.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 115 mm, efov 230 mm, f/2.8, 1 second handheld, ISO-200

So, based on cost as well as size and weight considerations the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/4 has some distinct advantages over its f/2.8 bigger brother.

E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-6400, subject distance 2.2 metres

Functionality

Depending on the scope of the photography/videography that an individual does, they may find that the differences in functionality between the f/2.8 and f/4 versions are significant.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-2500

One of the biggest differences is that the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 is compatible with the MC-14 and MC-20 teleconverters. The PRO 40-150 mm f/4 is not. Using the MC-14 with the PRO f/2.8 lens delivers an equivalent field-of-view of 112-420 mm at f/4. Using the MC-20 teleconverter further extends the equivalent field-of-view to 160-600 mm at f/5.6.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000, ISO-200, subject distance 700 millimetres

Some photographers will value the faster aperture of the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 as it provides one additional stop to help address low light conditions, as well as positively impacting shallow depth-of-field.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-200, subject distance 885 mm

The M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/4 does not have a focus clutch. This may be a non-issue for some photographers. I personally find the focus clutches on my M.Zuiko PRO f/2.8 zooms to be very handy, especially in low light conditions.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-6400, Handheld Hi Res Mode, subject distance 710 mm

The weather sealing on the PRO 40-150 mm f/4 is IP53 which is better than the IPX-1 rating of the PRO f/2.8 version. We need to keep in mind that unless a photographer uses the PRO f/4 lens with an OM-1 body their camera/lens combo will not achieve IP53 weather sealing as other Olympus camera bodies are IPX-1 rated.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/100, ISO-200, subject distance 770 mm

I think it is safe to assume that the optics of the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/4 will be excellent, as is the optical performance of the f/2.8 version.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 6.8 metres

Kit integration

No lens should be bought in a vacuum. Before adding any lens a photographer should consider how it will fit into their existing kit. The M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/4 strikes me as an ideal lens to match up with the PRO 12-45 f/4 if a photographer wanted a small, light 2 lens kit for travel.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 4.2 metres

By comparison a 2 lens kit comprised of the M.Zuiko PRO 12-40 f/2.8 (or version II of that lens) combined with the PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with teleconverters would deliver significantly more functionality. The trade-off would be larger, heavier, and more costly lenses.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 284 mm, efov 568 mm, f/6.3, 1/3200, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 8.2 metres

Summary

The new M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/4 zoom lens may be a solid choice for photographers wanting a small, lightweight, and cost effective lens that delivers an equivalent field-of-view from 80 to 300 mm. There are some potentially significant functionality trade-offs which may be important depending on the needs of an individual photographer.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode

Technical Note:

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.  Photographs were resized for web use. This is the 1,140 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 2X teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/25, ISO-4000, subject distance 2.4 metres

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Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, 1/60, f/5.6, ISO-6400, subject distance 1.4 metres

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8 thoughts on “PRO 40-150 Choices”

  1. I think the small f4’s are a good choice for portability for some folks, and teamed up with the new OM-1 is a fine choice. I on the other hand have always loved the 40-150 f2.8. When out walking in the forest, I have the spider holster system, and have one EM1X with the 40-150 f2.8 on the left hip, and the other EM1X with the 12-100 f4 on the other hip. I have 1.4 and 2.0 TC’s and value being able to pop them on the 40-150 at any time. I donated my 12-40 f2.8 to my sister, and have maybe thought that was not a good choice for me.
    Cheers!

  2. So, the question for travelers is… the combo of 12-40 and 40-150 are exceeded by the 12-200 lens for focal breath. Light loss is minimal but is the image quality comparable? And why carry 2 lenses if 1 will do?

    1. Hi Lewsh,

      I agree that the PRO 12-100 f/4 IS is an excellent one lens choice for travelers. We purchased our copy to match up with the 100-400 f/5.6.3 zoom as a nature/travel kit. I would be very comfortable using the 12-100 f/4 as a one lens travel solution.

      Some folks may take the two f/2.8 zoom lenses for the additional reach (especially with a teleconverter), or if they needed the f/2.8 constant aperture for video work. The extra stop of light can make a difference in many situations. For example I would never take my 12-100 f/4 on a client video assignment as it is not fast enough for the indoor industrial work I do.

      The 12-45 f/4 and 40-150 f/4 would weigh slightly more than the 12-100 f/4 and cost about $250 more in total. Some folks, like my wife, would find the 12-100 to be too heavy as a walkaround lens when travelling. She uses the 14-150 f/4-5.6 II as her walkaround lens.

      Lens choices always come down to the specific needs of an individual photographer.

      Tom

      1. I was referring to the 12-200 lens. I also have the 12-100 which is the lens I use for travel for your stated reasons but getting the greater reach of the 12-200 is very appealing.

        1. My bad Lewsh… sorry about that!

          I agree with you that the 12-200 mm can be a very appealing lens for folks that want an all-in-one travel solution. Being able to shoot with an equivalent field-of-view of 24-400 mm with a lens that only weighs 455 grams (~1 lb.) and measures 99.7 X 77.5 mm (~3.9 X 3 inches) will be a good choice for many people. Thanks for mentioning this option.

          Tom

        1. Hi Randy,

          I agree the E-M1X and 12-100 f/4 IS is a flexible combination. I often take my 12-100 mm f/4 IS when I’m out birding in case I find some other interesting subjects.

          Tom

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