Olympus Currently Shipping Spectacular 40-150mm F/2.8

Posted Nov. 9th, 2014 by Daniel J. Cox

I just heard from the folks over at 43Rumors that at least one of their readers has shipping confirmation from Olympus of his pre-ordered 40-150mm F/2.8 lens. I have one on order with F11 Photo in Bozeman, Montana, so hopefully mine will be on its way as well. I can’t wait to test this lens and let others know if it’s going to be a viable option for our Lumix line of cameras. Yes, for those who don’t know, you can use Olympus lenses on Lumix bodies and Lumix lenses on Olympus bodies. They share lens mounts!

Why am I so excited about a lens that was built and designed for a different system than I’m currently shooting, the Panasonic Lumix GH4? Because it will actually fit and work with my GH4 and other Lumix bodies. But even more importantly, I’m hopeful Panasonic sees and understands the NEED and INTEREST for super high quality lenses for the MFT systems.

The downside to using the new 40-150mm F/2.8 lens on my Lumix GH4 is no Image Stabilization (IS)! That’s a big downside. Olympus incorporates their IS in the body. Lumix designs their IS in the lens. However, the new Olympus lens is fast enough, at F/2.8, that I should be able to shoot it at shutter speeds that reduce my need for IS. Also, the professional quality, build, and optics are something I just can’t ignore. Having chosen to start shooting a non-full-frame sensor, like the ones I have in my Nikons, I need to optimize optics quality to the nth degree. With the smaller MFT sensors I need the most professional optics I can get.

I’m hopeful this Olympus lens is a HUGE success. If it is, that will encourage the engineers and even more importantly, the BEAN counters at Panasonic, to build the lens I’m dreaming of. An updated Lumix Vario 100-300mm F/4 constant aperture with the fit and finish and optical quality of their 12-35 F/2.8 and their 35-100mm F/2.8.

Here’s to Olympus for leading the charge for serious, professional grade, long range optics. We need more of these types lenses.

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There are 6 comments on this post…
  1. Dean SwartzOn Nov. 21st, 2014

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Spent an hour shortly after sunrise this morning photographing 60 Mallard ducks on our pond with the new lens and an OMD E-M1. All I can say is that image quality (particularly noteworthy was the contrast) was fantastic. And, this little bugger focuses fast! Catch light on the eyes of birds 50 yards away was tack sharp, and feather detail at 300% crop was startling. I look forward to learning how you like it on your GH4. Bummer that you don’t have IS, but with your skill and technique, you will probably still get excellent images without IS. But, I do love the 5-axis in-camera IS in the E-M1!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 21st, 2014

      Thanks for the update Dean. Without a doubt I’m going to be missing lack of Image Stabilization but I think I’ll get a good feel for whether the lens will be workable without it. time will tell but good to hear you are already seeing great results.

  2. Dean SwartzOn Nov. 20th, 2014

    Hey, Dan ~ I just received my 40-150mm lens today from B & H. Wow! It is a thing of beauty. Fit and finish are awesome and the retractable lens hood is simply genius! And, performance knocked my socks off. I shot a few test images with my Olympus OMD E-M1 and was extremely pleased. In the hand, the lens is a joy to use. Lighter, shorter, and focuses with lightning fast speed and silence compared to the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8G VRII. While I haven’t done any “running dog” shots (planned for tomorrow with our Golden/German Shepherd mix), the IQ appears to be at least as good as the Nikkor 70-200/2.8G VRII. The bonus of this setup is that it is very light and easy to handle compared to a Nikkor 70-200 on a D4 or D800E (both of which I have had considerable experience). I predict that you’re going to love it. This bodes very well for the announced 300mm f4.0 from Olympus.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 20th, 2014

      Dean, funny you should write and tell me that you got your 40-150mm. I literally just walked in the door of the studio, having come from F11 Photo, where I picked MY 40-150mm:) Couldn’t wait to put it on the Lumix GH4 and give it a try. It really is an impressive new piece of equipment. The AF seem rocket fast though the Speeding Pooch Test will give us the definitive answer. I know I’m going to miss the Image Stabilization but I’m hopeful we may get an upgrade of the GH4 with In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS). I’m also hopeful that the success of this lens will encourage Panasonic to get their engineers moving on an updated 100-300mm F/4. We can only hope. Until then I’m going to be making the most of this fabulous new option that was built for an Olympus body but do to Micro Four Thirds I’m using it on a Panasoinc Lumix GH4. I would never have dreamed I would ever have that option with any camera company. Hats off to Panasoinc and Olympus.

  3. Doug BrayOn Nov. 9th, 2014

    Hi Dan,

    We are waiting for ours, and the 1.4 teleconverter, also. We are eager to hear you comments and evaluation.

    Doug and Debra

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 9th, 2014

      Looking forward to your thoughts as well Doug. I just wished I was going to have IS but I’m more interested in seeing how sharp and useful this lens will be. I think it’s going to be OUTSTANDING!

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