Olympus 40-150mm f4-5.6 ED - Just how good is it?

Its always been my contention that this lens is one of the neglected classics. Its an outrageously cheap price, I bought mine for £89 brand new on ebay. However despite its price I've always been impressed by the pictures I have taken with it both on Olympus 4/3 cameras and m4/3.

I decided to give it a serious test to see if my impressions were correct. I put it up against a Zeiss 50mm f2 Planar. (Read the gushing review here:- /soundimageplus/2010/06/zeiss-zm-t-50mm-f2-planar.html) and a Leica Summarit-M 90mm f2.5. No real competition there then!!

Results are below. You can download the file from flickr and view at your leisure. I tested the lenses at f5.6, f8 and f11, using an Olympus Pen E-P2, tripod mounted, all lenses manually focused.

lens test

In comparison with the Zeiss, the Zeiss is clearly sharper, but then its one of the best lenses I've ever used. However the zoom holds its own.

Compared with the Summarit-M, I'm hard pressed to tell the difference which is extraordinary since we are talking around an £800 price difference.

So the test proves that I'm not seeing things, and that the 40-150 zoom is a superb lens. I've always thought it the best value for money lens you can buy. Now I'm sure it is.