Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Olympus 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II Lens Review

Background

An all in one, affordable, weather sealed lens for micro four thirds?    Interested?
This is the newest iteration of this "kit" lens by Olympus.  The original was not weather sealed, so we have an upgrade there.  Let's take a look at this lens.

1/200, f/6.3, ISO 200 @ 58mm

Handling/Weight/Size

Relatively, for its range, the lens is just slightly smaller than the Olympus 12-40/2.8 PRO.  It is smaller in diameter as well as length.  It is very similar in size to the budget friendly Olympus 40-150/4-5.6R lens.

It is an f/4-5.6, which helps keep the size down.  The lens does extend when zoomed.  The zoom ring is smooth and responsive, the lens feels solidly built.

This is a great option for those times when only one camera/lens is wanted or the ability to change lenses (high dust environment or raining/inclement weather) is not possible.  The weather sealing is a great thing to have when you need it.

The close focusing of this lens is welcome as well.  You can get very close.  It is not good enough to be a "macro" lens, but the close focusing capability will most likely satisfy a lot of photographers needs.

1/500, f/4, ISO 200 @ 14mm

Image Quality

Let's make no qualms about it...this is not going to rival IQ from lenses such as the PRO line zooms.   It does start at f/4, so you lose some ability to have a shallow depth of field like you would get with an f/2.8 zoom or the f/1.x primes.

What I planned on using this for was an all in one street shooting or every day carry lens.

The image quality did not hold up to what I wanted, just too many compromises for the range you are getting.  I'll stick with the current setup I have which is 2 lenses, the Panasonic 12-32 and the Oly 40-150R.

I found that doing my part as a photographer, that I was able to get some shallow depth of field and that the transition and out of focus areas are quite pleasant.  You can judge for yourself from the sample images, though.
Image quality seems best at wide to medium telephoto and suffers at the long end toward the 150mm mark.

All sample images taken with the Olympus PEN-F.

1/200, f/5.6, ISO 200 @ 54mm

Auto Focus

As to be expected with modern Olympus built micro four thirds lenses, this is a quick focusing lens.  You'll have no complaints from me on its S-AF performance.

1/200, f/7.1, ISO 1250 @ 90mm

1/320, f/5.6, ISO 200 @ 150mm

Bottom Line:
In a kit or at the current $399 price(as of 12-22-2016), this is a great everyday carry option when versatility or weather sealing are needed and budget is a concern.  If you want something faster with better IQ but need the versatility, I'd look more to the 12-100/4 PRO lens.

It suffers most at the longer telephoto end in clarity.  As stated previously, this is not a keeper lens for me and I'll stick with the 2 lens kit of the P12-32 and O40-150R.

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