OM Digital Solutions has been hard at work behind the scenes. Not only have they announced a new camera, the OM-1, they have also announced two new lenses. Here. we’ll be taking a look at the new OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro. Find out if this is a lens that’s for you in our full review.
Small and lightIP53 weather sealingCrazy sharpFantastic opticsFast focusingPriced well
No manual focusing clutchNo L-Fn button on the body
OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro — Technical specifications
All technical specifications for the OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro were supplied by OM Digital Solutions:
Focal length: 40-150mm (35mm equivalent focal length 80-300mm)Lens construction: 15 elements/9 groups, 2 ED lenses, 1 super ED lens, 1 HR lens, 2 aspherical lensWeather sealing: Splashproof / dustproof IP53Focusing system: High-speed imager AF (MSC)Angle of view: 30-8.2 degreeClosest focusing distance: 0.70m / 27.5 inchesMax image magnification: Wide:0.07x / tele: 0.21xNumber of blades: 7 (circular aperture)Max aperture: F4.0Min aperture: F22Filter size: 62mmDimensions: 68.9 × 99.4 mmWeight: 382g / 0.84lbs (without lens cap, lens rear cap and lens hood)
OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro — Ergonomics and build quality
The first thing that will strike you about the OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro is just how small this lens is. For an 80-300mm equivalent lens, it’s positively tiny. When you compare it to its bigger brother, the 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro it looks like a baby as well. This lens is just 4.25 inches long, has a diameter of 2.71 inches, and weighs only 0.84lbs!
Being a Pro lens, the OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 features an all-metal construction and it has incredible weather sealing (IP53). This lens can withstand lots of exposure to moisture and dust when it is paired up with a weather-sealed camera body.
The 40-150mm f/4 Pro against the 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro
The body of the lens has no switches and surprisingly, it does not feature the manual focus clutch or an L-Fn (function button) on the barrel that many other pro lenses have. This is a little disappointing.
In the hand, the OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro feels great. The large zoom ring provides a nice place to grip the lens and the much smaller, yet still, easy-to-use manual focus ring spins smoothly. I have used the lens on both the OM SYSTEM OM-1 and the Olympus E-M1X. I experienced no problems with balancing on either body. Overall, the OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro is a well-designed lens that’s battle-ready.
OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro — In the field
The OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro is an easy lens to use. The lack of physical controls, apart from the zoom ring and the manual focus ring, means there’s not much to fuss around with. It’s worth noting that the 40-150mm f/4 Pro does not feature any lens stabilization, which is a little strange for a lens with this focal range. However, the IBIS found in Olympus, and now OM SYSTEM cameras, make this lens easy to handhold (even one-handed) at very slow shutter speeds. I had no problems getting sharp images at 1/50s when at the 300mm equivalent focal range.
To use the lens, you have to first unlock it by twisting the barrel until it clicks. If you do not do this the camera will tell you that the lens is locked and you will not be able to bypass the screen. This allows the lens to be much more compact when collapsed. The manual focus ring is linear and not mechanical. This means the focus rings continually spins as there are no hard stopping points. Still, I found it easy to use. The focus throw is quite long, though. The zoom ring can be spun from 40mm to 150mm in one twist. Overall the OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro provides the end-user with a fuss-free experience.
OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro — Autofocus performance
The 40-150mm f/4 Pro performs well when it comes to autofocus. Focusing from near to far when using a single focus point in good light is rapid. You’ll get similar performance when using continuous autofocus as well. I have noticed that the lens does seem to hunt a little when in low-light situations. Still, the lens is always accurate and always finds its target.
The OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro also works well with tracking and with the new AI Subject detection in the OM-1. I had no problems tracking squirrels jumping in trees, people running, panning with cars and trams. It all works flawlessly. This lens doesn’t have a great minimum focusing distance. At 27.5-inches, you’re not going to be using this lens to do any macro work any time soon. One thing to note is that you can hear the AF motors whirring and buzzing from time to time. It’s not obnoxiously loud, still, It might be something videographers need to keep in mind.
OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro — Image quality
Ah, red dirt! I see you and my dog have met yet again!
It should come as no surprise to you when I say that the OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro is a top performer when it comes to image quality. There is absolutely nothing to report when it comes to distortions and nothing to talk about in regards to chromatic aberrations and fringing. OMDS has done a fantastic job with this lens. Let’s break it all down below.
Ghosting, flaring and chromatic aberrations
As you can see in the images above, the OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro handles chromatic aberrations well. I was expecting to see at least. a little around the branches of the trees in front of the building and around the stem of the weed. However, there’s nothing. At least, there’s nothing that I could see.
Shooting directly into light sources will create flaring and ghosting. it’s not the worst I have ever seen from a telephoto lens but it is there. You will also lose some contrast when shooting into light sources. Overall, this lens handles these three things very well.
The OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro is ridiculously sharp. Carrying on in the same tradition as Olympus, OM Digital Solutions has spared no expense when it comes to the optics being used. It’s a shame there is compression in play here in the images on the blog because if you could see the actual files, your jaw would hit the floor.
Details pop out of images thanks to how sharp everything is. You don’t even lose any sharpness when you zoom into the long end, which is often a trait of telephoto zoom lenses. This lens is worthy of having the Pro name attached to it. It’s a stunner.
While this lens only has a maximum aperture of f/4, you can still create some nice out-of-focus areas with it, especially when you’re shooting at the long end. It’s not the nicest bokeh you’ll ever see. Still, bokeh balls tend to be nice and round, and as mentioned above, when you shoot at 300mm equivalent you can make the background nice and creamy. At the wide end, out-of-focus areas can be a little busy.
The colors that the 40-150mm f/4 Pro renders are pleasing overall. However, I would say that the colors are a little vibrant and a little on the warm side. If you shoot JPEGs, you might want to use a profile that’s a little cooler, and turn off the ‘keep warm color’ option in the menu. If you shoot RAW, well, you have nothing to worry about. You can alter and adjust the colors to your liking with no worries.
OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro — Small, powerful and razor-sharp
The OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro is a fantastic lens from OM Digital Solutions. If you don’t need the extra stop of light that the significantly larger 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro offers, this f/4 version will more than please you. The lens is rapid when it comes to autofocus. It’s one of the sharpest telephoto zooms I have used in quite some time. The colors and bokeh are pleasing, and the lens controls flares, ghosting and aberrations very well.
The OM SYSTEM 40-150 f/4 Pro isn’t exactly cheap at $899.99. For this price, and with the Pro designation, I would have expected a lens function button and a manual focus clutch. Still, overall, OM Digital Solutions has knocked it out of the park with this lens. If you need a telephoto zoom that’s small, ridiculously light and that’s insanely sharp, look no further than the OM SYSTEM 40-150mm f/4 Pro.