Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150/4-5.6

I almost hesitate to say this but I have a new lens… it’s the Olympus 14-150mm superzoom that I was supposed to get with the camera, but in the end opted for the cheap 40-150mm (Cyberphoto was selling it at a huge discount at the time). But that choice left me with a gap between 18 and 40 mm and now after a few weeks of using the kit, it was getting a bit troublesome. So I would either have to get a normal zoom to cover that gap, or the superzoom as originally planned. And since the point of having the MFT kit is to travel light, I didn’t want a 3rd lens so I ordered the superzoom from eBay at a very good price but at some risk, because if this lens is a lemon it would be a headache to send it back.

After two days of shooting, I can say that the lens is pretty much as you can expect for a superzoom. At widest, the corner sharpness is bad, in fact all the edges are quite soft. But already at 20mm, image quality improves considerably, even in the corners. At the middle of the range the lens performs very well but going beyond 100mm it starts to deteriorate again. Which is not really very surprising, because all superzooms tend to be poor at the extremes.

I checked out some test pictures I found on the net and it seems like my lens is a bit softer at the long end. So I think that my copy of the lens is not the best possible but at the same time, it’s not so bad that I would need to go through the hassle to swap it. For most of my uses, there’s enough quality (for example that barn picture yesterday, it’s taken at 14mm but can you really tell that the corners are soft?) and if I need better, I have the excellent 9-18mm. And for telephoto, well it’s not very often you need to go to 150mm (=300mm) for landscapes. I used sharpening in Lightroom and got some detail back, and while it’s obviously not possible to bring back what’s not in the picture to start with, it’s certainly good enough for publishing the pictures on the web.


And yes indeed, that’s the famous brick wall test!

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