Olympus Zuiko 40-150mm f3.5-4.5 review

Could one lens be enough to tempt you?

Shots have a contrast and clarity that's extremely unusual at this price

TechRadar Verdict

Budget telephoto zooms rarely live up to expectations, but this one is an exception


  • +

    Lens is brilliant

  • +

    Excellent contrast and clarity

  • +

    Brilliant build quality

  • +

    Terrific value for money


    Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

    The Zuiko 40-150mm lens is designed for the Olympus E-series cameras, notably the brand new E-500 (reviewed on p34). The Four Thirds sensor in the E-series gives a 2x focal factor, so this lens is an 80-300mm zoom in 35mm speak.

    Although you can buy it on its own for around £100, this lens is also available in a kit, along with the E-500 body and the 'standard' 14-45mm zoom. These kits are terrific value - we've seen them advertised as low as £630.

    It's a brilliant lens. Many telephoto zooms are disappointingly soft, prone to chromatic aberration and awkward to operate. This is none of these things. Shots have a contrast and clarity that's extremely unusual at this price.

    Every shot we took was as crisp as a 'standard' zoom. The E-500's AF system was fast and accurate, even with these long focal lengths - aided no doubt by the lens' wider- than-usual aperture range (f3.5-4.5). The image in the viewfinder is bright and clear, even at the longest focal lengths.

    Build quality is excellent, even though there's a good deal of plastic. The lens mount is metal and the filter size (58mm) is the same as the E-500's standard zoom.

    The E-500 may not necessarily be the first choice as an entry-level D-SLR, but as a twinlens kit it has to be seen in a new light. Rod Lawton

    Tech.co.uk was the former name of TechRadar.com. Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a Tech.co.uk staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.