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The new Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 telephoto is the longest, fastest zoom at F2.8 available for a mirrorless camera. The Panasonic 35-100 F2.8 is incredibly compact and regarded by many as one of the best mid range telephoto zooms on the market for the M43 format. Neither of these lenses is what I call inexpensive, but then few lenses with Pro level build and performance are. The Camera Store’s Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake put both of these mirrorless Pro lenses through their paces and debate which is the ultimate option for Micro 4/3 shooters.
The Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens is not exactly small or light and compact for a micro four thirds mid-range zoom, but when you are coming from DSLR land everything seems smaller. The good news is it delivers super sharp imaging performance that exceeds the universally acclaimed super high grade glass found in most of the Professional series 4/3rds lenses from Olympus.
Announced back in September 2014 for Photokina alongside the Olympus 40-150mm ƒ/2.8 Zuiko Pro, the tiny and robust Olympus MC-14 1.4x teleconverter offers Micro Four Thirds users the first focal length extender for the Micro Four Thirds system, one that maintains the rugged, splashproof build of the Olympus 40-150mm ƒ/2.8 Zuiko Pro lens.
Currently compatible only with the Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 lens, the 1.4x teleconverter gives the focal length range a boost up to 56-210mm (112-420mm in 35mm equivalents), but with the typical 1-stop of light loss (the ƒ/2.8 aperture stops down to an F4). The 1.4xTC will also be compatible with Olympus’s upcoming 300mm F4 Zuiko Pro telephoto lens for a 420mm F5.6 -equivalent lens (an 840mm equivalence in 35mm terms). You read that correctly, an 840mm equivalent F5.6! Where do I sign up?
With an all-metal construction with full weather-sealing, the Olympus MC-14x is comprised of six optical elements, including one “HR” element. Testing the teleconverter with the Olympus 40-150mm ƒ/2.8 produced excellent results, especially at the shorter focal lengths. Is it perfect? No, teleconverters rarely are. At the furthest reaches, 150mm, the teleconverter does create an image that is a bit softer, but considering the incredible extra reach it is a small enough price to pay for the huge increase in flexibility.
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