November 21, 2012
I gave the lens a real workout in a dusty, smoking outdoor environment - a Civil War re-enactment. Photo subjects were from 30 to 500 feet away. Olympus Pen E-P3 body and VF-2 View Finder. No hood used but did attach a Quantaray DMC-1A filter. Shot 300 + photos in one afternoon's time. No vignetting noted. I did not shoot directly into the sun, but did shoot at such an angle where I fully expected flare. No flare noted. Depth of field was exceptional.
Sorting through the photos, I found no throw a ways due to poor focus, movement blurs, or flare. I did have some throwaways due to composition and a few because of exceptionally high contrast between subject and background.
I contrast this lens review with similar Canon, Vivitar, and Nikon lenses, I've owned. Some in the 35mm film format; others in 35mm digital lenses.
It works for me.
February 28, 2012
On the PL-2, the pop up flash leaves a large shadow when at the wide end, therefore not an all around lens ....
February 05, 2012
This is an excellent all around lens and you can get spectacular results, but it takes some practice to learn the quirks and get around them.
When you use this lens, your camera *has* to be in A (Aperture Priority) mode for the best results. From 14mm to around 35mm, you should stop it down one stop to get sharp results (F/5.6). From around 35mm to around 80mm, you can soot wide open, but then from 80mm to around 130m you have to stop down to f/8. At the longest end, you will get the best results at f/9 to f/10.
Of course if there's not enough light you can shoot at larger apertures, but the results won't be really sharp.
Know these limits and try to adapt yourself to them, and this lens performs excellently. If you ignore these and shoot in iAuto or P mode, then you might get disappointed with the sharpness and CA (Chromatic Aberrations).
Also this lens is very susceptible to flare, but then again many other lenses are like that too. For the best results you absolutely have to use a lens hood. The Olympus LH-61C lens hood that is made for the classic 4/3rds 14-42mm lens fits on the Olympus 14-150mm micro 4/3rds lens, as well as other third party lenses (Like LH-J61C from JJC), and they do the job.
I travelled to europe last year with only this lens (and a prime for night shots), and knowing its limits it performed very well.
July 24, 2011
I have had this lens for a few months, and find I like it more the longer I use it. Without the VF 2 I was getting some fuzzy shots at the long end, due to holding it at arms length with such magnification (equal to a 300mm on 35mm). When I use it with the VF 2 my images are sharp throughout the range. Yes, I see a little darkness in the corners sometimes, but has not been a significant problem or concern. I really like the weight, size, overall image quality and the great colors I get from this lens. It focuses substantially faster than the kit lenses, making getting pictures of the kids much more hit than miss. On that note, even the slowest AF out there is generally much faster than manual focus, something we tend to forget.
July 22, 2011
This lens is not the sharpest, particularly at the long end. However, it's biggest flaw is that the projected image circle doesn't cover the entire sensor at 14mm, leaving your raw files with black corners. When the image is corrected for barrel distortion, the corners are pushed out and the occlusion is no longer visible. If you don't want to correct the distortion then you will have to crop the image to remove the defect.
On the plus side the lens is very small and light, so it can go along when larger alternatives are not practical.
July 11, 2011
Great all-in-one travel lens that makes the PEN a little larger, but a far better travel companion than a full DSLR.
June 29, 2011
This is an ideal lens to use with the Pen cameras, in addition to the 17mm 2.8 of course. With these two lenses you are set for just about any travel adventure. The lens has a metal lens mount, and considerably faster focusing than the 40-150mm. It is well made of high quality plastic, which allows for a small size and light weight, the whole point of the Pen system. I found this lens ideal for photos of the kids, as well as travel and landscapes. It is fairly sharp wide open, very sharp one to two stops down, paricularly sharp in the low end of the range 14-50mm, and very respectable in the rest. It is also very quiet while in video mode, not distracting like some other brands. I would recommend using the VF-2 for this lens though, especially at the long end. Even with stabilization you won't get the sharpness you expect holding the camera at arms length to see the back screen. You will have many more keepers holding the camera up to your eye to keep it steady. While it costs a little more than the 14-42 and 40-150mm combined, it is worth it in my opinion due to convenience, construction, optical quality and focus speed.