OM-5 Zoom Triumvirate

... Journal Entry

My f4 pro zoom triumvirate is just made for adventures with my OM-5 and is the ultimate travel troika. However, sometimes my little f4-5.6 14-150mm II super zoom, though a big compromise, is simply enough.

What the triumvirate all have in common is a constant f4 open aperture throughout their zoom range, IP53 weatherproofing, Pro build and optical quality, and support for all of the powerful in camera computational features such as Live ND, Focus Stacking and Pro Capture. They cover a super wide to standard 8mm-25mm, wide to short tele 12-45mm and short tele to long tele 40-150mm in three highly portable and very high quality optics. (Oh, and if you must, that's 16-50mm, 24-90mm and 80-300mm equivalents). My optimal adventure travel troika to go with my lovely compact OM-5.

So now we come to the f4-5.6 14-150mm II super zoom, providing an equivalent range of 28-300mm all in one lens. Why would I want to use this thing? Easy, it is small, self contained, easy to carry, I don't have to keep changing lenses with it, and it is weather sealed too.


Optically this lens is best described as very good, as at most focal lengths I can safely use it wide open or better still stopped down by one stop or so especially at the 150mm end in order to get the edges to come up to the centre's consistently very good sharpness standards. 


Being an f4-5.6 variable aperture zoom, the open aperture does not stay at f4 very long, however, for example by just 31mm or so it has already jumped to f5. 

You can see the trade-off with all of this as, on anything other than a bright sunny day, it pushes the ISO much higher quite quickly in order to keep shutter speeds up. The lens is also not enabled for many of the camera's computational features either plus its widest focal length is a 'mere' 14mm  (28mm equivalent) rather than the much more versatile 12mm (24mm equivalent).

This leaves you asking, with all these compromises, why I would even consider using this lens? The answer is simple, convenience. The small and light Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 II fits the travelling super-light brief perfectly when I need to carry the bare minimum of kit and still have great flexibility with very good performance or when I am in an environment where I need a long focal length range but can't change lenses easily or it wouldn't be prudent to do so. Anyway, you would be surprised just how good this little optic is and, depending what I am doing, how often it is more than good enough.

Finally, a challenge. Can you tell the difference between which of the photos above were taken on which of the the four lenses mentioned: the 8mm-25mm, the 12-45mm, the 40-150mm and the 14-150mm? I leave it to you to work it out.