Olympus, and Micro Four Thirds users are now spoilt for choice, with the new OM System M.Zuiko 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS telephoto zoom lens released, and I’ve been shooting with it. The Micro Four Thirds lens gives an incredible 300-1200mm equivalent on Micro Four Thirds cameras, like the new OM System OM-1 Mark II, which was used for these photos.
- 150-600mm / 300-1200mm equivalent
- 25 elements in 15 groups
- 0.7x magnification (equivalent)
- Sync IS compatible
- IPX1 dust and splash-proof
- Hood and strap included
Handling and Design
The front of the lens has a flourine coating, and there’s a 95mm filter thread. The built-in optical image stabilisation system is compatible with Sync IS, meaning it will work in combination with the in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) built-in to the camera body. This is said to give up to 7.0 stops at the wide-end of the lens and up to 6.0 stops at the telephoto end.
The side switches let you set the focus range, from close (56cm wide) to 10m, full, and 10m to infinite. There’s an AF/MF switch as well as an on/off switch for optical image stabilisation (IS). On the other side there’s an S/T/L switch, which lets you Lock (L) the lens on the wide setting, at 150mm, as well as adjust the stiffness of the zoom ring, with S being the smoothest and easiest to turn. Also around the barrel there are three customisable buttons.
The lens has an ‘external’ zoom mechanism, meaning that it extends as you turn the zoom ring. It’s also a ‘push-pull’ zoom lens, meaning you can pull or push the lens to adjust the zoom. This can be easier on the wrist, depending on how flexible you are, as well as quicker in use.
OM System M.Zuiko 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS Sample photos
Shooting at 150mm (300mm equivalent), you can focus on close subjects, from 0.56m (56cm), giving impressive levels of close-up performance. The lens gives an aperture of F5.0 at 300mm, and F6.3 at the telephoto end.
This is taken at a mid-level of zoom at 391mm, 782mm equivalent, handheld, with the lens and camera image stabilisation systems working in conjunction to help stabilise the photo.
Shooting at 600mm, 1200mm equivalent, at 1/640s, and f/6.3 aperture, we’re getting sharp results, shooting handheld, using the new OM System OM-1 Mark II. The background blur (or bokeh) looks good, although it does have a hint of grain in the image.
Shooting with the OM-1 Mark II set to ‘High-speed Sequential SH2’ with continuous-AF enabled, we were able to shoot at speeds up to 25fps, unfortunately this lens does not support shooting at 50fps with continuous AF, and in order to shoot at a quicker speed (than 25fps), we would need to switch to fixed focus.