I took a bus down to Malacca over the weekend, and spent some time away from the hectic city. Work has become more and more stressful lately, thus getting away for a while was crucial for me to maintain my sanity. Of course, shutter therapy sessions did help a lot too.
I decided to go to the Malacca Zoo, to utilize the Olympus Zuiko 40-150mm F3.5-4.5, which has been spending a lot of time idling in the camera bag lately. It may only be a kit lens, which has been discontinued, and not so much of anyone's favourite lens, but I love this lens tremendously. Not only is it cheap (yes, for a budget conscious person like me, this is an important point), the performance is nothing short of stellar. It may not outperform Olympus 50-200mm or 70-300mm, but coming from the "standard lens" category, the sharpness and overall quality of this 40-150mm lens was really something to praise about.
All photographs in this entry were taken with Olympus E-5 and the 40-150mm F3.5-4.5 lens, except for the first image which was taken with 11-22mm F2.8-3.5. Do take note that all the images have been post-processed. I am not longer doing reviews, and it is time for me to truly let myself loose and do what I want with the camera without any restrictions.
Smell the lens.
How can he walk with his eyes closed?
Mousedeer, a favourite amongst local folklore tales.
Looks like a type of chicken. Yummy.
I did not come home with that many keepers this time. I believe many photographers must have faced the similar problems as I have:
1) Many of the animals were sleeping.
2) Most of them have their backs facing us.
3) Some of them hid in the corners, and just stayed there forever.
4) Too many clutters, especially man-made structures surrounding the animals, making it difficult to obtain natural looking photograph.
5) The cages are ugly.
6) The animals look... sad, somehow.
Well, I have a dozen more reasons, but I do not see the point of going on, and you can get the gist of what I am trying to say here. Not all were lost, I still managed to salvage a few shots that I really liked.
Looking at the photographs, I must say 40-150mm did not fail to deliver. The reach of 150mm may not be enough especially when the subjects were too far away, but it was more than good enough for general shooting. I really treasure the wider than usual for a kit lens aperture range: F3.5-4.5, as opposed to popularly available range of F4-5.6 from many other manufacturers. Brighter aperture allows higher shutter speed, thus helping to mitigate blurring due to shaking. Oh did I mention the bokeh? For a kit lens, surely this was more than anyone could ask for.
Curious, and unafraid.
I found that the non-zoo residents were a lot more energetic and lively.
Another non-zoo resident.
One of the main reasons why I purchased Olympus in the first place was due to the high quality kit lenses. I have both 14-42mm and the 40-150mm (mk1 version), and those two lenses stayed with me for very long time before I decided to add anything to my gear collection. Even if I do not have my 11-22mm and 50mm now, and shoot solely with 14-42mm and the 40-150mm, I would still continue shooting because they provide me enough coverage for most of my photography needs. Of course, if you can afford more expensive and better lenses, by all means go for it. I will slowly, but surely move to High Grade lenses too. Coming home from the zoo, I can safely say that the 40-150mm F3.5-4.5 will stay with me for my tele-photo needs, for now. It is still doing good, and I am happy with it.
Generally, if people were to complain or have any dissatisfaction with this lens, their reasons would be: slow auto-focus, not sharp enough, chromatic-aberration issues, and probably some vignetting. Yes, the autofocus is not something you can use for fast action shooting, such as sports. I do not shoot sports, so that is not a problem for me. Not sharp enough? It is true it is not as sharp as my other lenses, such as the 11-22mm and especially the 50mm F2 macro, but for its use on long zoom, I believe it is more than sufficient. I am not that particular when it comes to other technical aspects such as distortion, vignetting and CA. Come on, the more you go deeper into technical obsession, the less time you will spend in actually making good images happen.
Anyone else had good experience with the 40-150mm F3.5-4.5 lens? Please share your thoughts, or any complains you have with it. I would love to hear it from you.