OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4

Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4

Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4

'Legacy Lens Review - A quick look at the Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 lens with images captured on the Olympus Pen E-P5'


Introduction and Overview

The Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4, a two-touch parfocal telephoto zoom, was the first zoom lens produced for the OM-System cameras. The lens was released as early as 1974, and besides the addition of an 'MC' stamp on models released after 1984 which indicates that the lens was Multi-Coated, not many details about the coating on the original version was available.

OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4
The lens was introduced during the time when prime lenses were still the choice of photographers, and when telephoto zooms were just about getting into the picture.

The Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4, however, was a unique technological advancement in both optical and mechanical engineering that enables its design to be not only compact and lightweight, but also able to deliver high-quality images.

The lens, which uses an original OM optical design, earned the reputation of possibly being one of the bestsellers out of Olympus's OM-System lenses. Compact and lightweight as it was then, the lens is quite a heavyweight by today's standards, it weighs a hefty 430 grams.

OLYMPUS OM-SYSTEM 75-150mm f/4 Lens | Real Life Quick TEST
This native lens design was adapted and was used as the standard zoom configuration and was used for virtually all subsequent two touch telephoto-zooms subsequently launched by Olympus.

Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4


Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 @75mm
@75mm
Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 @85mm
@85mm
Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 @100mm
@100mm
Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 @120mm
@120mm
Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 @150mm
@150mm

Design and Build

The 75-150mm zoom lens, which covers a frequently used range of popular telephoto lenses from short to medium focal length, is of 15 elements in 11 groups construction, comes with an 8 blades automatic full aperture metering diaphragm.

The lens has a close focus distance of 1.6 meters and it was designed to incorporate an automatic correction mechanism against close distance aberrations.

The design feature enables the lens to maintain its high-quality optical performance even at the closest focus distance, a plus to the exceptional value of the lens.

Add this to the parfocal design, where the focus stays fixed as you zoom in and out of the range, and you have another avenue to be pleased about.

Different from the normal form factor of an Olympus prime lens where the aperture ring is located right up front, control of the Auto-Zoom is done in reverse.

Each of the three independent segments for focusing, zooming, and aperture setting are front to back with the aperture control ring nearest to the lens mount.

This makes for a more logical control where all the essential control for image making procedures are conveniently positioned for quick and easy access.

A feature of the lens is a built-in retractable lens hood, a physical extension that adds to the advantage when using the lens, say, for backlighted subjects.

The lens takes 49mm filters, which is almost the standard size for most OM-System lenses.


On The Olympus E-P5

On the Olympus Pen E-P5, the Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 is a bit of a monster, extending out to 145mm (115mm lens + 30mm adapter) from the lens mount, with its weight exceeding the 420-gram weight of the Pen E-P5, with battery included.

OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4

On the 2x crop-sensor Olympus E-P5, the lens will be the equivalent of a 150-300mm zoom lens, which slots itself right into the low end of the super telephoto category, where the focal length is not really handholdable. With the heavy front, mounting the E-P5/OM Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 on a tripod should not even be a consideration.

Olympus E-P5, OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 01
Olympus E-P5, OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 02

I persisted with the handheld setup to grab these sample images. Holding the camera steady with its whole weight resting on the palm of my left hand is just about manageable. With a pre-set aperture setting, and a focus that does not shift while you zoom through the focal range, managing the zoom ring is all that you need to worry about.

Olympus E-P5, OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 03
Olympus E-P5, OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 04

The image quality of these shots are quite amazing, and what I like most are these crisp and sharp images with what I termed as 'neutral Olympus colors' which are of inherently moderate contrast, a characteristic fairly consistent across the Olympus OM range of lenses. These images, however, do come with a tint of blue.

Olympus E-P5, OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 05
Olympus E-P5, OM Zuiko Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 06

Repeating what I said earlier, the Auto-Zoom 75-150mm F4 can be a bit of a heavyweight and should be handled with a degree of care when mounted and used on the E-P5, or any other mirrorless bodies for that matter.

Though the lens and adapter are solid enough to stand the shakes and bumps of normal use, the lens mounting may not take the load when used over extended periods of time.


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