When I went out to Moab, UT in the fall to test out the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, I also had the chance to test out a lens that was unfamiliar to me — the M.Zuiko 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II.

Now, those of you who know me might think I’m crazy to even consider this. After all, I’m a huge fan of fixed aperture lenses, especially because of what and how I photograph. But when it comes to an everyday, all-purpose lens, the 14-150mm totally hits the mark.

First impressions

The 14-150mm lens is nothing fancy. It’s light, small and features a plastic exterior. It doesn’t look like anything special on the outside — I would never think to pick it up if it wasn’t given to me for testing by the Olympus team.

But where the 14-150mm excels is twofold. One, this lens boasts a full-frame equivalent view of 28-300mm. That’s simply astonishing. If you’re traveling or just want to use one lens on a photowalk, this really is the perfect lens. Two, the image quality is surprisingly strong for something this affordable.

Testing in Utah

I used the 14-150mm quite a bit during my trip to Utah, and I was simply blown away. While the lens wasn’t quite as sharp as my Olympus PRO-grade lenses, it certainly held its own. For a tiny lens, I achieved professional results that I could rely on in almost any situation.

The bokeh was soft and creamy, making for a natural background as I photographed our subject in Arches National Park. The subject’s face was sharp, and the lens provided me with the versatility to either stand back or get up close.

Focusing was strong, and I came away with photographs that I would be happy to present to clients. No flare or noticeable issues with chromatic aberration.

But what impressed me the most was the fact that this lens had a huge feature taken from the PRO lenses — weather sealing. Remember that harsh wind? Even with sand blowing in my face and all over the camera, it never impacted the lens. As a person who photographs a lot of outdoor events, having a lightweight, small lens with weather sealing was definitely enticing.

Later that fall, I took the lens to New York and continued to be pleased with the results. While low light performance certainly isn’t its strong suit like the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO or similar lens would be, it was still workable in a dimly-lit museum.

The perfect combo

Where the 14-150mm works best is with a smaller camera. While Olympus is known for its smaller gear, they certainly have some larger cameras as well (like the E-M1X). But the 14-150mm is a perfect pairing with the E-M5 Mark III, or with the entry-level E-M10 Mark III. It suits both of those bodies very well.

If you plan on doing a lot of traveling, or are looking to get a lightweight lens with great results, definitely check out this lens. For latest pricing of the M.Zuiko 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II lens, visit B&H.