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M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0‑6.3 IS
M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0‑6.3 IS

M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0‑6.3 IS

Shortly after introducing the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0‑6.3 IS, it stirs emotions. It is very similar to the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary both externally and in its optical construction but is considerably more expensive. In addition, the new lens from OM Digitalsolutions is unusually large and heavy for a Micro Four Thirds lens. How I see things and whether the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0‑6.3 IS is potentially a lens I share in this short article.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0‑6.3 IS

Is the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS from Sigma?

If you look closely at the two lenses, it is easy to assume that the new lens from OM Digitalsolutions is based on the Sigma lens. Both the exterior and the optical construction are very close to each other. It would also not be the first OM Digitalsolutions lens to be built by Sigma. For example, the M.Zuiko Digital 75mm F1.8 was produced by Sigma. The one or other Pro lens will also likely be produced by Sigma. Incidentally, this is nothing unusual and quite normal in other branches of industry. In addition to Sigma, Tamron also produces lenses for well-known manufacturers such as Canon and Nikon. The optical design and construction come from the client and Sigma and other lens manufacturers produce them. There are many reasons for this. For example, in-house capacities may not be sufficient or production may be cheaper because the required tools are already available and do not have to be purchased from scratch.

However, in the case of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS, it seems to be not only the production from Sigma but also the optical calculation. I think it is very likely that the new lens comes from Sigma. However, I don’t see this as particularly critical, as Sigma not only makes its own lenses but also for other manufacturers.

Where does the high weight come from?

Much more critical is the fact that the new lens is apparently designed for 35mm. There is no other explanation for the lens’s unusually high weight and size. It is a mystery to me how OM Digitalsolutions can so neglect the unique selling point of Micro Four Thirds. Apart from weight and size, the 35 mm cameras can realize all functions exactly as OM Digitalsolutions. It is even heavier than Sigma’s. This is probably due to the tripod clamp foot, which is unavailable on the Sigma version.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0‑6.3 IS

Theoretically, OM Digitalsolutions could have adapted the existing design to the smaller image circle. This would have made the lens smaller to match the sensor size. However, this would have significantly extended the development time, and the development costs would have been considerably higher. OM Digitalsolutions has, therefore, probably decided not to adapt too much.

What has been slightly adjusted

What is certain is that the OM Digitalsolutions lens is certainly not a copy with new housing. As already mentioned, the OM Digitalsolutions version has a tripod clamp base. It must also be much better sealed. After all, OM Digitalsolutions guarantees IPX1 splash water protection, whereas, with Sigma, only the bayonet area is sealed. However, adjustments have been made not only to the hardware but also to the software. Communication between the camera and lens must be optimized. Otherwise, Sync IS would certainly not be possible.

Is the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS something for me?

To be honest, the lens is certainly not an alternative for me. I own the M.Zuiko Digital 150-400mm F4.5 and am very happy with it. It is faster than the new lens and a PRO lens. I am therefore sure that it is much faster when focussing. I can also zoom very quickly with this lens. On the other hand, the zoom path is very long with the new lens and can only be operated properly using the sliding zoom function. In addition, the M.Zuiko Digital 150-400mm F4.5 is lighter despite its higher speed. The built-in 1.25x teleconverter ensures the same range and I haven’t missed a longer focal length. So, there is no good reason for me to be interested in the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS.

You have to decide whether this lens is an alternative for you. If you need the focal length range, then yes. If you can live with a slightly shorter focal length, I can only recommend the M.Zuiko Digital 100-400mm F5 -6.3 IS. It is a lens with good value for money. If I ever get to test the lens, I will compare it with my 150-400mm lens and share the results with you.

What do you think

What do you think about the new lens? An interesting alternative or not worth thinking about. Let me know your views in the comments. I’m also looking forward to a friendly and stimulating discussion.

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