You also need a telephoto lens for wildlife and birds as they would get you extremely close to subjects you can’t physically get closer to.
However, great cameras need great lenses but deciding which lens is the best for wildlife can be quite confusing, considering all the available lens options on the market nowadays.
In this article, you will discover the 3 best Olympus lens that gives you the most for your money.
Olympus M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO
This lens is undoubtedly an awesome choice for portraits, stages, sports, and wildlife photography. The constant aperture of f/2.8 at all zoom settings enables photographers to shoot in low-light conditions without compromising on both portability and image quality. This makes the lens a fantastic solution for those who frequently shoot in low light.
The focal length is equivalent to 80-300mm in the 35mm format, enabling you to get right into the heart of the action. The super-fast autofocus means you’re not likely to miss a shot. This lens also features the ever-popular AF-MF clutch ring that allows users to quickly switch between focus modes while shooting.
The Olympus M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens is also well suited to produce portraits at a wide range of focal distance settings and with beautiful circular Bokeh backgrounds. Image sharpness at the center is outstanding while at the corners is excellent.
This lens comes with the Olympus’s ZERO lens coating, which reduces flare, ghosting, and purple fringing. The lens barrel is sturdily built and features a twist-and-slide extendable lens hood and a user-assignable custom function button. What’s more, this lens is splash-proof, freeze-proof, and dust-proof.
The Olympus M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens is undoubtedly a lens you can rely on.
Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R
Do you want an affordable telephoto lens? This lens is worth consideration. It features fast autofocus and excellent resolution that makes it a much more affordable alternative to the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. It also stands up very well when compared to the more expensive Zuiko lenses.
The Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R zoom lens, when used on a 35mm system, offers coverage equivalent to 80-300mm. This makes the lens great for capturing subjects/actions from a distance or for isolating a subject against a background – the Bokeh effect.
However, the produced Bokeh effect is harsh, with noticeable double-edging. More so, if the smooth rendering of defocused areas is a priority, you’ll need to consider other lenses.
This lens will be of interest not only for sports photography and nature/wildlife photography but also for portrait and performing arts photographers. The silent autofocus means this lens is also an excellent choice for video. In terms of construction, this lens is conveniently light and compact.
It’s well-coated to prevent flare, ghosting, purple fringing, or other chromatic aberrations. Though the image sharpness at the center of the frame is outstanding, images are notably softer at the corners. The build quality is not amazing like that of its PRO series cousins.
Also, this lens is not the best for those who do lots of low-light shooting. The Olympus M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens will be a much more practical choice.
Olympus M. Zuiko 300mm f/4 PRO IS
This lens is the first Olympus interchangeable lens for the Micro Four Thirds format to include onboard image stabilization – as opposed to in-camera. It’s a telephoto lens and comes with a focal length of 300mm, which is equivalent to 600mm on a full-frame camera – that’s awesome magnification.
Olympus M. Zuiko 300mm f/4 PRO IS combines high-speed precision AF with excellent image quality. This lens is certainly a great choice for handheld action shooting like sports or wildlife photography.
Normally, most telephoto lenses are always prone to aberrations and color bleeding. However, all these have been reduced to the minimum in the Olympus M. Zuiko 300mm f/4 PRO IS. Thanks to the extra-low dispersion and extra-high refractive lens elements used in this lens.
Also, this lens makes use of Z Coating Nanotechnology that enhances image sharpness. It’s surprisingly slimline and lightweight, weighing just only 1270g. The lens is also hermetically sealed against dust, splashes, and freezing temperatures. That means you can take the lens to the extreme.
If you’re just starting out in wildlife photography, this lens can be an amazing option for its great price. However, if you feel the focal length of 300mm isn’t enough magnification for your shots, you can turn this lens into a super-telephoto by adding a converter, which offers the equivalent of an 840mm lens in 35mm format.
Other Olympus lenses for wildlife photography include:
- Olympus 150mm f/2 ED
- Olympus Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 ED
- Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II
- Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6
- Olympus Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED SWD
- Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ED
- Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II
I hope that this article has given you enough information to finally choose your next Olympus lens for wildlife wisely. All you’ll have to do now is to pick up your favorite lens and finally go out to capture some incredible wildlife shots!
To guide your marketing decision, here are some parameters to take into consideration when choosing lenses for wildlife photography:
- Autofocus: A lens for wildlife photography should have fast and reliable autofocus. While these features depend on the kind of camera used, Olympus’ latest mirrorless camera models have AF systems that can handle wildlife photography very well. Animals are constantly on the go, and even when they’re still you would need a lens that can accurately and quickly acquire focus.
- Focal Length: Lenses with longer focal lengths are better for wildlife. Most times, you can’t get too close to the animals (sometimes for safety reasons), which is why having a lens with the most reach is necessary. To capture subjects from afar, anything over 70mm is fine, whereas the focal length of 200mm and above is necessary for small animals and animals that are really far away. Some Olympus cameras feature an MFT sensor with a 2x crop factor. This enables your lens to act as if it is 2x longer.
- Aperture: the aperture size is also very important. However, Olympus doesn’t have many options to choose from when it comes to the available aperture.
- The only f/2.8 aperture is 40-150mm, which is excellent for wildlife and shooting in low-light conditions. However, you may find this lens a bit too short for smaller birds. The f/4 – 5.6 is good for shooting outdoors.
- Weight and Size: Lenses for wildlife photography shouldn’t be heavy. However, telephoto lenses are always heavy. While this might not be an issue if you’re taking a few shots, you might need a tripod or monopod if you’ll be shooting for hours.
- Weather-Resistant: Typically, most Olympus lenses are weather-resistant. That means it’s more difficult for dust, water, or any other particle to get in the lens. So, you wouldn’t have to worry that much when shooting in difficult weather conditions.
Note: Image Stabilization (IS) is nice to have, but almost useless for wildlife photography as it only helps when the is still – which is rare in wildlife situations.