Some months back I purchased an Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 lens (officially, the M. Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro lens) and MC-14 1.4x teleconverter for my E-M1 body. I’d given them some exercise on a road trip previously, but when an opportunity came up for a “Tripod Session” at a local butterfly pavilion, I thought I could give them a real workout on the facility’s residents.
This “Tripod Session” was (as the name would imply) a time set aside for photographers, who are normally not allowed to use tripods in the facility. I quickly found, though, that the 40-150mm / teleconverter combo was more than fast enough to handle the butterflies with just the morning light, and soon left my tripod by the door.
The 40-150mm / teleconverter pairing handled well on a stock EM-1 body (i.e., no battery grip), with just a little support from my left hand under the lens. Even with several cups of coffee under my belt (this was an early-morning session, after all), I saw no issues at all from handling motion in my shots.
Given the optical speed of the 40-150mm / teleconverter combination, getting a thin depth of field was no challenge. If anything, my gear made it easy for me to get DOF that was too thin, requiring me to close my aperture down a few stops in order to get even face-on butterfly shots entirely in focus.
An extra benefit of the optical speed of the 40-150 and teleconverter is, of course, that it allows you to get action shots of creatures in motion. If I’d had a faster personal reaction time, I could have switched out of aperture priority and captured even the flying butterfly (left, in the above image) without motion blur. As-is, I like the residual blur from this 1/250 sec shot.
With a combined focal length of
484mm 420mm (in full frame terms), the 40-150mm / teleconverter combo allowed me to capture this shot from about halfway across the facility (between beats of the butterfly’s wings). Impressive, from my perspective.