Olympus DR-66 Decoration Ring
The Olympus DR-66 is an accessory for the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. Olympus calls it a replacement front decoration ring. It is intended to cover up the studs that fasten the tripod collar when the latter is not in use. It protects the tripod adapter bayonet and makes the lens look smoother, but also – and possibly most importantly – provides additional comfort when shooting hand-held.
The Olympus 2.8/40-150mm is a very well built lens – clearly justifying the "PRO" designation in it's name – and takes remarkably sharp, saturated and contrast-rich images. With the excellent in-body stabilization systems of recent Olympus cameras, the lens can be used in many situations without a tripod or monopod. Thus, the detachable tripod mount is not always necessary and is often conveniently removed to reduce the bulk and weight of the setup. Yet, the rather sharp and prominent metal studs around the lens body near the rear of the lens, which retain the tripod collar, can be an annoyance. While unlikely to cause outright injury, they can be rather irritating when handling the lens. The DR-66 addresses this issue. It provides a protective cover for situations when the tripod mount isn't attached. It clicks securely into place similar to a lens hood, and can, hence, be mounted and de-mounted quickly. Unfortunately, the ease of attaching and detaching the ring and the fact that it is a standalone accessory also means that it can easily be lost...
The DR-66 is made of hard plastic and its coloring matches that of the 40-150mm PRO. It is an accessory that is sold separately from the lens (unlike the DR-79, which is the corresponding decoration ring for the Olympus 300mm f/4 PRO and is included with the lens). The Olympus part number is #V333660BW000. It sells for $25-$30 at well stocked retailers or online at Amazon or ebay.
If that price sounds too steep for a little piece of plastic, what are the alternatives? We can expect that third party suppliers will sometime in the future offer a similar lens accessory at a lower price point. However, whether and when such offers become available is unclear (click here to check current ebay listings).
Another option is to use a lens band on the Olympus 40-150mm. These bands are made of silicone rubber and stretch tightly over the lens barrel. They are originally intended to prevent creep on zoom lenses that otherwise collapse or extent when pointed up or down. The rubber bands sold under the LensBand brand are available in six colors: black, blue, red, green, pink, and yellow. Hence, one can also give a stylish accent to the 40-150 Pro. The branded lens bands sell for about $9 at Amazon. Third party offers that provide a similar design and functionality as the original LensBand can be found for half this amount at ebay. All the rubber bands are a little bit more difficult to put on and take off and they do not look as elegant as the DR-66, but it is good to have choices.
In case you are interested in not only accessorizing your existing photo gear, but possibly also to expand your lens collection, you might want to check out the set of mFT lenses that is currently available. Also, there are several new or upcoming optics Olympus and Panasonic that are worth a look. If you are looking for a bargain, many excellent Four Thirds lenses that can be operated on mFT-cameras via an adapter can nowadays be found at very attractive prices.