(FT4) Olympus 50mm macro lens for Micro Four Thirds coming by end of the year!


As you can see from the roadmap on top Olympus has the plan to release a 50mm macro lens for Micro Four Thirds. We now have been told by our sources that Olympus delayed the release of that lens til end of the year to anticipate the release of the just announced Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens. I think that was a good move made by Oly because we already have a 45mm macro lens from Panasonic. We have been told the 50mm macro will be on a very high level. Don’t know what you think, but Olympus is making a damn good job with lenses now! And I know there will be more lenses coming soon!

In the meanwhile check if the new lenses are available for preorder:
Panasonic-Leica 25mm f/1.4 search page at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Olympus 12mm f/2.0 search page at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Olympus 45mm f/1.8 page at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

  • Miroslav

    Nice. Let’s hope they skip that fisheye and release fast standard zoom.

    • Andyoz

      Totally agree. They could also release the 4/3 25mm pancake as a M4/3 lens or even a higher quality 17mm lens – they would all be a higher priority than the fisheye. But first of all – how about a m4/3 14-54 lens.

    • Anonymous

      +1 for a fast standard… (12mm wide end please)

  • Good news! This will make it very difficult to choose a mid-range telephoto lens though. The 45 from Panasonic is a solid performer, but not fast enough for shallow DOF portraits. The Olympus lens will have to offer something special to make it stand out.

  • Duarte Bruno

    (edited out)

  • Boot

    Hmm, what also would be nice would be a way to focus the regular 43rds 50mm macro fast on PENs!

  • bright wide angle

    Good job Olympus (on first 45/1.8 and later 50/2.0).
    But please, forget the fish (move announcmento to fall 2012) since we need mZD 14-54 badly.

    • Yes!
      We have a bunch of primes now (some of them quite impressive), so move on to the HQ-Zooms Olympus!

    • Zonkie

      I hope they increase a bit the focal length to differentiate it more from the existing 45mm ones. A 67mm f/2.0 macro sounds better than 50mm.

      Yes, a good normal zoom is also needed. More than the fisheye for sure.

  • Buel

    No, don’t think that they are doing a good job on lenses. If you need a macro, use the panasonic. We need more high quality primes and at least three high quality zoom (ultra wide angle, midrange, tele). They should fill gaps in the overall line-up of m43. It doesn’t make sense at the moment to compete against Panasonic when they both still compete against Sony, Samsung and whatever Nikon and Canon will release. The future of the m43 system depends on how strong the system is in total compared to other system offerings. So stop wasting resources by doubling lenses and start filling the gaps!

    • Ganec

      If you want macro, put macro lens accessory on the kit lenses.

      • Yes, but a 25mm F2.8 pancake we need.

        • Mr. Reeee

          f2.8? Too slow. Besides, there are already TWO excellent 25mm M4/3 prime lenses already. We don’t need a third.

          Olympus is guilty of repetition compulsion as far as lenses go. We need lenses that cover a wider range of focal lengths, not more of the same. Variety is a strength of the M4/3 system, simply repeating what either P or O already have released weakens it.

          • though i can dig a 25 2.8 pancake(have used the ft version), its rather close to the 20 lumix. Would be cool adding a compact f/4 300mm supertele prime though

            • A 300/4 is not a particularly compact lens, although it would be VERY useful in certain situations.

              • ofcourse “compact” is meant relative for a supertele, though i wonder how far olympus can go, since their 4.5 om zuiko was one of the smallest superteles in its class, except maybe for the pentax version at that time.

          • At f2.8, a small pancake does makes sense, albeit not for everyone. We then would have three 25mm lens that are not quite direct competitors.

            If they make it fast, they go head to head with the Pan-Leica. Its an other option, but I am not sure its the best thing to do, specially considering how many holes to fill there is in the catalog.

            • Martin

              the front lens of a 300/4 must be larger than 75mm in diameter.

          • Olympus does need a prime “normal” lens that’s decent quality, and given with a kit (that’s the only reason I’m not buying a m43 camera now, fwiw).

            The 17mm is too wide, too bad quality and yes, too slow. If it was a 25mm, even at the same bad quality and too slow, it would be ok if light and small, and given “for free” as a kit lens with the camera.

            Yes, the Panny 20mm is excellent, but going cross-vendor for the kit lens is very expensive. Well, too bad that it’s not in any Panasonic kit either (maybe it’ll be in the coming GF-PRO?)

            The two excellent 25mm are expensive and more specialized, so you are comparing apples and oranges and I won’t comment :-)

            Finally, I agree with you, Olympus is guilty of repetition (forget the fisheye! we have one, we don’t need another!)

            But some “repetition” is good and needed, and sadly is right the one we are missing: we do need more “normal” lenses! Heck even in the film era there was a wide choice in that range (for example my favorite maker of the time, Contax made on my C/Y mount: 35/1.4, 35/2.8, 45/2.8, 50/1.7, 50/1.4, 55/1.2, 60/2.8 – and these are without counting re-made and re-designs, they had all of these on sale at the same time!)

            An additional complain I have for lenses, is that given the short flange-distance of m43 I was expecting several wide (non-fisheye) lenses, whereas we have only two wide zooms (bulky and expensive), one not-so-wide prime, and one serious wide prime (which I don’t like because of the price and the gimmicks of retro-manual focus and DOF scale).

            Despite these complains, lens-wide m43 is starting to look better than Nikon DX: http://bythom.com/2011%20Nikon%20News.htm

            • “Yes, the Panny 20mm is excellent, but going cross-vendor for the kit lens is very expensive. Well, too bad that it’s not in any Panasonic kit either (maybe it’ll be in the coming GF-PRO?)”

              Having it in the bundle of your choice will save maybe $100 in an overall investment. I say if you want it, don’t wait years for having the perfect alignment of moons at the perfect bargain price.

              • x

                I agree with you that one shouldn’t wait for years to get the perfect bargain, but you must be kidding with the amount. As of today, you can buy:

                – the EPL1 with 14-42 for $400.
                – the EPL1 body only for $360
                – the 14-42mm lens for $300

                so the total saving would be $260 a far cry from your $100 especially for such a cheap camera!

                The EP3 is not even available body-only, so people who don’t want the zoom are forced to buy it anyway (sure at a discounted price, but for people who would toss the thing in the trash because they want the Panny 20mm, it’s still a robbery…)

            • And better than Canons APS-C lenses as well – at least when it comes to primes. One of the main reasons i’m so enthusiastic about m43.

          • +10!

            I just don’t get it…why would we need another macro NOW? i mean, it looks like there are other more obvious gaps that need to be filled in…fast normal zoom for example?

  • Very good news!
    Olympus is doing a very good job now – it has been worth waiting for the Olympus first quality evolution.
    Now we get the desired Tatsuno-Quality-Lenses! – The Olympus-“Leica”-Lenses of the East (from the European point of view):
    – 12mm/f2.0
    – 45mm/f1.8 (portrait lens)
    – 50mm/f2.0 (macro)
    And perhaps in the long run:
    – 8?mm/3.5 (fisheye f between 5-8mm)
    – 17mm/f1.4
    – 12-75mm/f2.4-3.3 HG-zoom – successor of the famous 12-60mm/f2.8-4.0
    – 75-300mm/f2.8 SHG Super Telephoto Zoom

    • leendert

      “- 12-75mm/f2.4-3.3 HG-zoom – successor of the famous 12-60mm/f2.8-4.0
      – 75-300mm/f2.8 SHG Super Telephoto Zoom”

      Sounds very expensive!

      • +1
        Quality has to be expensive – but even high-end lenses from Olympus (HG and SHG lenses) offer great value for the money! (compare prices of high quality-lenses for “Canikons”).

        • cL

          Usually higher grade lenses keep their zoom range short to keep the quality high, so 75-300mm seems to be too large a range, and probably impossible to make it constant f/2.8…. 75-150mm is more like it. The existing 4/3 SHG is 35-100mm f/2 and a huge monster with such short zoom already.

          Keep in mind 75-300mm would be 150mm-600mm in FF terms…, that’s a super big range. I’ve never seen a lens like this…. Usually a lens 300mm and longer are prime for a reason…, to keep the size down. The existing 300mm f/2 SHG for 4/3 is big and heavy, but very tiny when you compare it to FF lenses. Existing 70-300mm for 4/3 is a slower lens and not constant aperture (constant f lenses are HUGE and heavy!), so it can be made smaller

          I am okay with 14-54mm remake to m4/3 enough…. 12-75mm is okay, but with the aperture you specified, sounds like it’s going to be heavier than 4/3’s 14-54mm Mk II. Probably a 14-54mm remake + 12mm prime is a better choice, and it’ll keep the distortion down anyways (12mm end can have a big distortion…, probably too difficult technically to cramp everything into one lens and expect it to be perfect in every way).

          • You have a point there.

      • Mr. Reeee

        Sounds HUGE, too!

      • Martin

        Well not only expensive but also huge and not suited to m43 at all. The main advantage of the system is that it is SMALL! If one wanted huge lenses, why on earth would he choose m43?
        75-300mm/f2.8 and m43 in one sentence is an oxymoron.

        • 12-75 f/2.4 would be huge too.

        • … Because huge m43-lenses are relatively smaller than huge FF-Lenses.
          The power-to-weight ratio of m43 is an optimum!
          … Because high quality video features can be realized much better with m43 than with FT.
          In the m43-system stills and video are growing together in a very professional way.
          The superior Tatsuno Olympus FT-SHG lenses 300mm/f2.8, 150mm/f2.0 could be transformed into m43 with some adaptations (CA, SWD, 11 contacts) for example. They would not be smaller than the existing SHG Zuiko-Lenses.
          I don’t believe that a professional m43 Pen will be smaller than an E-620. With weather sealing it will probably have the size of an E-30. Add a battery grip and you will have no problem in balancing the huge lenses from above.

      • the wish for a 75-300 f/2.8 sounds ridiculous…

        • Mr. Reeee

          Yes. Like you mentioned earlier, a 300mm f2.8 or f3.5 would be great.

          I have a Pentax SMC Takumar 105mm f2.8 that’s excellent and quite compact, even with the M42 to M4/3 adaptor. Without the adaptor, it’s almost exactly the same size as the Voigtländer Nokton 25mm! Unfortunately, auto-focus makes lenses much larger.

  • Andi

    “And perhaps in the long run:”

    “In the long run we are all dead”
    John Maynard Keynes

    “12-75mm/f2.4-3.3 HG-zoom – successor of the famous 12-60mm/f2.8-4.0
    – 75-300mm/f2.8 SHG Super Telephoto Zoom”

    Sounds very expensive!”

    And the last one is going to be bigger than the Oly 90-250 2,8^^

    But, for sure, we need a lense like the 14-54er…

    and a 90 2,0 or 85 1,4. Samsung showes that it is possible…

  • meh..we have 2 “45-50” mm lens already, don’t see immediate need for a third one
    id rather see fast zoom first

  • BBernhardt

    When will we see a panny lens road map again?
    Unfortunately I dont think they oly 45 & 50mm are an option for my GF1 due to lack of IS.

  • Mike

    I see no sense in a new 50mm macro – when there is already a Leica 45/2,8 Macro and a Zuiko 45/1,8.
    If you want portrait,take the zuiko. If you want macro take the leica. The new 50mm Macro would just be something in the middle.
    Bringing a 100mm Macro (or even a cheap 35/3,5)would make sense to me…

    • infinity jr.

      The Panny macro is overpriced due to the “Leica” label.
      I’m glad Olympus decided to split the macro and portrait lenses for micro4/3.
      Several people seem to think it will remain f/2.0. I hope not.
      A slower, smaller, lighter, cheaper macro makes more sense.
      This is also how Sony NEX is doing it.

      Olympus: forget the fisheye and make the fast standard zoom already.

  • Mr. Reeee

    Hopefully the 50mm macro will have mechanical focus. AF is of limited use for macro shooting and focus-by-wire is dreadful, slow and inaccurate. I’ve not had a chance to try out a 12mm, but hopefully it’s on that quality level.

    A fast mid-range zoom would be good, but remember that Panasonic is due to release a 12-50mm f2.5 very soon.
    Fisheye? That’s a novelty lens and Panasonic already has one.

    How about some fast telephoto primes? 100mm? 135mm? 200mm? 300mm?

    The last thing the M4/3 platform needs is even more repetition of existing lenses. We need lenses that compliment each other, not duplicate. I have no particular lens brand loyalty, so whoever makes better lenses will likely get my business. Up to this point it’s been Panasonic and Voigtländer.

    • Agent00soul

      A 100/2.0 would be nice. But I suppose they need to improve the C-AF for that to be truly useful.

      • nice fl/speed indeed, why you need the c-af?

        • Agent00soul

          Wouldn’t that kind of lens be used for sports, theatre, animals and other moving subjects?

          • i see….yes you are right, somehow i always forget to keep the 2x factor in mind. I would like the 100 for modelsessions….so mostly s-af for me :-)

    • +1
      “The last thing the M4/3 platform needs is even more repetition of existing lenses. We need lenses that compliment each other, not duplicate.”
      I don’t think that HG and SHG lenses duplicate the existing Olympus Kit-lenses.
      The Kit-lenses provide economically priced worldwide mobility in a very lightweight design.
      The upcoming Olympus high quality lenses will be for the Professional and the Enthusiast market. Tatsuno quality, fastest autofocus … = Ultimate Performance in a Lightweight (relatively compact) Design!

    • Martin

      the 50/2,0 macro on FT is an excellent lens (for me), because it offers macro PLUS decent aperture.

    • cL

      I was researching for some higher end 35mm film rangefinder cameras and noticed a trend, they usually all stopped around 135mm the longest. After that focal length, lens will become too big and defeat the purpose of using a rangefinder.

      Contax G2’s longest focal length is 90mm. And 90mm is already suffering from AF accuracy issue according to some people (Ken Rockwell is one of them, though how credit worthy his words are is another matter, but he is a rangefinder users and used some Leica, so I had to give him some benefit of the doubt that he knows what he is talking about). Though it’ll never hurt if they decided to release a 70mm f2.0 (that’ll be in between 135mm and 150mm FF equiv., a good telephoto range for insect macro, and slightly longer portrait).

      I wouldn’t put my money on a telephoto lens on a compact system. It’s not quantity I want, it’s quality. 12mm f/2 and 45mm f/1.8 are in the right direction. :-) A high grade 17mm around f2 is also needed (my eyes are more natural to 35mm equivalent focal length than 50mm). 25mm pancake…, what an obvious choice…, though 20mm Panny can fill the hole for now.

  • Now OLympus needs a serious body WITH a high level sensor to use those lenses
    the question is : How much longer will we have to wait ?


    • aaiek

      Agreed, why not produce a complete camera body inclusive of a built in VF to enable maximum use of these high end lenses. How long does one have to wait. If the delay is much longer then I will change formats.

      These lenses are great additions to M43 but I will not commit any further to my current M43 collection until I see a fully capable camera body with VF from Olympus.

    • Boooo!

      You’ll never see a serious PEN body or serious PEN zooms, because the zooms would be too big for the small size of the camera, and a serious PEN body would also be big – to the point of nobody having a clue why you’d rather buy a big PEN than a high-quality DSLR (which won’t be 4/3, as Olympus killed it after about three to four years total, and I expect them to kill m4/3 by 2014).

      What you *will* see is a bunch of small cameras without a viewfinder and a lot of expensive primes.

      Olympus is now trying to be the Apple of cameras – sell overpriced gadgets that do less than the competition, but look pretty and keep you in a never-ending body upgrade cycle.

  • Ken B

    Yes lets stop the duplication.

    Bring out a 100mm Macro or something useful that is not already out.

    A telephoto prime would be quite useful though.

    • WT21

      I picked up a 100mm 2.8 OM lens. That’s a nice, compact lens with a reasonable fast speed and some reach. That wouldn’t be a bad native lens.

      • tmrgrs

        I need a fast tele at 100-150 at about f/2.8 but it needs to have ‘FAST’ AF which wouldn’t happen I think with a macro version. Until then, there are some things that I do now with my 5DII & 200/2.8L that I can’t do with the m4/3 system.

        • Stupig

          There are always things a system does better than another, I suppose. Shallow DoF or low light is never the thing for 4/3 or m4/3.

          • cL

            +1 Shallow DoF is a FF’s forte. Not even a crop sensor can do as well. Forget about m4/3 doing that. Actually the chance you need razor thin DoF is very small…. I don’t mind m4/3’s existing DoF.

      • interesting, maybe i will try to find a 100mm on ebay, but preferable a f/2.. I was looking at the legendary 105 Nikkors….that 1.8 looks tempting!

        • cL

          Nikkors tend to be bigger. Keep that in mind, but they’re great.

          OM 100mm is a good lens I think. My research tells me stay away from OM 135mm f/3.5 though (there is another OM 135mm, I think it’s f/2.8 or f/2 I don’t remember, which is the better choice than f/3.5 version).

          • i am aware about the size of the 1.8 nikkor and i don’t mind it at all…i am only worried about the mf in magnified mode with such equiv. 210 mm fov :-)

            • shanti

              yes I agree..have a 135 3.5–not the best the 2.8 is better,but the 200 4.0 is very good as the 300mm 4.0 and not so big for a Pen…. but only a few F stops work well and exposure can be tricky so bracketing is needed

            • cL

              I usually just use a tripod and turn on LiveView with big lenses.

  • henrik

    I’m as well not at all excited by the news. Many other lenses are more needed now than that one (see reasons in previous comments).

  • littorio

    Strange decision to produce yet another approx. 50mm lens. They want that lens to concurrent with PanaLeica 45mm?

    I’d better wish to see 100mm f/2.0 macro :(

  • WT21

    My guess is that the 50mm macro will be their famous 50/2.0 formula, and from the sounds of Admins post, I wonder if it will be of 12mm build quality. So, the 50/2.0 will be high end, and the 45/1.8 the affordable portrait lens. But the 50 would definitely need a limiter switch to be worth extra money.

    All just guess work, of course.

    (on a side note — a 45/1.8 portrait lens is likely to be softer with smoother bokeh than a 50/2.0, which is likely to be sharper with harsher bokeh. I would just hope that they didn’t skimp on color and contrast on the 45/1.8!)

    • +100%

    • Yes, but what by more fast 50mm macro, maybe F1.4 or ?… ;-)

      • Boooo!

        Why on earth would you want an f/1.4 macro? For most macro shots, you simply don’t want to go below f/11. You have about three stops of aperture, f/8-16; below that you don’t have enough DOF, above that diffraction eats the photo.

        • Yes, but 50mm macro is not only for macro photography, i personal use my ZD 50mm F2 very much on F2 also to macro.

          • cL

            With macro photography, you want MORE DoF, not shallow…. When you point your lens at a flower, for example, your lens is like < 1 inch from the flower, you usually will shoot at f/8 or smaller aperture, if you want most of your flower to be in focus…. f/1.4 will only get one pin point of a flower to be in focus….

            f/1.4 will be better for portrait, but with portrait lens, you want soft focus, not sharp focus like a macro lens…. Macro and portrait don't mix (unless you want your model to look very REAL and the model's skin better be very smooth and without pores).

            • Yes and no, ZD 50mm F2 macro is also a portrait lens, but i like little DOF on macro, so the only is a detail so sharp, but bokeh is important.

              • cL

                That’s why that ZD 50mm f/2 is considered one of the greatest lenses…. It can do both, though bokeh is not its best, but overall it’s very good for the size and cost.

    • Zorg

      A macro lens shouldn’t have harsh bokeh but quite the opposite: it should be optimized for beautiful bokeh (esp. at short distances). So hopefully the 50/2’s bokeh will be creamy smooth. Then, combining comparable aperture and bokeh with sharper image and smaller focus distance, it will truly be a higher option than the 45/1.8, not a compromise.

      • Creamy bokeh can be achieved only with undercorrect aspherical aberration, which means lens will not be sharp in the center at the frame when in focus.

        Let me repeat: not sharp in the center at the frame when in focus.

        That sounds like a portrait, not macro characteristic, doesn’t it? :-)

        WT21 is right.

      • cL

        Another nod to WT21.

        Besides, a macro lens tends to be very sharp. VERY hard type of sharpness, which makes smooth bokeh actually quite difficult. I like Zuiko 50mm f/2. It is super sharp no doubt. But the bokeh is just awful…. You’d better not have a brightly lit area in the bokeh, or you’ll see some “bokeh aberration.” The aperture diaphragm needs to be rounded also.

        • bokeh is an aspect of the image which is very subjective, there is no clear definition for right and wrong bokeh imo.. i prefer using the words “smooth” or “funky”

          • cL

            I prefer smooth and round circles…. Not funky (I love that adjective) and geometric. I love cats, but cat eye light spheres are just ugh..ly. :-D

  • Think of the 50 macro as a high grade version of the 45/1.8. It will most probably be a superior lens in terms of corner sharpness, CA, build quality (take the 12/2 as a cue) and of course close focusing. It will certainly be faster than the Leica. I’d expect f/1.7 or so.

    The next lenses will have to be a high grade version of the 17/2.8 and a fast medium telephoto such as 90/2. Within a year m4/3 may be a complete system, at least as far as primes are concerned.

    As to fast zooms, the ability to squeeze a X4 (or more) focal length range with large aperture into a diminutive barrel while keeping optical compromises at bay is questionable at best. A 12-50 f/2.5-3.3 will be either huge and very expensive or a mediocre performer which will depend massively on software correction.

    • fully agree

    • Martin

      > It will certainly be faster than the Leica. I’d expect f/1.7 or so.

      As a macro lens, it need not be that fast. I think they will keep the 50mm f/2 design.

      > A 12-50 f/2.5-3.3 will be either huge and very expensive or a mediocre performer which will depend massively on software correction.

      Exactly. The latter alternative (with software correction) is very probable to be materialized, anyway. The big question is the price they are going to ask. My guess is around $1000, maybe more with a powered zoom…

      • Price is an enigma. The Leica 14-50 f/2.8-3.5 for 4/3 used to cost $900, but Panasonic seems to charge less for its m4/3 equivalents. OTOH, such a lens would be targeted at GH users (especially if it’s fitted with a powerzoom), suggesting a higher price.

    • michael

      “Think of the 50 macro as a high grade version of the 45/1.8.”
      Agreed, and I like the idea of it. I would also like a lower grade version of the new 12mm — a lens I’d love to own but can’t justify the cost for a build quality I don’t require.

  • Brod1er

    Obvious gaps:
    35mm f1.7 pancake
    70mm f2.5? compact telephoto, maybe macro
    A fast standard zoom say 14-50f2-2.8
    Fast long teles seem inappropriate for a small system that does not have effective AF tracking. Current Pany 100-300 covers the bases pretty well (much better than the 45-200) and is as big as mft lenses should get.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Are you talking M4/3 equivalents? Or 35mm focal lengths?

      Instead of us all sitting around making Xmas lists of native M4/3 lenses that will probably never appeaer, this is where using manual lenses comes into play. I’d rather be out shooting photos than lurking on rumor sites wishing and hoping. ;-)

      Nikkor, Pentax Takumar, Minolta, Hexanon, Contax, etc. lenses can easily be found for not too much money. Some of the fast Voigtländer primes that use the small Leica M mount aren’t very large or crazy expensive and are excellent.

      We have to be flexible and adaptable (pun not really intended ;-) )

  • MP Burke

    I don’t see much point in having an mft version of the 50mm f2.0. This will probably be as expensive as the Panasonic-Leica 45mm macro and people who primarily want the faster aperture now have the 45 mm f1.8.
    It would be more beneficial to the overall lens range to have either a longer macro lens (e.g 75-90mm) or perhaps a shorter one, something like a 35mm f2.8-f3.5, to give a cheaper macro option.

  • taran

    10mm 2.8 pancake non fish.
    17mm 1.4.

    Then I bury my SLR.

    • bright wide angle

      +1 for 10mm f/2-2.8 pancake but not smaller than 20mm f/1.7

    • +1 for the 10mm f/2.8 pancake non fish! Heck even f/4 would be good enough for me.

      But I’d rather have a 20mm than 17mm @ f/1.4

  • leendert

    I need a compact nature set:
    12-60 zoom
    100mm F2.8 macro
    Something like Canon 100-400mm, Sony 70-400mm or Canon 400mm F5.6 (around 1500 euro)

    Thank you!

  • JRK

    Make this a longer Macro Olympus! Where is the promised 100mm? I would like to see a 75/100mm f2.8 macro lens. Then after that, a 150mm f2.8 prime. Both should be manageable in size. Probably as long as the 14-45 when fully extended. Then after that, a fast zoom like a 12-50 f2.8-3.5 would be wonderful. And a remake of the 11-22 (10-20 would be even better). Finally a 40-100 f2.8-3.5 would be a large fast and expensive lens. All the aforementioned fast lenses need a bigger body close to the GH2 in size.

  • Brod1er

    Leendert. The canon100-400 is not compact!!! In my opinion the Panny 100-300 is as good and much lighter/compact/cheaper and has longer reach and is slightly faster over it’s range. The only downside is that the Panny does not go as wide.

    • Chris K

      The Panny 100-300 is comparable to the 100-400 in focal range only. The 100-400 is sharper and focuses better (7D vs GH1, at least). It’s also bigger and more expensive. I own both lenses and my 100-300 won’t replace my 100-400 until tracking AF gets MUCH better on M43. And even then I’ll have to swallow some significant sharpness loss (read: less “free reach” through cropping).

      I’d love a super tele on M43, but it won’t be very useful until CDAF can keep up with PDAF at tracking, frame rate, VF blackout, and buffer. In other words, not for a few years at least.

      When it does happen, I’d like a 200-400/4 and 1.4x TC, please. :)

  • Zorg

    I like very much the recent lens line-up developments.
    What I’d like to see in addition:
    – 7/4 (no fisheye)
    – 10/2.8 pancake
    – 35/1.8 pancake (IMHO, heavily needed)
    – 100/2.8
    – 150/4

  • Did I miss fast zoom lens??

  • Maczon

    I want sigma glasses :)

  • Jason

    Hopefully it is as cheap as the 4/3rds 50 mm macro, but either way, I’ll be buying the macro day one. The 4/3rds macro is superb, if it was only a bit smaller and could focus like it does on the DSLR bodies, then I would be in heaven. (The Panasonic/Leica 25 mm is great, but their 45 mm is crap.)

  • mal

    Sorry for the random post. EPL3 now available on Ebay. Seems it will be available before we thought.


    PS to Admin. Tried to use your “Share” system but it came up with a an error. Email me for details.


    • Abi

      yikes, 975 for 600 worth camera??? Blatant ripoff!!!

  • Frederick Hew

    I don’t pretend to know what ‘we’ need, I can only say I’d like to see more HG lenses such as the 12mm, especially a fast high quality mid zoom (ZD 14-45 or better yet 12-60 equivalent), a fast tele zoom (ZD 50-200 equivalent) and a possibly a nice tele prime (with similar performance as the Zuiko 90/2 or ZD 150/2).

    • Jay

      +1 for a fast tele prime
      Something like a 75mm f/2. The leica 75mm Summicron-M fits and works really well attached to my GF1. I’m sure it will perform even better on the e-p3 considering the IBIS. Would love to see that focal/aperture from Olympus with the benefit of the auto focus or from Pana/Leica with the IS. And why not a 90mm f/2 as well.

  • Hate to be the one to pop the balloon, but that particular chart, when it was posted, was referring to the add-on lenses for the kit zoom (fish, wide, and macro adapters). That’s why it doesn’t have specification (e.g. apertures). Those items DID appear in Spring 2011, by the way.

    • Thom, which lenses would YOU like to see next in the m4/3 lineup?

      • At this point, the two glaring holes are high-spec zooms. We need a 12-36mm f/2 or f/2.8. We need a 36-100mm f/2 or f/2.8 or maybe f/2.8-4.

        • telecentric

          ‘We need’?
          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Tony Blair would be proud.

        • SLOtographer


          12-36 mm f2
          36-100mm f2.8

          • i would swap those f values;
            12-36 2.8
            36-100 2.0

            btw… @Thom Hogan, why not just 12-35 & 35-100..any reason for that?

            • No. Just applied 3x to 24mm equivalent. All lens focal lengths are pretty much rounded, anyway ;~).

              • cL

                For marketing reason, 3x sounds better. ;-)

        • Thanks.
          So you would like to see equivalents to FX premium zooms. The problem is that those would be rather large and heavy for the smaller m4/3 cameras. It would be easy enough to cover the same range with three or four primes, say 12, 25, 45 and 100. Perhaps not quite as convenient, but surely a more ergonomic solution.
          IMHO m4/3 should not try to compete against DSLR systems over its glaring disadvantages (fast zooms), but rather over its advantages (small, fast primes).

          • Who knows, maybe they have some optical trickery in hand and can make them smaller than we think, but yeah, it seems like they would be quite large. However, if Olympus ever released a larger body m43, say something meant to replace an E5 like camera (but smaller than E5) then perhaps.

          • History tells us the answer ;~). We started with primes in film SLRs, after all. So why did premium zooms develop? Same thing will happen for m4/3 if it is successful. Since we’ve already got 12, 25, and 40-50 primes, the only thing missing is a 100mm f/2 and you’re at the point where the demand will next be for premium zooms. And that demand will eventually swamp the primes.

            As to size. The 35-100mm is easy enough to figure. It’s going to have to 100mm out from the sensor and 50mm (or 36mm if we go f/2.8) in diameter. That may seem big compared to some of the recent m4/3 bodies or on its own, but you still have to look at equivalent kits. An FX body with a 70-200mm f/2.8 is massive. To siphon off serious users from DX/FX cameras the m4/3 group really only has to get their equivalency message right. (It doesn’t have to be exact equivalence, but near equivalence can be very effective. I hope to demonstrate this soon on my site.)

            The tricky lens would be the 12-35mm. Crossing from wide angle to modest telephoto is an optical design challenge even on the big formats. The final size would be highly dictated by how you handled the 12mm side. If we allow for camera-corrected distortion, we go a long way to solving the optical issues.

            • History says Oly made 4/3 system based largely on zooms and failed.
              I like those m43 primes – 12/2, 20/1.7 and 45/1.8. Better lens choice than for my Nikon D90.

        • El Aura

          But would a 36-100 mm f/2 zoom for m43 be really any smaller than the existing 35-100 mm f/2 43 lens + adaptor?

          And generally, the high-quality zooms tend to be largest lenses in all line-ups (comparing eg, the 14-24 mm, the 16-35 mm, the 24-70 mm, the 17-55 mm, the 70-200 mm on Nikon with primes). Sure, mirrorless will makes things smaller for all things non-tele. But still HG zooms equal big and m43 thrives on not being big.

          • It can be done smaller than Olympus chose to. I’d have to go back and see exactly what image circle they were designing to, but I sense that it’s larger than needed.

            In the interim, even f/2-2.8 or f/2.8-4 lenses would be a big step forward. Frankly, m4/3 needs every stop it can get because of the sensor inefficiency. f/5.6 for everything past 50mm is hurting it right now.

            • cL

              I think 4/3’s SHG offerings are big because they’re weather sealed, and has constant aperture. If they make it any smaller, it will have to strip of that weather seal and premium exterior feel. As for optical quality, they made it as good as they can, so they won’t yield to compromise by making them smaller…, which make them unpopular. As small as they’re, they’re still big by general consumer’s point of view.

              I would think just release some variable short zooms, and make them high quality, like the 14-54mm (or 12-60mm) + 50-200mm combo would make the system very popular. 14-54mm + 50-200mm combo is very popular among 4/3 users because they also share the same filter thread (67). Sharing filter thread was a major thing during film photography era, and people will buy their 24-50-100 set based on shared filter thread. If you’re a filter user, you know how much money you could save with that (and share cap too, so lens changing process is so much quicker).

        • Riki

          Personally I’d like to see the 50-200 f2.8-3.5 in m43, it gets you good speed, good build (assuming it would be a HQ), but doesn’t have the price tag of a f2.8 constant.
          The 40-150 is only good for 40-100 at f5.6, which is very limiting, handheld.


      • Only a look, when Olympus start E-system in 2003 the come by lens; 50mm F2 macro, 14-54mm F2.8-3.5 and 50-200mm F2.8-3.5

    • bilgy_no1

      Yes, I was thinking about that: the FE, UWA and Macro were the convertor lenses for the new kitzoom. That means that the 12mm and 45mm are ‘extra’ lenses. Olympus may be getting on the ball now wrt lens releases, but they could definitely communicate more and better about their roadmap. Look at what Samsung are doing: they have a roadmap that runs into 2013.

      As to the macro lens, I agree with many others that a longer macro lens would be better: 70mm f/2 (or even 2.8) would give you a bit more working distance for macro, as well as another great portrait option.

  • As others have already mentioned, it’s a bit disappointing that Olympus is once again duplicating existing Panasonic lenses. In this way the Micro Four Thirds consortium will squander the lead it has over competing mirrorless systems. For a moment I thought Olympus had seen error and had replaced its macro with a much needed portrait lens. Although of the same focal length as the Panasonic/Leica macro, it is smaller, lighter, faster, cheaper and presumably more quick to focus. So it is a viable and real alternative to the 45mm macro. But now yet another lens in this focal length and a second macro!? And this while there are still obvious gaps in the lens line up? I certainly wouldn’t buy a second macro, but I would seriously consider each of the lenses in Zorg’s list above. Let’s hope that Thom Hogan is correct, and there is not another macro lens on the way.

    • cL

      Nothing personal, but I keep hearing people saying “there is still gap needs to be filled.” What gap anyways?

      Here are the most critical focal lengths (in 35mm equiv.)

      Ultra wide: 20-28mm (covered by m.zuiko 12mm f/2 Panny 14mm)
      Medium wide: 35mm (m.zuiko 17mm. Could be better, but is covered)
      Normal: 42-55mm (Panny 20mm (low cost). Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 (premium cost). PL 25mm f/1.4 (high cost). Oly needs something here, preferably, medium cost)
      Portrait (short telephoto): 85-135mm (m.zuiko 45mm f/1.8. Panny needs something here. Something in 65mm range would be good. Honestly, I wish 45mm would be f/1.4 while the 65mm would be f/1.8. Longer portrait doesn’t need as big aperture to achieve the same shallow DoF)
      Macro: (PL 45mm macro. Could use a shorter and a longer macro to cover flowers and insects macro, respectively)
      Super Telephoto: 300mm and 600mm (nothing here. I doubt we will ever see one. They’ll be big lenses and will almost always require a tripod. No rangefinder people would want to carry a tripod. So why not just use a big body for balance, and FF cameras probably will have faster burst rate anyways. I say the two 40-150mm from both companies are good enough to cover 300mm already)

      So as you see, there isn’t much to cover. Don’t forget at the lower spectrum, the kit lens + 40-150mm already cover the entire 28-300mm range, which is the most useful focal length spectrum already…. It’s not as bad as people want to make it to be.

      My dream cast would be 12mm (landscape) + 14-54mm (general + macro) + 50-200mm (wildlife and sports + macro) and we are done. If you are really specialize in macro, then you can buy a dedicated macro lens for your macro genre (flower or insect). And if your specialty is portrait, add one portrait lens. But this is good enough for everything.

  • MiR

    +1 on fast standard zooms!!!!

    • cL

      This will happen sooner or later as the platform mature. :-)

  • Christian

    Hopefully the lens will have splash water protection, as I hope the future mFT-Pro will. For me as an outdoor photographer buildquality is more important than high-Iso nonsense.

    • samshootsall

      yeah…remember back in the Film era when nobody cared about film speed…Nikon F5 can be handle in -20 temp in MN….while my D80 cant!

  • Olympius

    Well, it’s been a good year for micro 4/3 primes: and about time too.

    Although I don’t understand why Olympus feels the need to come out with a 50mm macro for micro 4/3, when there are a whole bunch of other primes they could be working on, but at least we are FINALLY getting some primes worth while for the enthusiasts.

    Although, at $800 for the lens, and $100 for the lens shade, all the Olympus 12mm f.2 has done for me is make the Lumix 7-14 zoom look like an absolute bargain by comparison.

    You can count me out of the micro 4/3 needs “fast zooms” parade, as for me, it makes a lot more sense to use those type of lenses on DSLR’s, where their weight and quality can be put to good use. I’d much, much rather that Panasonic and Olympus treat their high-end micro 4/3 customers like Leica treat’s theirs: keep making those jewel like little primes, and forget about zooms altogether. Well, at least Olympus has got the Leica pricing down…

    But, there are all those wannabe film makers out there, who’d much rather have a native fast zoom for the micro 4/3 mount then having to buy the old Lumix and Zuiko fast zooms and using them with an adapter. So we will, eventually, get fast zooms, and it will most likely be Panasonic who gets there first, as they seem to be much more in tune with the video/film maker crowd than Olympus.


    • SLOtographer

      I agree mostly. My feeling is that P and O should fill in all of the big gaps first.

      Larger lenses are not ideal for Pen-style bodies, but m43 also includes GH2 and AF-100 video camera and perhaps other stills-video hybrids in the pipeline. Oly ought to come out with an E-xxx successor that is about the same shape as the GH2 with rugged build. Then these fast zooms make more sense.

      Of course the list of prime lenses isn’t done, so why duplicate now? I agree with that. And it would be nice to see some more primes.

      As a system, there is the potential for a user to have fast zooms and a set of primes and two bodies. One larger body for more “serious” shooting and/or larger lenses, and the Pen-style bodies for small, light setups. One could mix and match as needs dictate within one system of lenses, which is nice!

  • Martin

    I’m still waiting for the FT 100mm macro that was on the FT roadmap in the year 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and so on…

    • cbr09

      It has to make sense for o to produce their own standard prime (about 25) and update their 17 because, from their point-of view these will always be the biggest sellers so why leave panasonic having it all their way with the 20 and leica 25. From a users point of view versions that make use of the fast focus also make good sense.

  • voldenuit

    After a slow start, it’s good to see we are finally getting good primes on m4/3: 12/2, 14/2.5, 20/1.7, CV 25/0.95, 25/1.4. 45/1.7, 45/2.8 and the soon to be announced 50 macro. Small primes really complement the smaller m43 cameras (GF1/2/3, G3, E-P1/2/3, E-PL1/2/3).

    With the 45/1.8, Oly has filled the gap for the fast portrait prime that m43 users have been clamoring for.

    Hopefully, with the 50 macro, Oly will address some of the limitations of the Zuiko D 50/2 macro: slow CDAF speed, lack of focus limiter switch.

    I have the PL45/2.8 macro and a legacy SMC Takumar 50/1.4 for portrait use. With my 20/1.7 and 7-14/4, my m43 kit is pretty complete (though very pricey for what it is). My next m43 purchases will probably be a new body to replace my GF1 (waiting for either another generation or the rumored GF Pro) and/or the hypothetical fast 12-50 from Panny (for video).

  • drawingyourattention

    quote: “If you want macro, put macro lens accessory on the kit lenses.”

    you can not compare those extra macro lenses on the kitlens with the olympus 50mm f.0 macro lens! This lens has got incredible quality.. I’ve been waiting so long for this, because the four thirds version is soooo slow on my e-pl2.

    • cL

      I personally think macro lens is not a priority. Macro lenses are almost always MF (AF is useless for macro. Narrow down focal range, maybe, but they’re never accurate enough for a “real macro”). If you need a macro, get a film macro lens and hook it on m4/3, which is the biggest advantage of that format.

      • Anonymous

        having the PL 45/2.8 almost permanently on my PEN, I disagree. AF for macro is not perfect, but it is usefull.
        And on top, focus by wire on this lens beats all my oly lenses.
        If anything, oly should take a hint or two from this lens, and make a longer FL macro.

  • Olympius

    You’ve basically outlined my strategy!

    Even with the Olympus high-grades zooms, like the 14-54, 50-200, etc., the smallest camera you really want to use these on is something from the 500 series. The 400 and 600’s are a bit too small, believe it or not. They work fine with the 8mm, 11-22 and 14-54, but once you put the 12-60 or 50-200 on one, you will be wishing you had a bigger camera!

    The best thing Olympus could do right now, is come out with an upgraded E-30 (with that nice Panasonic 16mp sensor inside!) for the high grade and super high grade enthusiast users, and an E-620 follow on for that wonderful range of standard grade 4/3 lenses.

    The Pens/G’s are really too small for anything other than the standard grade 4/3 lenses, those “consumer grade” micro zooms from Oly and Lumix are a much better fit, and the 45-200 is about a big a zoom as I’d ever want on a micro 4/3 camera. Anything bigger, and you might as well just get a DSLR and be done with it.

    For me micro 4/3 = small size, light weight, and ultimate portability. Fast zooms and big telephotos are not welcome. But I’ll take all the fast little primes they care to make, as well as those cool little pancake lenses, even the lonely Olympus 17mm. Even if they do end up charging $900 for a wide-angle.

    What I would LOVE to see now is a 70mm f.2, or at least an f.2.8. Pentax has some very nice primes in that focal length for their DSLR’s that are small and compact. I’m sure Olympus could do them one better.

    But the video shooters need the big, fast zooms, so they will come eventually.


    • voldenuit

      I think Panny should expand ETC so that you can seamlessly zoom the image anywhere from 1x to 2.8x.

      That way, a fast prime turns into a fast zoom, but in a much more compact package. They might have to tune the scaling algorithms to avoid aliasing and artifacts, but this would make for an awesome compact video system.

      Oh, and good call on the Pentax FA Limited 77/1.8. That’s a nice lens.

      • Olympius

        I agree — digital zoom on a 4/3 sensor would be very beneficial, even if all you got was a 2:1 “teleconverter” — not something you would use often, but the birders out there could certainly make use of something like that.

        In terms of telephotos, here’s what I’d like to see from Olympus:
        70mm f.2
        100mm f.2
        150mm f.2.8

        And that’s all I would need. Imagine a tiny little 150mm f.2.8 that could give you the speed and telephoto equivalence of a 300mm f.2.8 on a full frame camera! That would be enough right there to get a few more folks on board with micro 4/3.

        And a 150mm f.4 macro lens for m4/3 would be pretty interesting too…I’d rather have 150mm than 100mm given a choice. And what I’d really like is 300mm macro, that could rival the close focusing performance of my ZD 70-300 f.4-5.6. But for now, I can just use my 70-300 for that sort of photography, though the IQ could be better.


        • Digital zoom,…. do this on PC. :-D

    • +1000 ;-)

    • cL


      I do wish for a E-50 (I think Olympus should realize there are loads of E-620 users who can’t afford E-5, and some Pen sign-ups who realized they need quality over size).

      I don’t agree with E-620 is too small though. The hand grip is a little small, and I wished for an E-620 in E-520 body for the longest time, but my 50-200mm is working fine. With such gigantic lens, your main hand grip is always on the lens barrel, not the body grip. When not shooting, I carry my 50-200mm around by holding the tripod mount like holding a gun. Carry such big lens with body hand grip, and you’re going to get problem with your wrist very soon.

      For standard zoom, I agree, 14-54mm is the best fit. I have used both 14-54mm Mk II and 12-60mm SWD. I have to admit, 14-54mm Mk II fits so perfectly on an E-620 it’s like one fixed unit without seam (the mount area is one single continuous line, the exterior material is the same). 12-60mm SWD is a little too fat (you get more girth as you move away from the mount area, so it’s not as linear as 14-54mm on E-620), but you’ll get used to it very soon, but it always feels like it belongs to E-30 or a bigger body. SHG? Forget about it. Those lenses belong on an E-5. Even the solid metal lens cap of 7-14mm weights more than the kit lens….

  • hannes

    Give us a slightly more telephoto macro, olympus!
    75mm or 100mm.

    The problem seems to be that m43 only has a size advantage for wide angle lenses.

  • alexander

    somebode pls explaine me the key difference from 40-150mm to 14-150mm Oly Lens?! I mean why does it nedd a 40mm-150mm when there is a 15-150mm.
    Thanks already

    • cL

      Longer zoom usually compromises quality because the engineers need to find a way to fight distortion and other problems that exists in various degree from 14mm to 150mm. Short zooms are easier to design, so you don’t need to compromise on quality as much. If you’re traveling, one lens solution is the best. If you’re doing mission critical work, shorter zooms are your best bet, unless you are going to bring an assistant to carry all the primes for you. So answering your question, they’re for different purposes. General application, I suggest you use 40-150mm. The two-lens solution (14-45mm plus 40-150mm) isn’t really that heavy nor cumbersome, especially on a m4/3 platform. Any small camera bag can fit them.

    • Martin

      40-150mm will be a bit better optically (although 14-150mm is probably optimized for good performance on the tele end), also a bit faster along the corresponding focal range.
      The main advantage of the superzoom that it is a one lens solution – there is no need to swap the lenses any time you change the subject. Sometimes it can be quite annoying.

  • Guy

    Many of us M4/3 users shoot videos as well as stills, so from a video perspective what is missing right now is:

    – A fast standard zoom, something equivalent to a DX 17-55mm f/2.8 lens with OIS and AF

    – A fast wide normal, something equivalent to a FF 35mm f/1.4 or f/2.0 lens

    Video also needs smooth manual focusing, so pancake lenses just won’t cut it.

    I am really happy that Olympus came out with the new 12mm and 45mm lenses, and will happily pay premium prices for fast and high quality gear. I hope that there are more to come.

  • Miroslav

    Until they release some important lenses Olympus should copy this http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr5-the-revolution-is-coming-nex-adapter-with-built-in-translucent-mirror/ when it comes out. It would mean very much for the system.

    • Mike

      Strange, I thought of the same thing. Absolutly a must for a pro mFT as the (Top-)Pro Lenses could be used then?
      If it doesn’t come for mFT, then it would be a good reason to switch to sony! Other mothers also have nice lenses :-)

      • Miroslav

        What’s more, a “well informed” third party manufacturer could make such adapters for Canon, Nikon and other popular mounts and make all AF lenses usable on many mirrorless bodies. Hopefully Sony doesn’t come up with the idea first, but I’m afraid their people are reading these comments much more often than P&O.

  • Jojo

    Hope there will be, but “planned for Spring 2011” clearly shows this is an older road map image.

    • Yes, i think the is from since 2009, only upgrade by picture of new lens.

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