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(FT2) Olympus 50mm f/1.4 Micro Four Thirds lens to come by end of May?


The image on top shows the Olympus lens mockup

We know from trusted sources that Olympus is going to announce new m43 lenses in May/June. Tonight a new anonymous source sent me a “rumor” claiming to know that Olympus will announce a 50mm f/1.4 and a fast 12mm wide angle Micro Four Thirds lens by end of May. I repeat, that info is from a new and anonymous source…take it with a grain of salt!

If that rumor turns out to be true than both lenses will be faster than the Panasonic 45mm f/2.8 and the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 lenses.
I hope some of my trusted sources can confirm or deny the rumor during the next hours. Thanks!

Reminder: Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

  • If this turns out to be true it will be the most bloody amazing thing! I can’t help but hope for it though!

    • Andrew

      haha isnt it a bit too early for april fools?

      • AP_web


  • Brandon

    What price range? Will it be around the same price as the panasonic’s 45mm macro?

  • f/1.4? from Olympus? sounds delicious but I doubt it.

  • Bob B.

    Sounds too much like a dream lens for Micro 4/3 to be true.
    ….most likely…just a dream.
    Would be cool if Zeiss made some fast Micro 4/3 lenses… but now I am REALLY dreaming. LOL!

  • sg4032

    50mm and f/1.4 will be extremely heavy and expensive. I hoped for a similar to FT version with f/2.0.

    • emde

      WHy should it have to be heavy? There are a lot 1.4/50 for full frame, which are neither very heavy nor extremely expensive.
      The FT sensor is smaller. It should be easier to build such a lens for mFT.

      • Most of those film lenses are pretty soft at 1.4, and don’t generally have the performance at 60 lines/mm that Olympus demands.

        • Inge-M

          Yes, and not telecenter lens to.

        • Chris #2 – Electric Buggaloo

          What about the Leica or Zeiss M-mount lenses? They’re small, and we already know their flange distance is longer than m43s.

          • Michael Devitt

            They are sharp on 135 format, but on 4/3s not so.

    • cbr09

      Looking at the mockup and scaling off the main body, the front element looks to have a diameter of 25mm which would suggest a 50mm f2. I also wonder if this rumour is not about a 25mm f1.4 (50mm equivalent) which would be a more appropriate size for m43.

      It would also make sense for them to produce a 12, 25 and 50. I wonder if the collar on the mockup does not indicate a collapsing design 50 – or perhaps a macro with a manual extension to keep the whole thing smaller.

      In any case a lineup of high quality primes with 12 and 50 only would be a bit odd – even if you include the lower quality 17 – you’d think they’d want something in the middle range too (even if that just duplicates that Panny 20).

      • canard

        On a simple (one element) lens you might be right, but for a complex photo lens with many elements you can’t draw any conclusions based on element diameter about focal length or aperture. Aperture is the OPTICALLY APPARENT size of the exit pupil relative the focal length, which is determined mostly by magnifying elements. There can be magnifying lenses inside to make the aperture much larger than the size of the largest element relative to the focal lngth, or reducing elements that makes it much smaller than size of the smallest element relative to the focal length. No way to tell from just looking at the size of any piece of glass without looking through the lens.

    • I agree, I use a full frame Pentax 50mm f/1.4 on my G1 currently via an adapter and the weight is fine. A m4/3’s 50mm should be even smaller than my Pentax lens. f/2 is fine with a full frame sensor, but we need f/1.4 and faster glass to get those kinds of results with m4/3’s.

  • Fish

    YES! This is the rumor I have been waiting for.
    Man, I hope it’s true

  • Ulli

    I was aiming for this lens to come out quite a while, but now settled for a manual focus 50mm. Still amazed how quickly i got used again to focus by hand, thanks to the VF-2 ofcourse. Nevertheless, Olympus better release this one asap, in order to have at least one TRUE dedicated portrait (non macro or with af limiter)lens in its stable. Make it sealed and it would confirm the arrival of a sealed PEN in the near future!

  • Alfons


    All this time I have doupted if Olympus can make faster than F2 lenses. My quess is telecentric goal effects largest possible aperture somehow…

    Oh, I have been longing those fast lenses for E-system. My 24mm-50mm-100mm OM set doesn’t go slower than F2 :)

  • Kolame

    Well, is a 50mm 1.4 really needed? Or is a 25mm 1.4 meant?

    • Yes, its needed. Think of it as a 100/2.8 portrait lens.

    • Inge-M

      I think, maybe the is 25mm also.

  • Oliver

    Is this the 50mm? Looks great. I hope they can resume developing 4/3 lenses if they ever get successful in m4/3.

    I like m4/3 but I’m sticking with 4/3. It’s not like my skills will degrade if they didn’t release a new camera. I mean, a lot of people are still using old film cameras even if they’re already discontinued, and makes great photos.

    Anyway, I’m hoping that the 50mm lens will be sharper than the 50mm f/2 macro, to show that Zuiko lenses are improving a lot.

    • Given

      The 50mm F2 can out resolves all of the current sensors.

      • Oliver

        I’m aware of that.
        The 50mm f/2 is one of the best lenses around. I’m just wondering if they could make something even better than that. If they could then it means that all future Zuiko lenses would even be better.

  • Hi All:

    I’m a bit confused. Is the rumor source saying that it will be an actual 50mm lens, so on a MFT camera it would look like a 100mm, f/2 portrait lens on a full frame camera? Or is the EFOV 50mm lens and therefore the actual number on the lens 25mm, f/1.4?


    • Steve

      That would mean Oly is duplicating Panny. They would never do that. :)

    • safaridon

      I believe based on the lens element size that this lens is a 25mm/f1.4 to compete with the Pany one. Too bad as a 50mm/f2 is needed much more for the portrait range than this duplication. One only has to look at the size of the 4/3 50mm/f2 Oly lens to realize this is probably the case.

  • Hmm. I guess I would be suprised and disappointed if Oly went for a big, stonking f/1.4 50 mm (that will probably be unsharp below f/2) rather than porting their superb 50 mm f/2 macro from Four Thirds to mFT.

    I’m not quite sure I get the excitement that the prospect of faster-than-f/2 lenses generate around here. If I felt like paying in excess of $1000 for half a pound of f/1.4 glass, I’d sell my E-P1 and buy an SLR. Instead, I’d much rather spend $500 or so on a high-quality f/2 that’s properly proportioned for my small, light camera.

    A 12 mm pancake, on the other hand, sounds like a great idea.

    • Chris #2 – Electric Buggaloo

      The whole point of the m43 is the shorter flange distance, which leads to smaller lens designs. I’d reckon the new 50/1.4 would be just as sharp as the 50/2 wide open, and as small if not smaller.

  • Sam

    This could explain why there have been no significant announcement for a while. If true its a brilliant idea. Small cameras with the fast primes that 4/3 rds have been missing. If you want a DSLR with zoom, use the 4/3 rds. If you want a small camera/lens combo get m 4/3rds. If they release this along with a pro spec, weather sealed body, this could be a game changer.

  • Paul

    The same lens is shown in this quarters edition of Olympus User and is supposed to be in development now. It’s a prime lens, a prototype with a curved front element but no details of focal length or aperture. Paul

  • Given

    (Olympus will announce a 50mm f/1.4 and a fast 12mm)
    I would assume from what the guy wrote, a 50mm is going to be released. not a 25mm due to the fact that he also wrote that they would release a 12mm, not that they would release a 24mm.

    • Inge-M

      :-> Olympus have patent on 12mm f3.5,14mm f2.8 and 20mm f2.8.

  • Per

    Really hope that rumour is true: 12mm is a lot more interesting to have compared to the Panasonic 14mm. 50mm excellent for many purposes. Panasonic 25 mm and 14 mm are so close to the really good 20mm I already have

  • DonTom

    Well. If it is true, it will be about time. And both will be very tempting. Especially the fast 50.

  • Do Olympus lenses have in-lens image stabilization? If not, 50mm f/1.4 will not be a so good option for taking hand-held photos with a Panasonic body.

    • greyhat

      There is no Olympus lens with IS. They keep saying that IBIS and lighter lenses are a better solution.
      1.4 even softer is good for portraits. Stopped down (F2+) would be sharper and a nice low light short tele. Make it macro and is 3 lens in one prime.
      12mm would be also interesting.
      But price will play an important role.

      But I think m43 vendors should focus on sensors. I really don’t think it is important (to me): perhaps a litle bit more DR and slightly less croma noise would be better but I don’t complain much.
      But testers and geeks’ opinions are important to make consumer/semi pro cameras sell. It is a survival thing. If Olympus and Panny were like canon and Nikon they could afford to show customers the reason. But they need to tackle those who know sensor is not critical AND sell a lot of cameras to consumer that follows dpreview and nonsense reviews.

  • Paulus

    Wow – if it’s true – the lens would be most appreciated!
    I will buy one if quality and price is ok.

  • Miroslav

    I doubt it. When was the last time Olympus made a F1.4 lens? Anyone? Long before digital photography for sure.

    I’d like them to, but it just doesn’t sound probable to me. Their fastest (and only) m4/3 prime is F2.8 …

  • Frankly, I’m still waiting for the promised upgrade path from the 43…

    Rumors about E-P3, with GH2/better sensor + analog of 12-60 for me please.

  • MJ

    50mm as in 100mm equivalent ? No way, that is way too long.
    If they’d release a quality ‘fast 50’ it better be a 25mm !

    There are plenty actual 50/1.4’s available with adapters already, so that would be a dumb uninspired move by oly, i doubt it. The great thing about m4/3 its relatively small image area compared to full-frame is that a 25/1.4 is actually doable, which is much harder and expensive to do for full-frame.

    Its no coincidence that Voigtlander chose to do a 25mm, and managed to make it F/0.95.

    I bet your source misspoke or misunderstood 50mm, for actually 50mm equivalent anyway.

    • Jules

      @MJ : this is a joke, right? 100mm equivalent too long?

    • Mal

      I have the Panasonic 20mm already and love it. So my next purchase would be an m43 version of a 50mm to replace my Four Thirds Olympus 50mm macro.

      I use the macro feature less than I use it as a portrait lens, so this 50mm f1.4 with an extension tube for the odd macro shot would be perfect (if the price was right). Especially if it came with the same image quality as the 50m macro but with fast and silent focus… I can only dream.

  • Fish

    It had better be a 50mm (100mm equivalent) – because we actually need one of those. “Way too long”???

    If you want a lens in the 25mm range – look at the 17mm or the 20mm or the 25mm that are already available, or the 25mm that is already slated for release.

    We need a complete line of lenses – not the same lens released in triplicate.

  • RW

    Assuming that this rumor is true and means what I think it does, this would be very welcome news. I am a lot less demanding than most of the people here in what I want in lenses, but for me a perfect set would be the following (all listed as their 35 mm equivalents):

    24mm F2.8
    50mm F2
    100mm F2.8

    That’s not asking too much is it? The Panny 20 is close to the 50 – but not quite. The Leica 45 is close to the 100, but not quite. Maybe this rumor plugs some of those holes for me.

  • compositor20

    yes but almost all legacy aren sharp at f1.4 or f1.7/f1.8 so my canon FD needs to stop down to at least f2 because of spherical aberrations and CA and so we need an aspherical lens… unfortunately i dont trust my e-pl1 IBIS with the canon so i dont know if it would be the same with olympus lens

    we need that distance 100mm equiv. for portraits and the f1.4 wouldnt be so big since we already know how long they are and f1.4 is only f2.8 in FUll frame in DOF but being 1.4 and sharp (aspherical lens mandatory) at f1.4 it will gain the good shutter speeds for m43 cameras in low light and the shallow dof

  • My Pana-Leica 45/2.8 was one my most used lenses while traveling through India last month. I did occasionally run into the limits imposed by a maximum aperture of F2.8, so the rumored Olympus 50/1.4 would be very welcome. I just don’t know if I believe the rumor: Olympus would have to be able to focus it quickly despite the shallow DOF, otherwise it won’t compete well with all the cheap 50mm legacy lenses on the market.

    • Thomas S

      I also think that this is one of the main reasons (besides marketing and size concerns) for not having fast MFT AF lenses yet: CDAF seems to be difficult with large apertures.
      As for the reasons, I can imagine that 1) fast lenses have large and heavy glass elements that are hard to move back and forth quickly. 2) The CDAF algorithms struggle with blurry images produced by large apertures

      The only lens that would qualify as a reasonably fast MFT AF lens is the Panasonic 20/1.7, not exactly a speed demon, AF-wise.

  • BBernhardt

    Oly, consider a 50mm 1.4 sold to this happy customer right here.

  • leendert

    Interesting…Is this also a macro lens as the Zuiko 50mm F2?

    I’m also hoping for a m43 alternative of the Sony 70-400mm, Nikon 70-400mm, Canon 100-400mm…around 1500 euro.
    When this lens have quality (sharpness, IQ) like the sony 70-400mm then this is a very good compact option for a wildlife photographer, and with the 2x crop factor..mmmmm!

  • JeremyT

    I use the regular 4/3 Zuiko 50mm f/2 Macro (an excellent lens) for this niche currently, but if there’s a m4/3 native 50mm f/1.4 I’ll switch in a heartbeat. AF with the 50mm f/2 macro sort of works, but it’s nowhere near what I’d expect from a native option. And the Panaleica 45mm macro is off the table due to it being so slow (and so expensive).

    We all know the DoF disadvantage of m4/3, and the 50mm f/1.4 is exactly what I’d want – a 100mm f/2.8 equivalent.

  • Michael Devitt

    While Panasonic 25mm F1.4 lens is coming it would be nice to have an option for dedicated 50mm F1.4 lens with a price of modern (non macro) AF 50mm lens. Macro shooters have Four Thirds ZD 50mm F2 (AF speed is fine for this genre of photography) and Leica glass. So no need for another 50mm macro lens, but portrait shooters claim for F1.4 with good resolution/contrast and pleasant bokeh (for example like Sigma 50mm F1.4 for 135 format) simply optimized for portraits.

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