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(FT4) Olympus 9-18mm Lens to be announced in February-March and it will cost $600!


Today seems to be a good day for lens news! Samyang just announced their new lenses with FourThirds mount and now 43rumors has learned that the new MicroFourThirds 9-18mm lens (shown in the picture above) will be unveiled in Q1 (probably February or March). We also know that the lens will cost around $600 (or 550 Euro). Our sources told us that the quality should be at least on par with the Panasonic 7-14 MicroFourThirds lens. It will weight a lot less and be a lot smaller than the Panasonic lens and can be fitted with filters.

At the same time Olympus will also release the 14-150mm lens. We have no price indication about this lens now.

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  • drj

    Don’t know about your sources but it is very unlikely that this may come on par with the 7-14 solution from Panasonic, first because the latter has a constant aperture and second because both of these lenses are m43 reformulations of two Olympus Zuiko lenses for the 43 mount. I have used both the 9-18 and the 7-14 on a L-1, the first is less than half the price of the second, and for very good reasons.

  • Kirilius

    I voted “No” but because I wouldn;t buy a lens that costs as much as a whole Panasonic LX3 or Canon G11 camera ;-(

  • drj, I think you’re mixing up a lot of things.

    first, in terms of super wide angle, I doubt a constant aperture will matter to much to anyone.

    second, who told you the olympus m43 lens’ are reformulations of the fourthirds versions? And what do you mean by reformulations? If you mean completely new designs, maybe you’re right. You can’t just chop off the difference from the mirror removal and expect the lens’ formula to still work (and focus even moderately close). Why else do you think, the adapter to adapt fourthirds lens’ exactly makes up the difference of the mirror removal? Not to mention that the 9-18 is much more compact, even collapsible it seems.

    And thirdly, similar to the second, with your L1 you have to be talking about the fourthirds 7-14, which is olympus made, whereas initially you compare the pricing of the m43 panasonic 7-14, which are actually totally different lens’ “formulas”. In fact the panasonic relies heavily on software correction to get it’s image quality to stack up, where as the Olympus is just a darn good lens.

    If anything, regarding price, the Panasonic is asking far too much for it’s software corrected smaller version of the 7-14mm. But hey, we could say that about all m43 products right now (too expensive).

    but $600 for an MSRP for the 9-18 seems like a realistic entry price, as it seems both Panasonic and Olympus want to have higher margins with m43 for now at least (while they can get away with it).

  • drj


    i do agree that my message ought to be unclear but this was a four lines reaction and I didn’t want to go into details.
    1- the pricing comparison I made was between the 43 versions of theses lenses because there are the only ones I have ever used. I own the 9-18 but had the opportunity to spend two afternoons with the 7-14 : they just do not belong to the same category. You are entirely right in arguing that their m43 formulas require an entirely new design, etc. I however completed such a comparison because their 43 versions that I know have exactly the same apertures and you don’t need that many shots to perceive one is very good while the other is stellar (but also very heavy).
    2- in a recent interview, some representative from Olympus made clear that their policy with their 43 optics has always been towards maximum quality while the one with their burgeoning m43 optics combines good quality with extremely compact designs, that often entails, as you recall, software correction. It may eventually happen that, with these software corrections, the interest of a constant aperture is weakened and that these two m43 lenses do belong to almost the same category: I am just not aware of a thorough examination of this issue at the moment.
    3 – I do agree with all your remarks about the price policies.

  • Mark


    These lenses aren’t getting me very excited yo, Mr Olympus. How about a 9mm f/2.0 prime instead? A 12mm or 14mm f/1.8 prime instead. Who needs to be zooming around with a wide angle?

  • A.

    This is a scandal! They diminished the size of the lenses, and yet the price remains the same as their’s FT equivalent! This lens is suggested for 600$, while right now it’s FT sibling at B&H is 526$.

    @drj: With a wide lens you’re supposed to take pictures of landscapes or, in any case, of objects far away and stretching across a large part of the visible horizon. Obviously a subject for which no normal photographer would use a large aperture, that’s why aperture for wide lenses is not considered to be important. Unless you’re taking pictures in the total dark – and even then, you’ve got optical stabilization in the body.

  • drj

    thinks the address of your message would make more sense to Mark. It happens that these are things that I know: I am almost exclusively taking landscape pictures.
    My initial remark was just that from what I know of the 9-18 and the 7-14 in their classical 43 mount, I was skeptical about the potential for the 9-18 to outshine the 7-14 in the m43 mount – as a result of the need from software corrections, this comparison might be inappropriate – : I just hope I am wrong because it is significantly cheaper.

  • Agent00soul

    f/4-5.6 would be problematic to me. For shooting in historic centres during night, I need at least f/2.8 with 800-1600 iso.
    I would much prefer a 9/2.8 prime. Especially since they have already announced a 12/2.8 prime. Who needs to zoom between 9 and 12 mm? You could just as well crop if 9 mm is too wide and 12 mm too narrow.

  • Even a relatively small zoom is too large and not bright enough to optimize the advantage of m4/3 body sizes
    what we need is not more zooms but a 2.8 or 3.5 /12mm and a 1.8 or 2/40 to 42mm

  • Radis.rut

    Thanks for the news, Ale, and Happy new year :D

    • admin

      Happy New Year to you Radis! :)

  • i need fast, small primes, not slow, chunky zooms of mediocre build quality. i did not change to m43 to buy slow zoom lenses.

  • Eric

    I was hoping this lens would be cheaper than the 4/3 version. It really should be because it’s smaller which means less glass and materials are required, but more importantly, the shorter focal plane distance makes wide angle lenses much simpler to design than for an SLR. In fact all of the M43 lenses seem to have inflated prices. When I compare the Pany 20 f1.7 to my Canon 85mm f1.8, it’s hard to see how they could fetch the same price (I realize they are two very different lenses but there is a vast difference in the amount of glass and materials in the two lenses).

    That said, I love the system because I always have my camera with me, and I will probably buy the 18-36, but if the 24 f2.8 is coming out around the same time I will probably buy that instead.

  • Richard

    Why zoom ? Prime 12mm will be far better.

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