(FT5) New Olympus m43 lens coming in December (12-60mm?)


A year ago 43rumors posted a lens poll asking our readers which new lens you would like to see for the Micro Four Thirds system. One of the most requested lenses was the 12-60mm zoom. It should remark the characteristics of the Olympus Four Thirds 12-60mm f/2.8-4 zoom you see pictured on top of this post. And it sounds like your dream might become true soon!

Rumors from top sources (FT5!) are saying that Olympus will announce a new lens in December. It’s a zoom lens that at the wide end starts with 12mm and doesn’t have a constant aperture. There is no 100% reliable info yet about the exact focal length at the tele end but I guess it’s the new 12-60mm you were expecting for! A nice toy right in time for Christmas sales! Nice move Oly.

I hope to get some info about the exact specs and price soon. The current Four Thirds version costs around 900 dollars/Euro on eBay (Click here).

Stay tuned!

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

  • JF

    Wow ! There will be a difficult choise between pana 12-35 f2.8 and oly 12-60 !! I can’t wait to see these lenses !!

    • I happy dillema, in fact.
      I can’t wait to read all the brand war trash talk too :D

    • Duarte Bruno

      Depending on specific needs those can be two very different lenses.

      • wonderer

        well f4.0 at 120mm (ff) is nothing to talk about, yet pay for it… nowadays compacts have f2.8 at this focal range (fuji / samsung)… (I know DOF, but f 2.8 is f2.8 no matter what)

        plus, it will have around F3.5 at 90mm (FF) so won’t replace excellent portrait lens from Oly either (f1.8), so what’s the point for another average kit-zoom for thousand dollars, with average f2.8 at 24mm (too wide- here you need at least some f1.4 to do an interesting bokeh-like wide-screen photo)?

        plus if it would not be small – what will be the excitement about?
        X-lenses from Pana add + great zoom range + great aperture + OIS with pretty decent sizes so I better wait

        • Jesper

          Excitements will be huge coverage of focal length. 12 – 60. You have to remeber not every lens is marketed as “large aperture portrait len”, this will be the perfect all-around lens for those who don’t want too more than one lens when travelling for example.

          My guess is, this will be the new kit-lens for the upcoming Pen Pro.
          Just like how Canon 7D got its better kitlens 15-85, compared to entry level DSLR with crappy 18-55.

          • ypocaramel

            Indeed, important that is that its sharp, has better coatings than kit etc… Silly to judge a lens by its max aperture only, the Cannon 17-40 f4 L definately has its fans for example.

          • Fish

            Also bear in mind that the 12-60mm was never considered “another average kit-zoom”. If fact it was one of the finest lenses of it’s kind, regardless of brand. The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) awarded it the “Best Expert Lens of 2008” Award.

            Unfortunately I sold mine when I switched to m4/3 but it and the 50mm f2 macro are the only things that I miss about that system.

        • YOu make it sound like a half empty glass.

          Compare a 2.8-4.0/12-60 to any kit lenses, spec wise only, and it makes sense already.
          For the rest, it all depends on price, build quality and performance.

          • wonderer

            sorry I sound like a half-empty glass, and do not posses your point of view. This isn’t probably going to be an ordinary kit lens that you get “for free” or that you can even buy separately for say $300 bucks…

            this is probably going to be expensive “pro” lens, so logicaly one expects a bit more from it…

            as a kit lens I’ll take it immediately instead of current X-lenses from Pana! would be awesome.

            But at least those are cheap/small. As an expensive lens, as I said, the upcomming X-lenses are much more tempting for me, particularly 35-100 with F2.0-2.8. Great range, portrait lens as well as 35 is simply a sweet human eye spot. I get OIS as well + nice smooth video zoom.

            • Nobody expect this lens to cost $300, besides, the Olympus 43 version costs about $800 which is to be expected for such optics.
              We agree that it won’t be a “budget” lens and I don’t have any problems with that.

              Now, nobody knows how much either of those two lenses will costs. What if the Panasonic costs twice as much? (yOu kow, faster, optimized for video, OIS, etc..)
              What if one of the two surpasses the expectations in the IQ department?
              Heck, what if the Panasonic comes in five different colors, including breast cancer pink limited edition?!?! ( :D )

              • michael

                “sorry I sound like a half-empty glass, and do not posses your point of view.”

                That’s because you’ve (obviously) never used the original 12-60. It’s easily the most famous 4/3 lens, and one of the greatest zooms ever developed. Optically, few zooms come close to touching it.

                It’s a real photographer’s tool, not a P&S kit lens.

                • Esa Tuunanen

                  Not just zooms have problems in reaching same quality but also primes.
                  For example it’s sharper than much hyped 12mm F2 which suffers from interpolation required for correcting that huge barrel distortion.

                • harnamsc

                  *thumbs up*

    • WT21

      I shoot Pen bodies, but I think I’d drift toward the Oly 12-35 2.8. I’m just not sure I care about 60mm at 4.0.

      I don’t suppose there’s any chance the Panny could be a PL lens, lol.

      In either case, reasonable close focusing would be a bonus.

      (although, the one benefit of the Oly lens is that you could actually buy it before next summer — maybe even before Christmas!)

  • Thomas


  • DonTom

    Nice news, thanks Admin! Let’s hope they are around long enough to make the lens. Mr Woodford is going to an Olympus board meeting on Friday…..

  • Boot

    Will it be a weather resistent lens?

  • Hmmm… this lens on a GX-1 + EVF will be a sweet qualitative walk-around combo indeed :)

    • Leendert

      But no OIS and IBIS :S

      • With my G1 that is hardly clean past ISO 800, OIS is a big deal.
        With my GH2 that is usable at ISO 6400, OIS it is occasionally a useful feature.

        Lack of OIS will not be a deal breaker to me.

        • mclarenf3

          Really? I know I only have a G2, but I wouldn’t even imagine using my G2 at ISO 3200. Is the GH2 THAT much better?

          • To be honest, I can only tell about the quality of high ISO RAW files when “exposing to the right”, at the limit of overblown highlights. When on auto at high exposure, ISO it is often sky high, yet after proper post processing, it is frequent that I cannot tell which one had high ISO without looking at exif data.
            Maybe with pixel peeping, I’d have a second opinion, but I don’t do that…
            I have to be fair, this is a technique that I did not use when I had my G1. In fact, I had a tendency to underexpose. Maybe its not as bad as I remember it to be.

  • slave

    such a pitty, i expected pany come with 12-60 lens. olympus lenses mean no ois that is very important for me and everybody who shoots video or has no ibis on camera

    • Cine lenses that sells at premium price have no OIS nor AF.

      • dumbo

        yes but cine lenses are used by a camera operator PLUS a focus puller. i cant imagine many people want to bring a mate to focus pull for them to take pictures of the their kids at school football practice lol

        i think its about keeping it in pespective

        • Granted, my example was a bit on the extreme, but I still wonder how useful OIS really is to video.

      • Nelson

        yeah, look how much that compact prime cost!

  • Ton

    Just the perfect combination for my 2-week old ep-3. Already have my budget for the 45mm this week. But I doubt on Christmas, we will not yet see it on the market yet. Hopefully a month or 2 months after the announcement.

    These kind of things are making me excited :)

  • Peppone

    mmh, and the max aperture?

  • Oliver

    I´d like it very much. But it has to be much smaller and lighter than the FT-version!

    Otherwise I´d like more to get an affordable and compact not weather-protected 12-50mm.

  • emde

    I was hoping for a 2/100 (macro if possible)…
    If Oly will bring a 12-60 (or a little less at the long end), this would IMHO also imply that a larger body could be expected. Such a lens would probably weight more than a pound and could be handled better with a larger body. I do not have any use for those zooms anymore. For me they are not bright enough for the additional weight they bring with them. Hence I use the slow zooms for everyday and the bright primes for the more exceptional occassions.

    • Yes, Olympus doesn’t have the right body for this lens yet. And besides, it’s strange to announce a lens that will be bundled as a kit with their higher end body when they actually don’t have such body. So this probably means that they will announce the lens now in December, but it won’t be available until they also announce the next PEN, with EVF and, at last, a new sensor. Early next year.

    • Duarte Bruno

      Why would it need to weight more than a pound?
      m43 wide lenses are significantly smaller/lighter than their 4/3 counterparts…

      • +1

      • bilgy_no1

        Exactly, the heavy weight of HG 4/3 lenses is in large part due to their build: lots of metal used. Use more plastics and it wil be lighter.

        • emde

          Well my former 12-60 did not have “lots of metal” – It’s the glass that makes the weight. You can get the front lens diameter smaller when applying electronic correction and thus save some weight.
          The mFT 9-18 weighs roughly 60% of its FT equivalent. The same reduction assumed, a hyothtical mFT 12-60 would end at 350-400g.

        • Frederic Hew


          None of the HG lenses have a metal barrel and neither they should: they are light and tough as nails.

  • ha

    Given most MFT lenses stop at 58mm filter compared with 72 on FT 12-60 I expect something like f3.5 – 5 but a collapsible design

    • This would be too slow…

    • blohum

      which would effectively make it another kit lens… that base is already covered, we need something a little more.

  • Panasonic releases interesting, waiting for them)

  • A quality walkaround zoom, probably the most needed lens for the sytem at this point. Very welcome news if they come up with a lens with comparable build quality and IQ to the legendary 12 60 of four thirds. A hint to oly: please, please, keep the rubberized rings and black finish…

    • JF

      “keep the rubberized rings and black finish”
      please no silver bling-bling !

      • I have an oly 45mm. The images are beautiful, but its totally out of context in my black GF1 and GH2. I struggle to get my cameras as inconspicuous as possible (even black taping the logos) and the 45mm is just awfully blingy…

  • Miroslav

    Good news, something’s moving inside Olympus! I’d rather like to see a new Oly camera body with swivel screen and/or EVF, but this, together with new Panasonic lenses, fills the gap and makes basic m4/3 lens lineup complete. Everything else are refinements and exotics ( F2 zooms, long portrait/tele primes, various macros,… ).

  • The ramping aperture is just BS. If Tamron, Sigma, et al can pull 17-50 for APS-C with constant 2.8, why not constant 2.8 for an even smaller sensor?

    And the lack of a true manual focus ring is a let down for the ever increasing use of DSLRs for video.

    The only reason I kept my Olympus 14-54 is because the optics are so damn nice. But the rest is useless for video application.

  • > It should remark the characteristics of the Olympus Four Thirds 12-60mm f/2.8-4 zoom you see pictured on top of this post.

    Oh noes! Remake YES – but not the size, not the weight!!!

    For the 43, some people even recommend 14-54mk2 over the 12-60 – solely because the latter is larger and heavier.

    I have the 12-60 and while it is easily my favorite lens, it is heavy and large. It balances well on E-x and OK on E-xx bodies, but on E-4xx/6xx bodies with the poor grip it is bit uncomfortable to handle.

    I hope the new m43 lens retains good close-up capabilities of its 43 predecessor.

    • That must be why Olympus introduced the removable grip on the E-P3…

      I guess there must be a more DSLR-like body format around the corner at Olympus to go with that new lens? Admin?

    • Scott

      The 12-60morning is tiny compared to the canon 24-120

  • Atle

    Personlly i would rather have a brighter 12-35 than a 12-60. My personal wish would be a bright 12-35 from olympus that is cheaper than the price panas lens seems to be aiming for.

  • Entrakt

    Definitly the typical fast zoom i want to have for my M43 to finally stop to use my APS-C dslr(like the panasonic 12-35 F/2.8) . But i’m a bit affraid about the price … My principal lens that i use the most is a tamron 17-50 F/2.8 and it cost in Europe 270€ new ..Very hard to beat this price i think.. Let’s hope and see ;)

  • maddador

    where are the new 43 lenses?

  • I have the Zuiko 12-60mm on my E-5 and I can say it’s probably the most solid, most versatile all round zoom lens available for any system – plus it’s sealed! Being able to submerge both the E-5 and the 12-60mm into a bucket of water while taking incredibly sharp images at all focal lengths with an aperture fast enough for most use cases is something NO OTHER system currently offers – a fact often neglected with all the FT/MFT/Olympus bashing.

    • Steve

      Maybe I’m missing something, but I cannot see any reason to take photos inside a bucket of water with a large dslr already in the bucket too. Probably why no other system can do it.


      • LOL. But honestly, there is no comparable system to Olympus Four Thirds that enables a photographer to shoot in pouring rain or other harsh conditions with a minimal set of equipment such as the E-5 and 12-60mm. Add the 50-200mm Zuiko and you got the essential focal lengths covered with just two lenses! And the whole combination costs less than Nikon’s or Canon’s outfit suitable for harsh conditions and is less gear at the same time.

        • Scott


        • > But honestly, there is no comparable system to Olympus Four Thirds […]

          Now imagine the E-7 with GH2’s or G3’s sensor…

          Or even better: E-550 with the sensor – and the swivel LCD of E-620. OMG…

          It would be extremely hard for me to resist the temptation.

        • Jim

          I have often wondered what cameras they use when shooting Deadlist Catch… Always thought just use an E-5 with 12-60! would not need to think about the conditions at all – just get on and film!

          obviously pitty the E-5 does not have 1920HD… or the GH2 sensor :)
          If it did have GH2 sensor (and 1920 60p) then I think it would be a hard camera to best in any situation (bar low light)!

        • mooboy

          I don’t know about dunking in a bucket of water… but if just for rain etc, does the E-5 offer anything over a properly weather sealed Canikon with weather sealed lenses?

          I’m not arguing it’s not, genuinely interested to know difference.

    • mclarenf3

      I’d be careful about telling people you can submerge your E-5. Whether or not you actually have, these cameras are NOT waterproof when being submerged. They are only sealed to be weather-resistant to splashes of water, rain, snow, dust, etc. There’s a big difference between the two terms.

      And the E-5 is an expensive camera to be learning a lesson on.

      • Scott

        Apparently you havent watch the olympus video

      • Esa Tuunanen

        Question is about pressure of water.
        Slight submerging could easily have as small water pressure than some spraying water.
        And naturally the deeper you go the higher the pressure, also fast movement under pressure adds its own pressure which can push liquid though sealing. That’s why water resistant stuff is often rated for static pressure instead of depth.

  • mahler

    So, announcement = availability?

    • Yes, good question – indead!
      Admin, what has been the average time between announcement and roll out?

      • Miroslav

        “what has been the average time between announcement and roll out?”

        For Olympus about a month.

  • Christian

    A lens starting at 12mm, reasonably fast and equiped with dust and splash water protection would be an ideal tool for the outdoor photographer. There are already sufficient cheap, slow and unsealed lenses for mFT around. So it would be good news if Oly started offering stuff for more serious activities.

  • I’d call that the first real step toward a mFT able to replace Four Thirds. But: it’s also a step away from the “one beautiful system” promise to merge FT and mFT in the future (oh and all the trolls may just as well keep silent because I won’t reply anyway)…

  • If true, it implies that Olympus has given up on fitting its 4/3 lenses to m4/3. My theory is that Olympus avoided the introduction of fast zooms for m4/3 in hope that those bodies can soon use E system lenses seamlessly. Perhaps we won’t have “one beautiful system” after all.

    • I’m sure you are right.

    • Miroslav

      Shorter register distance and electronic distortion correction make short FL m4/3 lenses smaller than 4/3. It’s high quality tele lenses where there is little sense in reissuing 4/3 lenses for m4/3. Those are also most expensive and less likely to sell well, so will probably be the last to be remade.

      “Olympus avoided the introduction of fast zooms for m4/3 in hope that those bodies can soon use E system lenses seamlessly”

      If I recall correctly an interview with a manager of theirs, they’ve “surrendered” trying to make PDAF lenses focus quickly on m4/3 bodies.

      Nevertheless, I hope you’re not right.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Aptina sensor using Nikon 1 has focal plane PDAF and full AF compatibility with their DSLR lenses with just simple electric pass through adapter.
      Also Fuji’s been using PDAF built into sensor.

      So it’s entirely possible to have PDAF without extra mirrors and components. Question is more like does it affect to image quality because at least in Fuji’s sensor it has ment dedication of those pixels only for PDAF requiring mathematical wild ass guessing of those pixels in image.
      Aptina is company specialising to sensor tech so maybe they’ve solved that problem and their sensor gives also usefull image data from those areas.

  • gzo

    Wow, wow, wow! Definitely what I was waiting for!

  • Without OIS, of course… I don’t wanna buy this this.

    • shep

      Um…I guess you hadn’t noticed: Olympus bodies have OIS. Don’t need it in the lens too!

  • M

    12-48 f/3.5-5.6

    • digifan

      I think you’re wrong, no sarcasm needed, Olympus delivered very interresting lenses lately 12/2, 45/1.8. If they come out with a zoom starting at 12, I bet admin is right.

      • Jim

        just need a 90mm F2 macro now ….

        we already have the 25mm f1.4 to add to that nice list :)

    • Fan

      I sure hope not!!!

      We have enough lenses that start at 3.5!

      It must start at 2.8.

  • twoomy

    EXCITING NEWS! It’s about time that m43 had a standard zoom that started at 24mm vs 28mm (35mm equivalent). I’ve been waiting a long time for this; this could be the perfect general purpose lens if it has image quality comparable to the older 43 version!

    I may choose this over the Pany 12-35mm. We’ll see!!!

    • Atle

      Sorry if this is a bit newbie-ish of a question, but a lens like this seems a bit like a “master of none”-lens to me. 14-150mm has farther reach, and 2.8-4 isn’t bright ennough for indoor conditions unless very well lit or using a flash. What am i missing here?

      • Agent00soul

        I suppose you haven’t used the 12-60 for regular 4/3. If you had, you would understand. It’s simply the best all-round lens ever made. It’s perfect for when you need a really sharp lens but don’t want or have time to change lenses.

      • twoomy

        @Atle–A lens like this makes landscapers like me very happy. 12mm is significantly wider than 14mm and is a much more usable starting point (for me at least). For a lens like this, I’m typically shooting at the sweet spot f/5.6 for most of my shots. I’m more concerned with corner to corner sharpness at f/5.6 (and I am presuming that a lens like this will be bigger and have better image quality over the 14-42 type options–we shall see!).

        If I want brighter glass for portrait or low-light work, I’d switch to the Leica 25mm or Oly 45mm. No zoom can match a low-light prime.

        I would argue that a super-zoom like you mention above is the true “master of none.” You can use it as your only walk-around lens at the expense of image quality AND brightness. I have the Pany 14-145mm and while it’s a very convenient lens, it’s soft at the telephoto end, doesn’t go as wide as I would like, and it’s starting at f/4.0 which is significantly darker than 2.8.

        For me the choice is either taking a superzoom for convenience or some specialty zooms and primes for quality and flexibility. Either option is the correct one depending on your needs.

        • Atle

          twoomy: I guess my point is that the 14-150mm is brigt enough for daylight use anyhow. But i do understand your point, 12mm is better than 14mm, no question about that (i love the 9-18mm). I am not a photografer by any means, so I am happy with the quality of the 14-150mm, but for more professional shooters, i guess better quality would be nice. I must admit i don’t see much difference between lenses at a given aperture besides vignetting and chromatic abberation, the former only with bigger monocoloured areas and the latter mainly if i zoom in.

        • SkiHound

          The 4/3 12-60 is an amazing lens. Very sharp wide open and sharp throughout the entire focal length range. Even sharper closed down a stop. Good close focusing capabilities. A supremely versatile lens. The absence of such a lens has kept me from migrating to m4/3. Of course, we don’t know the true specs on this rumored lens and we don’t know how it will perform. If it performs close to the extant 4/3 version it’ll be a game changer for m4/3.

  • Yun

    Is it the type of materials same as M.ZuikoDigital 12mm & 45mm ?
    Otherwise Pana X lenses should be better option .

    • rrr_hhh

      It replaces both the 14-42 and the 40-150, you gain at the wide end what you loose at the long end. It makes an interesting traveling and all-round lens, which should better not only the double lens kit zoom lenses (no annoying lens changing), but also the 14-140mm. We expect it to be both sharper and faster than these other two options.

  • Jono

    Wow! Does this mean that a m4:3 version of the 14-35/2 (even a 12-35/2) and the 35-100/2 is not far behind? :D

    • Anonymous

      There are several reasons why this is unlikely:

      m43 stresses small lenses and portability -> these zooms were huge and heavy
      Panasonic is already working on a 12-35
      and this year has shown that Pana and Oly seem to have attuned their lens road maps, reducing overlap

    • Martin

      > Does this mean that a m4:3 version of the 14-35/2 (even a 12-35/2) and the 35-100/2 is not far behind?

      Yeah, just behind the door… to Phantasyland :D

  • DonParrot

    That would be fantastic. Exactly what I hoped for and the reason why I didn’t purchase the Zuiko 12 2.0.
    On the other hand slightly annoying – for me only – as I just swapped my 12-60 SWD against the 14-54 II as I wanted a standard zoom focusing pretty quickly on both my E-5 and my E-PL3.
    Should this lens really come I’ll need just the µFT versions of the 50-200 2.8-3.5 and the 150 2.0 as well as an µFT body with a really working C-AF and I can say farewell to FT.

    • Martin

      I keep waiting for the mFT version of the 50-200 too. But I would actually prefer a lighter (but equally good) 70-200 f/2.8-4 alternative. Although the Zuiko 50-200 was my favourite FT lens, I rarely took it out, as I simply did not like carrying it.

  • Berneck

    My favorite lens was the Canon 24-104 f4 lens. This would come damn close to that reach and be bighter and wider on the short end! Would love to see a 12-60!!!

  • shep

    It’s wonderful to see the m4/3 range continue to expand, despite severe corporate problems at present.
    Don’t worry about the grumpies who would like a larger aperture, submersibility, heavy-duty construction, lens stabilization (! ?), super-light weight, and heaven knows what else (and, of course, a low price). All lens designs are a compromise. This one could well be, like its 4/3 ancestor, a fine addition to the line.

  • joe

    sounds nice, but i want OIS and weathersealed!

  • infinity jr.

    I’d like to see a 12-45 2.8-3.5,using advanced “X”-type miniaturization=same size as current kit zoom. I’d pay $900 for that.
    I’d pay $1000 to include OIS!

    • Scott

      Olympus will never make OIS lenses

  • The 4/3 12-60 is highly regarded. If Oly manages to shrink size and weight it would be an “enthusiast vacation zoom”. The two upcoming Pana lenses are different covering less zoom range and due to that probably delivering better quality + OIS for us who sit with Pana cameras. Will be intersting to see zoom range and price. Would it be it has relation image quality/price as the 45/1,8, it would sell a lot.

  • Z

    Merge 12-60mm f2.8-4 and the 14-54mm f2.8-3.5:
    12-54mm f2.8-3.5 :)

    Wide angle on m4/3 can be made quite compact. Hence it is the telephoto end that creates the size here? If a 12-54mm f2.8-3.5 can be smaller than the 4/3 14-54 lens this will be a crazy winner. Much better quality than kit zooms, brighter, and 12mm wide.

    Not being constant aperture and having no OIS, this will likely be considerably smaller than the Pan 12-35mm, and less expensive.

    Also, looks like Oly and pana are each releasing lenses for different users: panasonic will market constant aperture and in-lens OIS – specifically important for video. Olympus will market more general purpose lenses.

    Everybody (in m4/3 world) wins.

    • Martin

      > Not being constant aperture and having no OIS, this will likely be considerably smaller than the Pan 12-35mm, and less expensive.

      IMO it will be exactly the other way around, regarding the size. The diameter of the entrance pupil of a 35 f/2.8 lens is 3mm smaller than that of a 54 f/3.5 lens. On top of that, I expect the smaller range zoom to be better optically.
      But let’s wait & see.

      • Z

        Either way, some nice options coming our way!
        It’s going to be hard to decide…
        Can’t wait for specs and then reviews.

  • Rob-L

    What percentage of the sales proceeds of this lens will be going to the yakuza?

    • tomas

      The aperture of a 35 f2.8 is smaller than that of a 25 f1.4, so can we expect a 12-35 to have no larger diameter than the PL 25mm? Or maybe since a 35 f2 has almost the same aperture as the 25mm, maybe it really will be a compact constant f2.0 ….

  • metalaryeh

    I hope this will be considerably sharper than the 14-42 kit lens. If it is, that would be fantastic for m43 users. Can’t wait to find out about the apertures and the info regarding Panasonic’s new lenses. We need pana and oly to compete with each other…

  • Hope this one is true, and it matches the performance of the 4/3 version. This range would cover about 90% of my photographic needs, and for a portrait guy like me f4 is plenty fast — I rarely want to work at wider apertures, though the option would be nice in low light.

    With the upcoming Panasonic options I need to buy two lenses and switch them during the job (or carry two bodies), but with a 12-60 I can forget about lens changes for most portrait sessions. Plus, if it comes in at $900 that’s likely to be less than either of the upcoming Panasonic lenses, maybe as little as 1/3 the price of the pair.

  • The Master

    I can’t imagine using a 12-60 on the current bodies. The 14-140 is not comfortable to use for more than a few minutes, even on the GH1 and GH2. Seems like things are going to have to get bigger again, back towards regular 4/3 size.

    One thing I don’t get, now that I think about regular 4/3, is why we need to keep the 4/3 size sensor. I thought it was developed with lens tele centricity in mind. Now that the flange distance has changed and the optics are mostly software corrected, why not make all the sensors like the GH series, where people can shoot 3:2 ratio again. There is no optic gain using 4:3 ratio anymore, that I’m aware of, as the lenses are too close to the sensor, on M4/3.

    4:3 is OK, for portraits I guess, but I always feel like the bottom or side has been lopped off, on landscapes. Seems sort of silly to keep making a sensor size that was designed for tele centricity, when that is not the case anymore.

    • shep

      Your discussion of 4:3 vs. 3:2 aspect ratio is excellent. I too prefer the 3:2 ratio that we know and love (35mm).
      The sensor size and shape can be altered (to a modest degree only) within the constraints of the m4/3 mount and the lenses’ design parameters while keeping the system intact. But as I see it, the only way to do this is to reduce the height of the sensor–I don’t think you can increase sensor length because of lens resolution and light falloff issues.
      So we may just have to settle for “cropping” the sensor (i.e. waste some of the pixels) which of course can be done already in the menus. This may be quite acceptable if/when the sensor’s pixel count is increased.
      Already I often crop my photos for 16:9 HDTV’s, which is even “skinnier” than even 3:2.

      • Jason

        I just set the camera to 3:2

    • Frederic Hew

      The 4:3 aspect ratio has nothing to do with telecentricity.

      It’s an attempt to maximize the sensor’s surface area within the confines of a smaller image circle.

      Personally I wouldn’t mind 4:5 or 1:1 :)

      • The Master

        Really? I was under the impression that 4/3 lenses were designed for the exact distance from the exit pupil to a 4/3 sensor, in order for the light to strike the sensor equally, and at the exact same angle over the entire 4/3 image area, which wouldn’t work if the sensor was any other size or ratio. I thought that was why they were calling them tele centric.

        • Nick Clark

          The 4/3rds system is tele-centric, but that has nothing to do with the aspect ratio – it would still be tele-centric if it was 3:2 or 16:9 or 1:1, as long as the diagonal of the sensor remained the same…

          The 4:3 ratio was chosen simply because it was considered the best option, and many photographers (myself included) prefer it to 3:2 for many applications.

  • The Master

    I can’t imagine using a 12-60 on the current bodies. The 14-140 is not comfortable to use for more than a few minutes, even on the GH1 and GH2. Seems like things are going to have to get bigger again, back towards regular 4/3 size.

    One thing I don’t get, now that I think about regular 4/3, is why we need to keep the 4/3 size sensor. I thought it was developed with lens tele centricity in mind. Now that the flange distance has changed and the optics are mostly software corrected, why not make all the sensors like the GH series (multi aspect ratio), where people can shoot 3:2 ratio again. There is no optic gain using 4:3 ratio anymore, that I’m aware of, as the lenses are too close to the sensor, on M4/3.

    4:3 is OK, for portraits I guess, but I always feel like the bottom or side has been lopped off, on landscapes. Seems sort of silly to keep making an oddball sensor size that was designed for tele centricity, when that is not the case anymore.

    • dumbo

      multi aspec would be good, but 4:3 is not quite so telecentric, most european magazines are 4:3, but a full page spread would be 2:3. so 4:3 is probably accepted better for portrait orientation shots :)

  • Olympius

    I fail to understand everyone’s enthusiasm for what would still be a giant lens, even for micro 4/3, if Olympus where to take the current 12-60 and “downsize it” for micro 4/3. Just look how big even the small, slow 14-42 zooms are on micro 4/3 bodies…already way too big for my needs.

    Small, reasonably fast, high quality primes are the way to go, and super compact zooms like Panny’s new “X” lenses if you really have to have a zoom.

    I already have a fast normal zoom for my micro 4/3 camera: the Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 that works great with an adapter. The problem is, even though this is one of the smallest, lightest f/2.8 zoom you will find anywhere, it’s like mounting a canon on a micro 4/3 body — heavy, huge, and a pain to use in the field, even though optically it’s better than any micro 4/3 lens on the market. Hence, I use pancake primes most of the time, as the 14-54 is better off on a nice, big DSLR like the E-3 or E-5, where it balances with the camera very nicely.

    The only way I would be interested in a downsized 12-60 zoom, is if Olympus were to make it weather and dust sealed, along with providing a weather and dust sealed body to use it on. But then, if we are going to go that route, might as well just get an E-5 and a regular 4/3 12-60 SWD — one of the finest camera/lens combinations on planet earth, no kidding.

    – Olympius

    • twoomy

      Not all of us are looking for lenses that are small enough to shove up our @sses. If I can get a decent lens that starts 24mm wide and is significantly smaller than a Nikon 24-70mm or 24-120mm, and has better image quality than the current m43 14-42 zooms, I’d be happy.

    • Bob

      Maybe you haven’t noticed, but a lot of people really like the convenience and flexibility of zooms. And not everyone buys m43 because they want a camera that’s so small there’s almost nowhere to hold on.

      These fast zooms, if and when they actually appears, will appeal to a lot of buyers. If they don’t appeal to you, that’s fine. Just don’t assume you represent all m43 users.

  • Yun

    I heard someone mentioned my lens again , the 35-100mm in F2 ?
    Let’s pray for it to happen .

    • Joe

      @ Olympius,
      Well, to each his own. The majority of us want a fast zoom for our mu43, even if it’s bigger than what we’re used to. No, we’re not just gonna get a a big SLR like Canonikon or the E-5 just to accommodate that lens

      • Olympius


        If you want a fast zoom for your E-PM1, then buy one — both the Olympus 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 and the 12-60 work fine on the lastest iteration of Olympus Pen cameras….don’t even need to wait for a micro 4/3 version….and after all, if size is no issue….

        But if you still think a micro 4/3 version of 12-60 is going to be the cat’s meow, allow me to further dampen you enthusiasm:
        – A micro 4/3 12-60 will cost significantly more than the 4/3 12-60, at least 50% more, if not 100%.
        – It will not be weather or dust sealed.
        – It will be a worst lens optically than the awesome 12-60, as all Olympus micro 4/3 lenses have extreme barrel distortion, which is only corrected by software.
        – It won’t be a great choice for video, without lens based imaged stabilization.
        – It won’t come anywhere near the build quality of the 4/3 12-60. Not by a longshot.

        How do I know all this? Because this is the pattern that has followed every single micro 4/3 lens released by Olympus to date: they are always more expensive and worse overall quality than their 4/3 counterparts, without exception.

        That 45mm f/1.8 that everyone thinks so highly of? At $400 USD, it’s only a little less expensive than the Olympus 50mm f/2 macro, which is right around $485 USD. But the Olympus 50mm macro is one of the finest prime lenses ever made by anyone, and is weather and dust sealed. Niether is true of the 45mm….

        And that 12mm “metal” wide-angle? At $900 USD with the lens hood, it’s less expensive than the $1500 Olympus 7-14mm f/4 super high-grade wide-angle zoom, which is the finest wide-angle zoom ever made, and weather & dust sealed. But the 12mm is about equal in price to the awesome Panasonic 7-14 wide-angle zoom, which many people feel is almost the equal of the Olympus 4/3 equivalent.

        So what, again, is everyone so excited about?

        – Olympius

        • Martin

          Your price speculation may be right but it may (and probably will) change in not too distant future..

          > $1500 Olympus 7-14mm f/4 super high-grade wide-angle zoom, which is the finest wide-angle zoom ever made

          … for a FT camera. If you look outside the Olympus box, you’ll see for instance the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 FF lens, which is simply another level: equally optically good, but effectively 8x brighter than the Olympus lens..

          > So what, again, is everyone so excited about?

          I’ll tell you: About bright zooms that will be (hopefully) significantly smaller than their 4/3 counterparts. Too difficult to grasp, huh?

        • shep

          Olympius, you say “- It will be a worst lens optically than the awesome 12-60, as all Olympus micro 4/3 lenses have extreme barrel distortion, which is only corrected by software.”
          Correction by software ain’t so bad! It enables clever lens designs. It’ll be the wave of the future, and will improve further over time. EVF’s are the wave of the future, too. Olympus’ EVF is very good already.
          (The awesome 4/3 12-60mm seems a bit less wonderful now: its then-clever correction of barrel distortion results in third order waviness, which is almost impossible to correct further in software. Simple first-order barrel distortion is easy to correct in software).
          Yes, there are concerns about these advances, but so there were about autoexposure in the 1960’s, autofocus in the 1980’s, digital in the 1990’s, and on and on. While larger formats, with larger lenses and cameras, will always give better results, that never stopped the Leica in the 1920’s nor will it stop m4/3 now. Pros still will want large formats for super-quality. Hikers, travelers, and many street photographers can go for compact size and now get impressive results.

  • Jim

    Looks like m4/3 is getting the lenses we want….

    Now I just need a lottery win to get them all :)

  • Entrakt

    We want to know the price as soon as possible !
    I hope something very low !

  • All this discussion and all admin did was write 12-60mm and follow it with a question mark.

    Nobody has even said this is the lens.

    This will look like a long stupid debate if it turns out to be something else.

  • Bob

    Oh, please!

    This “source” doesn’t even know the focal length range of the lens, but you rate this an FT5? Give me a break. This source would seem to be far outside any group that actually knows what Olympus might be manufacturing.

    • Ant

      The source know:
      – lens will be released
      – starts at 12mm
      – variable aperture.
      Nothing more.

      Admin has been throwing gas to the fire these days with the half-news half-speculation posts and no clear marking on where one ends and the other begin.

      • Nick Clark

        You do understand that this is 43 **RUMORS**? Or course Admin is going to speculate, they’re rumors ffs…

  • Narretz

    maybe it’s only the 50mm macro

    • Jason

      The macro would be nice, and I would buy it immediately to replace my FT version, but the 12-60 mm makes more sense as it is far mar useful than a macro. Plus, the rumor is a FT5, therefore, the 12-60 is the lens…

  • clark

    Not excited what so ever. more than likely this is going to be yet another lens i cannot afford outside the kit lens and completly pushes me away from m4/3. Is it too much to ask for a prime or two under $300 US that are decent quality, fast and small.

    • Jason

      @Clark- you can find the 20mm f/1.7 for low $300s… you’re on crack if you don’t think this is good prime

  • Boooo!

    Can we now get a m4/3 E-7 with a PDAF sensor from Aptina (like in the Nikon 1), so that it can use all lenses, including the actually good 4/3 lenses, and not the sub-par m4/3 ones?

  • twinkle

    This is very exciting indeed! I’ve been hoping for the m4/3 version of this lens ever since the beginnings of m4/3. First of all, I will not get an E5, ever, because like a lot of people coming from rangefinders, I have a thing against the SLR form factor… Second, Olympus has proved it can slash the weight of 4/3 lenses by half in the m4/3 equivalent (and reduce the bulk). I’m first in line to buy a 12-60mm if Olympus makes it! I would even venture as far as hoping for a slightly faster long end, say 3.5, yes it can be done. If it’s weather sealed I’ll be all over it, and then it will be a big incentive for me to upgrade to the pro body from my EP2 when that come out. I know a few people who think along the same lines. The fast primes in the meantime are a lot of fun, and I’m not about to part with them, but please Olympus, do start to bring your best 4/3 lenses to m4/3, we’ve waited very patiently, please don’t disappoint! After that, the first company to make a near perfect 35-100mm f2 wins my cash…

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