(FT5) Olympus will announce the cheapest Olympus prime lens ever made at Photokina!


A super trusted anonymous sources just shared a bit of a strange news. One of the new Micro Four Thirds lenses announced at Photokina will be the cheapest prime lens ever announced by Olympus. It will be cheaper than the $250 17mm pancake (image on top). The source didn’t unveil any specs but he said it’s not a new version of the 17mm pancake but instead a completely new lens! Let’s see if some other sources can tell us more about it…Thanks :)
Current 17mm pancake price check at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
The cheapest Panasonic pancake is the superb 14mm f/2.5 that is for sale for $266 at Amazon (Click here).

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

  • Farrukh

    Exciting! I wonder what it could be! So long as the image quality is as good as the 45mm f1.8, I’d be a happy bunny :)

    • Hey, the rumor doesn’t say anything about “good,” it says “cheap.” Given the popularity of blurry, distorted, color-shifted hipsterography, I’m betting on a “toy lens” similar to those Pentax offers for the Q.

    • I’m sure someone somewhere will find it near stellar.

      • george4908

        >>Given the popularity of blurry, distorted, color-shifted hipsterography, I’m betting on a “toy lens” similar to those Pentax offers for the Q.<<

        I think there's a good chance you've nailed it. If it's cheap enough, hell, I'd buy one. And I'm not even close to being a hipster.

  • Michael

    So many interesting things are coming, can’t wait until September…

  • Mike

    No more cheapo m4/3 lenses. Keep the good stuff coming. Come on Oly… we need one of your dynamite fast primes like the long awaited 17 or 17.5 f2 or 1.4.

    • Anonymous

      There has been a fair share of expensive lenses lately (12mm, 75mm, 12-35), some cheap ones would be very very welcome.

    • aqasem

      yes +1

    • Frye

      Maybe all the people who really dig really expensive lenses should just go Leica and have done.

  • Hopefully it’s not a 30/6.3.

    • Dilinger

      It would be really the 30/6.3 if Sigma would produce it. :))

      • Anonymous

        Oh yeah? I’d rather have a good f2.8 than a poor f1.7 lens

        • rpm40

          Oh yeah? But would you rather have a good 2.8 lens than a good 1.7 lens? The sigmas are nice lenses for the price, but you aren’t going to find to many people out there seriously saying it makes the panny look bad.

  • Um…last I checked, that’s the Sony NEX 16mm, and Olympus makes a 17mm f/2.8, not a 16mm. Very odd mistake to make here.

  • I don’t mind inexpensive lenses of good quality, but cheap lenses? No thanks. When I saw my first m4/3 camera with the 12-42 kit lens my im pression of the lens was indeed that it was cheaply made. Lost interest right away.

  • Anonymoose

    Admin? That’s a Sony E-mount lens. Is everything okay?

    • Miroslav

      Shhhhhh! Admin is away, that’s someone else writing the posts for him ;).

  • Thank you for this FT5 “super trusted” news! Since the technical details details are not important, I assume it is going to be a pinhole lens. ;-)

  • Niels

    I hope it will be a 20-25 mm but with a faster AF than the Panasonic 20 mm

  • Nothing can be more cheaply made than the current 17/2.8. That lens should be the benchmark for low price optics.

    So what could it be?
    It should match the new Pens to give a lower-light / shallow focus option to their buyers. Should be small with a simple optical design and little or no “special” glass (i.e. something between 17-25mm). Should compete with the Panny 20/1.7 that is a bit outdated with its sluggish, noisy focus. So, is it a 20/2? Panasonic might go berserk.

  • Miroslav

    “the cheapest prime lens ever announced by Olympus” sounds like 25mm F2.8. 17mm, 20 and 45mm focal lengths are already taken, wides, teles and faster lenses are more expensive. I’m not expecting much from this one.

    • tom

      Current cheapest oly primes are 4/3 lenses, 25 f2.8 and 35 f3.5 macro. It’s probably an m43 version of one of these.

      • JLW518

        I hope it’s a 35mm macro…..I would love one of those in the M43 mount!

        • Walter Freeman

          No kidding; that little lens is far better than it’s given credit for.

  • Sergey

    The wrong direction, Olympus.

    • Pavlo

      I appreciate they went the direction. For tough budget guy like me fast prime means legacy lens, but now there will be a chance to have some new stuff with AF. Those wealthier have their 75mm 1.8 and so on.

  • Fritz

    12mm f4

  • TT

    New kit lens for the small pens? A fast and sharp prime does not have to be expensive (Canon 50/1.8), so I’m hoping for a nice and light 25mm/F2. I won’t care for anything slower, though.

    • Miroslav

      “New kit lens for the small pens”

      Either that (~12-17mm) or a 25mm. I’m hoping for a 15mm F2, which could be small ( if dimensions of 17mm F2.8 and 14mm F2.5 are taken into account ), but I’m afraid it’s going to be a fast-ish 25mm ( not below F2 ).

    • The Canon is 50/1.8 is cheap and fast but not sharp, especially wide open. I know, I have one. Better examples are the newer Nikon the 35/1.8G DX and 50/1.8G, which are are $200+. Still, neither are as sharp as the $400 Oly 45/1.8. That said, I’d like to see a 17 – 20mm F/2 (or faster) Oly prime around $200 that is sharper than the 17/2.8 but not necessarily as sharp as my 45/1.8 to replace my slow to AF Pany 20/1.7

  • emde

    below 100mm anything slower than f/2 will not be considered (except for macro) – so mabe a fast 20-25mm f/2 pancake(?) with fast AF? could replace my 1,7/20

  • Camaman

    Cheapest in regards to 17mm isnt a big deal. It might be 190$.
    I personaly hope for a modern looking black, 25mm f/1.8

  • Yun

    I need long focal tele prime fast lens , 150mm F2 or F2.8 .
    Oly or Pana , please come up with such lens .
    Not really interest in the pan cake lens above as m4/3 already have many types of it .

    • T-L

      You can use “small tuna” with an adapter. m4/3 version of it will be more expensive anyway.. :P

  • rrr_hhh

    The Panasonic 14mm F2.5 can be had for much cheaper on EBay, from Asian dealers, than with Amazon. Lately the price went down to 160$, for instance there :


    But you can easily find them for under 190$. At that price, you don’t get a warranty I guess. But you sar a lot.

  • Patrik
    • Bobafett

      Sounds nice and pretty plausible (read my 2 cents below).

    • Was immediately thinking a 25mm to. Only thing that makes sense. Hope it’s 1.8.

    • MP


    • peevee

      I doubt very much that 25/1.8 can be made cheaper than 17/2.8, and the latter is $299 MSRP.

      • I believe 20mm is the perfect focal lenght for non-retrofocus design on micro four thirds. As 45-50mm on dslr. So it could be cheap if f2,8. I hope in a f2!

  • @Olympus: No thanks, if it’s silver only. And I really do hope the 12mm and 45mm will be offered in black at the same retail prices after Photokina. I promise I’ll buy the 12mm without hesitation.

    • Neil Evans

      Seriously? You’d buy it or not buy it because of what color it is?

  • Bobafett

    It really depends what Oly means with cheap. Cause I’ve paid CHF 299.- for my 45/1.8 (brand-new!) and in my opinion that’s a no-brainer price wise. Thus if Oly can bring up a pancake around that price-range and deliver the quality of the 45/1.8, then I’m sold.

  • It’s a 25 mm f/2.8 (like the FT mount one).

  • Nick B

    I think I will buy it if it is 25mm f1.8 with 80% of 45mm image quality.

  • futureseaker

    There is 17/2.8 cheap, but not good optically.
    If new prime (prime?) will be cheaper… and it won’t be new version of 17/2.8… And there is 45/1.8 and 75/1.8 (good, first not expensive, second very expensive)…

    There are options – 14mm or 25mm… Cheap, therefore not fast. 25/1.8… posible, but cheaper than 17/2.8? Slower?
    There is no sense of primes (other then pancakes slower then f/2). New version of 25/2.8 from old 4/3 dedicated to micro43? Not very exciting…
    Or 14/2.8… But there is Pansonic 14/2.5.

    Then 25/2.8, because cometition is only much more expensive PanaLeica 25/1.4

    Or… 10mm f/3.5…

  • It’s a 25 mm f/2.8 with macro 1:2.

    • Bobafett

      You’re sure about that?

    • I would very much like for it to be a macro even if it’s not the best optically to get what you pay for. I’d love to have my 20 on my EM-5 then a cheap macro for my GF2 when I’m walking around with both.

    • f/2.8 doesn’t make sense – except for the E-M5. Other (cheap) Oly cameras don’t have the ISO capability to compensate for the small aperture. (*)

      Regardless of the price, the lens would be of limited use to me. (That, after the fact that the 25mm is not wide enough to me. 17-20mm are more versatile lengths.)

      (*) And I very much doubt that the next update would bring the OMD’s sensor to the PENs. (Or, if yes, then it’s real real bad news to the Panasonic – and m43.)

  • peevee

    Oly has gone mad. The m43 system is overcrowded in the prime segment where primes can be made cheap – Oly 12, Pana 14, Oly 17, Sigma 19, Pana 20, Pana 25, Sigma 30, Oly 45 (+expensive Pana 45 macro)… Where do you put a new prime there without competing with existing lenses? They will probably make 22mm. It will compete with 2 Panas, but at least not with another Oly. And if it is slow, like 2.8, there is not much of a competition.
    And that madness when there a gaping wholes in the system. First of all, there are no decent zooms. Even Pana 12-35 is overpriced and has bad CA. There is no rectilinear UWA, 8mm/2.8 (just below Oly’s own 9-18mm) would be very useful for interior/cave/etc photography. 135/2.8 could complement future Pana 35-100 nicely (if only for Oly cameras with IBIS). None of them could be very cheap though.

    • Primes to me are basically the point of the system. I initially only joined because of the 20mm. And cheaper primes helps people join the system. At a marketing stand point Panny/Oly can say, “get EPL/GF, get the 20 1.7, 14 2.5, and this new Oly lens and you have a very good three lens set for around $1000.” Where the equivalent in Canon/Nikon intro DSLR and similar lenses would cost you probably over 2k and be much heavier/bigger or get any other mirrorless system which doesn’t have those kind of lenses yet” – it really is a good strategy by Olympus.

  • Reality

    It’s crazy that neither 4/3 nor m4/3 has had a decent 25mm selection. You can count with one hand the choices for both formats.
    It would be fantastic if someone at Mt. Olympus realized that an affordable 25 1.8 or 2.0 would sell like hotcakes being the most common focal length in the good old days. (50mm)

  • Heiko

    I bet 5 bucks on a 25mm F2.8 mft Version of the FT Pancake

  • Alan Fairley

    I don’t want cheap lenses, I want good lenses.

    • Cedric Leveille

      You already have a 7-14, a 12mm, a 25mm, a 45mm and a 75mm. Cool
      The rest of us want some good but cheap lens.

  • The Oly 17/2,8 was really bad – worse than the kit zoom. Pana has 14 an 20 mm that are great and cheap. Oly has 45mm, great and cheap. Pana has 25/1,4 – the greatest and expensive. The we have Sigma 30mm which is very unimpressive.
    -a 25 or 30mm made in the spirit of 45/1.8 would be a very nice addition!

    • ArKersaint

      +1 f/2 and black under € 200 !

  • Lily

    Fingers crossed for a 25/2.8 that’s as good as the 4/3 version.

  • The two Sigmas show that good lenses can be made very cheaply. Perhaps building a linear motor can be done for cheap.

    Since Sigma is rumored to introduce new m4/3 lenses at PK, it makes good sense for Oly to compete. I think that the system needs the eq. of the 25/2.8 4/3 pancake, which was excellent despite the small price.

    The PL 25mm will be left in tis own category, but Oly needs good kit alternatives.

    Think which camera the new lens is going to match. it makes good sense for any of them. I dearly hope it’s a pancake, rather than fast.

    • peevee

      It is possible, but with 25/2.8 they will just share the profits with Pana 25. Owing both has no sense. And I doubt there are too much to be made there in the first place (unlike on good but not overpriced zooms customers like so much).

      • There are so many zooms sharing the same FoV, but a 2nd 25mm prime would spell cannibalizing? Nonsense.

        Anyhow, a corrected 2.8/25 is technically an alternative to the PL25, based on FoV, but in fact its not an alternate product.

    • ramrod

      Since being cheap is the main thing about you and your interests, maybe you ought to take up a different hobby!

    • Anonymous

      Not sure you can say that about the Sigmas. Having tried the 19mm I would not put it in the same class as the Oly 17mm, it shows one of the worst cases of barrel distortion I have ever seen, while it looks sharp, that alone cannot make up for the distortion present. It is certainly not a lens I would consider for architectural work.

  • Assuming its a 50mm..

  • Jón

    Olympus, the 4/3 is good as dead. (sadly). Support the system, bring out decent 4/3 sealed camera, but focus on m4/3. Give us 300/4, 200/2.8, long macro, all weather sealed to match the E-M5. And sealed 7-14 would be nice bonus.


    Long time Olympus fan.

  • To be cheap, it has to have a focal length larger than the register distance, to avoid a retrofocal construction. On the other hand, a too long lens becomes expensive.

    I’m guessing around 25-30mm, and with an aperture of f/2.8. That would be pretty simple to construct, just look at the small front lens element on the Sigma 30mm f/2.8.

    • avds

      Isn’t the Panasonic 14/2.5 retrofocal? It’s the cheapest available native AF m43 lens so far, and also the lightest.

  • Patboyslim

    I’m willing to pay a little bit higher for a pancake 17mm f2 or 2.8 that has fast and silent autofocus as replacement of the panasonic 20mm.

  • Jalo

    Sigh, I would prefer 17mm f2 like the 12/2… It can’t be that difficult, Mr. Olympus! Of course cheap lenses are ok if they are good.

    The manual focus like in 12/2, please make a 17/2 like that. I Find it very difficult to manually prefocus a lens like the 17/2.8.

  • Joe A.

    Whatever it is, I’ll likely buy it.

  • In b4 25mm 2.8 remake

  • The Master

    The way Olympus is coming out with new focal lengths lately, it could be a 26mm 2.8, or even 27mm. Or maybe it will be 46mm or a 15mm or some other odd ball focal length, that doesn’t make any sense, but one thing for sure, is, I bet it will be silver. :)

    • Odd focal length are weird on paper, but thats it.

      Its like shooting APS-H. 35mm equivalent may be confusing at worst, but in the end, you frame what you see in the view finder.

      Therefore, I don’t care whether its 17mm, 17.5mm or 19.33mm : is it a cool lens that I want, worth its value? Thats all I need to know.

  • JL

    My bet:

    25mm f2.8 macro. Or regular 25mm f1.8. Or both. Both would sell quite well, if they are not too expensive – remember, the panaleica 25mm f1.4 is not exactly cheap.

    And Oly has shown us earlier, that they can make good unexpensive glass (35mm macro, 25mm pancake…) And, to be honest, the 17mm lens is not that bad either, not for the price…

  • Stageshadow

    I think it’s the m4/3 version of the 25 f2.8 pancake!
    It is not a perfect lens but much better than the 17mm!

    They could even use the same optic formula if it is not a pancake.

    Hopefully it is weathersealed and black! ;-)

  • flash

    A 25mm f2 or so would be a good addition. It should cost about 2/3 of their 45mm lens. If they package a 25mm with the new pens it will show off one of the advantages of mFT compared to the mirror-less apc format cameras by Sony and Cannon.

    I think they need a prime kit lens other then the 17. There are many of us who do not want a kit zoom lens, and feel another kit zoom lens is about as useful as a lens cap.

    I would like a 26 mm lens over a 25, but I realize it will not happen. A P-M2 with a 25mm would be a likely sale for me. If like mention above weather sealed, to any extent it would be a must buy.

    • ulli

      can you notice the difference between a 25mm or 26mm when comparing the photos?

      • flash

        No, I can not. Even with looking for it. :)

        I just use to like a 52mm or 55mm on a 35 mm camera, it’s perspective “seemed” more natural when shooting; then a 50mm. If one considers how easy it is to crop with digital etc. it does not really matter.

  • Sergey
  • mocha

    What my brain spark out is “focus free” LoL

  • Clearly, in 43rumors, like in other m4/3 forums, there are different interest groups.

    1041 should be split like admin at 1041 proposed.

    We are not interested by the same lenses and the same prices. I don’t even think that upper tier customers are better photogs.

    But at least they should have the illusion of being so in a separate group of the uber rich complimenting themselves.


    Admin? :)


    • ramrod

      A penny-pinching Scrooge like yourself may consider anyone with an average income “über-rich,” but that only reflects on your fiscal situation. Maybe take some adult learning courses at the local college and get a better-paying job than you have now, presuming you do have and can even hold any job.

  • mahler

    Instead of cheap, Olympus should concentrate on high quality products. To date, even the expensive products, based on personal experience, have severe quality issues:

    EM-5: loosing paint, breaking or loosing eye cups, buttons loosing paint
    2.0/12mm : first lens, I had to return, because of decentered optics
    1.8/45mm : poor surface finish, prone to scratches, loose lens hood
    14-150mm : poor lens hood and lens cover design, makes one crazy

    So how can Olympus dare to make even cheaper products? Even less build quality?

    Wrong direction.

  • Quality issues matter both for inexpensive or expensive lenses.

    This has been one of the strong points of Olympus together with an effective World warranty.

    If you want privileges don’t buy Oly but buy Leica, which will make you pay for it.

    • JimD

      The Olympus World Wide Warranty is a figment of US marketing imagination.
      It does not exist.
      Most countries have opted out of it. If you have a problem when in one of those countries hard luck. Pay through the nose.

      • Not true. in my region, the EU, it works well across countries. I tested it.

        They even replaced my camera for free after 18 months.

        • mahler

          So, you also experienced a quality issue?

          I want products, which are made of decent materials, which don’t break, which have a design that works, and which I don’t have to send in. Product, which don’t fake quality, with a sleek retroish design. Ever thought that the silver EM-5 has a metal surface? No, it is a unresistant paint, that peels of the camera at the edges so quick, that you can’t imagine. My three months old EM-5 looks like a two year old tool.

  • drhookmccracken

    wtf?! What i need is a better 17mm, not a cheaper one!!!!

    • Mal

      Yeah, +1 for me. Super fast focus 17mm pancake in f1.8 thanks. I use my 20mm Pana a lot on the EM5 because it is small and bright, and the only thing it needs is faster focus and slightly wider field of view to be perfect.

  • Cedric Leveille

    What makes sense to me is that there’s 2 kind of people looking for m43.
    The amateur one’s and the semi pro one’s.
    Oly and pany seams to get that by offering a nice range for both. They don’t want to compete on the same products. By knowing that, Oly can come with a 25mm lens but never with a 14mm or 20mm. maybe it will be an UWA cheap prime… I’d realy love to see that!

  • Suddenly, dreams of a better 17mm became even more dreamy…

    17mm was cheap enough already. What the heck.

    Oly should make instead 17mm mk2 least f/2.0 and fast AF.

    Also, Oly should add the CA correction to its cameras. It’s kind a suck when they on one side make cheap lenses which require some corrections in PP (and CA correction is most “popular” correction) – while they refuse to add the corrections into the firmware like most other companies already do for quite some time.

  • Andy

    Since Canon EOS-M comes with a cheap 35mm equivalent F1.8 prime lens, Olympus may compete with Canon by producing a 35mm equivalent (17mm) F1.8 lens. In Sep, many new M4/3 bodies and lens are rolling out together with iPhone 5. I’ll be broke in Sep.

  • miles

    Yes, i think they should build a revised 17mm with f2 lens at affordable price and great optics, at pancake size. It will usurp the panny 20/1.7 and 14/2.5 and become the only lens needed.

  • JFo

    I’d take a cheap 7 or 9mm prime, even if it’s slow.

  • Ben

    Cheap, or Inexpensive? is the real question.

    • Exactly. “Cheap” is for the waste bin.
      Do Olympus strategists play GO? There, one “proverb” is: Stay away from thickness.
      Therefore, I hope and expect something in the 15-17 mm range (f1.8-2.0),
      OR, a 25-35mm f2.8 with (limited) macro

    • ArKersaint

      + 1 !

    • I can forgive our dear admistrator for not knowing the difference between cheap and inexpensive, but I can’t forgive those native English speakers. These two words are not synonymous and should be used deliberately and appropriately to express the desired connotation.

      Of course, there are those indiscriminating Philistines who enjoy cheap wine, cheap cigars, cheap food, and cheap women. :-P

  • Not overpriced should be the answer. It is easy to make an very good quality prime lens for a very low price unless it is very fast.

    Primes have fewer elements and are much simpler to make so should be a lot cheaper but of course the manufactures have fooled the new to photography crowd into thinking that they are something special and worth a premium. A standard 1.8 lens should be no more than $60.

  • Thank you for saying that, Alan.

    The problem with m4/3 is the short register, so the first gen showed that if you wanted pancakes you had to accept firmware correction.

    Now the 19mm and 30mm apparently donj’t have it and show that they can be made good regardless, with just a little thickness added.

    Perhaps Oly has noticed, and anyway it’s high time for a good inexpensive 25mm.

  • ulli

    so not weathersealed but lets hope the mount will stay metal.

  • Having said that I would pay a bit more for a non-focus-by-wire in manual like the 12-60.

  • Mal

    I have a dream. I dream of a small cylindrical lens case that fits to my belt and has four compartments about 25mm wide, each with a pancake lens of 1.8 brightness ranging from 12 through 17, 25 and 45mm. Each has super fast focus and image quality like the current 20mm Pana.

    My dream was also very specific and included an EM-5 will full CA and distortion correction, obviously achieved through a firmware upgrade.

    Oh darn, now I know I’m dreamin’! Olympus would never offer a useful firmware upgrade…

  • Oliver

    Another converter!!

  • kk

    Cheap fast normal equivalent please….. All the DSLR systems have those!

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