(FT5) The new lens specs: 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 and macro!


Finally I got the specs about the upcoming new Olympus Micro Four Thirds lens. It is a 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 macro lens! So it’s slower and has 10mm less at the end than the Olympus Four Thirds 12-60mm f/2.8-4 zoom. But the new 12-50mm gains a macro feature, has super fast AF and has powerzoom. I have been told the optical quality is on very high level. The lens is quite big (two times the current 14-42mm collapsible kit lens).

The new lens is a nice walk-around camera for photographer and filmmakers. I wish it would have been a bit faster but as long as image quality is really high I can deal with that.

The lens will be announced tomorrow (Wednesday December 14) at around 6-7am London time. I don’t know if Olympus will also announce new accessories or a new lens roadmap tomorrow. As usual I will be here live to cover the announcement news and reviews. See you tomorrow morning!

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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

  • olyE5

    what a disappoinment, Oly has left it´s “valued” customer behind …

    • I agree. A huge, massive let-down. Here’s hoping that the upcoming X-Series lenses are decent.

  • tooning

    Finally ! this is the kit zoom 12-50HS(Heavy and Slow) from Olympus ! Nice one .

  • Hmm, not for me.

  • Firefox23508

    yet another reason I am switching to NEX 7. I have a Panny G1 and was waiting for this lens to pair with the new GX1 I was sure would have a built in viewfinder. This lens is not fast enough. What a joke. All those folks who claim “the law of physics” are full of crap. This lens could have been made faster without increasing its external size. Panny and Oly have completely lost touch with everyone other than point and shooters.

    • Vivek

      While I am not a fan of the popular phrase “the law of physics” ( I really do not know if many who use it even can properly spell Physics instead of copy/paste), I would ask you why would you switch to the NEX-7 if you think f/6.3 isn’t fast enough for the G1 or any 12mp m4/3rds cam?

      You may want to look up how fast a lens has to be for the NEX-7.

  • Thomas

    f/3,5-6,3? Waste of money!

  • twoomy

    Geeze, M43 still does not have a good walk-around lens; Pany and Oly keep slightly missing the mark.

    I’d be all over this lens if it was brighter and I’d be happier with a larger size. We have quite a few small/cheap/mediocre image quality zoom choices now. It’s time for a better (and bigger) option.

    • Scott


    • Anonymous

      To me, the Panasonic 14-140mm is a perfect walk around lens. Thus the 12-50mm with its specs is superfluous. This lens would only have made sense, if it were constant f/4.0 or a f/2.8-5.6.

  • Daemonius

    12-50mm f3.5-6.3?

    Eh.. so its equiv. of 24-100mm f7-f11 (DOF).

    Very usefull, lol. :D

    All m4/3s has problem with high ISO, every one of them is noisy even at base ISO and they make slow lenses? Sounds really thought through..

  • This lens is too slow in my opinion. I hope to see faster lens such as 12-60mm, unfortunately it isn’t.

    Hopefully, Panasonic 12-35mm will have faster aperture, but I’m a bit pessimistic. Seems they have problem in designing fast zoom for MFT.

  • JFo

    Wow. That is horrible. Time to sell.

  • st3v4nt

    Yet another product nobody really wants this time the lens….I have to go outdoor in really bright light in order to shoot the object because I hate using flash to shoot indoor….I was hoping this lens would be at least f2 think I’ll wait new till new PEN announce to bought it.

  • Ragnarok

    Now the only hope for me to stay with m4/3 is Panasonic and their upcoming f/2.8 zooms. Olympus is dead for all I care.

  • Voldenuit

    Yet another slow lens. And it’s twice the size of the current (also slow) kit zoom.

    Why do they even bother?

  • its bigger then their current kit lens? and its slower too?
    and its pricier?

    is it for real?

  • Justin

    Great, another slow boring zoom lens from Olympus. Panasonic should make zooms and olympus should make fast primes.

    • Twinkle

      I would tend to agree, except that Panasonic makes great fast primes too (20mm, 25mm..). Olympus used to make the best zooms. What happened? lost the recipe? I love the 45mm f1.8 and the 4/3 macro 35mm f3.5, but I’m starting to wonder if all my future m4/3 lens purchases will have to be Panasonic… let’s see what tomorrow really brings.

  • Hojk

    Nice kit lens. Nothing more. Very disappointed since 12-50 is very useful focal range, but 3.5-6.3 is nothing to trade in the kit lens for.

    Hope Panasonic 12-35 will jump in to fill the gap Oly was not able to fill.

  • I don’t get it either. Bigger I can accept but only if it’s substantially faster. m4/3 has enough slow zooms; slow needs to be small, or I don’t see the point.

  • Dinko

    Perfect lens for me! I walk around in sunny weather in the city. 14mm isn’t wide enough. 12mm is better for me. Having it zoom out to 50mm is great. I’d prefer a 7mm-140mm, but hey… this is better than nothing.

  • Z

    Ohh, poo.
    I WAS excited until the 3.5-6.3
    This makes it high quality kit lens, but not a pro quality lens.

    I really hope the upcoming Panasonic is f2.8 and not f4!!!!

  • Raist3d

    Not sure how admin can be excited about this. But let’s wait for the real announcement and see what it is. If it’s what you mention admin, sorry but I think it’s a fail.

    • admin

      I am not “excited”. Where did you read that? it’s an ok lens which makes sense for amateur or for those guys that want a walkaround kit lens which has a high quality and macro. A 12-60mm f/2.0 lens would be awesome but also cost $2000 more :)

      • TheEye

        The exclam in the topic header implies excitement.

    • Disraeli

      nothing different there. With no interest in micro anything, Raist3d is looking for someone who he can say is wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Very disappointment with the slow aperture, no OIS and try to attach on penny body ,.. And we’ll see what happen

  • Oitszek


  • Mr. Reeee

    Wow. Bad news!
    Unfortunately, it really seems par for the course as far as Olympus is concerned. I’m not a big zoom fan, but a fast 12-60mm f2.8-3.5 would have been a great travel lens. I use the 14-140mm for that now, but not much on the long end. Shorter and brighter would have hit several sweet spots.

    It looks like the 12mm f2 and 45mm f1.8 were aberrations. Mediocrity, as far as lenses go, seems to be the norm at Olympus. :-(

    • TheEye

      Sadly, these days companies are for the most part doing their best to be competitive by offering the same as everyone else. What’s up with all those damn kit lenses with similar or identical focal length ranges? Those incremental “improvements” are preposterous.

      Faced with similar options among the offered products, the consumer is then left with a lot of choice of the same. Olympus should dare to differentiate themselves from their competition. Dare to have more than two (relatively) fast primes. Dare to have a dual focal length lens (12/50 mm) for street and travel shooters. And for the love of the Olympian gods, give us an upper tier body that can be held with more than fingertips and that can accept and utilize 4/3 lenses.

      Not sure why I bother. It’s hopeless, I think.

      • George

        Yes it is hopeless. As was mentioned earlier, mediocrity is the norm.

  • MattC

    I’m not sure how this is any better than the kit zoom. A little wider…yes. But 50mm at f/6.3?? How is this any more premium than 42mm at f/5.6? I was hoping for a mFT version of the 14-54mm with the FT aperture of f/2.8-3.5. I’m unwilling to accept anything slower than f/4.0. I think the inclusion of an aperture ring and power zoom marks this lens as targeting video instead of photo. I’m STILL waiting for a good travel PHOTO lens!

  • George

    So what happened to Olympus? Did all of the real photographers in Olympus leave? All that seems to be left are people that care nothing about real enthusiasts. It’s so sad it’s painful. I am glad I sold my kit. I keep looking for reasons to get back in but Olympus just keeps giving me reasons to stay away. :-(

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