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Patent: Olympus is working on a new 150mm macro for 43 and m43.


The Japanese website Egami (Click here) found a new Olympus patent describing different variations of a new 150mm f/2.8 macro lens. There are actually two different versions. One shorter lens for the m43 system and a longer lens for the Four Thirds system. Both are described as high quality optics. The only similar lens currently on market is the Sigma 150mm lens (here at Amazon).

One more thing: I am currently sorting out your lens suggestions for the m43 system and will soon publish the poll.

  • Do you want to compare these lenses to the other competition ?
    Have a look here :

  • Agent00soul

    Ouch.. 14 elements. That’s a lot for a prime lens. It’s not going to be cheap…

    • Anyway, i think this lens will have good IQ, if price is over $.2.000,-.


    Now, that is the news! Go mZD Go!
    I’m ready for both 1.8 and 2.8 telas :)

  • SF

    Yeeeeeeeeeeees. Please Oly, make that patent become reality.
    Macro is the strenght of your sensor format, don’t waste that potential.

    • SF

      I forgot. Don’t dare to forget the tripod mount ring, Oly.
      This is a must for such a lens.

      • I couldn’t agree more.
        Actualy, it is a must for EVERY macro lens.

        • Oh, and make all of that for $99. 99

          • SF

            It is worth 800 Euro for me.
            For me, they actually could also skip AF to decrease the price.

  • Ilkieit

    If the price will be the same, or better lower than Sigma 150 f/2.8 (belowe 1000$). For m43 lens are smaller, and should be cha

    It should be smaller and lighter – Sigma is for FF, with smaller filter size.

    If the AF will be fast, I prefer 150mm macro than 60mm macro.
    I want to buy 75mm f/1.8 and 60mm is to close to 75mm.
    150mm will be equivaalent 300mm f/2.8 (if AF will be fast), and additionaly lens for macro.

    But Oly should have price simillar to Sigma 150mm f/2.8, not simillar to Canon 300mm f/2.8.

  • Digifan

    Well this is a few days old allready.
    Also this would probably be a slow AF lens considering it’s a macro.
    F2.8 is also a plenty fast aperture for a 150mm Macro (35mm eq 300mm).

  • yes! 150mm macro!

    It will be very good offer, if only there will be advanages in size/weight/price/focus_speed (and mabye IQ) over Sigma 150mm f/2.8 (made for FF, 4-times bigger sensor).

    For example Zukio 300mm f/2.8 for 4/3 wasn’t better, smaller and chaper than Canon 300mm f/2.8L.

    150mm f/2.8 for m43 should be comparable with Sigma 150mm f/2.8.
    Even if it is equivalent of 300mm, it is not 300mm.

    AF could be fast. Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro has AF fast enough, but in Sigma 150mm f/2.8 AF is slow. But Sigma is old lens.

    • “For example Zukio 300mm f/2.8 for 4/3 wasn’t better, smaller and chaper than Canon 300mm f/2.8L”

      Olympus used different concept for the FT lenses; it was either smaller and at the same performance level as the competition, or it was the same size but with better spec/performance compared to the competition. As the SHG 35-100 should be compared with the 70-200, the SHG 300 is positioned against the 600mm competition. it’s then obvious the SHG lenses bein the better spec ones.

      • Walter

        I wonder, though? The ZD300 is capable of resolving pixel-level detail when used with the EC-20 on a 2x crop body. That’s a very high demand.

        Can the Canon 300/2.8 with 2x resolve detail with a good MTF up to Nyquist on a sensor with the same pixel density as the E-5?

    • +1 for 150mm MACRO!!!!

      +1 for 150mm MACRO!!!!

  • Holy shit… That Pana SD card is almost $500 bucks.. and its only 22 MB/s.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Comment in wrong news, but yes.
      Because of inferior design SD cards with write speeds approaching anything of better CFs, or mid class 60MB/s Sandisks, are expensive or even technically impossible until memory chip tech itself advances. (giving CF still higher speed potential)

      • lol you’re right I’m in the wrong post, I must get coffee!

      • BLI

        What about:
        SanDisk Extreme® Pro™ SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-I Memory Cards, 16Gb = US$ 100:

        Up to 95 MB/sec (633X) read speed. Write speed up to 90 MB/s (600X). Based on SanDisk internal testing; performance may be lower depending upon host device. 1 megabyte (MB) = 1 million bytes. X = 150KB/sec.

        • BLI

          The E-M5 supports UHS-I cards, I think.

        • Esa Tuunanen

          So looks like they’ve now started using some faster chips in memory cards instead of all of those being used for SSDs.
          But that would mean also possibility for something like 500MB/s cards in physical volume offered by CF if there were need for such. Though it would be in PCI Express bus based XQD format to allow that transfer rate. (current PATA based CF spec is at ~167MB/s while SATA based CFast is at 300MB/s)

          Speed development of cards has actually been only crawling forward at slow speed because of for example hyped video shooting needing actually lot less bandwidth than still shooting in RAW.

    • yes! 150mm macro!

      “SHG 35-100 should be compared with the 70-200, the SHG 300 is positioned against the 600mm competition”

      It is deception.
      300mm f/2.8 is 300mm f/2.8. It is not 600mm.

      In some Nikon’s FF cameras there is possibility to set crop x1,5 and lens 300mm automaticaly “change” into 450mm. But without additional price.

      “Advantages” or logic of 4/3 (and m43) is smaller sensor which gives different angle of view then FF for the same lens, and e.g. standard lens we can use as tele. But there is a cost – smaller sensor gives worse IQ (ISO, DR). We agree to this compromise, for smaller size and we expect that it will be cheaper then FF.

      It is cheaper to make lens for 4-times smaller sensor than for FF.
      Tne same lens 300mm should be cheaper in 4/3 (m43) than in FF (e.g. there is no necessary to produce such big glasses in the lens).
      Moreover, Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS has IS, and Zuiko 300mm f/2.8 has not.
      Zuiko should be lighter, smaller and cheaper.

      35-100 f/2 is different story, because it it 1EV faster. There is no simillar lens in FF.

      But there is many lenses in FF can be made for m43 (with simillar or lower price, and smaller size):
      – 50mm f/1.4 (ususally small and not expensive in FF, in m43 will be nice portrait lens)
      – 100mm f/2
      – 100mm f/2.8
      – 135mm f/2
      – 150mm f/2.8
      – 300mm f/4
      – 400mm f/5.6
      – 70-200mm f/4
      – 100-300mm f/4
      And each should be cheaper in m43 than in FF.

      • Conrad

        “It is cheaper to make lens for 4-times smaller sensor than for FF.”

        There is some truth in it but it is a bit too simple.

        To be comparable at the same number of pixels per image width, the required resolving power of the m4/3 lens must be double that of the FF. This doesn’t mean that FF lenses with equally high resolving power as m4/3 don’t exist, just that on m4/3 it is a requirement.

        Especially in the case of 50/1.8 FF lenses, it is unfair to oly/panny to claim that “you can get a 50/1.8 for half the price of the oly”. Usually they are mediocre at best wide open. Already on FF, but double so on m4/3. The really good ones can be compared to the oly 45/1.8, but they are multiple times the price (summicron?).

        This is just one example where it is undeniable that m4/3 delivers on the promise of being cheaper.

        Your other argument is regarding size. For longer focal lengths, the size of the sensor has almost no relevance for the size of the lens. The diameter is determined by the f/number, and the length by the focal length. You can gain a little by optimizing the part of the lens behind the entrance pupil for the smaller sensor, but that won’t tip the scale that much. That’s why the Panny 100-300/4-5.6 is approximately the same size and weight as the Canon 100-300/4-5.6.
        Same size, same weight, same performance = same price, isn’t it?

      • “Tne same lens 300mm should be cheaper in 4/3 (m43) than in FF (e.g. there is no necessary to produce such big glasses in the lens).”

        Well, a 300/2.8 requires the same physical aperture, be it FF or 4/3. The only smaller elements could be at the rear end maybe, to throw a smaller image circle, but that doesn’t affect the overall size much anyway.

        “But there is many lenses in FF can be made for m43 (with similar or lower price, and smaller size): …
        And each should be cheaper in m43 than in FF.”

        Dunno about that. Remember that 4/3 glass has about double the resolution of that produced by FF lenses (sheer optical resolution that is, not counting in sensor and lines/mm). Which again requires superior glass and construction, making them more expensive. And again, on average, a lens w/ a given FL and brightness is kinda defined by optical laws, regardless of what mount it may have.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        > “SHG 35-100 should be compared with the 70-200, the SHG 300 is positioned against the 600mm competition”
        It is deception.

        And you aren’t deceiver?
        No photographer who has knowledge what he/she is doing selects lens just because of some absolute focal length. He/she selects lens basing to field of view (also perspective) given by it in the film/sensor format in question.

        “In some Nikon’s FF cameras there is possibility to set crop x1,5 and lens 300mm automaticaly “change” into 450mm. But without additional price.”
        Deception… deception…
        Cropping taken image was rightly never called as zooming before photography became hobby of every average consumer because it doesn’t capture any new details.

  • tmrgrs

    This 150/2.8 will be expensive but if it has reasonably fast AF, I’ll be getting it – eventually.

    • hlbt

      Out of curiosity, what use do you have in mind that would require (reasonably) fast AF from a 150mm f2.8 Macro?

      On a personal level, I certainly don’t have the skills to take advantage of such a lens… and I admire all those that do!

      • Agent00soul

        To use it for other things beseides macro, of course. A 150/2.8 lens could be very useful as a general long tele.
        I don’t think the AF has to be slow, if it has voice coil actuator and focus range limiter (like the 60 mm).

        • tmrgrs


          I’m a past owner of Canon’s 100/2.8 macro and it AF’d surprisingly fast.

      • > Out of curiosity, what use do you have in mind that would require (reasonably) fast AF from a 150mm f2.8 Macro?

        I could answer that with a counter question: what use do you have for f/2.8 aperture on a macro lens?

        f/2.8 is a sign that it would be not only a macro lens.

        • tmrgrs

          Yes that’s right. This is clearly a multi-purpose lens. Especially if the AF speed is OK.

  • Yun

    Another great lens is on it’s way . Wondering how to hold it with a Pana cam , getting tempting & tempting to get an Oly camera .
    Pana , where is your new prime lens ?

    • Martin

      I can’t see the problem with holding it when mounted to a Pana. Left hand under the lens tube, close to the center of gravity of the whole ensemble, right hand at the camera body, just balancing the minor residual forces. Where is the problem?

  • Ken B

    A 150mm macro would be great.

    The 60mm macro coming out is not a small lens, so how large will the 150mm be????.

    Sigma already do 150mm F2.8, it weighs in at 1150grams, so is there a market for the 4/3 version.

    How small will the M4/3 version be, size v weigh v cost.

    Would F4 for M4/3 at 150mm be a better compromise of weigh, size and cost.

    Will this lens have a tripod collar or tripod mount on the lens, this is a must for me.

    As for fast AF, the fastest macro lens i have used is the Nikon 85mm F3.5 macro, much faster than the sigma lenses, so it might be fast focus lens.

    To Olympus get your skates on and produce the lens in 2012.

    Heres hoping

  • Ross

    The Sigma 150 macro is a nice lens & it’s about time Olympus came good with this size lens too (especially since Sigma stopped making it for 4/3’s). I wonder if it is a Sigma/Olympus alliance for this lens as was suspected with the ZD70-300 lens. A sample of a few shots here (with EC14)

  • BLI

    To me, a weather sealed 300/3.5 or so (or 75-300/3.5-?) would be more interesting. But any addition to the m43 quality lens catalog is good.

    • I suspect that we’ll see something along those lines before too long. Maybe a 300/4.5 or 5.6, though.

      • bli

        What’s the 75-300? Goes up to 6.3, but the Panny zoom is 5.6 at 300. Max opening of 5.6 is not ok if it is a fixed 300mm!

  • safaridon

    Anyone have an estimate how much smaller and what the approximate size of this m4/3 150/2.8 lens will be?

    I would rather have seen a fast and much smaller 100mm lens instead. The 150/2.8 with be good for wildlife photography but I would rather leave out the macro to make it smaller, simpler, and more affordable.

    • Anonymous

      I believe it he size it just like 14-140 lumix or probably bigger like the 12-60 Oly 43 SLR version

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Well, at least don’t expect size being smaller because of mirrorless mount.
      Mirrorless allows option of simpler optical design only for lenses which would be otherwise retrofocal.

      And anyway for example front element would need to be at least something like 55-60mm in diameter for 2.8 f-ratio.

      • Bob

        But it will be much smaller than a 300mm 2.8 on a FF camera. Or even a 300mm f 5.6.

  • Karli

    I’ll buy it if below EUR 1000!

  • I kept hoping that Nikon would produce a VR version of their 300 f/4, as it’s practically a macro lens, but this will be even better for photographing skittish insects. Where do I pre-order?

  • Anonymous

    You better have the Olympus body to pair up with this lens ,considering the size ,weight ,and NO IN LENS STABILISER…… Try to mount that on GF3-5

    • tmrgrs

      150mm without Oly’s IBIS would be a terrible idea.

    • Bob

      Gee, I wonder how I ever shot 300mm lenses on 35mm cameras without IS? Oh, yes, I used shutter speeds of 1/300th or higher, or I used a monopod or tripod.

      Do you really have such bad technique you NEED IS to take a sharp photo?

  • Bob B.

    I am happy with the Panny Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro….
    It does a lot of things…very well. Quite versatile! Not cheap…but….

    • Hey I want it too!!

  • ex oly fän

    where is the 100/2 for 43?

  • Daemonius

    True HG lens? That would be nice.

  • 150mm macro, even if not quite 1:1, would have been a dream when my python was a nervous baby.

  • Riley

    great news,
    not sure I dig all those little hairy bits on it with numbers on the end though…

  • Boooo!

    This makes no sense. They already have a 150mm in 4/3 – it’s not a macro, but it’s one of the best telephoto lenses ever built. Why would they release a 150mm macro for 4/3? If anything, they need to get that 100mm macro out…

    • OlyPan

      Popular as it maybe, they probablly did not sell a whole lot of these. Maybe they decided to convert it to a macro lens instead iof just being a tele zoom.

  • Mikey

    Well this could just be an idea they were playing with. I’d be surprised to see them release any four third lenses at this point.

    Without PDAF and given the smaller size of micro four thirds, I don’t really see why Olympis would release these really long focal lengths. I think they should concentrate more on the more commonly used focal lengths. Then again, after the 60mm macro and 75mm tele are released, Ill be fully satisfied with the primes lineup.

    Some f2.8 zooms and there’s nothing left to want, at least for me.

    • Ross

      The longer macro lens is a necessity for some occasions & besides having had the Sigma lens, other camera makers appreciated them too with Canon (I think) having a 200 mmm macro lens in their line up.

  • Bob

    “Both are described as high quality optics.” ROFLOL!!

    Do you really think an Oly patent would describe the product as anything less? Does the patent for the 12-50 call it an “adequate kit lens, but basically mediocre”?

    And don’t forget that a patent doesn’t necessarily mean it will get built.

    • NOone

      Bob stop trolling please

  • yes! 150mm macro!

    In m43 crop x2 is an advantage for tele-lens. Oly should make a most of opportunites of the system, but I don’t know why there is lack of such lenses. For amateurs who want to make photo fo birds, animals, and don’t want to pay huge amount for FF and big, heavy long tele, m43 wich crop x2 will be nice. But the longest fast lens is 45mm f/1.8. Dark zooms like 70-300 or 100-300 is not a sollution. There is necessary to make primes 150 f/2.8, 300 f/4, 400 f/5.6 and zoom like Canon 70-200 f/4L (but smaller, lighter and cheaper) and Sigma 100-300 f/4.

  • Ojojo

    Correct me if I’m wrong (what a daft way to start a comment – please form an orderly queue!), but the longest macro Oly made in film days was 135mm, so why the need for a 300mm equivalent macro now? It seems something of a niche product that will sell in fairly small numbers.

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