Olympus Releases New Lens Roadmap

Posted Nov. 28th, 2019 by Daniel J. Cox

The future of Micro Four Thirds is alive and well with two major announcements from Lumix and Olympus. Last week Lumix released major firmware updates for all their most current cameras. And yesterday Olympus released a new lens roadmap.

Olympus lens road map
All new and coming lenses are shown in orange.

The two lenses on the Olympus road map most interesting to me are the 150-400mm F/4.5 and the 100-400mm F/5-6.3. The 150-400mm is listed under the M. Zuiko Pro moniker. The 100-400mm is a standard M. Zuiko.

You can be assured the 150-400mm Pro lens is going to be substantially larger and more expensive than anything in the MFT realm to date. The 100-400mm F/5-6.3 will be for those who want to spend less money and have something more lightweight and compact. I commend Olympus for offering both. I’m also hopeful that the 100-400mm may include the improvements I’ve been hoping for in the Leica version of the same lens, namely an improved/smoother zoom mechanism and more consistent sharpness at the 400mm range. Time will tell, but it’s good to know we have options.

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There are 8 comments on this post…
  1. William BibbOn Jan. 11th, 2020 (5 months ago)

    I have a G9 and the Panasonic-Leica 100-400mm. Birds in flight are the camera’s greatest limitation, in my opinion.

    I will have to purchase another camera system with better autofocus. I will keep the G9 for certain other uses. A full-frame sensor camera system has other advantages. Olympus may have been a better choice if I had waited several more months for the new lenses. I am tempted to get a Sony A9 if prices drop.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 11th, 2020 (5 months ago)

      Yes, I agree that Predictive AF for fast-moving subjects is THE main limitation of all Lumix cameras. I hate to say it since I love almost everything else about Lumix cameras. I’ll be doing a lot of birds in flight in about a month, shooting the Olympus EM-1X and the Sony A9. Stay tuned and thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions with us here on the Blog. I always love hearing from my readers.

  2. Portrait of Al Perry

    Al PerryOn Dec. 1st, 2019 (6 months ago)

    Good to see Dan Cox give tribute to Tom Walker. Met him a few times. Interesting guy.

    First of all, I am primarily invested in Sony mirrorless cameras and lenses. However, I also appreciate Panasonic for their light weight, features offered, and best of all, their stabilization

    A few years ago, after reading Dan Cox’s talk about Pansonic/Leica’s 100-400mm lens, I decided to lighten my load and purchase a lens I could hike with.

    I have the Panasonic/Leica 100-400mm lens and use it often for many of my still photos and video. I find the quality at the far end very good. This is my third 100-400. First two were not so good at 400mm. I gave Panasonic one more try after I saw good quality photos from my friend’s 100-400mm.

    While in Ecuador last month, a baggage handler dropped my backpack and the mount was broken on the G9/Panasonic 100-400. Sent it in to be fixed. Had to buy a whole new lens assembly and was concerned I might end up with another poor quality lens. Turns out it is very good, thankfully.

    One feature I wish Panasonic would fix, is the stiff zoom. Makes smooth video zooming impossible.

    Finally, really enjoy the G9 for stills, video, menu system, and features. Firmware 2.0 looks interesting as well. Can’t believe the G9 is currently selling for under $1,000.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 1st, 2019 (6 months ago)

      Thanks for your input Al. I agree with everything you’ve written. I too would like to see Lumix fix the stiff zoom mechanism on the 100-400mm. I’ve also been testing a newer version of the 100-400mm due to concerns-like yours-I’ve had with my original 100-400mm which was purchased when it first came out. I’ve also been seeing photos from some of our NE Explorers that seemed sharper than the ones I was getting which inspired my current tests of a new 100-400mm. The lens flange on the 100-400mm is a serious shortcoming. I know of a dozen or more people who’ve broken this lens at the mount. That said, I’ve had mine for just short of four years and have never had an issue and I’m not easy on my gear but it does get carried in very protective bags and I do my best and have never dropped this lens with a camera attached.

  3. Mike GOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (6 months ago)

    I share your hope that the lenses will be strong at the long end. The reality is that I use a lens like one of these at the long end for over 50% of the time. If the lack at the long end I’d rather use something like the Lumix 50-200 that can perform throughout its range and just get closer, or use a dedicated prime like the Lumix 200 or Olympus 300 and crop as necessary.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (6 months ago)

      I agree 100% Mike. In fact, I’m now doing what you suggested, shooting the Olympus 300mm for all my really long-range work. I also am a huge fan of the Leica 50-200mm for everything mid-range. Thanks for your input.

  4. Portrait of Joel Kleiner

    Joel KleinerOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (6 months ago)

    Thanks for keeping us informed Dan. Let us know when you’ve tried one or more of the new lenses. I looking forward to your opinion and test results.

    I’m glad to hear that Olympus is keep M 4/3rds cameras and lenses alive and moving forward.

    Do you think or have you heard of any new Lumix Leica lenses?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (6 months ago)

      Unfortunately, I’ve not heard of any new lenses coming from Leica/Lumix. I wouldn’t be surprised that something is announced in the next week or two based on what Olympus has announced. We shall see. Thanks for joining the conversation Joel.

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