Olympus patents a 300-500mm f/2.8-4.0 lens: Another supertelephoto zoom for MFT shooters?


posted Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 4:00 PM EDT


Thanks to the generous two times crop factor of Micro Four Thirds cameras, you can achieve a lot of telephoto reach in a relatively small form factor. Take the Olympus 300mm f/4 IS Pro ED M.Zuiko lens, for example, which is just under 9 inches long despite offering a 600mm-equivalent focal length.

4/3 Rumors has dug up a patent filed by Olympus which shows two possible MFT telephoto zoom lenses. The first optic is a 300-500mm f/2.8-4.0 and the second is a 200-300mm f/2.8-4.0. These would provide equivalent focal lengths of 600-1000mm and 400-600mm respectively, both very appealing options for wildlife and sports photographers.

The 200-300mm patent shows a length almost identical to the 300mm f/4 Olympus lens whereas the 300-500mm lens would be just over 13 inches in length, still a very reasonable physical size for its equivalent focal length and aperture. For more information on the lens designs, see the full patent information here.

The 200-300mm patent shows a potential lens roughly the same length as the Olympus 300mm f/4 shown here. Whereas the 300-500mm lens would be about four inches longer.

As is the case with all patent filings, they aren't necessarily indicative of a company's immediate plans to release a product. I'm sure Micro Four Thirds shooters would be thrilled if the 300-500mm lens in particular did come to market as it would be the longest MFT glass available, besting the already impressive Panasonic 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH Power OIS Leica DG in both maximum focal length and maximum aperture across the range.

This patent filing comes only shortly after Canon patented a potential 40-800mm lens for full frame cameras. If these patents come to fruition, there'll be no shortage of long zoom lenses. 

(Seen via 4/3 Rumors