Olympus reveals further details of two new M.Zuiko and M.Zuiko Pro lenses currently in development


posted Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 9:00 AM EST


Last spring, Olympus updated its Micro Four Thirds lens roadmap by revealing development a new 150-400mm F4.5 super-tele lens complete with a built-in 1.25x teleconverter, promising to offer a 1,000mm-equivalent telephoto in an impressively compact package. And now as year's end fast approaches, the company has shown further commitment to its camera business by revealing the names of two further lenses which it currently has in development.

The updated Micro Four Thirds roadmap published alongside the 150-400mm development announcement last January -- which until now was the most recent version available -- contained placeholders for at least eight lenses. (We can't actually say precisely how many, as one placeholder indicates the development of multiple bright prime lenses, without clarifying how many there will be in total.) And one of the new lenses on the roadmap was subsequently revealed in February as the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm F3.5-6.3.

That has left at least seven further optics for which we knew development was underway, but had yet to learn any specifics. The bulk of these are in the M.Zuiko Pro line, but in the base M.Zuiko lineup, we learn today that the long-promised super-telephoto zoom lens will be the M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS, taking the more budget-friendly non-Pro line beyond the 300mm mark for the first time.

In the M.Zuiko Pro lineup, meanwhile, Olympus reveals that a forthcoming standard zoom lens promised by January's roadmap will be the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 Pro. Given that there's already a pretty affordable (and video-friendly) 12-40mm F2.8 lens in the M.Zuiko Pro lineup, we'd expect this new lens to differentiate itself by being both smaller and lighter than the existing optic, despite its slightly greater reach. We're speculating, obviously, but the existing -- and frankly, superb -- 12-40mm F2.8's main drawback is that it's rather larger and heavier than is typical of a Micro Four Thirds lens.

What we don't yet know is when either of these new lenses will be making it to market. Olympus tells us that we can expect an official announcement with full specifications sometime in 2020, so the best we can say is that we should know something more within the next 13 months or so. Watch this space for more details on both new lenses -- as well as those for which details have yet to be revealed -- in a future article!