OM Digital Solutions announces development of Olympus 20mm F1.4 PRO, 40-150mm F4.0 PRO lenses
posted Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 9:45 AM EDT
Surprise, surprise Olympus fans! OM Digitial Solutions continues to expand their impressive Olympus lens lineup, announcing the development of two more Zuiko PRO series lenses -- one fast prime lens and one compact telephoto zoom. On the prime side of things, OM Digital Solutions -- hereafter referred to as "Olympus" -- is developing a new compact, fast-aperture wide-angle lens, the M.Zuiko 20mm f/1.4 Pro. For the zoom family, Olympus is also developing a new 40-150mm zoom but with an f/4 aperture, the M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4.0 Pro lens. Olympus has also released a revised lens roadmap.
As this is just a development announcement, full details and specs, as well as pricing and availability, have not yet been announced. The upcoming M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm F1.4 PRO fits right in between Olympus' existing fast-aperture primes, namely the 17mm f/1.2 Pro and 25mm f/1.2 Pro. However, as the name suggests, unlike the f/1.2 Trio of lenses (which also includes a 45mm f/1.2), this new Pro prime lens has an ever-so-slightly dimmer f/1.4 aperture. The 20mm focal length provides a 40mm-equivalent field of view in 35mm terms, putting it right around that class 35mm perspective -- not too wide, not too close. The new 20mm f/1.4 should make for a very versatile lens, one that's great for landscapes, street photography, environmental portraits and more.
For the new telephoto lens, the 40-150mm f/4 PRO competes right up against one of Olympus's first Pro-series lens, the 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro. Olympus calls this new f/4 version a "compact telephoto zoom" and judging by the small product rendering of the lens paired up with E-M5 III, the 40-150mm f/4 PRO does indeed appear to be much small and lighter than the f/2.8 offering. For those who want the similar versatile 80-300mm-equivalent zoom range but in a lighter, more portable package, this f/4 version should be right up your alley. This dual telephoto lens strategy has been used by other manufacturers, such as Canon and Sony, both of which offer a 70-200mm zoom lens in f/2.8 and f/4 varieties. This gives customers the choice of better low-light performance and shallower depth of field potential or a lighter and more compact lens (and one that's potentially more affordable, as well).
One other difference to the f/4 version compared to the f/2.8 is that the lens roadmap shows the 40-150mm f/2.8's zoom range as being extendable thanks to teleconverters, while not indicating this for the f/4 lens. This leads us to suspect that the 40-150mm f/4 PRO is not compatible with Olympus' 1.4x and 2x teleconverters.
Being part of the Zuiko Pro series, both of these forthcoming lenses will feature Olympus' top-of-the-line optics and image quality as well as notable ruggedness and weather-sealed build quality.
In addition to the two known lens development announcements, Olympus has also released an updated lens roadmap. Besides these two new known lenses, the roadmap indicates that Olympus also has plans for a new macro lens somewhere in the 75mm (150mm eq.) to 150mm (300mm eq.) focal length range.
There are also two future telephoto zoom lenses on the docket as well, both of which are shown to be within the 40mm-300mm range (80-600mm-eq). There aren't any specific focal lengths labeled for these future lenses, however, one of the zoom lenses is shown to be slightly longer-zooming than the other. Additionally, Olympus segments their zoom lenses on the roadmap into the high-end Zuiko Pro series and standard Zuiko lens lineup, and both of these future telephoto zoom lenses are shown to be part of the Zuiko Pro series.
For more information on Olympus's lenses and to see a full-res version of the lens roadmap, see the Olympus product site.