Historical Zoom Ranges: Why did Olympus choose to change them?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Kazooless, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Kazooless

    Kazooless Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 5, 2015
    Jeff Kazules
    This is strictly a curiosity question.

    Looking at the history of zoom lenses, it seems the most popular choices in full frame has been 24-70mm and 70-200mm. Olympus copied that with their SHG lenses on 4/3 systems (12-35mm & 35-100mm) and Panasonic has done that with their m4/3.

    I am very curious to find out Olympus' reasoning for making 12-40mm (24-80mm) and 40-150mm (80-300mm). Does anyone know if Olympus has ever addressed this question in an FAQ, or an interview or something like that?
  2. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    No idea why, but it has dawned on me that the 40-150 Pro is close to a 70-200 on an APS-C sensor. We tend to forget when we're comparing platforms that APS-C gets the same type of crop sensor advantages that MFT does, just at a lower factor. So a 35-100 MFT lens may compare to a FF 70-200 FL, it would fall short of a 70-200 on an APS-C camera.

    So, maybe some of Oly's ranges are to neutralize APS-C advantages.
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  3. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I'm not sure I've heard an official rationale...but I like having that little bit more FOV with the zooms they provide.
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  4. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    I have to admit, the 40-150mm f2.8 was a draw for me, as to have such a fast, compact and lightweight "300mm" (FF equivalent) to use for sports and equestrian events is a huge advantage. Couple that with the image stabilisation system, and what's not to like?
    And if you want to talk hereditary focal lengths, they tended to be all over the place in the late 70s and 80s
    80-210mm or the earlier 70-210mm from Tamron as an example. Not to mention to 28-50mm, again from Tamron.
    Manufacturer's rarely matched focal lengths with their competitors, but they always had a range of lenses that covered all necessary focal lengths, even if they were made available in some odd manner.
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  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    24-70mm and 70-200 are merely the widest and longest compromises that are practical to make with a fast aperture full-frame zoom. You need only look at the size of Leica's new fast 24-90mm and 90-280mm zooms for the SL. They are monstrous.

    I think it made sense for Olympus to differentiate themselves from Panasonic, and since Panasonic was first to market they could watch the reaction. Panasonic gives you smaller size and lighter weight, Olympus gives you a more flexible range while maintaining a decent size and weight.
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  6. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Historically it was 35-100mm or 28-80mm, 24-70 is a somewhat newer twist which tends to give pretty compromised performance at the 24mm end. For longer zooms 80-210mm or 80-250mm were common enough, likewise for 70-300mm. Depending on the format the lens is on (APS-C or FF) the olympus lenses could be a match for either.

    ...I tend to think of a historical lens being one which isn't commonly in use anymore rather than something which continues be widespread.
  7. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    And Oly themselves shipped 24-120, 28-108, and 28-70 for four thirds. I think it is more about differentiation.

    Also the 12-40 is not great at 40 which is where the 12-35 is best (@35).
  8. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    My guess is to one up Panasonic which shares the same mount.
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