Many of you have heard the rumors of about upcoming lenses for the Micro Four Thirds System. Other rumor sites such as 43 Rumors and Photo Rumors have made a variety of predictions including: Two Olympus primes (12mm and ~50mm) in late June Panasonic 12-50mm f/2.5-3.3 zoom Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 Panasonic 7-14 OIS Panasonic Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro II (speculated on by 43 Rumors and then spread around the web as a rumored lens) According to several sources, the Lumix 25/1.4 is basically a sure thing, but don't expect it to be cheap. Although many people are quick to point out that a 25mm f/1.4 lens for Micro 4/3 will produce the same angle of view and depth of field as a 50mm f/2.8 lens for 35mm format, a good f/1.4 lens simply costs more to design and produce than an f/2.8 lens does. If the shallowest DOF for your buck is a priority, 35mm or medium format is the way to go. Even within a given format such as 35mm, there are f/1.4 normal lenses and there are f/1.4 "normal" lenses... [Warning: rampant speculation and opinion ahead] The best indicator of what we might expect in terms of pricing for an upcoming Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 lens for Micro 4/3 is probably the price for the existing Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens for (non-Micro) Four Thirds. Knock a couple hundred bucks off if the lens isn't labeled "Leica" or "Summilux", but we're still likely looking at a $750+ lens (initial pricing). As long as I'm speculating, here are some thoughts on the other rumored lenses: Olympus 12mm prime seems both plausible and likely. There is a lot of desire within our circles for a prime lens bordering on ultrawide, but it's sometimes difficult to say whether enthusiasts are a major target market or just an echo chamber. Sony's research clearly determined that there was a market for such a lens, increasing the likelihood that Olympus would be thinking along the same lines. Olympus 50mm prime also seems plausible, though perhaps not as likely. There is no lens I would rather see than a 50mm lens faster than f/2, squarely within the traditional "portrait" lens category. The fact that Sony has such a lens on their (? rumor ? official) NEX roadmap again indicates that their market research shows that such a product could be successful, and it seems that 50mm lenses are amongst the best selling lenses on APS-C DSLRs. That said, I'm not convinced that a great 50mm f/1.8 lens for Micro 4/3 could be produced and sold at the super low prices we see for 50mm f/1.8 lenses originally designed for 35mm format and used on APS-C DSLRs. Even at a considerably higher price point (I'm guessing $400-500), I would stand in line to buy such a lens, but I don't have a good feel for just how long that line would be. I'm going to go out on a limb and call BS on the Panasonic 7-14mm OIS redesign rumor. It seems totally implausible that Panasonic would devote the resources to redesign a universally lauded ultrawide lens to put image stabilization in the lens. OIS would be almost worthless for still photography with such a wide lens. Perhaps the addition of OIS could be useful for handheld video, but again, this would have to be a low priority for Panasonic research and development. For the same reason, a Panasonic Leica 45mm f/2.8 redesign seems highly improbable. It's already a great macro and general use lens (currently my favorite lens from amongst all my Micro 4/3 and Pentax lenses), and I don't see what has to be a small target market for a revision as justifying the R&D necessary to make it happen. Frankly, there is no precedent for such a short term iteration of a high end macro lens. How long did it take for Canon to bring out a 100mm macro redesign? The most interesting to me of all the rumored lenses is the Panasonic 12-50mm f/2.5-3.3. I'd like to see a faster, higher end, standard zoom lens for Micro 4/3, but here I think we have a case of wishful thinking from the enthusiast crowd. A faster zoom is almost certain to come at some point, but I don't think it will be this year, and I am nearly certain it won't have these specs. Through their current lens offerings, all of the compact system camera companies have established small size as a key differentiating feature from DSLRs. There are several ways to keep a lens small: Use software to correct optical flaws like barrel distortion (not a bad thing - benefits size and price while maintaining great end results) Limit the lens speed: A faster option for Micro 4/3 will likely be f/2.8-f/4 variable aperture, not f/2.5-3.3 Limit the lens focal length range: A faster lens for Micro 4/3 will likely be limited to less than or equal to 3x zoom, not 4.2x as in the case of this rumor The current rumor sounds like it came from someone daydreaming about the current high-end lens offerings for (non-Micro) Four Thirds. Lots of people in our circles want such a lens, but if it has to be larger and heavier than the current 14-140mm lens, how many of us who came to this system because it is small are going to plunk down for it? Same goes for weather resistance: quite a few loud voices calling out for it, but I suspect that the target market is quite small. These companies have much more to gain by investing research money in designing smaller, cheaper zooms than they do in larger, more expensive ones. Consider the size of these current standard zoom options from Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony: A few observations from the above: The Sony NEX zoom is not large relative to its peers. It has a reputation for being a huge lens, a reputation explained by the fact that it gets mounted to a tiny camera. The Olympus zoom is the only one which barely makes for a coat-pocketable pocketable camera. This is achieved by using a collapsible design, a tradeoff which in practice suits some but not all photographers. Panasonic actually made the 14-42mm lens larger than the 14-45mm lens it replaced. I have no idea why they did this, but they did at least make it a bit lighter. Why are the Panasonic lenses, designed for a Four Thirds sensor, as large as the Sony lens designed for APS-C? In part, this may be attributable to Panasonic's desire to produce very high performance kit zooms. Indeed, the two Panasonic zooms have better edge/corner performance than the APS-C zooms from Sony and Samsung. Here is a representative f/5.6 corner crop from a shootout I published at Serious Compacts (Note: The Olympus lens used here was the previous 14-42, not the higher-performing redesigned lens currently packaged with the E-PL2): I can't help but think that Olympus and Panasonic could make their standard kit zooms even smaller. With the smaller Four Thirds sensor, could Olympus and Panasonic perhaps sacrifice a bit of edge performance to design a standard zoom in the "coat-pocketable" size range without a collapsing design? That remains to be seen, but it's a sure bet that considerably research is being done towards that end. In closing, I predict that we'll see new smaller Micro 4/3 standard zooms before we see new faster ones.