New LENSES coming! - [Olympus Lens Roadmap 2021!]

doady

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The previous seven Pro zooms are constant aperture. The upcoming 40-150mm F4 is constant aperture. 50-200mm F2.8 IS and 50-250mm F4 IS were listed as options on OM's own survey. So I think it's safe to assume they will be constant aperture.

They are not going release two Pro lenses with similar focal lengths at the same time in addition to two other Pro lenses with similar focal lengths and make them some sort of compromise or "middle ground" or hybrid lenses with variable aperture. These four lenses are going to be different from each other, and that means constant apertures. They already used similar strategy with the Pro ultra-wide and standard zooms.

7-14mm F2.8 vs. 8-25mm F4
12-40mm F2.8 vs. 12-100mm F4 IS vs. 12-45mm F4
40-150mm F2.8 vs. ?????

The only real question is why it took them so long to decide to give people more telephoto options when telephoto is supposed to be the main advantage of their system.
 

PakkyT

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And so in an increasingly competitive environment where manufacturers cannot afford to bypass any potential segment they are hesitant to produce such lenses, particularly at the "professional" end of the spectrum.
Well two thoughts on that.

One is if that was the case how come Panasonic, who has positioned themselves as the leader in digital video, have mostly (all?) variable aperture lenses in their line up when talking about m43 mount >100mm focal length zooms.

Two, does anyone actually shoot video at such long focal lengths? I mean not people like you and I who will try and play around with anything for the fun of it, but as you said, pro (or at least serious apertures) video shooters?
 
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PakkyT

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The previous seven Pro zooms are constant aperture. The upcoming 40-150mm F4 is constant aperture. 50-200mm F2.8 IS and 50-250mm F4 IS were listed as options on OM's own survey. So I think it's safe to assume they will be constant aperture.
Just like it was once said a PRO lens was only f2.8 (including Olympus on their product page for the PRO lenses) and everyone felt safe saying all PRO lenses were f2.8... right up until they all weren't f2.8 anymore. So likewise, sure all current PRO lenses are constant aperture, but I will argue that is only true up until they aren't all constant aperture anymore and once again the PRO line is redefined.

They are not going release two Pro lenses with similar focal lengths at the same time in addition to two other Pro lenses with similar focal lengths and make them some sort of compromise or "middle ground" or hybrid lenses with variable aperture.
OK so what are you suggesting, that they are going to release 2 more zoom lenses very near to the same focal lengths as the 40-150s and just give them different apertures? So a 50-200 f2.8 and a 50-200 f4 one being able to use the teleconverter and one not? That just seems too redundant. Now you just have people agonizing over a tiny bit of focal length on the wide and and 50mm on the zoom (where it isn't as noticeable of a difference) and many end up not buying anything since they will get analysis paralysis. If they wanted to keep the f2.8 vs F4 thing going then it would make more sense in the roadmap to go with something different or complimentary like a pair of 150-300-ish mm or whatever. But the roadmap seems to be firmly in that the wide ends will be 50mm-ish, so I have to think they are doing something a bit different than the normal PRO stuff they have already done and a variable aperture is one of those things that comes to mind.
 

PakkyT

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But the roadmap seems to be firmly in that the wide ends will be 50mm-ish, so I have to think they are doing something a bit different than the normal PRO stuff they have already done and a variable aperture is one of those things that comes to mind.
Just to add to my thoughts above, other options would be in the past they had the SHQ lenses of the 35-100 f2 and the 90-250 f2.8 and perhaps something like those is in the works. But the roadmaps have traditionally had the "vague" placeholders positioned to be pretty true to what actually came out later, so again the roadmaps kind of doesn't indicate either of those two. But who knows.
 

DeeJayK

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Well two thoughts on that.

One is if that was the case how come Panasonic, who has positioned themselves as the leader in digital video, have mostly (all?) variable aperture lenses in their line up when talking about m43 mount >100mm focal length zooms.

Two, does anyone actually shoot video at such long focal lengths? I mean not people like you and I who will try and play around with anything for the fun of it, but as you said, pro (or at least serious apertures) video shooters?
I didn't say it made sense, and I agree the number of people actually shooting "professional" video on a 50-200 (or 40-150) lens is likely pretty small. I am aware of the Pana/Leica f/2.8–4 lenses. But those lenses were introduced several years back (2017–2018, if I'm not mistaken) and I think that the perception that video is dominant has grown since then.

I don't have any inside information and I'd actually prefer if these planned/rumored zooms did have a variable minimum focus, so that the maximum aperture and physical size can be balanced more precisely. I'm just saying I'd be surprised if they are, due to the reasons I cited.

- K
 
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Robin Wong discusses the new lenses. TL;DW, so I'll leave it up to you to figure what he said. Ooh, I did catch the part that he agrees that the 40-150 f4 should have been a 50-200. :)

 

doady

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Just like it was once said a PRO lens was only f2.8 (including Olympus on their product page for the PRO lenses) and everyone felt safe saying all PRO lenses were f2.8... right up until they all weren't f2.8 anymore. So likewise, sure all current PRO lenses are constant aperture, but I will argue that is only true up until they aren't all constant aperture anymore and once again the PRO line is redefined.

So you think they will abandon constant apertures for Pro zooms because the 300mm F4 was announced 2 years after 12-40mm F2.8? Do you also think there's a chance these new telephoto lenses are not going to be weather-sealed?

OK so what are you suggesting, that they are going to release 2 more zoom lenses very near to the same focal lengths as the 40-150s and just give them different apertures? So a 50-200 f2.8 and a 50-200 f4 one being able to use the teleconverter and one not? That just seems too redundant. Now you just have people agonizing over a tiny bit of focal length on the wide and and 50mm on the zoom (where it isn't as noticeable of a difference) and many end up not buying anything since they will get analysis paralysis. If they wanted to keep the f2.8 vs F4 thing going then it would make more sense in the roadmap to go with something different or complimentary like a pair of 150-300-ish mm or whatever. But the roadmap seems to be firmly in that the wide ends will be 50mm-ish, so I have to think they are doing something a bit different than the normal PRO stuff they have already done and a variable aperture is one of those things that comes to mind.

What am I suggesting? Really? These lenses are on the latest roadmap, and also the one before that. They were listed on OM Digital's own survey recently. 50-200mm F2.8 IS and 50-250mm F4 IS. I'm not the one suggesting anything. This doesn't come from me, it comes from OM Digital themselves, so don't blame me.

I fail to understand to how variable apertures will make these lenses overlap less with each other and with the 40-150mm F2.8 and 40-150mm F4 and the various other variable aperture telephoto lenses already available for Micro Four Thirds, or how it would be any different from the multiple options they currently provide for ultra-wide and standard Pro zooms. Maybe they should cancel production of 12-100mm F4 IS and 8-25mm F4 as well. If IS vs. no IS and F2.8 vs. F4 are just small differences even for telephoto, then certainly they are not important for ultra-wide and standard focal lengths either.
 

ac12

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For those like me who are curious of what was on the survey:

1631574590497.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


This may give a "hint" of the future.
 

PakkyT

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So you think they will abandon constant apertures for Pro zooms because the 300mm F4 was announced 2 years after 12-40mm F2.8? Do you also think there's a chance these new telephoto lenses are not going to be weather-sealed?
To answer the second question first, no, I don't think these two new one will not be weather sealed. I am fairly confident they will be. However...
To answer the first question, my point was that people tend to make up rules about what is a PRO lens (just like they make up rules about what kind of lenses they are allowed to make for m43 dismissing many of the new ones as somehow violating some absolute size rule that doesn't exist). While we can guess at many of the features based on current PRO models what will be included in future PRO models, I do think OMDS may deviate some features, that up until now were considered PRO features and therefore must haves, in order to offer something different (in features, in price, in size, etc.) than current similar PRO lenses.

As an example, the 12-45 PRO has weather sealing but also lacks the focus clutch, the function button, the use of the teleconverter, and of course the reduction in aperture are all things that were expected in a PRO lens (and are on the f2.8 version) but were dropped for the purpose of making the lens both smaller and cheaper than either of the more expensive options of the 12-40 f2.8 or the 12-100 f4. Do we agree that this lens is still a PRO lens despite all that?

So I kind of expect these two new lenses to do one of two things, perhaps one doing one thing and the other the opposite. That being either going with the PRO optics and weather sealing but again dropping clutches, buttons, and aperture to remain small and cheaper. Or go the other way and make some outrageously fantastic lens we will all drool over but most of us can't afford (the f2 version for example with clutch, button, and focus limiter switch).


I fail to understand to how variable apertures will make these lenses overlap less with each other and with the 40-150mm F2.8 and 40-150mm F4 and the various other variable aperture telephoto lenses already available for Micro Four Thirds,
Well the other variable aperture telephoto lenses are not PRO lenses, which first and foremost with all the PRO lenses are the exceptional optics. So we can ignore those for the sake of this discussion.

Where the variable aperture pro lens makes sense if you are mostly overlapping a range covered by two+ other PRO lenses is that you can still offer the faster f2.8 on the wide end while not having to be as giant as the constant f2.8 lens at the long end all while still being faster than the f4 lenses through all focal lengths. But it would still be a pro lens so you would get the wonderful optics we all love and depending on the price point maybe some or all of the other nick nacks (clutch, function button, etc.). As I said, they have already shown that dropping f2.8, focus clutch, programmable button, and the use of the teleconverter is still a "PRO" lens, so I don't see why they wouldn't consider dropping constant aperture as another thing they can manipulate to get a size, focal length range, and price point they feel is different enough from the other choices to make the new lenses unique enough to stand out a bit on its own.
 
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Panasonic has produced a line of pro-grade Leica zooms with variable apertures, the PL 12-60 f2.8-4, 8-18 f2.8-4, 50-200 f2.8-4, and 100-400 f4-6.3, so they certainly aren't averse to that. Olympus has stuck to fixed apertures for their Pro zooms. I don't see that trend changing. They are all weather-sealed, although it's not certain whether their weather-sealing is compatible with the other brand's bodies.
 
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150-600mm! Now that would be an interesting product.
Yeah, it definitely would be.

I'm curious if they would make it MC-20 compatible. My guess is no, since at f/6.3 that would bring it down to what f/13?

Still double the reach of the 40-150mm even with the MC-20. It's something I'd put on my wish list. Bet there's some cool math out there that would say the thing would be even beastier than the 40-150mm f/2.8 though...
 

RS86

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I think the best argument for f/2.8 for the macro lens was the autofocus speed and reliability against the f/4.0. (Although personally I use manual focus most of the time for macro.)

Anyway, if we think about the size of the 75mm f/1.8, a 100mm f/2.8 might not be very big? Does someone have ideas how big that would be, and would it have more width rather than more length?

60mm f/2.8 Macro is 56mm x 82mm, while 75mm f/1.8 is 64mm x 69mm (WxH).
 
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JonSnih

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I think the best argument for f/2.8 for the macro lens was the autofocus speed and reliability against the f/4.0. (Although personally I use manual focus most of the time for macro.)

Anyway, if we think about the size of the 75mm f/1.8, a 100mm f/2.8 might not be very big? Does someone have ideas how big that would be, and would it have more width rather than more length?

60mm f/2.8 Macro is 56mm x 82mm, while 75mm f/1.8 is 64mm x 69mm (WxH).
72 × 99 mm with 62mm filter thread. Weight around 400 grams.
 

RS86

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72 × 99 mm with 62mm filter thread. Weight around 400 grams.
That's a bit over double the weight of the 60mm Macro. I think it would be manageable for such a lens for longer hand-held macro photography. 2cm longer wouldn't be bad either.
 

RAH

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Concerning constant aperture and video, I keep hearing that variable aperture lenses are not good for video. I don't shoot video, but I cannot quite figure why someone shooting video with a variable aperture lens cannot just set the aperture (assuming Aperture priority or manual mode) to the SMALLEST aperture and then that aperture will stay constant throughout the shoot, even with zooming, right?

Maybe if you have a lens where there is a large difference between max and smallest aperture, it might matter (you would have a pretty slow lens), but with a lens that is say 2.8 - 4, setting it at 4 surely wouldn't kill things, assuming that the lens was desirable otherwise. If it meant making the lens smaller than with a constant 2.8, users might prefer it even with the video needing it to be set at 4 all the time.

Or am I missing something (not shooting video, I easily could be)?
 

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