Olympus 8-25 f4 Pro leaked

mawz

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I'm another on the 9-18's overpriced bandwagon. That's mostly because I generally found it inferior to Sigma's tiddly 10-20 and Nikon's absurdly good value 10-20VR (by far the best UWA for the dollar out there) in terms of usability (it's just not wide enough), optics for all 3 are on par. The only thing the 9-18 has going for it is being the only tiny, collapsible UWA on the market and I expect that to disappear soon (Nikon is expected to do a Z DX 10-20VR with their next DX release and that will undoubtedly be a collapsible lens like the 14-30S and the DX 16-50)

Don't get me wrong, I did like the 9-18 when I had it, especially the use of 52mm filters (as an old Nikon film guy, 52mm is a filter size I have a lot of options for). But it's a $399 lens that sells for a lot more than $399. It also suffers from the same issue that all the mid-range Oly lenses except the 12-50EZ and 14-150 suffer from, that's the E-M5's are sealed and these lenses aren't (an inverse of Fuji's issue in the same space, most of the mid-range lenses are sealed but the mid-level bodies aren't)

As to the 8-25, at $1099 (probably $1450 CAD) it's extremely interesting to me. Matching filter sizes with the 40-150 PRO is also a major bonus because then I can standardize on smaller (and thus MUCH cheaper) filters as I add ND's to my collection. This is the core of a perfect 2 lens kit for me for hiking/landscape work.

There's only one vaguely comparable lens on the market today, that's Panasonic's 20-60 in L mount (less wide, but longer). While the 10-25 is sort of comparable, it's just too huge for the same uses.
 
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The ”PRO” size may simply be a necessity of housing robust, fast AF in a stable, weather-sealed lens tube that can stand up to normative hands and rugged use.

For its 3.1x reach and UWA starting FL (always a challenge on a small sensor), the size is reasonable as is the price. An FF equivalent will be 200g heavier and likely only go to 35mm.

The lens is clearly positioned as part of a trio of either:

- 8-25, 12-100, and 100-400, or
- 8-25, 12-45, upcoming 50-200ish?

Given Olympus mothership divestment, we are lucky they are still putting out any new product.
 
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The ”PRO” size may simply be a necessity of housing robust, fast AF in a stable, weather-sealed lens tube that can stand up to normative hands and rugged use.

For its 3.1x reach and UWA starting FL (always a challenge on a small sensor), the size is reasonable as is the price. An FF equivalent will be 200g heavier and likely only go to 35mm. Price is reasonable.

The lens is clearly positioned as part of a trio of either:

- 8-25, 12-100, and 100-400, or
- 8-25, 12-45, upcoming 50-200ish?

Given Olympus mothership divestment, we are lucky they are still putting out any new product.

I think this is latest roadmap version? (as of July 2020)

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This 8-25mm was named as of then. and probably well in development before the split from Olympus. Doesn't make sense for them to stop pending product launches. OMDS sales are way down and they need launches to stop the bleeding and get people to believe they will stick around. So I don't think it's lucky the 8-25mm is likely to launch but more like inevitable.

Anything early in development or just planned as of the new year has got to be on much shakier ground. (And don't forget that as part of the ~halving of headcount, they said they axed a number of optical designers.) Presumably better for them to focus on a few cameras and fewer new lenses than before, and potentially more lenses in partnership with 3rd parties.
 

mawz

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I think this is latest roadmap version? (as of July 2020)

This 8-25mm was named as of then. and probably well in development before the split from Olympus. Doesn't make sense for them to stop pending product launches. OMDS sales are way down and they need launches to stop the bleeding and get people to believe they will stick around. So I don't think it's lucky the 8-25mm is likely to launch but more like inevitable.

Anything early in development or just planned as of the new year has got to be on much shakier ground. (And don't forget that as part of the ~halving of headcount, they said they axed a number of optical designers.) Presumably better for them to focus on a few cameras and fewer new lenses than before, and potentially more lenses in partnership with 3rd parties.

Sadly, OMDS has some serious distribution issues. Namely they're not being stocked by an increasing number of retailers.

The largest dedicated camera retailer here in Canada has pretty much gone to special-order only for Oly stuff after the last round of sales (only the silver E-M10IV is not Special order of the current bodies and given that the black is, I expect they're just still sitting on stock)

It's hard to build marketshare if your cameras aren't in stores.
 

doady

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Most of the Panasonic lenses are special order only too. The retailers themselves are also struggling. It's probably harder to build a market share everywhere these days.
 

mawz

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@mawz What camera stores? Physical hardware outlets have all but ceased to exist in many/most countries.

Henry's, the biggest Canadian retailer of higher-end camera gear.

Vistek, the other main camera chain in Canada is pretty much the same.

Note these are the main online retailers in Canada for higher-end kit as well as being major store chains.
 

John King

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Henry's, the biggest Canadian retailer of higher-end camera gear.

Vistek, the other main camera chain in Canada is pretty much the same.

Note these are the main online retailers in Canada for higher-end kit as well as being major store chains.
Lucky you.

Michael's camera store here closed its doors last year. It was one of the biggest physical stores in Australia, and had been in business for over a century.

Very sad to see them close.

Seems to be a very common occurrence worldwide.
 

doady

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Henry's filed for bankruptcy a few months into the pandemic. And I won't draw too much conclusions based on what is in stock in the stores when the stores are closed.

After the sale to JIP, the Olympus lenses were all special order on Henry's and Vistek websites, but slowly more and more is now available.
 

mawz

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Henry's filed for bankruptcy a few months into the pandemic. And I won't draw too much conclusions based on what is in stock in the stores when the stores are closed.

After the sale to JIP, the Olympus lenses were all special order on Henry's and Vistek websites, but slowly more and more is now available.

Henry's exited bankruptcy protection in July 2020 after a major restructuring. They're a major online retailer and all their stores are open for curbside pickup or more (and the remaining in Ontario will open for in-store shopping most likely on Friday when Ontario is expected to start re-opening).

In terms of the bodies, only the E-M1X was special order at Henry's a month ago, today only a couple bodies aren't (E-M5 Mark II and silver E-M10IV kit). In terms of lenses, only 5 lenses are not in special order status, even bread & butter lenses like the 40-150R and the f1.8 primes (aside from the chrome 17/1.8) are special order.

It's not more & more, it's less & less. That's a change from 3-4 months ago.

And it's not waiting for new stock, that shows as 'More Coming' and the Panasonic line has a bunch of stuff in that status (like the G9)

It's pretty clear that Henry's is no longer treating OMDS as a regular stock line. I've not gone too in depth on Vistek (not a fan of them), but a quick glance shows much the same.
 

archaeopteryx

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MichailK, I can not make much sense from what you want and why.
I'm confused too. If the non-PRO Olympus 100-400 is too much then it's hard to see how the Fuji 100-400, which costs and weighs more, wouldn't also be too much. Particularly with giving 600 mme instead of 800. If one compares at 600 mme there's even more of a penalty to Fuji or other APS-C choices as any of the 100-400s are more lens than the Olympus 75-300 or Panasonic 100-300. If one compares at 300 mm there's again a cost and weight penalty to the Fuji 70-300 along with the reduction to 450 mme and not being available yet.

There's less of a penalty at shorter focal lengths, as always, but the 10-24 is Fuji's only moderate ultrawide (the 8-16 being big and expensive) and it is lower cost, if heavier, than the 8-18 but it's more lens than the 9-18 or Panasonic 7-14. Other Fuji lenses contribute as well, the 16-80 being twice the 12-60 f/3.5-5.6's weight, for example.

What I meant was that those lenses are in different leagues price wise.
Looks like current list prices are US$ 700-1400 with discounts of US$ 100-200 that come and go. Percentage-wise, the Olympus 9-18 and Panasonic 7-14 are more deeply discounted in the grey and used markets, widening the price range from 2x to about 2.7x.

Mostly out of curiosity, I did basic frequentist statistics on Optical Limits' MTF50 measurements for the four m43 ultrawide zooms currently available. After correcting for differing pixel pitches, there is weak evidence wide end, f/4 center MTF increases with used price (p = 0.04) and negligible evidence for increases in f/4 edge or corner MTF at any price (p ≥ 0.14). List price is also not significant to center MTF (p = 0.08). While more measurements than n = 1 per lens are needed to characterize variability, the lack of evidence is consistent with the range of MTFs among these lenses being comparable to copy variations reported for better characterized zooms. It's also consistent with Olympus' specifications showing only modest increase in MTF50 area from the 9-18 to 7-14 and ~30% 60 lp/mm corner MTFs for both lenses. Since Panasonic doesn't specify MTF for their 7-14 and 8-18 it's not possible to check those.

What this suggests to me is choosing more lens increases the probability of a larger, central area of the frame meeting or exceeding the MTF you're likely to get from a lower cost m43 ultrawide zoom. One's probably out of luck if it's desired that extend to the frame edges, a least at the zoom's wide end, though.
 

PakkyT

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I did basic frequentist statistics on Optical Limits' MTF50 measurements for the four m43 ultrawide zooms currently available. After correcting for differing pixel pitches, there is weak evidence wide end, f/4 center MTF increases with used price (p = 0.04) and negligible evidence for increases in f/4 edge or corner MTF at any price (p ≥ 0.14). List price is also not significant to center MTF (p = 0.08). While more measurements than n = 1 per lens are needed to characterize variability, the lack of evidence is consistent with the range of MTFs among these lenses being comparable to copy variations reported for better characterized zooms. It's also consistent with Olympus' specifications showing only modest increase in MTF50 area from the 9-18 to 7-14 and ~30% 60 lp/mm corner MTFs for both lenses.
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ivanbae07

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many rumour said that the olympus 8-25mm will be around 1099.99 usd. if that the case then, the price on my country will be slightly higher than that, and the used price of panasonic 10-25mm on my country now around 1000-1500 usd range... what a choices!
 
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I think it is fair criticism that they should make more smaller "Pro" lenses to fit with E-M5 series, like the 12-45mm F4 and 8mm F1.8. That's what I was expecting from 8-25mm F4 too, but it turned out to be even bigger than the 12-40mm F2.8, which I already found to be not a good fit with E-M5 III. Maybe one of those "bright prime lenses" on the map will fill that gap, like a 9mm F1.8 or something. I'm assuming the 40-150mm on the map will be F4, a little brother of 40-150mm F2.8, to fill the telephoto gap.

EM5 series isn’t “PRO”. Expecting too much.
 
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MichailK, I can not make much sense from what you want and why. You seem to want teles and ultrawides and you dont want the pro lenses because they are expensive but you are willing to trade in for an entirely new system which is more expensive - my head is spinning.

When I am thinking of buying a particular equipment, it is based on careful analysis of what I photograph and how I photograph. My view is that these days all lenses are very good and plenty good enough, but that there are photographers that do not have the skills to learn to use them effectively. I think that if you are not getting great results, it is not your equipment that is the problem. If you do not believe me, look at my photos from 2009. At the time I was using Nikon D-70 camera (!!!) and now similarly obsolete lenses. https://flic.kr/p/7hsh4t The images are acceptable quality, even though my postprocessing skills were very limited at the time. You can look at my other photos from that period. No matter what, your camera and lenses are way better than that. Invest time into learning proper photo-taking techniques and learn to post-process well.

Next you carefully analyze what type of photos are you taking and under what situations you wish you could take a photo but you do not have the right lens for it. If that issue happens over and over and if that type of photos really matter, you choose a lens that will deliver it to you.
Well, I see you get me wrong and you also use stronger language than needed.
Even though I do not shoot overly much, I do not intend to flood the thread with a few great photos that I took with the two long obsolete compact cameras that I had before getting in the m43 system in 2014 (see my signature) in order to reply on personal ground. And the same generation sensor X100T I got last year showed me how much greater shadow lifting latitude the larger sensor allows, even more so because I do not like spending time on post processing. Which means that nice new lenses like the 12-45/4 on my hands will be confined in the “day only lens” space and I cannot afford to spend on “day only””stuff.

I say it again, the system currently offers me good enough affordable enough former generation lenses and then I have to jump to overly priced too PRO lenses while I need something in-between. Example: I need a much finer focusing mechanism and weather sealing on my 75-300 and I would pay up to 1K if it got a bit better optics too. Maybe even spent 1200 on a half a stop faster 20% bigger version of this lens. What do they offer me? A too big 100-400 and a stellar unobtainum ultraPRO 150-400. Not what I want to grow over my current equipment. Pany thinks the 100-400 should be dispensable (not serviceable) and the Pany-Oly combos still have stabilization and other handicaps between them. And Pany bodies do not “click” to me as the Oly ones do. And why the heck they cheapened out on the M5 materials along crippling features I love (mysets).

What I see is a trend now to go on the current PRO path so the system seems to becoming a dead end to me. I got in the system after deciding on what I need/can pay/can do with/future upgrading possibilities vs cost. Things have moved on since and the older good enough lenses in this new brave phone-cameras world all too many times do not cut it enough to justify using them for a snap and not the iphone. I want something better but in the former ethos of the m43 system and not the new PRO era. And I am annoyed that Fuji with offerings like the X-S10 (minus the WS) and their new 70-300/4-5.6 offers that now. When looking into buying into the m43 system back then, I almost bought the quite more impressive NX20+18-55m kit instead and build a system from that starting point. But my order stalled and got cancelled due to their warehouse stocking error. Talk about dodging a bullet!
 
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doady

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To say the Olympus system is a dead end because they haven't made a third version of 75-300mm with better AF and better optical quality at the same size or because they made their 100-400mm bigger than Fuji's 70-300mm just doesn't much sense to me, honestly.
 
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To say the Olympus system is a dead end because they haven't made a third version of 75-300mm with better AF and better optical quality at the same size or because they made their 100-400mm bigger than Fuji's 70-300mm just doesn't much sense to me, honestly.
I am not saying it is dead, never said that.
I just feel this is happening to me:


I feel the system drifts to a different direction than where I want to go and that Fuji’s grass looks all too greener to my eyes as months pass by and what Oly brings out seems less & less relative to my personal needs and wishes.
Of course many people feel the exact opposite.
This fact does not make my needs or feelings any different.
Enough sidetracking to the 8-25/4 thread I think, I better keep quite.
 
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Mountain_Man_79

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I am not saying it is dead, never said that.
I just feel this is happening to me:


I feel the system drifts to a different direction than where I want to go and that Fuji’s grass looks all too greener to my eyes as months pass by and what Oly brings out seems less & less relative to my personal needs and wishes.
Of course many people feel the exact opposite.
This fact does not make my needs or feelings any different.
Enough sidetracking to the 8-25/4 thread I think, I better keep quite.
Hey, what you need is what you need. Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else...it only needs to make sense to you!
 

mawz

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Well, I see you get me wrong and you also use stronger language than needed.
Even though I do not shoot overly much, I do not intend to flood the thread with a few great photos that I took with the two long obsolete compact cameras that I had before getting in the m43 system in 2014 (see my signature) in order to reply on personal ground. And the same generation sensor X100T I got last year showed me how much greater shadow lifting latitude the larger sensor allows, even more so because I do not like spending time on post processing. Which means that nice new lenses like the 12-45/4 on my hands will be confined in the “day only lens” space and I cannot afford to spend on “day only””stuff.

I say it again, the system currently offers me good enough affordable enough former generation lenses and then I have to jump to overly priced too PRO lenses while I need something in-between. Example: I need a much finer focusing mechanism and weather sealing on my 75-300 and I would pay up to 1K if it got a bit better optics too. Maybe even spent 1200 on a half a stop faster 20% bigger version of this lens. What do they offer me? A too big 100-400 and a stellar unobtainum ultraPRO 150-400. Not what I want to grow over my current equipment. Pany thinks the 100-400 should be dispensable (not serviceable) and the Pany-Oly combos still have stabilization and other handicaps between them. And Pany bodies do not “click” to me as the Oly ones do. And why the heck they cheapened out on the M5 materials along crippling features I love (mysets).

What I see is a trend now to go on the current PRO path so the system seems to becoming a dead end to me. I got in the system after deciding on what I need/can pay/can do with/future upgrading possibilities vs cost. Things have moved on since and the older good enough lenses in this new brave phone-cameras world all too many times do not cut it enough to justify using them for a snap and not the iphone. I want something better but in the former ethos of the m43 system and not the new PRO era. And I am annoyed that Fuji with offerings like the X-S10 (minus the WS) and their new 70-300/4-5.6 offers that now. When looking into buying into the m43 system back then, I almost bought the quite more impressive NX20+18-55m kit instead and build a system from that starting point. But my order stalled and got cancelled due to their warehouse stocking error. Talk about dodging a bullet!

The middle of Oly's lens line is becoming the f4 Pro zooms. They slot in below the f2.8's but above the consumer lenses. The mid-range unsealed consumer lenses are being replaced with lower-end PRO lenses for the most part.

There are two more telephoto zooms in the roadmap, if you've looked at it. One of them is almost assuredly a 50-200/4 (or very similar), which will likely be a $1k lens. Paired with the 1.4x TC that's your replacement for the 75-300 with better optics and AF.

The Fuji 70-300 is a pretty solid lens, but the range is a direct comparison to the 50-200 that we know is coming already. And Oly lenses are quite small and light for their ranges, 100-400 excepted (and we all know that's really a rehoused Sigma DSLR design anyways, it was an easy win for Oly to get out the door while dealing with the transition to OMDS).

Also be aware that the XF70-300 is midway between your current 75-300 and the 50-140 Pro in size and weight. Given what a 40-150 Pro goes for used, that paired with a 2x TC already delivers an 80-300 f5.6 solution in a reasonably sized package (it's smaller and lighter than the 70-300E+FTZ combo I use on my Z5 for example)
 
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The 40-150/2.8 PRO is the outstanding lens of Olympus and m43. It has no equivalent in any system for size, reach, TC compatibility, and build, including internal focus mechanism. It’s size is more than comparable. Price, too.

If you’re having problems justifying that lens, you are using the wrong system.
 
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