Thoughts on Olympus zoom lens grouping

Michael Meissner

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Sep 19, 2018
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
With the introduction of the Olympus 100-400mm lens today and the 2 lenses teased at, I think we now have a real three tier system for the zoom lenses. I'm going to leave out the primes and the super-zooms, but just in thinking about how I would see the lens tiers:

1. High end pro lenses
  • Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 lens
  • Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 lens
  • Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 lens
  • future Olympus 150-400mm f/4.5 lens
2. Mid range pro lenses
  • future Olympus 8-24mm f/4 lens
  • Olympus 12-100mm f/4 lens (maybe 12-45mm f/4, but there is no mid-range counter part for 45-100mm)
  • today's Olympus 100-400mm f/5-6.3 lens
3. Consumer lenses
  • Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6
  • Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 either II-R or EZ
  • Olympus 40-150mm f/4-5.6
  • Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7
4. Zoom lenses not categorized
  • Olympus 12-45mm f/4
  • Olympus 14-150mm f/4-5.6
  • Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3
This is similar to what the classic 4/3rds system had with their SHG, HG, and SG lenses. I believe it is similar to what other camera makers offer.


mu-43 frequent flyer
Aug 26, 2016
Hampshire, UK
Real Name
Interesting idea. Based on the lenses we might expect from the below roadmap I might put it like this:

0. Exotics
  • future 150-400/4.5 IS
1. High end pro zooms (as below + fast fixed aperture, focus clutch, lens Fn button, IS on longer lenses that will benefit from it)
  • 7-14/2.8
  • 12-40/2.8
  • 40-150/2.8
  • future ~50-200(/2.8 IS?)*
  • 12-100/4 IS
2. Mid range pro zooms (as below + fixed aperture, metal construction)
  • 8-24/4
  • 12-45/4
  • future ~40-150 and/or 50-250(/4?)*
3. Upper tier consumer zooms (as below + more solid construction and WR)
  • 14-150/4-5.6 II
  • 12-200/3.5-6.3
  • 100-400/5-6.3 IS
4. Kit lenses and companion zooms (variable aperture, generally entry level construction)
  • 9-18mm f/4-5.6 (surely due an update!)
  • 14-42/3.5-5.6 II-R and EZ
  • 40-150/4-5.6 R
  • 75-300/4.8-6.7 II
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*can’t for the life of me figure out why there would be three new PRO lenses in this space.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Feb 19, 2010
12-45 would be mid-range pro, and the 14-150 is a consumer lens. The 12-200, which I've not touched, also looks like their consumer end, judging by its build.

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