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High-speed prime lens among three new Olympus optics for Micro Four Thirds

Create: 09/22/2016 - 06:12
Olympus 12-100mm, 25mm and 30mm


  • All lenses are for Micro Four Thirds mount
  • Two lenses - 25mm and 30mm macro - move just one lens element to focus
  • M.Zuiko Pro lenses are weather-sealed

Photokina was a busy event for Olympus. In addition to two new bodies for two different target markets: OM-D E-M1 Mark II and the Pen E-PL8, the company also announced three new lenses in the Micro Four Thirds mount.

Two of the three are M.Zuiko Pro lenses while the third is a macro.

  • M.ZUIKO ED f/1.2 25mm Pro
  • M.ZUIKO ED f/4.0 12-100mm IS Pro
  • M.ZUIKO ED f/3.5 30mm Macro

M.Zuiko ED 25mm f1.2 PRO, US$1,199.99

There has always been a strong market appeal for a fast “normal” lens, and Olympus has met that need with this lens.

This is a highly engineered lens with 19 elements in 14 groups and uses Super ED, ED, E-HR, HR, and aspherical elements. Olympus says this is the most complex lens that has ever been made for the Micro Four Thirds format.

What makes this all the more astonishing is that it focuses internally, and just one lens element moves to accomplish that, which Olympus said results in very fast autofocus.

Olympus promises “natural looking three-dimensional” backgrounds when shooting portraits and other scenes at its widest aperture setting.

The lens is sealed against dust and moisture.

The filter size is 62mm, and nine blades form the aperture.

The lens’ dimensions are 2.8 x 3.4 inches (70 x 87mm), and it weighs 14.5 ounces (410 grams). As can be seen in one of the photos below, it’s a visually and physically significant lens when mounted to a Micro Four Thirds body.

Close-focus distance is just under 12 inches (0.3 meters).

A cylindrical lens shade, which bayonets to the lens barrel, front and rear caps and lens case are included.

M.ZUIKO ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro, US$1,299.99

For some photographers, this lens can replace two zooms in their bag, providing the full-frame equivalent zoom range of 24-200mm.

The lens uses 17 elements in 11 groups, including one DSA lens, three aspherical elements, give ED lenses, 2 Super HR lenses and 1 HR lens.

The lens has its own five-axis image stabilization that can work in conjunction with body stabilization. On its own, the lens stabilization can provide up to five stops of compensation, Olympus says, and 6.5 stops when mounted to an image-stabilized body.

Its maximum aperture of f/4.0 remains constant at all focal lengths.

It uses 72mm filters, and is sealed against dust and moisture. It has a close-focus distance of 5.9 inches (0.15 meters) at its widest setting and about 18 inches at the 100mm setting.

The lens has a manual clutch so that the photographer can quickly switch from autofocus to manual focus. One feature is the ability to pre-select a distance and then have the lens instantly refocus itself to that by pulling back on the focusing ring.

Its dimensions are 3.1 x 4.6 inches (77.5 x 116.5mm) and weighs 19.8 ounces (561 grams).

Included is a petal lens shade, which bayonets to the lens barrel, front and rear lens caps and a case.

M.Zuiko ED 30mm f3.5 Macro, US$299.99

For those who like to get close to their subject – really close, a macro lens should be part of their kit.

This 30mm macro (60mm in full-frame terms) is reasonably priced and provides 2.5x magnification, which Olympus says is the “best in class.”

The lens has seven elements in five groups and includes aspherical extra low dispersion and dual super ashperical elements. Just one element moves to focus, which Olympus says results in very fast autofocus. There are seven aperture blades.

The lens has five-axis image stabilization, which can work in conjunction with body stabilization.

The close-focus distance is 3.7 inches (9.4cm). It accepts 46mm filters. There is no lens shade available.

The lens’ dimensions are 2.2 x 2.4 inches (57 x 60mm), and it weighs just 4.5 ounces (128 grams). Front and rear lens caps are included.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.