Thoughts On Lenses

I was thinking about the lens lineup that Olympus has.  As a professional photographer, I generally would rent my equipment.  My strategy was to own lenses that I used daily and rent everything else as needed.  When I switched to Olympus, I found myself buying more lenses than I normally kept on hand.  The affordability definitely played a role here.  Ignoring what lenses are available from Panasonic and other m4/3 companies, I started thinking about what Olympus still need in their lens lineup.

This is the current line up on the Pro and specialty side.  (I completely am not saying their other lenses are any less quality, i am just looking at the top for a moment)

Pro Fast Zooms: 7-14, 12-40, 40-150
Pro General Zoom: 12-100
Fast Pro Primes: 17, 25, 45, 75*
Macro: 30, 60
Fisheye: 8mm
Super Tele: 300 +1.4tc

*I included the 75 into the fast primes because that is quite fast for the focal length, and it’s quality is up to par as well.

So that is a pretty well rounded line up.  When you consider a camera system’s lenses…. what else do you look for?  All the staples are covered, and all the major bases are there.  So what is left?  What could we be missing at this point that Olympus could offer up?

Shift Lenses.  I would love to see at least 2, but potentially three lenses offered.
12mm shift lens with EXCELLENT corners when shifted at least 12 – 15mm.  Make it slow, F/4 or F/5.6 even if needed.  But make it perfect across the entire image circle.  No distortion, chromatic aberration, and excellent flare resistance when shifted.  Bread and butter Architectural lens.

50mm Tilt-Shift near macro.  A lens that would do 1:2 reproduction at least but have excellent quality and provide perspective control at a telephoto length.  This is a product photography lens.  Plain and simple. Paired up with Hi-Res mode, this would be a winner for studio shooters.  Even an F/4 lens would be fine.

8mm shift lens.  Kind of an extreme architectural lens.  I love ultra wide in specific scenarios…but really you need perspective control even more on really wide angles.  A really great PC lens of this wide a length would be excellent.

150mm F/1.4 – Ultra fast super tele.  They had the F/2 version for 4/3 cameras… I bet they could make an even better version now.  For a lot of people the 300 is too much length.  Even panasonic’s 200mm lens is too much for some.  Either 150mm, or a 100mm F/1.2 that can take the TC to become a 150mm F/1.8 or so.  Especially if this lens can focus fast.  This would be an excellent portrait and sports lens.  It is one of those lenses you don’t think you would reach for that often…but if you have ever used one…they can be amazing for the right uses.  Especially for indoor sports.

20mm fast pancake lens.  An F/1.4 lens that was as small as possible.  An excellent street lens.  Panasonic has one…but it is TOOO slow to work with on an Olympus body in my opinion.  It drove me nuts to shoot with.  If it focused as fast as the olympus lenses I would have bought one.  Oh well.  I would love to see a fast street lens that was pancake size.

What lenses are missing?  What excellent high quality lens does Olympus need to make?  Are there any holes that need to be filled?  What are you hoping they release in 2018?

January 23, 2018

4 responses on "Thoughts On Lenses"

  1. I think they should have a 100-400 f4. Zoom
    I am consideting the Pany version simply because Olympus doesn’t anything to offer.
    But I am afraid an Oly version would get a price tag above my limit.
    I like the 300mm they have but it is expensive and I cannot justify a prime with for me such a limited use.
    A 100-400 would be more versatile.
    Think two bodies one with the 12-100 f4 and 100-400 f4 would be a pretty awesome kit.

    • Actually, this kit makes a lot of sense. Especially if the 100-400 could be used with the TC. That would yield some amazing reach. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a lens Olympus actually does produce at some point.

  2. I‘m missing an extreme ultra wide zoom or prime, like the Canon 11-24 or the voigtlander 10mm for Sony FF.
    A 1.4/150 sounds very unlikely, because it will be HUGE , HEAVY and EXPENSIVE! Such a lens must have at least a 108mm front lens, likely bigger! If you compare the Sigma 1,8/135 or the Nikon 1,4/105 such a lens from Oly will/must be even bigger…

  3. I concur about a 150 1.8, that would be amazing. I would like to see a 35-100 F2 (again) and an UWA prime, day 10mm 1.4.

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