Olympus releases the 2x Teleconverter MC-20

olympus mc-20

Announced a while back, the MC-20 is now officially released.  You can see it on Olympus’ site here.

Basically this works with the 40-150 Pro, the 300 Pro, and the upcoming 150 – 400 Pro.  It is a 2x converter, which means aperture will slow down by 2x. The 40-150 and the 300 approach 1:1 macro as well…pretty amazing.   With the converter attached you get the following:

40-150 2.8 Pro = 80 – 300 5.6.
300 f/4 Pro = 600 f/8
150 – 400 f/4.5 Pro = 300 – 800 F/9
150 – 400 f/4.5 Pro with built in 1.25x tc engaged = 375 – 1000 F/11.25

If we put these into 35mm equivalent terms… we have in the same order…
160 – 600mm
1,200mm
600 – 1,600mm
750 – 2,000mm

At those apertures that is insane.  For the size and weight of the whole package, I don’t think we’ve yet seen image capability like that before when you use the soon to be released 150-400 lens.

My concern is diffraction past F/8.  I do use F/11 when needed…and it is just fine, but definitely F/7.1 seems to be the magic number on m43 for sharpness before diffraction makes an impact.  On the best lenses, F/11 is more than usable.  So I am hoping with this new TC, shooting wide open will provide top quality so we don’t need to go past F/11 at all to get results.

I was never too impressed with the MC-14 converter on the 40-150mm…. I hope this converter is better.  A 2x converter would be a great option for that lens.  I would lose one stop to the 300mm pro in order to not carry an extra lens.  I will be very interested to see results at F/5.6.  I have a feeling it will need to be stopped down to F/8 more realistically to get solid results.  We’ll see.

The 300mm pro will benefit even more I’m sure from the MC-20.  And this will sure as anything be a LOT smaller package than Canon’s old 1,200mm lens!  Remember that behemoth?

Quick note… you need to update the firmware for both the 40-150 and the 300 if you plan on using the MC-20.  Just attach them to a body and run the firmware updater.  Instructions are here!

Here is the press release if you are interested.

OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO® DIGITAL 2x TELECONVERTER MC-20

Expand the Field of Photography with Portability and Superb Image Quality of the Master Lens

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., June 19, 2019 – Olympus is pleased to announce the M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20. This teleconverter doubles the focal length of the master lens, and features dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) professional weatherproof construction for outstanding optical performance ideal for even the most severe environmental conditions. By doubling the maximum shooting magnification of the master lens, this teleconverter further expands the field of photography in super telephoto macro shooting. This product is compatible with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO and M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4.0 IS PRO, as well as the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO, which is currently under development.

Super Telephoto and Super Telephoto Macro Shooting

Just like the M.Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14, the M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20 maintains the excellent imaging performance of the master lens while doubling the focal length, making it possible to capture intense shots of subjects that are usually difficult to approach, including small birds and animals. When attached to the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4.0 IS PRO, handheld super telephoto shooting at 1200mm equivalent (35mm equivalent) is possible.

When attached to the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4.0 IS PRO, the MC-20 allows the user to shoot near actual size at 0.96x (35mm equivalent) from the maximum shooting magnification of 0.48x. With performance like this, the photographer can capture close-up photos from far away without disturbing subjects that are sensitive to people, such as insects. Utilizing Focus Stacking results in photos that are in focus across the entire image, even on super telephoto lenses, which tend to have a shallow depth of field.

Outstanding Optical Performance

A 9-element, 4-group lens construction with an HR lens helps suppress various types of aberrations including chromatic aberration while maintaining the excellent optical performance of the master lens to double the focal length. The design also helps prevent ghosts and flares for superb image performance, thanks to ZERO coating.

Reliability to Capture the Moment

The master lens is designed to deliver excellent performance and dependable reliability, even when an Olympus teleconverter is attached. Virtually no loss in autofocus speed makes it possible to capture split-second photo opportunities using FAST AF performance. The dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof professional weatherproof construction, coupled with powerful 5-axis image stabilization and FAST AF ensures that the user captures their shot even in the most severe environments.

Compatible Lenses

  • Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO
  • Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4.0 IS PRO
  • Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO (under development-planned for launch in 2020)

Pricing and Availability

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20 ships with the body cap BC-3, lens cap LR-2 and lens case LSC-0603 and is available now with suggested retail prices of $429.99 USD and $559.99 CAD.

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3 responses on "Olympus releases the 2x Teleconverter MC-20"

  1. Surprised you have not been pleased withb tge MC14 on the 40-150.. I habe been blown away by it and consequently it rarely leaves my lens, which is a first for me, as I have with FF tended to avoid converters! I find it an extremely sharp combo, even wide open.

  2. I am registered with Oly for an alert when the MC20 goes on sale. I have never been a fan of 2x converters, but I have to say I am expecting good things from this one, especially with the 40-150, which will then be the perfect travel wildlife lens. 0.96x magnification? As a macro shooter what’s not to like?!

    • That alone has me super tempted to try the 2x. I own both macro lenses…but the near macro of the 40-150 and 12-40 often has me leaving the macros at home. A converter to get that close is going to be great. The working distance at 150mm with a near 1:1 will be a pleasure to work with in the field.

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