OM System may have only announced one lens last year, but it’s starting 2024 much stronger with two new Micro Four Thirds offerings: a 9-18mm f/4-5.6 II and the 150-600mm f/5-6.3 IS.
The two new lenses sit at opposite sides of OM System’s lens lineup, with the former coming in at an 18-36mm wide-angle full frame equivalent while the latter is a staggering 300-1200mm super-telephoto zoom at the other end of the spectrum. The two join a rather impressive lineup of first-party OM System optics, as seen below:
M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 II
The lightest and most compact of OM System’s ultra-wide-angle zoom lenses, this second version of the lens has been redesigned to offer better overall performance. Small and light, this new version measures 56.2 by 49.3mm (2.21 by 1.94 inches) and weighs a scant 154 grams (0.34 pounds). That length of 49.3mm is made possible due to a retracting mechanism that minimizes the bulk of the lens even more than would normally be expected.
The 9-18mm f/4.5-5.6 II features a construction of 12 elements arranged into 8 groups including two Dual Super Aspherical (DSA) lenses positioned at the front as well as two aspherical elements at the rear end to correct for optical aberrations, which combine to achieve what OM System describes as “remarkable image quality within its compact form.” It has an aperture range of f/4 through f22 via a seven-bladed diaphragm and a front filter size of 52mm.
OM System says that has a close focusing distance of 25 centimeters across the entire zoom range and a maximum image magnification of 0.11x at the wide end and 0.2x at the telephoto end.
This redesigned version of the lens features what OM System calls an “innovative” petal-shaped lens hood that can be inverted when not in use. The 9-18mm f/4.5-5.6 II also has an updated color scheme and knurling design to “harmonize” with other M.Zuiko lenses.
The OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 II will be available in late February for $700.
M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm f/5-6.3 IS
If the 9-18mm f/4-5.6 II predicates its value on wide-angle and compact size, the new 150-600mm f/5-6.3 IS stands as a perfect foil. With a colossal telephoto zoom range, mammoth 264.4mm (10.4-inch) length, and hefty 2,065 grams (4.5 pounds) weight, OM System’s latest is big in every sense of the word.
While the size and weight are far more than Micro Four Thirds shooters are probably used to, the zoom range that is equivalent to a full-frame 300-1200mm may be seen as worth it. What’s more, the lens delivers up to seven stops of stabilization when paired with a five-axis in-body OM System camera stabilizer and is compatible with the company’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters to jump to a maximum 600-2400mm equivalent range — that’s a ton of throw in a lens that packs down to less than a foot long.
When used without a camera’s built-in stabilization, OM System says it can still achieve six stops of stabilization all by itself.
OM System quotes the lens as IPX1-equivalent splash and dust proof and the front element is coated with fluorine for easy cleaning. It features customizable zoom ring torque settings, a lock mode that prevents unintentional extension while carrying, and a straight zoom for quick zooming operation. It also includes a Focus Limiter switch, a Focus Mode switch, an Image Stabilization switch, and an L-Fn button.
It has up to 0.7x image magnification for what OM System describes as “tele macro” photography.
The 150-600mm f/5-6.3 IS features a construction of 25 elements arranged into 15 groups, including four Super Extra Low Dispersion (ED) elements, two ED lenses, six High Refractive Index (HR) lenses, and one HD optic. It features a maximum aperture of f/5 through a minimum of f/22 via a nine-bladed diaphragm. If those specifications sound familiar, it’s because Sigma makes a 150-600m f/5-6.3 lens for full-frame cameras. Many will no doubt speculate that these optics are related although it should be noted that even if they are, the OM System version will have access to the very center of the lens array, giving Micro Four Thirds shooters access to the best-performing areas of the lens in addition to unlocking some serious shooting range.
Below are two images captured using the new lens:
The OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm f/5-6.3 IS will be available in late February for $2,700.
Image credits: OM System