This is what the Olympus m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro will look like

We can't wait for the new Olympus fast medium telephoto zoom for Micro Four Thirds

Under development, the m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro

Olympus Europe is introducing the new OM-D E-M1 to European journalists country by country over the next two weeks and we in the UK were fortunate enough to be the first, along with our Ukrainian counterparts, to be welcomed to the launch venue at Castle Leslie, just south of the Northern Ireland border. Quite by coincidence England was playing Ukraine in the World Cup football qualifiers the same day!

One of the treats we had in store was to be able to see a mock-up of the forthcoming m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens which will probably become available in the first half of next year. Like the new m.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens it will be dust and splash proof sealed and Olympus is aiming at very high image quality. In some ways this is the Micro Four Thirds version of the highly popular Four Thirds Zuiko Digital 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5.

The 40-150 f/2.8 is not a small lens, especially if you are used to the relatively diminutive m.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6. But the new lens will transmit twice the light at 40mm and four times the light at 150mm thanks to its constant aperture throughout the zoom range. It also dovetails in nicely with the 12-40, providing a seamless range from 12mm (24mm in full frame parlance) to 150mm (300mm) with just two lenses.

Note the small function button to the left just under the zoom ring.

Few details have been released about the new 40-150 but it's not difficult to want to speculate that it will share the same improved instant manual focus clutch feature, or 'Snap Shot' Mark 2, that we've now seen in the 12-40 lens. We don't need to speculate that there will be a function button for focus lock and other custom modes as featured on the 12-40 and the m.Zuiko 12-50 the mock-up has such a button under the zoom ring. But how about this for even more speculation; we haven't seen any teleconverters for Micro Four Thirds lenses yet, largely because these lenses have mostly been too slow for acceptable performance with converters. That's not the case with the 40-150 f/2.8 and a 1.4x converter could convert the 40-150 f/2.8 into an interesting 56-210 f/4. Dust and splash proof sealing is a given, as well as certification to -10 degrees C operability.

It's difficult to really tell from a mock-up, but we could have an internally zooming and focusing lens to look forward to, meaning the length of the lens may be fixed. Olympus has experience of such designs with the Four Thirds Zuiko Digital 90-250mm f/2.8 and the m.Zuiko 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3. If it zooms internally, why not build in a powered zoom like the 12-50? Questions, questions!

Finally, of course, there is a hefty-looking tripod mount collar.

Once the 40-150 f/2.8 arrives we will have two lenses in the new m.Zuiko Pro category, which Olympus suggests will exceed optical quality of the Four Thirds HG (High Grade) lens category, if not quite the SHG (Super High Grade) Four Thirds lens category that includes the 14-35mm f/2.0, 35-100mm f/2.0, etc. And there are two more Pro grade m.Zuiko lenses on the official Olympus roadmap, a super wide angle zoom and a super telephoto prime.

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