8x macro?! This OM System lens offers magnification like you've never seen

OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro IS Pro
(Image credit: OM System)

Macro lenses are pretty special, but the OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro IS Pro takes things to a whole new level entirely. 

Indeed, everything about the OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro IS Pro is special, but let's start with that headline. This is a lens with 2x magnification / 2:1 reproduction ratio as standard – but of course, because OM System / Olympus cameras employ Micro Four Thirds sensors, with a 2x crop factor, that equates to 4x magnification in 35mm terms. 

• The best macro lenses enable you to get closer than ever to your subjects 

On top of that, the 90mm Macro can also be used with the Olympus MC-20 teleconverter, which doubles the magnification to 4x / 4:1 reproduction ratio. Which, again, taking the 2x crop factor into consideration, technically delivers 8x magnification / 8:1 reproduction. 

Now, some purists will no doubt balk at the maths and equivalence involved here. But the point is, the OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro IS Pro lens gets you very, very, very close to teeny tiny subjects – and enables your camera to see even more of the already unseen world hidden around you.

Watch video: See the M.Zuiko 90mm Macro in action

This is the manufacturer's second macro lens, following the fantastic Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro that is highly regarded but a little long in the tooth these days. And while the 90mm f/3.5 is a tiny bit slower, it otherwise outguns its predecessor in almost every way – not least the autofocus, which is much faster and more accessible than it was on the superb-but-sluggish 60mm.

Supporting its ridiculous levels of magnification, the lens boasts up to 7 stops of image stabilization thanks to Sync IS technology that handshakes with the latest OM System (and Olympus) cameras. 

This is invaluable with its effective 180mm focal length (again, in 35mm terms), which provides a very practical working distance so you can shoot without scaring off tiny subjects. 

Earning its Pro designation, it's also an IP53 weather sealed lens – making it the ultimate tool for field macro in the real world, when paired with the OM System OM-1 or OM System OM-5. And when you consider that the lens is just 136 x 69.8mm (with a 62mm filter thread) and weighs a paltry 453g, it's astonishing to have all that advanced technology in such a tiny package.

The OM System M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro IS Pro is priced at $1,499 / £1,299 (Australian pricing TBC) and will be available early March in the US, and late February in Europe.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.