Not content with announcing the new OM System OM-1 Mark II flagship, OM has also launched the perfect lens to use with it: the M.Zuiko 150-600mm f/5.0-6.3 IS – a super-telephoto lens that's a 300-1200mm equivalent in full frame terms.
If that weren't enough, this incredible lens is compatible with teleconverters like the Olympus MC-20 doubler – giving it a maximum effective reach of 2400mm, bolstered by IPX1-certified weather sealing and up to 7 stops of image stabilization.
As a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) user, I'm often having to explain the benefits of the system to non-users – and defend the smaller sensor size. Well, this is a perfect case in point as to why the smaller sensor size is a huge benefit!
The 2x MFT crop factor doubles the native 150-600mm focal range, but doesn't double the size (or cost) of the lens itself to do so. A 300-1200mm full-frame lens would be huge and hugely expensive, yet here we're looking at an optic that weighs just 4.55lbs / 2,065g and is only 109.4 x 264.4 mm in size.
Above: Watch the M.Zuiko 150-600mm f/5.0-6.3 IS launch video
It also boasts OM's Sync-IS technology, which marries the optical stabilization of the lens itself with the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) of the OM-1 Mark II, OM-1 and OM-5 camera bodies (along with the later E-M1 and E-M5 cameras before them).
The lens alone delivers a maximum of 6 stops of compensation, which is amplified to 7 on compatible bodies. There is a limit to the stabilization available at extreme focal lengths, and IBIS alone cannot offer effective compensation beyond a certain point.
As such, Sync-IS (camera and lens) delivers 7 stops at 150mm and 6 stops at 600mm. Lens stabilization alone is capable of 6 stops at 150mm and 5 steps at 600mm.
The sophisticated optical formula features 25 elements in 15 groups, consisting of 4 Super ED (extra-low dispersion) lenses, 2 ED lenses, 6 HR (high refractive index) lenses, 1 HD (high definition) lens and a fluorine coating.
It also has impressive close-focusing capabilities, as close as 0.56m at the wide end and 2.8m at the long end – with 0.7x and 0.39x magnification respectively, making it a formidable tele macro optic. And if you want some extreme macro capabilities, adding a teleconverter opens some spectacular shooting opportunities.
As you'd expect, the lens features a focus limiter switch to make AF less painful. But it also boasts customizable torque (from Smooth to Tight) for the zoom ring, enabling you to adjust things according to your style or shooting situation.
The OM System M.Zuiko 150-600mm f/5.0-6.3 IS lens will be available from late February and carries a price tag of $2,699.99 / £2,399.99 / AU$4,199.99.