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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO Revealed

- 4 years ago

This is what wildlife, nature and outdoor sports photographers have been waiting for from Olympus. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO has finally been revealed, along with an E-M1X firmware update, which now includes with ‘Bird Detection’. A powerful combination indeed, but does it really warrant the £6.5K+ price tag? Read on for more.

Olympus 150-400mm Lifestyle2

This new high-resolution, super-telephoto zoom lens is equipped with a built-in 1.25x teleconverter and covers a wide focal length of 300-1000mm [35mm equivalent]. In combination with the optional M.Zuiko Digital 2x, Teleconverter MC-20 up to an amazing 2000mm [35mm equivalent.] are possible. The lens is based on the Micro Four Thirds System standard and features a high-performance 5-axis sync IS. It delivers strong-motion compensation of 8 EV steps, perfect for handheld super-telephoto shooting. The lens will be available from the end of January 2021.

To enable E-M1X photographers to take full advantage of the potential of the new super-telephoto and other M.Zuiko lenses, the camera’s firmware has been enhanced and Bird Detection added to the Intelligent Subject Detection AF. All developed with deep learning technology, which is based on AI. With this new function, the camera automatically prioritises detection of a bird’s eye for focusing and tracking so the photographer can concentrate on composing images to capture a moment. The new firmware also includes various functional improvements such as RAW video data output to support professional video production. It will be available from the 3rd of December 2020.

High-resolution zoom lens that enables 1000mm equivalent super telephoto shooting

The Olympus 150-400mm body features a built-in 1.25x teleconverter, maintaining high optical performance while enabling up to 1000mm equivalent handheld super-telephoto shooting. The optional M.Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14 and the M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20 are also supported. When combined with the MC-20, this lens allows focal lengths up to an amazing 2000mm. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO features the closest focusing distance of 1.3m across the entire zoom range and close-up shooting performance with a maximum image magnification of 0.57x, which increases to 0.71x when using the built-in teleconverter for enjoying true tele-macro shooting. A lavish 28 elements in 18 groups lens construction was adopted, including a newly developed large-diameter Extra-low Dispersion Aspherical lens and four Super Extra-low Dispersion lenses. This guarantees reduced flares and colour bleeding across the entire zoom range and superb resolution to the edges of the image, even on a large-diameter lens with a fixed F4.5 aperture. Olympus original Z Coating Nanotechnology is employed to provide sharp, clear images also in difficult shooting environments, such as backlit scenes.

Compact, lightweight design with superb weather-resistant performance

Magnesium alloy is used for the lens barrel and a lightweight carbon fibre lens hood is used to ensure that the centre of gravity of the lens does not shift toward the end when the lens hood is used. The use of optimal materials in each area of the lens helps maintain strength and precision while achieving a compact, lightweight design with a length of 314.3 mm and a weight of 1,875 g. The Olympus 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO is designed to give the photographer the ability to smoothly tune settings and functions as he shoots. Pairing it with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X and its superb dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof properties makes it possible to continue shooting in harsh weather conditions such as rain and snow with peace of mind. Compared with the black coating on conventional lenses, the heat-resistant coating on this model efficiently reflects the infrared rays of sunlight, keeping temperatures inside the lens from rising even in blazing hot weather for stable optical performance. The front element of the lens features a fluorine coating which provides a smooth and scratch-resistant surface and makes it easier to clean for better maintenance.

5-axis sync IS up to 8 EV steps of compensation and fast, high-precision AF

The Olympus 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO supports 5-axis sync IS. At 300mm equivalent, it achieves the world’s strongest image stabilization of 8 EV steps. Even when extending the telephoto range up to 2000mm equivalent by using the optional MC-20 teleconverter, image stabilization is still available. Its high image quality hand-held shooting capabilities make the lens a perfect addition specifically for wildlife, nature and outdoor sports photographers. Olympus’ original high-precision lens thinning technology enables the production of lightweight focusing lenses, enabling fast, high-precision focusing across the entire zoom range.

RAW Video Data Output to Atomos Ninja V HDR Monitor/Recorder

4K 30P/25P/24P and Cinema 4K 24P video recorded on the OM-D E-M1X can be output as 12-bit RAW data and recorded in ProRes RAW format on the Atomos Ninja V HDR monitor recorder. This enables advanced professional video production post-processing tasks such as adjusting exposure and colour grading of recorded footage. Please update to latest Ninja V firmware to enable this support.

Improved Video Image Stabilisation

The video image stabilisation algorism has been revised for natural recording with minimal shaking even when panning.

Added Focus Indicator Display

This feature makes it possible to quickly check the focusing direction and approximate focus position during manual focusing.

Pricing & Availability

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO will be RRP of 6,999.00 EUR and will become available by the end of January 2021

The Firmware for the E-M1X firmware update with Bird detection will be available from the 3rd of December 2021

Firmware version 1.2 for the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, version 3.4 for the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and version 1.3 for the OM-D E-M5 Mark III will be released simultaneously with firmware version 2.0 for the OM-D E-M1X on December 3, 2020

About the author

Read Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO Revealed

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.