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Home » OM 50-200mm F2.8 – New M43 Lens

OM 50-200mm F2.8 – New M43 Lens

OM 50-200mm F2.8 Pro

OM Digital Solutions is about to release two new telephoto zooms. And according to 43Rumors, one of them is the OM 50-200mm F2.8

This development is exciting, particularly for Bird, Sports, and Wildlife photographers. But would such a lens be too big for the Micro Four Thirds faithful, and would it be enough to surpass the outstanding Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro? Let’s take a look.

What is the OM 50-200mm F2.8

The rumored OM 50-200mm F2.8 is a high-performance telephoto zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds from OM Digital, formerly Olympus.

Olympus Lens Road Map showing two unannounced telephoto lenses
The Olympus/OM lens lineup – plus two unannounced telephoto lenses. Source: OM System

Focal Length

The OM 50-200mm F2.8 is a 4x times zoom and will serve your Micro Four Thirds sensor at any angle of view between 24.4 and 6.1 degrees – similar to that of a 100-400mm Full Frame lens. As a result, the OM 50-200 should make for an outstanding portrait lens and be ideal for photographing distant subjects. Read What is Focal Length in Photography.

This also gives the OM 50-200mm F2.8 an edge over the otherwise outstanding Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro. And like the Olympus 40-150mm F2.8, the 50-200mm is expected to be compatible with the x1.4 and x2 teleconverters.



Aperture

The OM 50-200mm features a large F2.8 aperture enabling it to pass twice as much light as the Olympus 40-150mm F4 Pro and more than four times the light compared to the Olympus 100-400mm F5.6-6.3.

aperture sizes compared
The OM 50-200mm large aperture means bright exposures even at faster shutter speeds – ideal for capturing blur-free shots of fast-moving subjects.

Thus, the OM 50-200mm F2.8 should thrive in low light conditions or whenever fast light-starved shutter speeds are required to capture sharp images of moving subjects. Read What is Aperture in Photography

Build and Construction

Like other Pro lenses, the OM 50-200mm F2.8 is expected to carry an IP53 weather resistance rating – ideal for shooting in the great outdoors. As for size, who knows, but such a lens is likely to be at least as large as a Full Frame 70-200mm F4 lens and, as such, will weigh at least 800 grams.

Canon RF 70-200mm F4
Will the OM 50-200mm F2.8 follow Canon’s lead in producing a retractable design?

It will be interesting to see whether OM Digital follows Canon in producing a retractable zoom or whether it sticks to a fixed Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro style design.

Image Stabilization

I expect the OM 50-200mm F2.8 Pro will feature optical image stabilization since inbody sensor-based image stabilization becomes less effective at longer focal lengths.

It would also be ideal if the OM 50-200mm, like the 300mm F4 Pro, includes Sync IS – a feature that combines optical and sensor-based image stabilization for increased stability.

Performance

The OM 50-200mm F2.8 must contend with dual-motor autofocus enabled Olympus 40-150mm – one of the few telephoto lenses compatible with the OM-1’s 50FPS mode.

Given that the OM 50-200mm F2.8 screams wildlife and bird-in-flight photography, I expect it will not hold the OM-1 back. Read OM-1 Review.



OM 50-200mm F2.8 Pro Alternatives

OM 50-200mm F2.8 Pro vs Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro

The Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro is one of my all-time favorite lenses – regardless of system. Its large aperture, razor-sharp optical, and dual motor autofocus makes the 40-150mm F2.8 Pro a lens to contend with.

Olympus 40-150mm F2.8
The Olympus 40-150mm is both big and clever.

Thus, seeing how the OM 50-200mm compares will be interesting. For one, the difference between 150mm and 200mm isn’t as significant as you might think. And as big and heavy as the Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro may be, I expect the Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 to be at least as big and more expensive.

But, if all goes well, the OM 50-200mm F2.8 may render the Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro redundant. I can’t wait to find out. Read Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Review.

OM 50-200mm F2.8 vs OM 50-250mm F4

43Rumors believes the second lens telephoto lens yet to be released by OM Digital is the OM 50-250mm F4 – an exciting lens in its own right.

While the OM 50-250mm adds a little reach, its smaller F4 aperture can only capture half as much light as the OM 50-200mm F2.8. Furthermore, it is rumored that the OM 50-250mm F4 will not feature optical image stabilization which, when combined with the smaller aperture, results in faster, darker, but more stable shutter speeds and higher image degrading ISOs.

On the other hand, the OM 50-250 is rumored to be compatible with each of Olympus’s teleconverters. But, if I were a betting man – I’d gamble that it will not be compatible with the OM-1’s 50FPS modes.

Olympus 40-150mm F4 Pro

The Olympus 40-150mm F4 Pro offers much of the performance of the Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro in a much smaller and lighter form.

OMS 40-150mm F/4 Pro vs Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 Pro
The Olympus 40-150mm F4 Pro may lack thrills but squeezes premium image quality into a tiny package.

However, the Olympus 40-150mm F4 Pro lacks optical image stabilization, doesn’t work with teleconverters and is incompatible with the OM-1’s 50FPS mode. Still, an affordable, razor-sharp, absurdly compact telephoto that gets the job done. Read Olympus 40-150mm F4 Compared.

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Conclusion

With 100-400mm Full Frame lenses becoming popular amongst wildlife photographers, it makes sense that OM Digital should choose to produce a smaller Micro Four Thirds alternative.

However, as small as it will be, compared to a Full Frame alternative, it’s likely to be a much bigger lens than many Micro Four Thirds owners are willing to carry. But, as a card-carrying Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro fan-boy, this is a lens my OM-1 cannot wait to meet.

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