Alongside the new OM-1 II mirrorless camera, OM system has announced a new super telephoto zoom lens for its micro four thirds system – the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS.
The micro four thirds sensor format has a 2x crop factor which means the new lens has a full-frame equivalent focal length range of 300-1200mm, making it the world’s longest zoom lens if you use it with a micro four thirds camera, like the new OM-1 II. What’s more, it’s compatible with the brand’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters – pair it with the latter and you have a 600-2400mm zoom range. Wow.
Thanks to 5-axis ‘Sync IS’, OM System says the new lens provides up to 7EV stabilization at its wide end, or 6EV at its telephoto end when used with the OM-1 II, meaning it’s entirely possible to shoot handheld at the maximum focal length and still get sharp shots – incredible stuff, provided you can frame your subject in the first place, and that’s no mean task with such a versatile zoom.
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As amazing as the new M.Zuiko 150-600mm sounds especially for wildlife photography, its design is actually in mold of the existing full-frame Sigma 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 ‘Sports’ lens. As such, it’s nothing new per se, only that you get a much greater reach given the micro four thirds 2x crop factor, plus its identical close focusing distances of 0.56m (wide) to 2.8m (telephoto) provides a better maximum magnification, up to 0.7x. This is therefore a capable macro photography lens, too.
That mirrorless Sigma 150-600mm lens for L-mount or Sony E-mount is designed for chunkier full-frame cameras, and it’s a beastly 4.55 lbs / 2.06 kg. The OM System version follows suit, making it a bit of a mismatch when paired with the lightweight OM-1 II or other OM System (formerly Olympus) cameras. It’s a shame really, because this micro four thirds system prides itself on being a smaller and lighter system than full-frame.
OM System’s new version is also much pricier – its list price of $2,699.99 / £2,399.99 (about AU$4,600) is almost twice that of Sigma’s own version and more than the Nikon Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR. Yikes. Still, it’s much more affordable than the pro-grade OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F/4.5 TC 1.25x IS Pro lens that’s around 3x the price, and it could consequently shift many more units.
When you consider the system that this IPX1-rated dust and splash proof lens is part of, with a new camera like the OM System OM-1 II that has unmatched image stabilization and autofocus performance for bird photography, then the new 150-600mm becomes an even more exciting prospect especially for birders. We expect this lens to prove very popular. Shipping is from late February 2024.