Since we appear to be commenting on micro four thirds a lot recently, I thought I would use this opportunity to go over the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lens line. This particular line of lenses has its heart routed in the vintage Zuiko OM film lenses. The best of which, had top quality optics, lovely bokeh, and were physically well built.
Now, most people’s foray into the new M.Zuiko range of lenses will likely be the 12-40mm F2.8 Pro. This is Olympus’s flagship normal zoom, which produces fantastic results. This lens is fairly large for a M43 lens, however it does not look out of place on something like an OM-D EM10 model. This is the best M.Zuiko Pro lens in terms of bang for your buck. It covers a decent amount of ground, and renders colours beautifully. Weather sealed, and metal, it feels quality in the hand, just like the rest of the Pro range.
Conversely, the Olympus 12-100mm Pro F4 IS lens, which is my favourite of the Pro zooms available, has even more features. Now, this lens is obviously bigger than the 12-40mm, and although useable with am OM-D EM10 model, it will be unbalanced in terms of weight, and will look rather odd. This lens was clearly built for the larger flagship OM-D EM-1’s. This lens comes with an IS switch, which allows you do make use of Dual IS with the OMDEM1MKII! Which makes it extremely useful with the 4K video feature. This is my run and gun lens, and is extremely handy! Another big feature of this lens, is the closest focus distance: I literally have the front element almost up against subjects and get sharp wide angle close ups with lovely bokeh.
The F1.2 prime lenses look and feel like pure class. I have my eye on the 17mm F1.2 Pro in particular. These lenses have been designed to aesthetically look similar, and all fit the same size filter. A handy trick, well done Olympus! The most important part of these lenses is of course the F1.2 aperture. These lenses are specifically made for low light and shallower depth of field. The Bokeh in the 17mm looks fantastic, and renders images sharp, and does exactly what it says on the tin. The 45mm being the portrait prime, is similarly made, and will be extremely useful to professionals. The 25mm takes the place of the normal prime in this instance, and although traditionally a fun focal length, is probably the least exciting of the three.
All of the Pro range sport the manual clutch, which is a great feature. This allows you to take over control of focusing on the fly quickly, and for those that find it annoying, it can be turned off. Dolly enough, the Pro range of lenses finally introduce a decent lens cap! As much as I love Olympus lenses past and present, I have always felt their lens caps were not good enough. I am glad to see the quality lens caps finally make an appearance.
So is it worth you buying an Olympus Pro lens for your Micro Four Thirds body? Yes and no. Firstly, if you want these lenses for the sake of them being the top range of lenses, but aren’t doing much photography, then I would say let it go. We all have an inner gear slut, but the standard and premium M.Zuiko lenses are quality enough. I would however suggest these lenses to someone that is trying to do photography for a job or is wanting to do YouTube videos etc. There are extra features about these lenses that will help your set up in this regard, and you will easily use them enough to make back your money.