Olympus officially discontinues their Four Thirds lenses


The Olympus Four Thirds lenses have been listed as discontinued in the latest catalog from four-thirds.org:


B&H still has many of the Olympus 4/3 lenses in stock in case you are interested in getting one before they are gone.

Via 43addict, dpreview

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  • raziel28

    End of an era… 🙁

    • MB

      What era? You mean errata?

    • Good riddance 🙂

  • Some nice glass in there, that reportedly works very well with the E-M1 variants and adaptor. Hideously expensive though.

    • Sakaphoto Graphics

      The HG glass was much more economical than the micro Four-Thirds premium lenses, and weather-sealed.

      The SHG glass wasn’t any worse than Canikon.

  • ZMWT

    Olympus — Thinking Ahead Only For 6 Months (TM).
    It is pity; Olympus did not innovate enough with their 4/3 system; if they did, there would be no need for the m4/3. But that is the problem when the board of directors — interested more in changes and shifts and marketing tales resulting from it — not even remotely understands photography.

    • Spy Black

      I personally don’t understand the advantage of 4/3 over M4/3, what is it?

      • David

        Some of the lenses, like the 7-14, seem absurdly sized, but the main benefits would be 1) actual manual focus rather than fly-by wire, and 2) because they were designed for a DSLR, there’s much less software correction that goes on with 4/3 lenses than m4/3 lenses. On the other hand…many 4/3 lenses had old crappy autofocus that was pretty darn slow and imprecise. And LOUD…if you think you’re going to use the 4/3 70-300 to snap a shot of a bird, forget about it. That was one of the problems with the 35-100 f2: slow autofocus, and it was in fact the same size as a 70-200 f/2.8 FF lens despite being an equivalent stop slower. My favorite lenses were the 12-60, 50mm f/2, and the 50-200 SWD.

        • Les

          re: “manual focus rather than fly-by wire”

          I thought all 4/3 lenses were fly-by-wire. Every one I’ve used was.

          • David

            You know you might be right. Sold off my 4/3 gear long enough ago that I don’t remember, but I feel like a few lenses had properly geared manual focus.

        • Max

          You say it’s an equivalent stop slower. How does that work? So to get the same exposure as the f/2.8 at say, f/4 would you need to shoot at f/2?

          • David

            What I meant was that it’s a 70-200 f4 equivalent despite being the size of an FF 70-200 f2.8. The Olympus lens actually would have had to be an f1.4 lens in order for the 4/3 system to have truly been equivalent.

          • Max

            Ok was just wonder why you convert the speed because that doesn’t change. F/2.8 ff is just as bright as f/2.8 m43

          • David

            I’d convert because it was f/2.8 _4/3_, not m4/3, meaning I was using a camera at least DX sized with a zoom that was FF-sized with essentially none of the pros. Plus noisy slow-ish autofocus that couldn’t compare to even the first gen 70-200s CaNikon has produced. I could appreciate, for instance, the 14-54 being better than the Nikon 18-105 (same focal lengths basically), but the 4/3 lens is actually bigger I’m pretty sure.

          • Max

            Totally get that 🙂

          • El Aura

            Unfortunately, ‘brightness’ (as in light per area) isn’t linked to IQ in any way (except compared to read noise). Insolation on a solar panel (as in light per area) doesn’t tell you anything how much energy or power can be produced. It’s insolation times area that gives that figure.

          • Max

            Of course. It would then be more correct to say that the camera, due to it having a smaller sensor, has lower image quality.
            That then is one of the disadvantages of it compared to the Nikon FF camera.
            However, the OP was talking about the lens, and said that it was slower. It is not. The exposure remains the same.

          • El Aura

            One could argue that a lens’ full low-light performance is the f-stop times the image circle squared.

          • Max

            You can use that argument for a system.

      • joey jojo

        i think the appeal of 4/3 (i don’t know if id say advantage) could or would have been the doubling of focal lengths at the telephoto end.
        for me olympus really didn’t do enough, research, marketing, development, etc etc in this area to really push the system.
        some of the glass and the last e-5 was a great camera (even though on paper it was down on specs at the time of release)
        for me the system did have a lot of value

        • Spy Black

          Well, OK, but aren’t there several M4/3 telephoto lenses available?

          • joey jojo

            yes you’re right, m4/3 in the last few years has seen a few (excellent) telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses.
            i think if you stacked a em1.2 with 300mm tele (600mm equivalent) next to a 1dx2 and 600mm tele the size/weight difference would be incredibly different.
            in my mind this is where olympus should really hammer home the m4/3 product against the competition.
            that is of course if we are looking to find an advantage (if there even is one) against its competition.

          • Spy Black

            I don’t thank that would be a good comparison because of the sensor differences as as well as the AF and shooting differences between the two cameras. Weight and mass alone could be an argument with some people, but anyone shooting with a FF rig like that would need more convincing.

            However we are now no longer comparing the differences and possible advantages 4/3 had over M4/3.

          • David

            In some ways it is. I know there are Canon and Minolta fans who swear by their companies’ 200mm f2.8 lenses, and those are fairly light and compact and sharp. A slightly improved version could go on a m4/3 camera and POOF, you’ve got the 400mm f5.6 equivalent Canon has had forever and some Nikon users really want. For me, m4/3 is the system I’d go exploring Asia for a month with. If you’re just taking your gear in and out of your car for a few hours, why not go FF? Different systems have different strengths, and for me m4/3 was nearly perfect.

          • Spy Black

            I like M4/3 as well, but you simply don’t have the IQ, AF speed and accuracy and frame rates that a camera like the 1dx2, D5 or D500 have. There are benefits and trade-offs. Those that work with these systems aren’t going to jump on M4/3 anytime soon.

            But I digress. I was really discussing the differences between 4/3 and M4/3.

        • El Aura

          The appeal of Nikon 1 is that it (about) triples the focal length at the telephoto end. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to save the system.

  • joey jojo

    a lot of really special glass, absolutely loved my e-5, still one of the most enjoyable cameras I’ve ever used, the sound and buttery smooth shutter was beautiful.
    14-35 swd was my fav lens

  • Andriy Sinchuk

    At last it gone! m4/3 will be gone too because of it’s tiny sensor it can’t match 1.6 and ff in all terms. 4/3 in all forms always was and will be a crap.

    • Hubertus Bigend

      One shouldn’t feed the troll, as the saying goes, but this is too easily answered to forgo the opportunity…

      1. If MFT is crap because it can’t match APS-C, why then is APS-C not crap, too? It fails to match FF by an even bigger margin than the distance by which MFT is behind APS-C.

      2. Go to dpreview’s comparison tool and compare the RAW results of a, say, Olympus OM-D E-M1 II (current MFT) with a Canon EOS 80D or EOS M5 (current APS-C). Especially at higher and highest ISO. APS-C is not better in that case. And if APS-C is not better in ISO performance, it actually has a disadvantage with regard to depth of field.

      The performance differences within the APS-C format have already become bigger than the to-be-expected differences between MFT. It’s just that the most notorious APS-C manufacturer fanboys haven’t noticed yet.

      • El Aura

        Yep, m43 to 1.6x APS-C (aka Canon) increases the sensor size by 48% larger by area (or half a stop). Canon APS-C to FF is 160% larger by area (or 1 1/3 stops).

        Now, that doesn’t mean that APS-C (1.5x or 1.6x) could not be the sweet spot for a lot of people (even if only moderately sweeter). Or that current market share (however we got here) puts m43 in a more difficult position going forward (lower unit sales mean everything is more expensive and receives less development investment, eg, on the sensor side). In the DSLR realm, the smaller optical viewfinder of 4/3 certainly was a relevant factor (and contributed to the demise of 4/3). And many film-era lenses and digital era FF lenses can be used on APS-C cameras more effectively than on m43 cameras (simply because the difference between design image circle and used image circle is smaller).

        In other words, the size of the m43 sensor adds some challenges to the system but definitely doesn’t disqualify or condemns it from an image quality perspective.

  • Pancanikonpus

    gg is called!

    Panasonic will be the next, gh series cross over own cinemamera line up.

    • FountainHead

      Try again in English?

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