There are times when all photographers wish they had a little more zoom – but those days could soon be over judging by OM system's new M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens. That's because the super telephoto zoom lens, announced alongside the new OM-1 II mirrorless camera, could have an effective zoom range of up to an incredible 2400mm.
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 an MFT camera, such as 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 its 5-axis 'Sync IS' feature, 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. And that means it should be 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.
As amazing as the new M.Zuiko 150-600mm sounds, especially for wildlife photography, its design is actually in the mold of the existing full-frame Sigma 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 'Sports' lens. As such, it's nothing new per se, other than 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 the MFT system prides itself on being smaller and lighter than full-frame.
OM System's new version is also much pricier – its list price of $2,699.99 / £2,399.99 / AU$4,499 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.
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Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.