Olympus launches new pro wide-angle lenses and a limited-edition E-M5 II

Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8

Compact system cameras and DSLRs aren't just cameras, they're part of a system of lenses and accessories, and this is one of the biggest differences between 'amateur' and 'professional' brands.

Pro photographers have a kind of 'holy trinity' of lenses – a constant-aperture f/2.8 standard zoom, a constant-aperture f/2.8 short-medium telephoto and a constant-aperture f/2.8 ultra wide-angle lens.

Olympus already has the first two, and with the announcement of the brand new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO ultra-wide zoom it now has all three – this fills one of the most important gaps in the company's lens line-up.


The size of the Micro Four Thirds sensor means that you apply a 2x 'crop factor' to lens focal lengths to get their equivalent in 35mm film camera terms. This means the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO corresponds to a 14-24mm f/2.8 lens – exactly the same specs as Nikon's legendary 14-24mm f/2.8 full frame DSLR lens, in fact.

Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8

The new Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 has 14 elements in 11 groups and a manual focus clutch mechanism.

This focal range is perfect for interiors and architectural shots where a regular zoom lens just can't go wide enough. It's also perfect for exaggerating perspective, making nearby objects look huge against tiny backgrounds in the distance.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO can be used on all of Olympus's Micro Four Thirds cameras, though its size and cost mean it's probably best matched to the pro-level OM-D E-M1 or the advanced E-M5 II. It goes on sale in June 2015 for £1,000.

M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO

Olympus's other new lens is an 8mm fisheye with a 'world first' maximum aperture of f/1.8. It has a minimum focus distance of just 2.5cm, so it's possible to get right up close to objects to create surreal and exaggerated perspectives.

Olympus 8mm f/1.8

The f/1.8 maximum aperture is a world first for a fisheye, according to Olympus.

The wide maximum aperture will make this lens perfect for low-light photography, and this lens goes on sale in June 2015 and at £700.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Limited Edition

Olympus has also created a special 'titanium-tinted' version of the OM-D E-M5 II to evoke the legendary titanium-plated OM-3Ti 35mm film SLR from 1994, and only 7,000 will be made, each one numbered.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Limited Edition

The OM-D E-M5 II Limited Edition has a 'titanium-tinted' body and bespoke accessories.

Apart from the finish, the Limited Edition is exactly the same as the standard model, but you will get an OM-D branded leather strap and an owner's card printed with a quote from the OM's designer, Yoshihisa Maitani, in its own leather case.

You can buy the OM-D E-M5 II Limited Edition from June 2015 at £1,000 for the body only or £1,350 with an Olympus 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II superzoom lens as a kit.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.