Olympus has patented a new lens for mirrorless cameras with Micro Four Thirds image sensors. The M.Zuiko Digital 12-50mm f/2.8-4 is reportedly in the works and could be released sometime in the near future.
Several new lenses will be unveiled by Olympus over the following months. We already know that the Japan-based company is planning to launch three PRO-series optics, however, the rumor mill is now claiming that another model is in the works and it may be revealed soon.
The company itself has confirmed that the 7-14mm f/2.8, 40-150mm f/2.8, and 300mm f/4 PRO lenses are in development and on their way to the market. On the other hand, the rumor mill has discovered an Olympus 12-50mm f/2.8-4 lens patent in Japan and it seems like this product will actually replace a current model.
Olympus 12-50mm f/2.8-4 lens patent shows up in Japan
A patent describing the Olympus 12-50mm f/2.8-4 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras has showed up on the web. This product will have pretty big dimensions as its length could reach about 153mm when zoomed to its maximum focal length.
Either way, the lens will cover a pretty useful focal range. Its 35mm focal length equivalent stands at 24-100mm, meaning that the lens will cover a wide-angle to telephoto range when mounted on Micro Four Thirds shooters.
It appears that the patent was filed on November 22 in 2012 and its approval was granted on June 9, 2014. This could mean that the lens may be ready to become official, although the company has not confirmed its existence until now.
Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 is probably the lens getting replaced by this version with a brighter aperture
If it becomes available on the market, then the Olympus 12-50mm f/2.8-4 lens will most likely replace the current 12-50mm version. An improved model may be required as the company is selling an optic with a maximum aperture of f/3.5-6.3.
Some might say that a replacement is long overdue, as the lens has even received a significant price cut of 40%. Now it can be purchased for about $300 at Amazon, down from the original price of about $500.
The Japanese company seems to be in awe of these focal lengths, as the first PRO-series model is actually a 12-40mm f/2.8. The 12-50mm f/2.8-4 lens that would serve as an alternative for those who cannot afford the PRO version.
As stated above, nothing is certain about a rumor, so do not hold your breath over this lens!