Olympus is rumored to launch a 300mm f/4 PRO lens with built-in optical image stabilization technology for mirrorless cameras with Micro Four Thirds image sensors.
The PRO-series of high-quality lenses from Olympus is beginning to take shape. The company has introduced several models and others are expected to come out in the near future.
The Japan-based manufacturer has already announced the development of the 300mm f/4 PRO super-telephoto prime. However, the optic has not been a part of an official product launch event, although its development was confirmed at CP+ 2014 in February 2014.
The rumor mill is claiming that the delay may have something to do with a change of plans. It seems like the company is aiming to add an optical image stabilization technology into the lens, therefore further testing is required.
Olympus 300mm f/4 PRO lens delay caused by image stabilization system
A source is stating that Olympus cameras with in-body image stabilization systems are under-performing when it comes to telephoto focal lengths. Sony has already demonstrated that you can have in-body IS and in-lens IS with the A7II, so the Micro Four Thirds manufacturer can do it, too.
This is why the new version of the 300mm f/4 PRO optic will employ image stabilization. The result will be called Olympus 300mm f/4 IS PRO lens and it will become available at a later date than first expected.
The rumor mill says that the new configuration of the super-telephoto prime will include 17 elements divided in 10 groups with a couple of Super ED elements. An internal focusing mechanism will be available, too, hence the front element will not rotate when focusing.
All of these are pointing towards a very expensive product. When mounted on Micro Four Thirds cameras, the Olympus 300mm f/4 IS PRO lens will offer a 35mm focal length equivalent of 600mm. Anyway, it remains to be seen whether IS will be added into the product or not and if it does, then just how expensive it can get.
Olympus has recently patented a 300mm f/4 lens with built-in IS
In the meantime, Olympus has actually patented a 300mm f/4 lens with built-in image stabilization technology. The patent description
The patent application is dated November 27, 2013, while its approval was granted on June 4, 2015. It also includes 17 elements in 10 groups with two Super ED elements along with inner focusing.
The anti-vibration mechanism is mentioned, too, so the rumors and the patent are most likely talking about the same thing, as stated above. As soon as something new surfaces on the web, we will let you know!