This lens is about making a statement:
"Look at what Olympus can do."
Although few customers would actually buy it.
But Olympus feels that it is important to prove that they can actually make such a lens.
The following lenses are also about making a statement and are not practical for normal people to afford, buy or use:
Leica APO-Telyt-R 1600mm F5.6 lens (Price is USD$2 Million)
Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens (Price is USD$8,000)
Fisheye Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 lens (Price is USD$160,000)
Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 1700mm F4 (Price is so expensive they do not even want to tell you)
I doubt it will be cheap and small. In the past they had that 90-250/2.8 which to me is super Expensive and HUGE.
Indeed. If you're analysing this lens (and for a lens costing this sort of money you would research it pretty carefully) I think you'll find the advantages gear more and more towards the m43 setup the longer the focal length one needs.I don't think anyone should write off the Olympus 150-400 so quickly. If you analyze the
all the options from other brands, it has a niche where other brands of DSLRs has not come out with.
Indeed. If you're analysing this lens (and for a lens costing this sort of money you would research it pretty carefully) I think you'll find the advantages gear more and more towards the m43 setup the longer the focal length one needs.
Most of the variable zooms from other systems that we're casually comparing to drops to its lowest max aperture quickly into the focal length range. So even from an equivalence POV the Olympus setup is competitive, particularly at the longer end of the zoom range. And for this type of lens it's often the long end that makes or breaks it.
But this is before we even take into account the optical performance of the 150-400mm. (it's f/4.5 btw) which is an unknown atm. But the optical performance will determine how high this lens will be priced.
As a quick equivalence comparision, in FF terms we have:
1.) E-m1.3 with 150-400 f/4.5 = 300-800mm f/9 + 800-100mm f/11.25 all at 20MP
2.) A7R4 with 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 = 100-115mm f/4.5, 116-161mm f/5, 162-400mm f/5.6 all at 61MP.
Then cropping: 400-640mm f/5.6-f/9 from 61MP to 24MP, Then 640-800mm f/9-11.2 from 24MP to 15.25MP, Then 800-1000mm f/11.2-14 from 15MP to 9.7MP.
3.) A7R4 with 200-600 f/5.6-6.3 = 200-299mm f/5.6-6.3, 300-600mm f/6.3 all at 61MP.
Then cropping: 600-840mm f/6.3-9 from 61MP to 31MP, 840-1000mm f/9-10.5 from 31mp to 24MP.
Hence why I think the 200-600 type lenses are more of the 150-400's competition in FF or APS-C.
So the Olympus 150-400 needs to be smaller than the 200-600's (not 100-400's) and optically clearly better to attract the birders and other types of photographers that regularly want more than 600mm. If it can achieve those things, it can be a compelling option for that niche.
As for price, again I think it comes down to performance, optical foremostly. That'll justify the price but you're right, if they price it too high they're going to loose a big chunk of the market no matter the performance. They'll be wise to make it a bit less exotic but keeping it under $4kUSD.
The Panasonic comparison is easy enough given they are both native m43 lenses. And as expected given the aperture differences, the Panasonic lens will be significantly smaller and cheaper.I think you should use the EM1.3 + Panasonic 100-400 F4-6.3 to compare it with the Sony 200-600 F5.6-6.3.
as both are variable aperture lenses and thus smaller and lighter.
The Olympus 150-400 F4 is a not only 1 to 1.5 stops wider, it is also fixed aperture and has a built in TC,
so it is not far to expect it to be lighter than the Sony 200-600.
Both Tamron and Sigma make 150mm to 600mm F5-6.3 zooms for full frame. Sigma gets the better reviews than Tamron.
Both cheaper than lenses from original manufacturers. Amazon price for Sigma is about SGD$1,440.
If Olympus 150mm to 400mm for MFT is priced very high, a few will be sold. But the remaining 97% made and in stock will remain unsold.
It does not matter.
The Olympus parent company is mentally prepared to lose more than USD$100 Million Each Year for the next 10 years on Olympus Camera Imaging Division.
So who cares? It is a vanity project for Tokyo Olympics 2020, which may be cancelled if virus infected increases a lot in Japan.