The company claims that the 1.4-metre close-focusing distance makes the lens ideal for professionals seeking ‘top-notch lenses that match usability of their small-format, Micro Four Thirds cameras’.

It also states that, when attached to the OM-D E-M1 or OM-D E-M5 Mark II, for example, an AF speed of under 300ms is possible.

Olympus sets great store by the compact quality of the lens, which measures 227mm in length.

Billed as dustproof, freezeproof and splashproof, the 300mm f/4 IS Pro is due out in the spring, priced £2,199.99.

The new lens also includes six-step image stabilisation.

In 35mm terms, the focal length equates to 600mm.

The announcement coincides with this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA.

ID: 22435

Key features, as per Olympus press release, include:

• Barrel-mounted one-finger photo clutch for AF/pre-set focus switching

• IS On/Off switch for tripod use, L-Fn switch for 27 assignable functions

• Arca Swiss-compatible for quick tripod mount and release (with adapter)

• Robust design: dust-, freeze-, and splashproof

• Focal Length: 600mm (as 35mm equivalent)

• Angle of view: 4.1°

• Closest focusing distance: 1.4m

• Lens configuration: 17 Elements in 10 groups

• Max magnification: 0.48x

• Minimum field size: 72.1 × 54.2mm

• Max aperture: 1:4.0 Min aperture: 1:22

• Diameter: 92.5mm Length: 227mm

• Filter diameter: 77mm

• Weight without tripod adapter: 1270g

• Weight with tripod adapter: 1475g