As one of the pioneers of Four Thirds photography, and then the Micro Four Thirds enhancement, Olympus has continued to move the technology forward. During early 2012, the company introduced the OM-D E-M5, with its retro design; tilting LCD screen; 5-axis, built-in image stabilization system; 16-MP Live MOS image sensor; and the world’s fastest autofocus system at the time of its release. Many still consider the OM-D E-M5 the “best” mirrorless camera in the marketplace. Then, during September 2012, Olympus released the PEN E-PL5 and PEN E-PM2, the latest in the PEN Lite and PEN Mini series, respectively. Olympus’ goal is to give these cameras many of the features and capabilities that have made the OM-D E-M5 such a winner, but at approximately one-third less cost, so high quality mirrorless camera technology is available to more photographers.
As Olympus has released new mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILCs), it has also increased its line of lenses for these cameras; and the latest is the M.ZUIKO 17mm f/1.8, to be available during December 2012.
At 17mm, or 34mm in equivalent 35mm format, this new Olympus lens for MILCs is an excellent focal length for stunning landscapes as well as travel photography of people and places. Its maximum aperture of f/1.8 also makes it a great choice for low-light photography: family events and parties without the use of a flash, architectural interiors and high-contrast images from the streets.
The Olympus M.ZUIKO 17mm f/1.8 lens has a classy, silver metallic finish. At approximately 4.25 oz. (120g) and dimensions of approximately 2.25 x 1.4” (57.5 x 35.5mm), this lens is compact and adds very little weight to any Olympus mirrorless camera.
The M.ZUIKO 17mm f/1.8 also delivers exceptional image quality and sharply rendered photos and videos with its optical configuration. The 9 lens elements are in six groups, and include 3 aspherical lenses, two of which are a Dual Super Aspherical element to control aberrations and a High Refractive index lens to help reduce high spherical aberrations. Olympus has also added its ZERO, or ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating, to each lens, which controls lens flare and ghosting.
Olympus’ latest lens for its mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras is also built with what the company calls, Snapshot Focus. The focus ring moves back from its standard position providing the photographer with a selection of distance and depth-of-field ranges. With these guides and the smooth operation of the focus ring, photographers are able to select a focus point at a specific distance and quickly capture a sharp, candid image they might have missed or it would have been blurred.
The Olympus M.ZUIKO 17mm f/1.8 lens also features the company’s MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) autofocus mechanism, which ensures quick and silent focusing.
Accessories include the optional LH-48B Lens Hood and LC-48B Lens Cap. In addition, the new Olympus lens is also compatible with the VF-1 optical viewfinder.
The Olympus M.ZUIKO 17mm f/1.8 lens is available for pre-order from Adorama for $499.99
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