Woo! It's not often we see a company come out with a product ahead of schedule, but Olympus' promised "early 2013" 17mm f1.8 prime has decided it couldn't wait and wants to be a real product as of today. In 2012, not 2013! As with all of Olympus' new primes, this one is clad in metal and is focused at people wanting a bit more of a pro focus for their m4/3 system. This is, of course, going to be a 34mm equivalent, which aims it squarely at those of you yearning for street photography, but will probably appeal to landscapers as well. Or, you know, anyone else, because reviewers who try to tell you this lens is for this and this lens is for that are doing you a huge disservice. This'll be a 34mm equivalent, and if that's what you want to rock for your work then it is ready to roll.
The lens also features a neat "snapshot" focus mode. The focus brings slides back to reveal the usual focus and distance scales of yore so you can set your focus blindly for faster reaction times.
The 17mm f1.8 will be available sometime next month for right at $500, which I'm led to believe does not include the hood. At the time of this writing, Olympus does not have the full product page up, so I can't talk specs just yet. I can say that you can preorder yours here, or hit the jump for the press release.
OLYMPUS INTRODUCES A NEW BRIGHT F1.8 MICRO FOUR THIRDS® LENS FOR BRILLIANT SNAPSHOTS IN CHALLENGING SITUATIONS
New M.ZUIKO® DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 High-Grade Lens Easily Captures Spontaneous Moments in Remarkable Detail
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., November 15, 2012 – Today, Olympus adds to the Micro Four Thirds family of lenses with the release of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 lens (34mm in 35mm equivalent), a bright, wide-angle, single-focal-length lens ideal for snapshot street shooting, landscape photography or capturing subjects in challenging low-light environments. This high quality, compact lens features a stunning metal body and a Snapshot Focus mechanism for pan focusing with a distance indicator.
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 has nine carefully placed lens elements in six groups to deliver sharp images of subjects with beautiful, eye-catching depth of field. The advanced optical system features three aspherical lenses, including a Dual Super Aspherical element to correct aberrations, as well as a High Refractive index lens to correct high spherical aberrations. Each lens element is polished to an ultra-high level of working precision only possible with the progressive techniques developed by Olympus master craftsmen, and carefully assembled to ensure maximum accuracy and reliability. Olympus’ exclusive ZERO (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating) lens coatings are applied to the elements to reduce lens flare and ghost images even when shooting against the light.
The Snapshot Focus mechanism lets users easily take spontaneous, blur-free images by shifting the focusing point to a specific distance. Sliding the focus ring back reveals range markings on the lens barrel, including distance and depth of field scales, which can be used as guides as the user adjusts the focal distance by rotating the ring.
With a total length of just 1.4 inches, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 is incredibly compact and adds to the rapidly growing lineup of Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses that enhance the performance and versatility of Olympus OM-D® and PEN® Compact System Cameras. The sophisticated, textured metallic finish projects a stylish, classic look that complements the design of Olympus® compact system cameras.
Ideal for capturing brilliant still images and high-definition (HD) videos, the lens employs Olympus' proven MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) autofocusing mechanism featuring an inner focus system to drive this single-focal-length lens for fast and quiet focusing.
The optional LH-48B Lens Hood and LC-48B Lens Cap are designed exclusively for the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 and both are elegant in design with a finely textured metallic outer finish and distinctive, classic appearance. The Olympus VF-1 optical viewfinder, originally developed for use with the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f2.8 lens, is also compatible with the new lens.
U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 17mm f1.8 Lens will be available in December. Estimated Street Price: $499.99
For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lenses/m-zuiko-digital-17mm-f1-8.html
Journalists interested in more information, review units and high-resolution images of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 lens should contact Keith Gordon, Mullen Public Relations, 212-885-3218, email@example.com, or Jennifer Colucci, Olympus Imaging America Inc., 484-896-5719, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Olympus website:http://asset.olympusamerica.com/login/
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Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhance people’s lives every day. These include:
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