Toda Seiko announces its first interchangeable lens for X-mount cameras


posted Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM EST


For many photographers, the words "Made in Japan" on a lens have almost religious significance. With the move by many camera manufacturers to manufacture their products outside of Japan where labor is less expensive, those three magic words are harder and harder to find. There's a relative newcomer in the interchangeable-lens game, though, and it's products are Japanese-made, something that could perhaps give it a little jump start -- although its first product is curious indeed.

Tokyo-based Toda Seiko, which sells its products under the Digital King brandname, isn't completely new to optics. The company already makes a wide range of accessory lenses that attach to your interchangeable lens or your camera's built-in lens, as well as addon lenses for smartphones. The new announcement, though, is a variant of its first true interchangeable lens, currently available in Sony E-mount trim, and coming soon as a Fuji X-mount variant.


The new optic is a fully manual 12mm diagonal fisheye with a dim f/7.4 fixed aperture. You read that right -- the aperture cannot be changed, which is pretty unusual for an interchangeable lens. Nor, too, can focus be adjusted, even if there's what appears to be a focus ring. (It's apparently a trim piece.) Instead, the lens has a fixed focus design, and everything from around 20 inches (50cm) to infinity should be roughly in focus. The lens has a relatively simple optical formula with four elements in four groups, and 7-layer multicoating.

Dimensions of the optic are 2.6 inches (65mm) in diameter, and 2.3 inches (59mm) in length. Weight is 7.8 ounces (220g) excluding the lens caps. Pricing in the Japanese market is set at ¥25,000, which is around US$250 at current exchange rates.