Olympus’ bright new 17mm prime lens will be in stores soon


posted Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:59 AM EDT

Alongside last September's announcement of the new Olympus PL5 mirrorless camera, the company revealed that it was developing a new lens model: the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8. At the time, few details were available, but today Olympus has made its newest prime lens official, and given it a launch date.

Available from December 2012, the new Olympus 17mm f/1.8 prime is set to launch at a list price of about US$500. With a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 34mm on a Micro Four Thirds camera, the all-metal M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 lens is impressively compact, with a depth of just 1.4 inches. The optical formula includes nine elements in six groups. Of these, three elements are aspherics, one is a dual aspheric, and one is a high refractive element. Olympus has also included its Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical coating.

Other design features include a snapshot focus mechanism with distance and depth scales, and Olympus' low-noise, inner-focusing Movie and Still Compatible AF mechanism. An optional metal lens hood and the lens cap are both designed to match the look of the lens body, and the Olympus VF-1 optical viewfinder accessory is also well-paired with the new lens.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8 lens is just 1.4 inches deep.