Olympus: Three new Micro Four Thirds lenses, bevy of new accessories unveiled


posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 2:00 AM EDT


Alongside the attention-grabbing announcement of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 digital SLR today, the Japanese company has also revealed several new lenses and accessories for its Micro Four Thirds camera line. In all, we have two new M.Zuiko lenses to look forward to, along with a nifty fisheye body cap lens, a macro conversion lens, and an unusual, automatic-opening lens cap.

But let's start with the M.Zuiko lenses, as these will doubtless have the greatest appeal for Micro Four Thirds shooters. The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom lens is, says Olympus, the world's slimmest standard zoom lens. With a retracting design, it collapses to just 0.9 inches in depth when not in use, not counting the portion that mates into the camera's lens mount. 35mm-equivalent focal lengths are 28-84mm.

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The lens' telescoping mechanism is electrically powered, so it will extend by itself when you switch the camera on. It also supports power zoom, making it suitable for movie use, and for remote control via live view from a smartphone.


The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm f1.8, meanwhile, is a bright prime, and while it's not a pancake, it's still pretty compact and light. It's intended for portrait shooting, says Olympus, but also focuses to as near as 9.8 inches for closeups. 35mm-equivalent focal length is 50mm.


The fisheye body cap lens doesn't carry M. Zuiko branding -- instead, it's badged as an Olympus lens. Like the company's earlier (and surprisingly popular) body cap lens, the new body cap fisheye is extremely compact, and has very simple construction. With five elements in four groups, it has a fixed f/8.0 aperture and a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 18mm (9mm actual). Focus is adjusted with a press-lever that also controls the lens barrier, and which switches between pan-focus and an 8-inch macro position.


Also revealed is the MCON-PO2 macro converter, compatible with six Olympus M.Zuiko Micro Four Thirds lenses. We don't currently have a list of which optics these are, but the converter will adapt them for macro shooting.


Finally, the Automatic Opening Lens Cap LC-37C is an unusual cap that works only with the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ lens. When the camera is switched off, the cap automatically closes. Switch it back on, and the cap opens. Couldn't be easier!

Pricing and availability haven't been disclosed for any of these new additions as of press time.

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