Olympus intros improved 14-150mm lens with weather-sealing, 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye Zuiko PRO lens in development
posted Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 12:14 PM EDT
Alongside the newly announced E-M5 II, Olympus also announced a new and improved, highly versatile 14-150mm lens, as well as a development announcement of a new Zuiko PRO optic -- an 8mm f/1.8 fisheye lens.
The big feature with the new M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II is the addition of full dust- and splash-proof construction, which puts the total number of weather-sealed Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses up to five.
The optical construction has been updated with new lens elements and coatings. The overall number of elements and groups -- 15 elements in 11 groups -- is unchanged, but the new Mark II version sports a single dual-sided aspherical element, one ED glass element, and three HR (High Refractive) elements, as opposed to two aspherical and two ED elements in the older model. The new version also adds Olympus's ZERO (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating on the front element to protect from scratches as well as reducing ghosting and flaring.
A versatile optic, the Olympus 14-150mm II provides a 10.7x magnification or a 28-300mm-equivalent focal length range. While the aperture range is variable and particularly bright, the lens is nevertheless a great choice for portraits, travel photography, landscapes as well as nature and wildlife, or even outdoor sports in good lighting.
The lens also now features Olympus's MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) quiet, internal focusing system. AF performance should be fast and quiet, which should make the lens suitable not only for video recording but also for sound-sensitive subjects such as wildlife.
In addition to the lens, Olympus has also developed a professional-grade filter -- the PRF-D58 PRO -- to provide further protection to the front element and still maintain clear image thanks to dual-sided coatings that suppress ghosting and reflections.
Olympus M.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO Lens In Development
For those needing to shoot super-wide shots, Olympus has announced they are development the next addition to their Zuiko PRO lineup. The Olympus 8mm f/1.8 M.Zuiko PRO is an upcoming fisheye lens that provides a 16mm-equivalent focal length, as well as a very bright f/1.8 aperture.
As with Olympus's other Zuiko PRO lenses, the new 8mm fisheye is fully weather sealed and dustproof. Along with the recently announced Olympus E-M5 II and its PT-EP13 underwater protective housing, Olympus is also developing an underwater lens port for the new 8mm fisheye lens, allowing for ultra-wide photography down to 45 meters (147 ft.).
Further specs about optical construction are not yet available.
The Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II will be available in March 2015 for a retail price of $599.99, which is the same street price as the original model. The Olympus 8mm f/1.8 Zuiko PRO Fisheye is set to be available some time this summer, but pricing details have not yet been announced.
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