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Olympus 9-18mm and 14-150mm for Micro Four Thirds

By dpreview staff on Feb 3, 2010 at 06:00 GMT

Olympus has given more detail of the two Micro Four Thirds lenses it announced in November 2009. First is the tiny 9-18mm F4-5.6 wideangle zoom, which becomes the second lens to feature Olympus's clever collapsing barrel design, making it less than half the size of the corresponding Four Thirds lens for carrying. It offers a 100 percent degree angle-of-view and will be available in May 2010 for about $700. Second is the 14-150mm F4-5.6 superzoom, which again is much smaller and lighter than the equivalent SLR lens; it will be available in June 2010 priced around $600. Both lenses feature lightweight single-element internal focus units for quieter, more responsive autofocus.

Press Release:

OLYMPUS INTRODUCES TWO NEW ULTRA-COMPACT AND LIGHTWEIGHT M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED LENSES

Designed for Any Micro Four Thirds Camera, Including
the New PEN E-PL1 Announced Today

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 3, 2010 – Olympus today announces two new additions to its Micro Four Thirds™ System lens lineup: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 (35mm equivalent 18–36mm) and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 (35mm equivalent 28–300mm). Designed to maximize the performance advantages of the Micro Four Thirds System, the new lenses are significantly lighter and more compact – easily fitting in a jacket pocket.

The new lenses, made with ED (extra-low dispersion) glass for superior image quality, complement the design of the PEN® cameras, including the powerfully simple E-PL1, also announced today, making it the all-in-one package for consumers with any skill level, including those who are new to photography.

The Micro Four Thirds System standard meets the telecentric requirements of dedicated digital design. Light rays strike the imaging element nearly head-on for optimum edge-to-edge image reproduction. It also enables much more compact design than the Four Thirds System standard (or other interchangeable lens systems) because it reduces the outer diameter of the lens mount by 6mm, and the distance from the lens mount to the sensor (the flange back distance) by approximately half. As a result, M.ZUIKO DIGITAL Micro Four Thirds System lenses offer uncompromising professional quality for capturing both still-images and High-Definition (HD) videos, and the lenses are exceptionally compact to make capturing your life more fun.

The super wide-angle M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9–18mm F4.0–5.6 zoom lens (35mm equivalent 18–36mm) offers a 100 percent angle of view, and overturns the rule that super wide-angle zooms have to be big and heavy. With a length of just 49mm and a weight of just 155g, it is less than half the size and 60 percent of the weight of the ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9–18mm F4.0–5.6. With its wide angle of view, including background scenery in group photos is a snap, and it can be used to create unique images with a sense of dramatically exaggerated perspective.

The high-power wide-angle to telephoto M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14–150mm F4.0–5.6 zoom lens is 65 percent smaller and 70 percent lighter than the comparable 10x ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 18–180mm F3.5–6.3, making it ideal for everything from portraits and indoor scenes to sports and landscape photography.

By maximizing the advantages of the Micro Four Thirds System design, compact size, low weight and amazing image quality, the two new lenses significantly expand the photographic potential of the system. The inner focusing mechanism uses a light, compact, single-element unit to enable exceptionally fast, quiet autofocusing for smooth, superior operating ease during still and video capture. The manual focusing mechanism is designed to offer a responsive feel and precise operation, enabling you an affordable, high-quality means to capture your life in stills or HD videos.

Both lenses offer quieter and more responsive AF performance, and provide professional image quality for capturing amazing still images and videos. They are compatible with all Micro Four Thirds System Olympus PEN cameras, and all other current and future cameras that comply with the Micro Four Thirds System standard. When mounted on an Olympus PEN camera, the lenses are stabilized thanks to the camera’s in-body Image Stabilization system and offer effective shake compensation at all focal lengths.

AVAILABILITY
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9–18mm F4.0–5.6 will be available in early May, and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14–150mm F4.0–5.6 will be available in early June 2010.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9–18mm F4.0–5.6 Estimated Street Price: $699.99
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14–150mm F4.0–5.6 Estimated Street Price: $599.99

Additional images - Olympus 9-18mm F4-5.6 collapsing design

Extended to shooting position (9mm) Collapsed for carrying
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