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Lenses & Accessories

Olympus has announced a range of five lenses (four available initially), three flash units and several other accessories which make up the brand new 'E System' to complement the E-1 digital SLR. For our preview we had the 14 - 54 mm (28 - 108 mm equiv.) and 50 - 200 mm (100 - 400 m equiv.) lenses as well as the FL-50 flash unit.


Lenses & Converters *1 Flashes & Accessories Other Accessories
• ED 50 mm F2.0 Macro
• E 14-54 mm F2.8 - F3.5
• ED 50 - 200 mm F2.8 - F3.5
• ED 300 mm F2.8
• E 11 - 22 mm F2.8 - F3.5 *2
• EC-14 Teleconverter (1.4x)
• EX-25 Extension tube
• FL-50
• RF-11 Ring Flash
• TF-22 Twin Flash
• FP-1 Flash Power Group
• SHV-1 Fast charging set

• BLM-2 Battery Pack (incl.) *3
• BCM-2 Battery Charger (incl.) *3
• HLD-2 Power Battery Holder
• BLL-1 Battery Pack (for HLD-2)
• BCL-1 Battery Charger (for BLL-1)
• AC-1 AC Adapter
• FS-1 Focusing screen (incl.) *3
• FS-2 Focusing screen
• EP-1 Eyecup (incl.) *3
• EP-2 Eyecup

     
*1 35mm equivalent focal length (field of view) is twice the actual lens focal length
*2 Available towards the end of 2003
*3 Included with E-1 Digital SLR


'E System' Lenses

Olympus will introduce the four lenses announced at PMA along with a 11 - 22 mm (21 - 44 mm equiv.) F2.8 - F3.5 lens by the end of 2003. The first four lenses cover a good range of capability, the most versatile of them being the 14 - 54 mm (28 - 108 mm equiv.), the 50 - 200 mm (100 - 400 mm equiv.) and 300 mm (600 mm equiv.) will be attractive to sports and nature photographers. One thing we aren't seeing (yet) is image stabilization, something I would have expected especially considering Olympus's use of such on their consumer digital cameras and the long reach of the 300 mm lens.

ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50 mm F2.0 Macro lens
• 100 mm equiv.
• 11 elements in 10 groups (inc 1 ED element)
• Minimum aperture: F22
• Filter: 52 mm
• 0.51x maximum magnification (macro 1:2) *
• Weight: 300 g (10.6 oz)
• US: $599 MSRP
Technical diagram
MTF Chart
ZUIKO DIGITAL E 14 - 54 mm F2.8 - F3.5
• 28 - 108 mm equiv. (3.9x zoom)
• 15 elements in 11 groups (3 aspherical)
• Minimum aperture: F22
• Filter: 67 mm
• Weight: 435 g (15.3 oz)
• US: $599 MSRP
Technical diagram
MTF Chart
ZUIKO DIGITAL E 11 - 22 mm F2.8 - F3.5
• 22 - 44 mm equiv. (2.0x zoom)
More information
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50 - 200 mm F2.8 - F3.5
• 100 - 400 mm equiv. (4.0x zoom)
• 16 elements in 15 groups (inc 3 ED elements)
• Minimum aperture: Unknown
• Filter: 67 mm
• Weight: 1070 g (2.4 lb)
• US: $1199 MSRP
Technical diagram
MTF Chart
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300 mm F2.8 lens
• 600 mm equiv.
• 13 elements in 11 groups (inc 3 ED elements)
• Minimum aperture: F22
• Filter: n/a (Drop-in filter)
• ND4, ND8 and polarizing filters included
• Weight: 3300 g (7.2 lb)
• US: $7,999 MSRP
Technical diagram
MTF Chart
EC14 1.4x Teleconverter Lens
• 1.4x Focal Length
• 6 elements in 5 groups
• One stop decrease maximum aperture
• Weight: 170 g (6 oz)
• US: $549 MSRP
Technical diagram

* Can be improved to 0.98x (macro 1:1) with EX-25 extension tube

In addition to the lenses above are the EC-14 Teleconverter (1.4x focal length boost, $549) and EX-25 Extension tube (for close-up photography with the 50 mm Macro lens).

Below are some of our own images of the two lenses we had for the short loan period. At the time of announcement Olympus made an important point about the fact that lenses for this system will be smaller and lighter than the equivalent 35 mm lens (without sacrificing quality). This appears to be more true for the telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses.

ZUIKO DIGITAL E 14 - 54 mm F2.8 - F3.5 (28 - 108 mm equiv.)
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50 - 200 mm F2.8 - F3.5 (100 - 400 mm equiv.)
4/3 System lens mount Olympus ED 50 - 200 mm (F2.8 - F3.5)
vs. Canon EF 100 - 400 mm IS (F3.5 - F5.6)


'E System' Flash units

Olympus has announced a total of three flash units, the versatile FL-50 (which looks to become the de facto standard flash for the E-1) as well as the RF-11 Ring Flash and TF-22 Twin Flash, neither of which have any published specifications. In addition the exist FL-40 flash unit is fully compatible with the E-1.

FL-50 Flash

We will explore the capabilities of the FL-50 flash unit in our full review. At this stage it's sufficient to say that it appears to be as sophisticated as Canon's 550EX with full articulation, additional AF assist, a wide range of program options and linked zoom.

Specifications:

  • N50 at 42 mm (equiv. to 85 mm on 35 mm camera) / GN28 at 12 mm (equiv. to 24 mm on 35 mm camera)
  • TTL auto, auto and manual modes can be set
  • Bounce and swivel head
  • FP mode - enables flash synchronization at even the highest shutter speeds (1/4,000 sec. with Olympus E-1)
  • Automatic adjustment of flash coverage to correspond to image area when zooming
  • Built-in diffuser can be used to obtain wide-angle coverage at 8 mm (equivalent to 16 mm on a 35 mm camera)
  • Flash intensity control (e.g. in 1/3EV steps with Olympus E-1)
  • Multiple power options - AA batteries, LB-01 lithium battery pack, SHV-1 fast-charging high-voltage set, FP-1 flash power grip
  • US price: $499 MSRP
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