Zuiko Digital lens range grows ever larger, now we just need some new camera bodies to go with them
8mm f/4 fisheye official announcement
Olympus has announced its thirteenth E-System Zuiko Digital lens, which is an 8mm f/4 fisheye, equivalent to a 16mm focal length in 35mm system terms. Available from January next year, the new lens will round off a pretty comprehensive Zuiko Digital line up, including three fast zooms with constant apertures throughout the zoom range, including a rectilinear wide angle zoom with a widest setting equivalent to 14mm.
Modern fisheye lenses add drama through characteristically curved panoramic views
Now, of course, all we need is some more camera bodies to use these lenses with! The Olympus E-1 is a fine camera but it's two years old and eclipsed by newer competition, while the only other E-System camera you can buy, the new budget-priced E-300, has had a mixed reception from reviewers despite offering eight megapixels in resolution.
Current and scheduled Digital Zuiko lens models:
*8mm f/4 fisheye (16mm equiv.)
7-14mm f/4.0 (14-28mm equiv.)
11-22mm f/2.8-3.5 (14-28mm equiv.)
*14-35mm f/2.0 (28-70 equiv.)
14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 (28-90mm equiv.)
14-54mm /f2.8-3.5 (28-108mm equiv.)
50mm f/2.0 macro (100mm equiv.)
*35-100mm f/2.0 (70-200mm equiv.)
40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 (80-300mm equiv.)
50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 (100-400mm equiv.)
*90-250mm f/2.8 (180-500mm equiv.)
150mm f/2.0 (300mm equiv.)
300mm f/2.8 (600mm equiv.)
* denotes lens is under development
With three lenses currently available from Sigma on top of the Zuiko Digital family, optics support for the Four Thirds platform, of which the E-System is currently the sole example, is looking very good.
All this effort into devising new and interesting lenses must herald some new camera bodies sooner or later, though the only word we have had is that Olympus and Panasonic will reveal some new bodies some time between now and next February.
Main Features of the new Zuiko Digital 8mm fisheye:
1. Fisheye Lens with 180º Field of View Diagonal to the Image Sensor
This diagonal fish-eye lens has an 180º field of view diagonally to the Four Thirds image sensor. Its focal distance is 8mm (equivalent to 16mm in a 35mm camera). It can be used to create out-of-the-ordinary photographic images that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as humorous representations of the subject using extreme barrel-distortion around the periphery, or images with exaggerated perspective made possible by the extremely deep depth of field that is a feature of fisheye lenses. Because this lens is specifically designed for digital cameras and conforms to the 'Four Thirds System,' it will provide reliable photographic performance even at the periphery of images.
2. Super-Close-Up Capability - Just 2cm from Lens Front to Subject
With a minimum focusing distance of 13cm (2cm from the front of the lens to the subject), this lens can be used to approach the subject aggressively for wide-macro photography. This feature is the key to the creation of images with exaggerated perspective effects.
3. Standard Lens for Underwater Photography
Because of the different refractive indexes of air and water, the angle of field underwater will be approximately 153º *, and since it is more difficult to capture light underwater, it is necessary to be closer to the subject. The super-close-up capability of this lens allows photography with the subject just 2cm from the edge of the lens (0cm from the edge of the PPO-E04) to achieve the wide-macro effects for which fisheye lens are famous.
When used with the PPO-E04 underwater lens port (designed specifically for fisheye lens)
ED Lens Element Used to Minimize Chromatic Aberration
By using ED lens element, Olympus has eliminated peripheral chromatic aberration, which cannot be fully corrected with conventional optical glasses. The result is excellent resolution and contrast.
Multi-Coating Process to Reduce Ghosting and Flaring Even against the Light
Olympus has used a multi-coating process to minimize ghosting and flaring.
Circular Aperture for Soft, Gentle Defocusing of Background
By using a seven-blade system, Olympus has created a circular aperture that allows an attractive, realistic defocusing effect from close to the aperture.
Dust and Water Droplet Resistance for Enhanced Reliability
Exterior parts of the lens have been sealed to provide excellent protection against water droplets and dust. This ensures reliable performance even under the tough shooting conditions experienced by professional photographers.