Olympus has just announced a new addition for the Micro Four Thirds system, the M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 lens. This lens offers a 35mm equivalent focal length of 34mm, giving it a slighter wider-than-normal angle of view that is ideal for general everyday use. The lens differs from the existing M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/2.8 lens with its two-stop faster f/1.8 maximum aperture and the inclusion of MSC lens technology. The large f/1.8 aperture enables low-light shooting as well as greater control over your focus plane for selective focus or shallow depth-of-field techniques. This lens also features a snap ring that, when extended, reveals a manual-focus distance and depth-of-field scale that perfectly suits video work, fast-paced shooting, or other situations that benefit from zone or hyperfocal distance focusing.
In regard to the optical design, this lens features two dual-sided aspherical lenses (DSA), two aspherical lenses and one high refractive lens (HR). The combination of these lens designs contributes to an overall reduction of various aberrations and color fringing while offering greater sharpness and contrast. Additionally, each of the dual-sided aspherical lenses replaces two or more spherical elements, which further cuts down on optical impairments and overall weight of the lens.
The inclusion of MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) technology enables this lens to focus quickly, accurately and silently. This is especially crucial when working with video applications where noises from the autofocusing system are easily detected during recording. The MSC system functions in conjunction with an internal focusing mechanism to provide faster focusing with little noise, compared to a front-focus mechanism. This internal focus system only requires moving a single element to change focus versus moving an entire group of elements. Since the weight of the focusing element is significantly lessened, the focusing motor can work more efficiently and precisely in regard to continuous focusing situations.
The combination of a moderately wide focal length, fast maximum aperture and zone-focusing capabilities makes this lens ideal for street photography and other everyday situations. Its optical construction helps to render images clearly, sharply, and void of aberrations or other optical defects. The lens’s focus system caters well to both manual and autofocusing, either through use of the MSC technology or the snap ring that provides a visual depth of field scale; both focusing types can be used seamlessly and interchangeably, depending on preference or working situation.
|Lens Mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)||17mm (34mm)|
|Minimum Focus Distance||9.8" / 25 cm|
|Angle of View||64.9°|
|Lens Construction||9 elements in 6 groups (including 2 double-sided aspheric lenses, 2 aspherical lenses, and 1 high refractive lens)|
|Filter Ring Diameter||46mm|
|Dimensions||2.3 x 1.4" / 57.5 x 35.5mm|
|Weight||4.2 oz / 120 g|