Today, Olympus has announced a new, lightweight, ultra wide-angle zoom lens for their Micro Four Thirds (MFT) systems. This versatile lens has the image quality people have come to expect of the PRO range, but with a much wider coverage than most lenses in their line-up.
Olympus Cameras worried many of us when they were sold to Japan Industrial Partners Inc, and I was one of them. I wrote something of an open letter to them through a fear that they would melt the company we know down and use their components and facilities for less photography-centric purposes. Many scoff at Olympus because of the MFT hill they refuse to leave, but few understand just how strong their systems are, particularly with what I would consider to be some of the best in-camera tech on the market.
Fortunately, my fears haven't yet transpired and this morning they announced a brand new PRO series lens. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f/4 PRO lens is an UWA zoom with the 35mm equivalent focal range of 16-50mm, making it extremely versatile. At $1,099, it is also an affordable option for those who need a flexible zoom for landscape photography, for example.
The lens has 16 elements in 10 groups, a brilliant minimum focus distance of just 23cm, and a fixed f/4 widest aperture across the entire focal range. While f/4 doesn't make this lens the quickest in the Olympus range, its speed is not its selling point. It is, in essence, an extremely high-quality kit lens, with its dynamism being the USP. Below is a gallery of some example images taken with the lens by Justin Kauffman, provided by Olympus.