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*September 26, 2005 – *Olympus announced two new professional and two new consumer lenses to its Zuiko line of digital-specific lenses. The lenses are designed to work with Olympus E-series digital SLRs, including the E-1, E-300, and the new EVOLT E-500. Boasting the Four Thirds standard mount, the lenses are built to allow light to hit image sensors directly to ensure sharp contrast and accurate colors. The Zuiko system offers 11 other lenses ranging from 7 mm to 300 mm. Today’s announcements bring the total to 15 Zuiko lenses, making the line one of the most expansive digital-specific series produced by any manufacturer.
Olympus’ two new professional lenses offer a wide aperture that remains open throughout the full range of zoom. The Zuiko Digital ED 35-100mm lens has an impressive f/2.0 aperture that is useful in its equivalent 70-200mm range. This 3.64-pound lens is the first digital lens to keep its f/2.0 aperture through the full range. It is built from 21 elements situated in 18 groups with a Super ED lens and 4 ED lenses. The Zuiko Digital ED 35-100mm lens will be available in October for $2,499.99.
The other professional lens has a slightly smaller aperture of f/2.8, but has a much longer zoom range that is equivalent to 180-500mm in 35 mm format. The Zuiko Digital ED 90-250mm lens also keeps its f/2.8 aperture active throughout the range and has a minimum aperture of f/22 like its Zuiko 35-100mm counterpart. The 90-250mm lens is almost twice as large at a hefty 7.21 pounds, but includes 17 elements in 12 groups including three ED lenses. This large telephoto lens will be available in November for $5,999.99.
Olympus’ consumer lenses are built with the EVOLT E-500 and E-300 users in mind. The Zuiko Digital 18-180mm lens is touted as Olympus’ "first consumer interchangeable SLR ultra zoom lens," according to today’s press release. The 10x optical zoom lens is constructed from 15 elements in 13 groups and has minimum apertures of f/3.5 at its widest zoom level and f/6.3 at its most telephoto. Olympus is marketing this 18-180mm lens as a versatile must-have for consumers who want to go out on the town carrying a single lens. The Zuiko Digital 18-180mm lens will debut in January 2006 at a retail price of $499.99.
The Zuiko Digital 35mm macro lens offers 1:1 magnification and an aperture of f/3.5. It can focus as close as 5.8 inches. Built from 6 elements in 6 groups, this lens is extremely light at only 5.8 ounces. The Zuiko Digital 35mm macro lens will be available in October for $229.99. All of Olympus’ digital specific lenses are dust and splash proof, matching the durable design of the E-series digital cameras. The Zuiko lenses also include reinforced metal mounts to add support and stability. All of the Zuiko Digital-Specific lenses can be upgraded with firmware for future enhancements.