Olympus is dropping three new SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive, their proprietary AF tech) Zuiko lenses and a plethora of new accessories to go with its newest DSLR flagship, the E-3. First up is the ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD lens, which Olympus claims "delivers the fastest autofocus speed in the world" when paired with the E-3.
Next is an improved ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD lens—Olympus says it focuses twice as fast as its predecessor thanks to SWD. Completing the trio is the ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD lens, which is touted as "the world's first standard zoom lens to rival fixed focal length lens speed with a bright F2.0 aperture" and the flagship lens of the Zuiko Digital series. Ending the rollout is the compact EC-20 2x teleconverter, which doubles the focal length of the attached lens.
Now for the numbers that matter. The 12-60mm lens streets next month for a grand; 50-200mm hits in December for $1200, along with the teleconverter for $480; and the 14-35mm lens will make its retail appearance in first quarter '08 for a hefty $2300.
OLYMPUS ANNOUNCES THREE NEW ZUIKO DIGITAL LENSES FOR QUIET, ULTRA-FAST AUTOFOCUS
High-Performance 2x Teleconverter Doubles Focal Lengths for Twice the Power
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., October 16, 2007 - Launching together with the new Olympus E-3 Digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera, Olympus proudly adds three new ZUIKO DIGITALâ„¢ lenses to its line of 100 percent digital-specific optics. These innovative lenses employ Olympus' newly-developed Supersonic Wave Driveâ„¢ (SWD) technology inside to provide quiet, ultra-fast autofocus (AF) speed, and offer several impressive distinctions, including: •New ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD, in combination with the E-3, delivers the fastest autofocus speed in the world; •The ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD focuses twice as fast as the previous ZUIKO DIGITAL lens with that focal length; and •The ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD joins the existing ZUIKO DIGITAL 35-100mm f2.0 as the brightest fixed aperture lenses in their class.
Moreover, a new ultra-compact, high-performance ZUIKO DIGITAL EC-20 2x Teleconverter doubles the focal lengths of any lens attached from the wide selection of FourThirds and Olympus E-System lenses, for twice the telephoto power. Now the ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD (100-400mm equivalent), combined with the EC-20, will provide a huge equivalent zoom range of 200-800mm.
"With these three new SWD lenses, we've got outstanding glass to match the high quality performance of our flagship E-3 digital SLR," said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "In testing, the autofocus speed of the 12-60mm has proven to be the fastest in the world, and the 14-35mm is the world's first standard zoom lens to rival fixed focal length lens speed with a bright F2.0 aperture. The fast-focusing 50-200mm telephoto that's ideal for sports and action photography, these three lenses fulfil many of a photographer's focal length needs."
All three SWD lenses will be manufactured at the Olympus Tatsuno Plant in Japan, which is equipped with the highest state-of-the-art production technology in the field of optical equipment.
Supersonic Wave Drive Technology Olympus-proprietary SWD technology has enabled an ultra-fast, whisper-quiet, high-precision AF system. Two compact, high-powered SWD devices power autofocus at an ultra-high speed by exciting unique elliptical oscillations, while an ultra-compact 5.3mm x 4.3mm optical encoder detects and controls the lens drive position using direct rotation detection without reduction gear. This enables it to achieve a level of precision that's accurate to 5 microns (5/1000 mm). When used in combination with the new E-3, which offers improved AF computation and lens-body communication rates, the SWD motors provide the fastest focusing speed of approximately 170 ms (0.17 seconds).
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD The ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD is a high-performance standard zoom lens that covers a zoom range equivalent to 24 to 120mm on a 35mm camera lens. Special optical glass elements are used to correct various types of aberrations, while the 100 percent digital design ensures high-definition performance with clear, crisp images from edge to edge. This lens also boasts impressive close-up shooting capability, allowing users to shoot from as close as 25cm throughout the zoom range.
The lens' autofocus is powered by Olympus' breakthrough SWD. Designed to be the world's fastest AF system, this extraordinary autofocus drive provides both high speed and high precision while operating with lower noise than ever. Optimized for use with the new E-3, this lens enables the camera to demonstrate the full power of its high-speed capability, providing the fastest autofocus available in the world using a standard zoom lens.
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD The ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD is a high-performance super-telescopic zoom lens that features, for the first time, the SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive) autofocus system and covers a zoom range equivalent to 100 to 200mm of a 35mm camera lens. ED lens elements are used extensively to correct the colour blurring that can occur when telescopic lenses are extended to their maximum focal length, while the digital-dedicated design ensures high-definition performance with clear, crisp images from edge to edge. Close-up shooting capability is also superb, with a minimum shooting distance of just 1.2 meters throughout the zoom range.
Autofocus is powered by Olympus' breakthrough SWD, enabling this lens to achieve an AF speed about two times faster2 than the previous ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 model. The ideal partner for the E-3, this lens maximizes that camera's high-speed autofocus capability, and with its superior tracking capability, this lens is ideal for sports photography and outdoor shooting applications.
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD The ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD (equivalent to 28mm to 70mm) is the world's first standard zoom lens to feature a large f2.0 aperture3. Boasting industry-leading imaging performance, this lens is a worthy addition to the Olympus Super High Grade (SHG) series of lenses. Together with the ED 7-14mm f4.0, ED 35-100mm f2.0 and ED 90-250mm f2.8 lenses, this lens completes Olympus' series of professional zoom lenses with fixed F-values.
The flagship of the ZUIKO DIGITAL series, this lens was developed to meet the requirements of the most demanding professionals. It includes reliable splash- and dust-proofing, Olympus' exclusive SWD-driven ultra-fast AF system, a mechanically interlocked manual focusing mechanism and a large, petal-shaped hood with a polarization filter control window.
With its unique f2.0 aperture providing bright viewing with a sharp subject and a soft blurring of the background, this lens epitomizes the versatility, power and creative freedom made possible by the Four Thirds System and is ideal for almost any application - from landscapes and portraits to indoor shooting and photojournalism.
ZUIKO DIGITAL 2x Teleconverter EC-20 The ZUIKO DIGITAL 2x Teleconverter EC-20 is an ultra-compact, high-performance lens capable of doubling the focal length of the master lens. It can be mounted on any ZUIKO DIGITAL lens, dramatically extending lens performance and putting more subjects within the photographer's range without affecting mobility or ease of use.
Complementing the already available ZUIKO DIGITAL 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14, the EC-20 adds new versatility to the ZUIKO DIGITAL line-up, providing a convenient, cost-effective solution to the demands of telescopic shooting, as well as wide-angle macro and ultra-high-magnification shooting.
Availability The ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD will be available in November 2007. The ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD will be available in December 2007 The ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD will be available in the first quarter of 2008. The ZUIKO DIGITAL 2x Teleconverter EC-20 will be available in December 2007.
U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD Estimated Street Price: $999.99 ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD Estimated Street Price: $1,199.99 ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD Estimated Street Price: $2,299.99 ZUIKO DIGITAL 2x Teleconverter EC-20 Estimated Street Price: $479.99