In June 2015, Olympus will release two new Micro Four Thirds mirrorless lenses for the M.Zuiko Digital Pro line. The lenses include the M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO ultra-wide-angle lens and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye PRO. In addition, there will be a new firmware update (version 3.1) for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and OM-D E-M5 Mark II (version 1.2), and a limited edition of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II camera.
The 7-14mm is a wide-angle lens that’s weather-sealed at 11 different areas of its construction, making it splash proof and dust proof. Weighing 19 ounces, Olympus says it’s 45-percent lighter than competing lenses. It is capable of shooting close-ups of as little as 3 inches in distance, so it’s great for portraits, yet the bit of zoom lets you get a little closer when needed. Olympus says the lens has an extremely sharp capture capability, even at the very edges of an image. “Three Super ED lenses, one ED lens, and two EDA lenses help to minimize peripheral chromatic aberration, while the ZERO (Zuiko Extra-Low Reflective Optical) Coating aids in minimizing ghosting,” Olympus says. “The lens also boasts an L-Fn button with 27 assignable functions and a Manual Focus Clutch with built-in Focus Distance Meter.”
The 8mm fisheye lens lets you shoot in a unique wide-angle perspective, and the fast f/1.8 aperture will help create some nice background blur. It is also dust proof and splash proof. It can capture a 180-degree diagonal angle of view, and can be used underwater when using a custom dome port (PPO-EP02) with an E-M5 or E-M1 underwater housing. “It is constructed of 17 elements in 15 groups and can capture high resolution at the very edges of an image, even at the maximum aperture of f1.8. ZERO Coating minimizes optical flares and ghosting,” Olympus says.
The M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO lens will retail for $1,300, and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO for $1,000. Olympus will also have a new underwater housing for the E-M1 (PT-EP11), which is compatible with the aforementioned custom dome port and has a depth of nearly 148 feet; no pricing was announced.
The firmware updates also deal with underwater shooting. “In addition to white balance, exposure, and flash compensation, the new Underwater Picture Mode allows the user to adjust aperture and shutter speed operations, ensuring underwater photos with the perfect balance of vivid colors and natural underwater blue tones,” Olympus says. “LV Boost II is also added to the OM-D E-M1 to assist with star scape photography, and Night vision performance is improved for sharper images of even dark subjects such as stars on the Live View screen. LV Boost can be assigned for each function such as Live Composite and M mode.”
Special-edition OM-D E-M5 Mark II Titanium
Olympus announced that 7,000 limited edition of the E-M5 Mark II will be available worldwide. Using the same titanium color of the OM-3T/Ti SLR film cameras from 1994, the Titanium kit comes with a special leather strap, leather card case, and owner’s certificate of authentication. The kit will sell for $1,200.