Olympus' new street-shooter-friendly prime lens

The company adds a 12mm f1.8 lens to its Micro Four Thirds lineup

Olympus America

Olympus continues its trend of releasing fast, Micro Four Thirds-mount (MFT) prime lenses with the 17mm f1.8 (34mm equivalent). Incorporating the same design as the 12mm f2 -- metallic finish and a pull-down ring for distance-based focusing -- the lens sounds like a solid addition for street-shooting MFT photographers.

MountMicro Four Thirds
Focal range17mm
Aperture rangef1.8 - f22
Aperture blades7
Minimum focus distance9.8
Angle of view65 degrees
Elements9: 3 aspherical,
1 high-refractive index
Filter diameter46mm
Minimum length1.4 inches
Maximum length1.4 inches
Weight4.2 (est)
MSRP499.99
AvailableDecember 2012

The lens uses the company's MSC internal focus technology for video-friendly operation, and uses the latest of Olympus' ZERO (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating) coatings for improved clarity and reduced flare and ghosting.

My one disappointment: the seven-bladed aperture. It's not bad, but it's the minimum you want for out-of-focus highlights that don't appear polygonal.

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