Olympus has announced two additions to its lineup of micro fourthirds imaging products. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO lens boasts rugged construction and image stabilization in a lightweight package, while the 20-megapixel PEN-F resembles a rangefinder camera from yesteryear, yet is packed with innovative technology.
A Durable, Lightweight Telephoto Lens
The M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO is designed for serious hobbyist and professional photographers who shoot with Olympus micro four-thirds cameras — especially the OM-D E-M1/E-M5 Mark II. It’s a prime, fixed focal length telephoto lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 600mm. Comparable telephoto lenses are often very heavy, but the ED 300mm f/4.0 is about a third of their weight, making handheld shooting possible. Olympus Visionary Anne Day can attest to this. “It’s the most unbelievably sharp lens I’ve used,” she comments, adding that she has recently used it to photograph birds. “For that degree of magnification, a lens like this would normally be twice as big and heavy.” She usually uses a tripod with long telephoto lenses, but she can comfortably use the ED 300mm f/4.0 lens handheld. This lens offers tele-macro functions with a close focusing distance of 1.4m, making it possible to capture sharp close-ups of subjects like flowers, insects and birds.
“I find everything I need in Olympus pro lenses, from wide-angle to telephoto focal lengths,” Day continues. “These lenses render color the same way that Kodachrome does.” She has used Olympus products since 2001, when the company sponsored her book project titled One Day in the Life of Africa. Day recently photographed the Democratic National Convention, and she has also covered three presidential inaugurations. Her other subjects include weddings, portraits, 30 x 40-inch fine-art images and a magazine story on cancer survivors — all shot with Olympus products.
The ED 300mm f/4.0 is the first Olympus interchangeable lens with a built-in image stabilizer. Olympus OM-D E-M1 firmware Version 4.0 and E-M5 Mark II firmware Version 2.0 — along with the lens’s built-in mechanism — work together to maximize image stabilization performance. This lens is built for rugged use in the field; it’s dustproof, as well as splash proof and freeze proof down to temperatures of -20°. It’s ideal for wildlife, sports, concerts and other situations where a long telephoto focal length is necessary. When coupled with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14, it becomes an effective 840mm (35mm equivalent) super telephoto lens.
This lens offers superior optics, even at its widest aperture setting of f/4. Olympus’s proprietary new coating technology, Z Coating Nano, reduces ghosting and flare that frequently occur with backlit shooting. It also produces bright, sharp image quality at a constant aperture. A Manual Focus Clutch mechanism allows you to switch from auto to manual focusing by pulling the focusing ring toward you.
Additional features include a built-in sliding lens hood and a removable tripod base plate with a quick shoe compatible rail. The retail price of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO is $2,499.99.
A Micro Four-Thirds Camera with Retro Style
Although it resembles a classic rangefinder camera, the Olympus PEN-F has a lot more going on than a stylish leather and aluminum body. “It’s designed like a retro camera,” Day says, “but works like a 21st century state-ofthe- art machine.” It features a 20.3- megapixel Live MOS sensor and incorporates 5-axis image stabilization. “This small, compact camera delivers incredible file sizes,” she states. “It’s great in lowlight situations, and I’ve used it at ISO 6400.” Day says that she uses the PEN-F with all of her Olympus lenses.
Many settings are conveniently located on front and rear dials of the PEN-F, including A (aperture), S (shutter), P (program), ISO speed, White Balance and Flash Compensation, as well as an exposure compensation dial. The PEN-F also offers a number of creative controls. For example, the Monochrome Profile Control produces color filter, shading and film grain effects. Brightness can be adjusted with Highlight and Shadow Control. There are two monochrome profile presets for classic film looks — Classic Film B&W for a grainy look, and Classic Film IR for an infrared film look.
Color Profile Control allows you to create artistic photos by adjusting the saturation of 12 colors independently. Additionally, there are two color profile presets that produce the look of color slide film. Along with these creative controls, Art Filters lets you select from artistic effects like Soft Focus, Pin Hole, Gentle Sepia and Pop Art, to name a few. A Live Composite feature enables you to capture light trails.
The PEN-F offers a large, high-definition OLED electronic viewfinder with 1.23x magnification and a 100% field of view. This viewfinder lets you choose between Magnified Display, where you can focus anywhere on the screen; and Focus Peaking, which assists in manual focusing. This camera also features a shutter with a quick 0.044-second release time and a maximum 1/8000 high-speed mechanical shutter. It incorporates FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF for quick, accurate focusing, as well as a Silent Mode for quiet shooting. Face Detection/Eye Detection AF, small target and spot metering are available. Flash modes include Auto, Red Eye, Fill-in, Flash Off and other sync modes. When you want to capture highspeed sports action, this camera delivers 10 fps high-speed sequential shooting.
A wide variety of Olympus interchangeable lenses are compatible with the PEN-F. Plus, you can connect it to a smartphone with WiFi for easy photo sharing. The Olympus PEN-F retails for $1,199.99.
To learn more about these products, visit www.olympusamerica.com.