In conjunction with tonight's E-520 release, Olympus has offered up details about a new consumer-grade wide-angle lens for the Four Thirds system.
The lightweight and compact Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 provides the equivalent of an 18mm lens at the wide end on Olympus's DSLRs, offering amateur shooters a reasonably priced wide-angle lens that accounts for the Four Thirds system's 2x crop factor.
Measuring three inches in length and weighing in at around half a pound, the new digital-specific lens avoids the size and weight normally associated with extreme wide-angle optics.
The new glass joins Olympus's pro-level 7-14mm f/4 as the only extreme wide-angle options currently available from the manufacturer. With a price tag topping $1500, Olympus shooters' former sole option was out of the financial reach of many hobbyist photographers, making the introduction of the new 9-18mm lens that much more exciting.
Full specs on the new lens were not available at the time of this story, but Olympus fans who have been eagerly awaiting an affordable wide-angle lens will have to wait just a bit longer: the 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6, which is expected to retail for around $600, won't be available for purchase until this fall.