The new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f3.5-6.3 represents a 16.6x zooming range which makes it useful for a wide selection of applications, but is obviously particularly suited to any sort of photography where being able to travel light is an advantage. Externally, the new zoom is a fraction under 100 millimetres in length and weighs in at a very manageable 455 grams. The screwthread filter fitting diameter is 72 millimetres.
The external construction is weather-sealed to provide protection against dust and moisture, which Olympus claims is to the same level as its PRO series lenses. To further enhance its versatility, the 12-200mm zoom has a minimum focusing distance of 22 centimetres at 12mm and 70 centimetres at 200mm which gives a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2.2.
The optical construction comprises 16 elements in 11 groups of which no less than ten elements are special types – three aspherical elements, two with ‘Super ED’ (Super Extra-Low dispersion), two with extra-low dispersion characteristics, one ‘Super HR’ (Super High Refractive index) element and two ‘HR’ elements. Collectively, these special elements correct for a range of optical aberrations including chromatic and spherical, as well as distortion. Additionally, Olympus’s ‘ZERO’ (Zuiko Extra-Low Reflection Optical) multi-coating is employed to minimise ghosting and flare.
The new zoom also employs Olympus’s ‘MSC’ (Movie and Still Compatible) stepper-motor autofocusing drive – with an internal focusing group – to give faster, quieter and smoother focusing operations. Olympus says that there is minimal shifting of the angle-of-view during focusing (a.k.a. ‘focus breathing’) which is particularly important when shooting video.
The new M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f3.5-6.3 zoom is priced at $1299. For more information visit http://www.olympus.com.au