DPReview previewed the new Olympus lens and found that it is just about the same size as the new Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens. The lens has also been previewed by Four Thirds User.
The $899 price of the new Olympus lens has been heavily discussed in the various forums. It's worth noting that the Olympus features an optical design that makes extensive use of special glass materials including three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements to optimally correct aberrations, while the neither the Canon nor the Nikon contain any special elements.
M. Zuiko Digital ED 78mm f/1.8 Lens Diagram
While DPReview are waiting for a production sample of the lens to show any image samples, they commented on impressive sharpness, pleasing bokeh, and specifically mentioned that there's "only a hint of the axial chromatic aberration you'd expect on a lens like this". One of the first things I noticed about the official full resolution image samples posted by Olympus is that axial CA, aka bokeh color fringing, seems unusually well controlled when compared to similar lenses like the Canon EF 85/1.8 and Nikon 85/1.8G.
Olympus refers to the new lens as having "Top class image quality among all M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses with sharp, clear imaging performance with aperture fully open at f1.8".
M. Zuiko Digital ED 78mm f/1.8 MTF chart
- Focal Length: 75mm (35mm equivalent focal length 150mm)
- Lens Construction: 10 elements in 9 Groups (3 ED lenses, 2 HR lenses)
- Angle of View: 16 Degree
- AF System: High-speed Imager AF (MSC)
- Closest Focusing Distance: 0.84m
- Maximum Image Magnification: 0.10x
- Minimum Field Size: 173x130mm
- Number of Blades: 9 (Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
- Maximum Aperture: F1.8
- Minimum Aperture: F22
- Filter Size: 58mm
- Dimensions: 64 x 69mm
- Weight: 305g
- Box Contents: Lens Cap (LC-58E), Lens Rear Cap (LR-2), Instruction Manual, Olympus Worldwide Warranty Card
- Related accessories (Option): Protection Filter (PRF-D58 PRO), Lens Hood (LH-61F), Lens Cap (LC-61), Lens Case (LSC-0918)