Olympus shows a concept mock-up of a M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens

During the CP+ show Olympus will display a concept M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Zuiko lens brand. This looks like the first step from Olympus towards a high end digital PEN model which is rumored to be announced by the end of the year. Read the whole Zuiko brand story after the break:

In 1936, the Takachiho Corporation, forerunner of today's Olympus Corporation, introduced the first Zuiko lens on the "Semi-Olympus I" camera. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the company's Zuiko lens brand, Olympus Imaging Corporation (President: Masaharu Okubo) will display a camera from the dawn of Olympus Zuiko history, together with a concept M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens during the Camera and Photo Imaging Show (CP+).

The "Semi-Olympus II" introduced in 1938, will be displayed at CP+ in Yokohama, Japan, February 9-12, 2011, along with a mock-up of a new high-end M.ZUIKO DIGITAL single focal lens concept currently being developed for launch later this year.

About the Zuiko brand

It was in 1936 that the Takachiho Corporation, forerunner of today's Olympus Corporation, introduced its first camera, the "Semi-Olympus I". The camera's lens was given the name "Zuiko", a Japanese word that means "light of the gods". It was an auspicious name, chosen partially because the lens had been developed at the "Mizuho Optical Research Laboratory" (in Japanese, the first character of the name "Mizuho" can also be read "zui"), and partially because the corporate name, "Takachiho", is a Japanese word that means "mountain of the gods". But more than the name, it was the quality of the lens that sparked conversation at the time. Ever since, Zuiko lenses have been featured on succeeding generations of Olympus cameras. The Zuiko lenses are widely acclaimed for their remarkable imaging power, and have become one of the world's most respected high-performance lens brands.

Semi-Olympus I (1936)

Launched in 1936, the "Semi-Olympus I" was the first Olympus camera fitted with the newly developed Zuiko lens, which was mounted on a Semi-Proud body supplied by Proud. It was a high-quality camera priced at ¥105 yen in an era when a typical starting wage was ¥75 yen a month.

Semi-Olympus II (1938)

In 1938, Olympus succeeded in developing its own camera body, in addition to its own lens and shutter mechanism. The launch of the first Olympus-developed camera, the "Semi-Olympus II" was an important milestone. The side-opening design of the pressed sheet-metal body was unusual for a medium-format camera. It also featured a reverse Galileo tubular viewfinder.

M.ZUIKO Digital Lenses

M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses are designed exclusively for the Micro Four Thirds System. The size and weight of these lenses is drastically reduced. Recent M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses are equipped with Movie and Still Compatibility (MSC) function, which enables quick, smooth and silent auto focusing during movie recording. Seven different MSC lenses are currently offered from super-wide angle to super- telephoto.

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