Attention, Micro Four Thirds videographers! New all-manual Micro Four Thirds lenses with fast apertures are headed your way, and they’re coming from Kowa in Japan. The company has a long history of manufacturing photographic products, but in the recent past they mainly produced field optics such as binoculars, as well as CCTV lenses. Around CP+, Kowa more or less secretly announced a set of three all-manual lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras that look like they could be suited for cine work.
The set comprises of three focal lengths: an 8.5mm (19mm-equivalent), a 12mm (24mm equivalent) and a 25mm (50mm-equivalent.) The lenses come with T-ratings, but the aperture ring is marked for f-values. The maximum apertures of the lenses are f2.8 for the 8.5mm and f1.8 for both the 12mm and the 25mm. Despite the lack of autofocus, these lenses can be seen as direct competitors to the Olympus 12mm f2 and 25mm f1.8, as well as the SLR Magic 12mm T1.6.
Pricing and availability haven’t been announced yet, but Kowa’s dedicated website states a summer 2014 release date for the Prominar series. From the looks and the lens diagrams, we reckon these lenses won’t be cheap. Their bodies look like they’re all-metal, and the optical constructions seem pretty elaborate, with both aspherical and extra-low dispersion elements. In any case, both manual lens aficionados as well as Micro Four Thirds videographers will surely welcome these additions to the system’s lens lineup.
Via Photo Rumors