Olympus Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Zuiko Brand Lenses

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Center Valley, PA—Olympus marked the 75th anniversary of Zuiko brand lenses during the Camera and Photo Imaging ShowOlympus Zuiko Lens (CP+) in Yokohama, Japan, February 9-12.

The Zuiko brand was born in 1936 with the introduction of the world’s first Zuiko lens in the Semi-Olympus I camera. At CP+, its successor camera, the Semi-Olympus II (introduced in 1938), was displayed to commemorate this historic milestone. Throughout its history, Olympus has worked to make the Zuiko line more compact and powerful, with lens availability for advanced and amateur-level camera aficionados alike.

Olympus Zuiko Lens anniversaryTo demonstrate the company’s ongoing dedication to “the development of state-of-the-art, high-performance products,” a mock-up of a new M.Zuiko single focal lens concept was also presented at the show. This high-end Micro Four Thirds lens is currently being developed for launch later this year.

A Look Back
The Takachiho Corporation, forerunner of today’s Olympus Optical Co., Ltd., introduced its first Semi Olympus Icamera, the Semi-Olympus I, in 1936, with its lens mounted on a Semi-Proud body supplied by Proud. 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 and partially because the corporate name, Takachiho, is a Japanese word that means “mountain of the gods.” In 1938, Olympus developed its own camera body, in addition to its own lens and shutter mechanism, and launched the Semi-Olympus II.

Since then, Zuiko lenses have been featured on succeeding generations of Olympus cameras. Today, M.Zuiko lenses are designed exclusively for the Micro Four Thirds system, with their size and weight drastically reduced. Recent M.Zuiko lenses are equipped with a movie and still compatibility (MSC) function, to enable “quick, smooth and silent autofocusing” during movie recording. Seven different MSC lenses are currently offered from super-wide angle to super-telephoto.

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