Schneider Kreuznach talk about Micro Four Thirds plans

Autofocus Schneider Kreuznach 14mm f/2.0 designed specifically for Micro Four Thirds due perhaps this time next year

The German industrial optics company, Schneider Kreuznach, has expanded on its recent mention of plans to develope lenses for Micor Four Thirds cameras. Schneider Kreuznach already licenses its brand to camera manufacturers like Samsung and, in the recent past, Kodak. But Schneider says it is focused entirely on Micro Four Thirds for Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless compact system cameras.

Samsung does not use the SK brand for its NX compact system camera lenses, while SK has denied it has any plans to adapt its Micro Four Thirds designs for Sony's NEX system. This firmly suggests that the lenses are designed natively for Micro Four Thirds, unlike Sigma's recently introduced Micro Four Thirds lenses that are basically re-packaged lenses designed for slightly larger Sigma and APS_C format sensors.

The first SK Micro Four Thirds lens will be a 14mm f/2.0 (28mm wide angle equivalent) and it will feature high-speed AF and a full electronic interface functionality with Micro Four Thirds bodies. This is a slight suprise as rival German lens maker, Carl Zeiss, has been satisfied in producing manual focus lenses for DSLRs in recent years.

Here's what SK had to say:

First of all, we’d like to thank you for your strong interest in our new lens line. Please bear with us, as the full scope of technical details is not available yet. We’ve received a wealth of questions and will try to answer every one of them. Below you’ll find answers to your questions and other inquiries we received:

What are the basic parameters of the lens that has been announced? The focal length is 14 millimeters with a 2.0 aperture. It will have precise autofocus.

Will there be additional lenses? Yes, other models are in planning but we’re not able to announce any details at this time.

Will there be zoom optics? Initially, there are no plans for zoom optics but only for fixed focal lengths.

What cameras does the lens fit? The lens fits all Panasonic and Olympus m43 cameras. It also fits some Leica models when using an adapter provided by the manufacturer. Contrary to some reports in international forums and on photo websites, an adaptation to Sony’s E-Mount is not planned.

Are the lenses actually manufactured in Germany? Yes, all lenses are manufactured, assembled and tested in Bad Kreuznach, Germany.

Will the Super-Angulon 14 mm have an internal CPU? Yes, the lens has an integrated CPU.

When will the lenses be available?
Contrary to some reports on the internet, they will not be available on the market before the first quarter of 2013.

When will additional and more detailed information be available? During its annual press talk, Schneider-Kreuznach announced its plans of entering the market for system cameras. We’re honestly surprised by the huge response and will present more detailed information on the 14 mm lens at photokina 2012. Please bear with us until then.

What group does the lens target and what will be the selling price? The lenses are manufactured in Germany at Schneider-Kreuznach’s traditional level of quality and target serious amateur photographers. The main focus is on outstanding quality. The price will be below 1,500 euros, according to current planning.

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