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Olympus has been on a lens patenting spree in Japan, and has nabbed itself six patents for f/1.0 lenses—including two focal lengths for Micro Four Thirds.
Spotted by Japanese blog Egami, the patents are for two different lens configurations each of a 12mm f/1.0 (24mm equivalent) and 14mm f/1.0 (28mm equivalent) lens for Micro Four Thirds, as well as a 9mm f/1.0 (24mm equivalent) for a 1-inch sensor, and a 5.46mm f/1.0 (25mm equivalent) for 1/1.7-inch sensor.
For Micro Four Thirds shooters, the prospect of official, first party, f/1.0 lenses is extremely exciting.
The other two lenses would both be major boons for high-end compact shooters. While Olympus doesn’t have any 1-inch sensor compacts right now, the success of the Sony RX100 has caused a lot of attention to come to large-sensor point-and-shoots. And given the close relationship between Sony and Olympus, maybe that Olympus f/1.0 lens might find its way onto a Sony 1-inch sensor at some point in the future.
Finally, the f/1.0 lens for a 1/1.7-inch sensor would be the perfect addition to the Olympus XZ or Stylus families of camera. Currently the fastest lens in this class is f/1.4, and that extra brightness would definitely be a feather in Olympus’ hat.
Now we just have to wait and see if these lenses actually ever get produced or not.