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Kodak and Olympus Agree on Lens Standard

Companies launch forum to promote 4/3 System By Dave Nagel
Eastman Kodak and Olympus have entered into the first-ever agreement on a common standard for lens mount compatibility for digital SLR-style cameras. The two companies says they have resolved to implement the new 4/3 System standard in their product lines and to establish a new forum to promote the system. According to a statement issued by Kodak and Olympus today, Fuji Photo Film has already agreed to participate in the new standard.

The forum for the 4/3 System will be called the "Universal Digital Interchangeable Lens System Forum," an industry forum that will promote acceptance of the 4/3 System by other camera manufacturers. The 4/3 System is not based on existing standards for 35 mm film SLR camera system lenses, but, according to Kodak and Olympus, "instead establishes a new common standard for the interchange of lenses developed exclusively to meet the optical design requirements of digital SLR cameras." The 4/3 System uses a 4/3-type CCD, CMOS or other image sensor.

The companies say the new system will make it possible to standardize lens mounting systems, "something that has been impossible to achieve with digital SLR cameras that are based on existing 35 mm film SLR lens systems." In addition, the new system defines standards for image circle size and back focus distance. Four Thirds System lenses are more compact than 35 mm film SLR camera lens systems. According to Olympus, a 4/3 System 300 mm telephoto lens, for example, offers performance equivalent to a 600 mm lens on a 35 mm film SLR camera.

For more information on the project and forum, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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