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Monday, 22 February 2010


Bah! Big deal, whenever I want to take photos of sweeping vistas I just attach a broom to my camera (I use a monopod for standard vistas).

Ultimately, this is a good thing - Although I doubt that Sony will produce an Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens camera that is truly compelling to the photo enthusiast, having them enter this market will most likely compel the other camera manufacturers to follow suit.

Then, there will be strong competition to make the products better, and someone will make a clean, un-cluttered, fast, and good EVIL.

The lenses are prototype. The cameras are concept models. The key word being concept. Which means they will evolve, or change, before they get into production. If they are produced...

Your Sweeping Vista has me laughing out loud :).

Wonder what the fellow with the flickr account will think when he sees 500 views on his sweeping vista :)

I think the 24mm has full-frame coverage. Most Sony lenses for crop sensors carry a "DT" tag or designation.

Shoot, all we need now is a $400-$500 50mm f/1.4 from Zeiss for the Alpha mount and I might just be tempted to switch over...

24mm f/2
35mm f/1.4
85mm f/1.4
135mm f/1.8

I was hoping for a DSC-R1 with an interchangeable lens. Well actually a DSC-R1 with a replaceable body, since the lens is about perfect 90 percent of the time.
Anything smallish that uses Zeiss glass is a good thing though.

With so many announcements happening right now it's very confusing.
I have a case of the missing normal too.

This announcement and especially those wooden mockups look like placeholders to me, as in "Don't buy an Olympus or Panasonic MILC; we can play in that category too."

Photokina should be very interesting for small-camera fans.

If you count the 35G, the Sony 50 might fit the bill, as I believe they perform similarly..? The CZ24 look a bit larger than my Minolta 28 f2, I wonder how much..

The 24 f2 ZA is certainly fullframe.

The interesting thing about the mirror-less prototypes is that they're labeled Alpha, and the mount looks the same diamter as the DSLRs, so that could mean fullframe compacts in the future.

As far as the mirror-less prototype bodies, these were meant to be low end proof of concept designs. There will allegedly be at least three different models of mirror-less cams this year from Sony.

p.s. Erik, Zeiss has apparently claimed that Sony doesn't want another 50 1.4, so, if Zeiss does make a 50 for them, it'll either be slower or faster. FWIW, the Sony 50 1.4 is a very good lens from around f1.7 on. F1.4 is a bit soft, but useable.

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2010/02/22/the-tortoise-and-the-hares/ suggests possible future 35mm f/2 and 85mm f/2.8 lenses too.

Cheers, Robin

A question from a clueless; Is the lack of short (wide) lenses for the "standard" (APS-C & 4/3rds) digital formats, mainly a marketing decision or are there inherent design limitations?

>>clean, un-cluttered, fast, and good EVIL. <<

We don't want good EVIL.



If the 24mm f/2 Zeiss becomes one of the ZF lenses, I'll have a hard time resisting it. If it's half as expensive as the new Nikon 24mm f/1.4, and not too huge, and even close to as nice as the 35mm f/2 ZF, then I'll be saving up for one.

Yeah... I was going to say the same thing about the 24. (A crop lens should/would carry the "DT" designation.) The lens is compelling, but the problem is that I expect it may run close to 1K even though it's "only" f/2.

Every day that goes by those old Minolta 28/2 and 35/2 lenses just seem to appreciate. I just can't figure out Sony's lens announcement strategy.

Wow! Looks like Sony is trying to wrest the vaporware king crown from Pentax.

The sony EVIL mockup appears to be slightly smaller than the ep1/gf1 because it is just slightly taller than the lens diameter. Of course, maybe the lens is bigger, but it looks a bit smaller to me.

I'd be highly interested in this if it could AF my existing sony/minolta glass!

@erik - the Sony 50mm f1.4 is not bad, and you also have the Sigma 50mm f1.4 hsm as an alternative. All of those fast primes are image stabilized as well.

I think the bigger news is that Olympus plans to remove mirrors entirely from its cameras in 2 years!

If you want a fast 'normal' lens, look no further than the Pentax FA Limited 31mm f/1.8. If I could only have one lens, this would be it. Quite simply astonishing!

24... thats highly usable on both fullframe and aps DSLRs. I'm using old minolta 24 2.8 all the time and if the new zeiss will be as good as the brand suggests I'm certainly gonna cough up the dough, no matter how much it's going to be.

Maybe Mike or Ctein could comment on the inherent design limitations, but it seems to me that when you talk about smallness, you have to talk about both body and lens. The problem in APS-C, I think, is that the long dimension of the sensor will inherently require a bigger lens than a 4/3 system (holding everything else constant) simply because of that long dimension. Therefore, if you want to have a constant f2.8 zoom lens, it will be bigger in APS-C format than 4/3. And 4/3, I think, about pushes the size limit for "pocket" camera. (I can call it that because I went for a walk wearing a regular jacket with normal size pockets, and got a Panasonic GF1 in the pocket, with a 14-45 attached.)

This assumes, of course, that the camera makes a pitch for the ordinary consumer, who insists on zoom lenses (as, I guess, would most pros.)

If Olympus and Panasonic would come out with a comprehensive range of small, fast primes (10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 75) to go with the zooms already released, I think it would be game over for possible competitors in this EVIL niche.

Ben, that Pentax is a great lens, but, if you're comparing to fullframe, you'll lose a bit of shallow DOF. That lens at f1.8 on aps-c is equivalent to only around f2.6 on fullframe, dof-wise.

"but I sure am interested in an example of the notorious "missing normal" that has been so conspicuously lacking in modern digital lens lineups."

OK - I hate to bust your chops, Mike, but...having dinged it when it was first released, then relented, you have now forgotten it? I am, of course, referring to the Nikon 35mm ƒ/1.8G AF-S DX. It is a modern digital normal, and it isn't missing.

On the other extreme, there is a lens you loved, the Pentax SMCP-DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited. Also a digital normal (albeit slightly slower, and with a shorter minimum focus distance than is...uh...normal for a normal.

Unless, of course, by "normal" you are referring to your preferance for a mildly wide lens over a normal. In that case, I direct you to the Pentax SMCP-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited.

And of course, if you really want a digital wide-angle prime, there is always the
Pentax smc-DA 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited.

I won't say we're spoiled for choice, but it also seems unfair to Pentax (and to a lesser degree Nikon) to crown Sony as our potential saviour when it comes to digital normal lenses. But for the record, as a lover of normal lenses, I'm all in favor of additional contributions to the genre and I certainly have nothing against Sony.

Best regards,

Pentax 31/1.8 might be a great lens, but at $1000 it ought to be. That's beyond what I'd consider paying for a 'normal' lens !

That's one of the problems with some of these FF lenses for APS-C ... you're paying a lot for FF excellence when you don't need FF excellence. It's why I consider a 24-70/2.8 a waste on APS-C even though that FL range appeals to me on APS-C. Pentax has some nice, compact DSLR bodies, but the pancakes have FLs hat don't translate well to APS-C for me, and the lenses that do translate well are big, heavy and expensive.

Panasonic's 20/1.7 ... now there's a nice normal. (While I'm optimistic about the Sony EVIL ... since I already own a Sony DSLR ... early rumors suggest the pancake may be closer to the Oly ... a 24/2.8).

It's a good time to be a photographer (or a photography enthusiast at least) because there are always newer and better technology and products available.

It's a bad time to be a photographer because we are way too easily distracted by fancier equipment and ... gadgets.

this was a great day for the DMD. ricoh also announced two more lens units. one is a superzoom lens with a small sensor and image stabilization, the other is a 28/2.5 (42mm-e) lens with an aps-c sensor. too bad the latter doesn't have image stabilization. =(

@Marcin Wuu,

Yes,indeed. The use of an APS-C sensor does open up the possibility of a full size sensor in the future just like the Leica M8 was followed by the M9. If the new lenses are designed for the shorter distance to the sensor and the system uses in-the-body image stabilization the possibility exists for smaller, lighter lenses. The whole rig should come out a bit smaller than a Leica M. Maybe that is not a true "pocket camera" the way some of the mu 4/3rds cameras with a pancake lens are, but it would certainly be smaller than today's DSLRs.

This is territory which Nikon and, perhaps Canon, were rumored to be moving into. Even though Sony's announcement is simply "we are going to do this soon" (whatever that actually means), both Nikon and Canon would do well to step up and say something soon. The buzz will translate into sales.

It's great to see the revival of traditional crafts such as woodcarving; I especially like the more "free" artworks in these shows (by which I mean, those done entirely from the imagination). [smirk]

Whether they are art or modelmaking, neither or both: that's another question of course...

"Well actually a DSC-R1 with a replaceable body, since the lens is about perfect 90 percent of the time.


I'm with Hugh there. *Very* much so. As much as I enjoy using my current m4/3 cameras, I miss the R1. I am *very* happy about the reduction in bulk m4/3 has afforded me, but that glass, oh, that glass...

Not to mention: that focus distance display. Why, oh *why* has no-one implemented *that* on any camera since - that I know of? Since no EVIL lens has distance markings, surely *this* should be on anyone's wish list?

(Oh, and one last thing about these mock-ups: here's hoping they will evolve, because I see no connector for an EVF, and surely Sony paid attention to the EP-1...? :))

Sept 2005, Sony releases the first APS-C "digi-cam".

Jan 2010, Sony releases their second APS-C "digi-cam" a wooden version with interchangeable lenses.

Like Panasonic GF1, the above mentioned Sony DSC-R1 use focus-by-wire technology as well. In manual focus mode, R1 displays the distance on EVF, therefore you can estimate the subject distance and use the pan-focus technique to a certain degree. Unfortunately GF1 does't display the focus distance on its back LCD. Sigh...

But GF1 can automatically enlarge the image center when you manually focus. A nice feature, which R1 lacks.

"But GF1 can automatically enlarge the image center when you manually focus. A nice feature, which R1 lacks."

The Sony DSC-R1 automatically enlarges the image center when you manually focus, not only that, but if you have set the autofocus point off center, it will automatically zoom in to the off center point.

The thing I don't like about the DSC-R1 focus-by-wire is that there is no infinity stop, and it's just about imposable to pre-focus by feel.

Thanks to hugh crawford for correcting me. Yes, DSC-R1 can enlarge the focus area - enlarge twice - if you enable it in the customize menu.

I turned this feature off on R1 long ago because I found a sudden enlargement distracting while a two-fold enlargement is not that helpful in spot-on manual focus. GF1 can enlarge the area five-fold or ten-fold, which is much more helpful for accurate focus. Sorry for my poor memory.

Both R1 and GF1 focus-by-wire without any stop at either infinity or the shortest distance. Therefore they cannot pre-focus by feel. A pity. Yet you may pre-focus on R1 by looking at the distance on EVF, but you can't do that on GF1 because of the lack of distance information display. A mistake by Panasonic, IMHO.

No stop at either end is a - sadly inescapable - consequence of focus-by-wire, but no distance making on the EVF/LCD is a grossly inexcusable feature miss by Panasonic - by and everyone else using f-b-w...

I remember even SLR friends liking it, as it more or less enabled "focusing" (i.e., distance guesstimating :)) in lights so low they couldn't see in their VFs :)

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