« The Super Bowl: Jack's Take | Main | New LensAlign: Better and Cheaper »

Monday, 07 February 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

This sure changes the landscape. Another German manufacturer is technically in the consortium, but...

Off-topic here, but didn't you say you'd publish an article by Charlie Cramer Monday morning? I'd assumed you meant the Monday before the print offer.

While the brand is now owned by Cosina, I think Voigtländer also should belong in this list, making them a triumvirate.

These are all non-AF lenses, right?

Similar news from E-mount front http://photorumors.com/2011/02/07/sony-to-let-other-manufacturers-produce-e-mount-lenses/#more-8534

According to Sonyalpharumors Zeiss will be announcing e mount lenses tomorrow for the Sony Nex cameras. Sony have also opened up the mount to other 3rd party lens manufactures.


The NEX's seem like important cameras to me (I don't own one) but they never seem to get any comment here.....for some reason(?) The M4/3 gets lots of attention but NEX looks like a real 'game changer'.

I´ve got a question:
Is it Zeiss the one behind this, or is it really Cosina the one behind this decission, as the real manufacturer and marketer of these lenses [as seen with the Voightlander brand, and yes, I know that Cosina owns the austrian brand, but not the german brand].

I have been seriously considering buying into the m4/3 system, but I still have some reservations. I think the introduction of these lenses is a good sign, but I would like to see where the camera makers are going with m4/3. The recently introduced Panasonic GF2 seems to me a step in the wrong direction.

The enthusiast market is looking for a small rangefinder-like camera with high end capabilities and good handling, while the manufacturers seem more focused on the high end digi-cam market.

I can't speak for Mike, but I don't have much interest in the NEX because a compact camera system with only one compact lens, at 24mm-equivalent isn't interesting.* Maybe now something interesting will be announced.

Back on topic: the development of additional video lenses is pretty important. The sensor diagonal for m43 is really close to the diagonal used for 35mm movie film, so similar depth of field for equivalent angles of view are available. For 'amateur" filmmakers, it is a way out of the crushing cost of film development. For professionals, it is a way to deploy small, cheap, disposable cameras in explosions, on car bumpers, etc. and be somewhat consistent in look with film footage.

Zeiss smells money, and the chance to get market share from the other cine-lens manufacturers. I have a hunch that m43 will accidentally help kill Kodak, by undermining the economics of the 35mm cine film production lines.


*The A55, that's interesting. Somewhat (not very, but every bit helps) smaller than a DSLR, good high ISO performance, fast AF, no backfocus issues (maybe), and a ton of autofocus legacy lenses.

Great News! My GF1 comes in the mail today with the 14-45, and the 20/1.7 comes later this week (side note: have you seen the ebay prices!? Yikes. B&H and KEH, $750 for the body and two lenses all in open box LN condition). I cant wait to experience M43 after reading so many electric reviews.

Its a shame Sony created their own mirrorless mount, if they had adopted M43 in the NEX cameras we'd have a really interesting market.

I was really hopeful for 4/3rds (pretty much dashed) and later Micro 4/3rds. This is helping keep that hope alive. The idea of an open ecology where companies can compete on the virtues of the individual products without having to be judged on their overall offering seems to me to be very interesting indeed. Hence I'm unhappy about the independent ventures competing with Micro 4/3rds (the Sony NEX, and the other EVIL with proprietary lenses that I can't now recall the name of).

Damn - for years I thought this m4/3 stuff was related to film rangefinders. And this confused me. Obviously.

Actually, that thing about Zeiss lenses is three months old. They announced they would be developing m4/3 lenses last September. Their joining the consortium is new, though. If their CP.2 lenses are the same as HD Video lenses...

BTW, anybody knows a formula to convert T-number to F-number?

Bob, why is Sony a game-changer? They didn't offer anything new with the NEXes and even if you mean that those were the first micro-APS cameras, Samsung was there before Sony. Besides, after the launch (which was covered here), they haven't had anything else to show besides mock-ups of lenses at Photokina and CES.

The problem I see with NEX is that Sony sacrificed handling and features for the title of "Smallest EVIL Camera." Specifically, by dropping IBIS in favor of lens IS in order to reduce the register distance a few mm, they further increased the lens size vis-a-vis m4/3's, resulting in a larger system size even if they can make a marginally smaller body. I still give them full props for sensor performance.

Regardless, the EVIL space is very fluid right now, and there should be interesting developments in the next few months and several fronts.

I'll echo Ben's question. Currently I am not a big fan of non-AF m4/3 lenses, because the current m4/3 cameras don't make focusing especially easy or comfortable. Maybe that will change with the rumored "pro" bodies. But in the meantime, no AF is a big strike against a lens for me.

pax / Ctein

Hope the price is right. There are some very nice V/C lenses that work great on the M4/3's via a leica M adapter. My favorite is the 40mm 1/4. Super bright viewfinder and perfect for portraits and soft backgrounds. I'm guessing at F 1.4 you get a similar DOF as say an 85@ F4 on full frame?

Well, I would have thought that a mix of Komamura and Schneider would have resulted in a high class MF digital camera system.

Just got a Nex yesterday after hearing that Nikon would give you 16mm sensor.

Tried 4/3 and image quality is not there. As Thom seemed to say, the image quality is not improving for quite a while. I would give this a miss.

Not 100% sure about Nex and would test it using my 50+ lens from Pentax 67/Hasseyblad down to l?/M lens for the next 1 month. But the sensor is larger and I look forward to more camera and lens from more promising Nex stream.

Side note: Get micro four thirds if you have GAS. Its fun and easy on the wallet.

Gear Acquisition Syndrome, ie, compulsory lens buying. So many great manual focus lenses for $10-30 on the bay, with plentiful adapters for $20-30 per mount. Fun fun. Ziess aims to change that I'm sure with prices probably $500-$1500 per lens, and if they are to compete with the old glass they'd positively need to have autofocus.

I'm guessing at F 1.4 you get a similar DOF as say an 85@ F4 on full frame?

More or less, 80 at F2.8.

Archer, Sony didn't drop IBIS deliberately to lower the register distance. They did it because they weren't able to design and manufacture a small enough stabilisation system for the cameras. That is, I was told the Alpha IBIS couldn't fit into the NEXes. Therefore...

Also, Sigma joined MFT http://www.43rumors.com/sigma-announces-they-will-join-micro-four-thirds/ I invested in MFT system last year, and it's getting better and better!

Edd, Olympus is announcing a "pro" level body in first half of this year along with lenses - not sure if the lenses are from Olympus or other manufacturers, or both.

Dennis, I'm not sure why Thom thinks IQ is not improving for "quite a while," but a new sensor is expected to be used in the next gen to be announced in the coming months. I'm very happy with the IQ of E-PL1, the prints hold up against APS-C up to 13x19 (haven't tried bigger, yet) - probably partly thanks to the reportedly weak low pass filter on the sensor.

Erlik, t-number cannot be converted to f-number. The entire point of t-number is to report the true transmittance of a lens system; that varies design to design, and there is therefore no fixed relationship to the f-number. (It's used to deal with lenses that are complicated enough, and/or uncoated enough, for the difference to be significant. I learned about it in the context of motion picture work, where they set their light levels very very precisely, so that small differences between t and f would be visible in the results.)

(t-number is reported in units of f-stops; for purposes of setting exposure, just use the t-number as-is. If your meter says f/4, set the lens to t/4 and you'll be as fine as a meter reading will ever make you.)

(The f/number is what you use for DoF calculations and diffraction limit issues; the t-number is what you use to set exposure. For most lenses and non-critical uses, we just use the f/number for both, and that's close enough.)

The Micro 4/3 camera is making such great tools that lens makers are capitalizing the growing market. Hope they will focus on wide lenses with fast f-stop. Photography and video camera rental place like us might have to catch the wave.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007