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A Panasonic 12-50mm f2 - feasable?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Inazuma, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. Inazuma

    Inazuma New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 19, 2014
    I'm sure by now that Panasonic have noticed a lot of people buying lenses from Canon/Nikon and adapting then using speed boosters. So obviously size/weight isnt a big deal for a lot of people. The Panasonic cameras are used by some people because of their compactness but there is also a large section who use it purely because of its video quality, versatility and intuitive control scheme.

    Hence I think it would be smart for Panasonic to create a lens that mimics one of Canons most popular ones- the 24-105mm f4, which is a £750 lens or about $900.

    A Panasonic12-50mm f2 would be equivalent to a full frame 24-100 f4 (aperture in DOF terms). At f2 the lens would be 2 stops faster, which just about negates the full frame low light advantage.

    I don't care much if it isn't technically great (in terms of sharpness, distortion etc). I just want those specs on a native, autofocus lens with stabilisation.

    Will they do it? Are many people here interested? Could they keep the price down to a 1000 dollars/800 pounds?
     
  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Obviously it's feasible - the question is, does the market opportunity justify the investment, given what the cost and size/weight of the lens would end up being? What you call "a lot" of people buying Canon/Nikon lenses and speed boosters with them, is actually a TINY amount relative to the numbers needed to justify an entirely new lens design. The 12-40 f2.8 is already about as heavy a lens as most folks wish to put on their camera, and a 12-50mm f2 would be at least double that weight, using simple physics of comparing f2 aperture glass to f2.8, and also for a longer length lens. Which already limits it's market, which means it would need to cost quite a bit more than the 12-40mm f2.8, which limits it's market some more.

    I don't think it would be 800 pounds - That's what the existing 12-40mm f2.8 costs - and it's half the mass, and made in much greater volumes. I DO think it would weigh around 2 pounds at a minimum. And no, I would not be interested. I can already get a 12mm f2 that's small and light, and a 45mm f1.8 that's small and light, and a 25 or 17mm f1.8 lens that's small and light. I would not prefer a zoom lens that weighs more than all 4 of those primes combined, and costs about the same as all 4 of those primes combined.
     
  3. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    374
    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Alex
    That very lens focal range (and lx100 magic) and speed is the cause of my current desire to shuffle gear (thread here): https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=69243.

    I used to own the 4/3 o18-35 f2 and I have to say there seemed to be a huge difference in Bokeh from the o12-40 I own today (not sure if it's the f-stop of lens design but separation was nicer). The low light performance benefit was also tangible as I was able to stay under 3200 iso more often with faster shutter speeds. With the way they made the lens so small with the lx100 I'm very curious how well if performs. If it's even near the performance of the current 2.8 zooms we have from Panasonic and Olympus, then they need to get their lens engineers making us new zooms that are much smaller and brighter. Why can't they take that lx100 zoom and keep it f2 constant 12-35 and be the size of the current 12-40 or smaller with m43 mount?
     
  4. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    The short answer is physics. The 12-40 is as small as they can make an f2.8 zoom lens and not have serious falloff/vignetting issues at full aperture and any focal length. An f2.0 lens of the same focal length range would require twice the optical area to capture the required light.
    You can be sure the folks at Olympus and Panasonic are sweating over the tradeoffs all the time. They have a whole list of competing requirements:
    - Compact size relative to stated M43 format requirements
    - Required resolution
    - Reliability
    - Impact on reputation
    - Manufacturing cost vs. selling price
    - Target market desirability (expected sales volume)
    - Response to competitor's product offerings & marketing plans
    The reason Olympus is doing all their camera manufacturing in China is because of the fierce competition in a shrinking global photo equipment market. When you have the competition selling millions of units of cameras and upward of a million units of specific lenses, you build where it's cheapest and very carefully consider each move. This is especially important when you consider the massive loss Olympus suffered a couple of years ago. A few bad moves can sink almost any company these days.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Inazuma

    Inazuma New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 19, 2014
    Ok how about at least a 12-35 f2?
    Sigma does a 17-50mm f2.8 OS for apsc. It is about 500grams in weight and costs £300. I can add that lens to the speed booster and end up with a 12-35 f2. The combination would be 600grams and quite large in relation to a normal m43 lens but I'm sure with their advances in lens design Panasonic could make a native m43 lens with reduced size. I used to like that Sigma lens a lot. It was sharper than the 35mm f1.8 although had onion ring bokeh.
     
  6. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    374
    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Alex
    While as early as last week I would agree with you. The latest break through in Panasonic's 24-70 equiv f1.7 - f2.8 on a 2.2 crop m4/3 sensor suggests to me that not only is what you're saying not just simply physics but continued r&d and innovation. I suppose we haven't entirely figured out how many ways we can bend light because this zoom is apparently doing what the op is requesting more or less in a lens size that's small and cheaper than our existing interchangeable lenses. I'm going to say it again if this lens proves sharp I hope that translates to some more uses of whatever they did to make the lens so small. Check out the image below on how large this lens would have been without their new tech:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    The thing that's not known is how much in-camera correction is going on with the LX100.
     
  8. Inazuma

    Inazuma New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 19, 2014
    Brian Caldwell just submitted a reply in my dpreview thread saying
    ". . . so I don't think a 12-50/2.0 for ~$1000. is unrealistic at all."
     
  9. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Jun 9, 2011
    I know the motors differ somehow, but I wish sigma would make some of their dslr designed lenses available to m43 through two specialized adapters. One would be like a automatic macro tube that passes electronic control through but simply makes the flange distance appropriate. The other does the same, but encorporates speed booster like optics to make the lenses faster and wider.

    Imagine a 18-35mm 1.8 zoom with autofocus that can with a swap of an adapter become a 14-25mm 1.2.
     
  10. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Except the existence proof that he used is both HUGE - and built for a market that doesn't really care about physical bulk of the lens, and serves a market that is an order of magnitude larger than Micro 4/3. As I said, it's certainly technically do-able. But the size and weight needed to make it would render it unattractive to a large volume of prospective customers - which further diminishes the likelihood that the price-point would be realistic for a native Micro 4/3 lens of that capability. It's just not going to clear the ROI hurdle to get done with scarce design resources.

    The other supposed existence proof - the lens on the LX100, cheats in a couple of key ways - it skimps a bit on the image circle, and it's both shorter and slower on the long end, to a degree that the size/weight of the lens is well under half - probably around 1/3 - of what it would need to be given the spec that the OP originally requested. If you look at the $900 price of the LX100, it's obvious that well over half of that price is lens-dedicated cost. So, that's $500 for the lens alone, slapped onto a $400 body. Meaning the bigger, longer, faster lens the OP requested would be at least 2, more like 3 times the cost of the one in the LX100.

    Bottom line is, to make the size and weight of the lens manageable - you really need to keep the aperture to f2.8 at the long end, and you really pay a size premium to extend the long end to 50mm. And you've already pretty much got that lens in the 12-40mm, or in the LX100. So I don't see why anyone who is already in the arena would build the specific lens the OP requested. They, meaning the OP, already said that they would sacrifice quality and bulk to get there - but I believe that the vast majority of the market would not be willing to make those 2 sacrifices.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Caldwell didn't give an existence proof.
     
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Yes he did - an existing 17-70mm DSLR lens and a speed booster. But even his existence proof was f2.8 at the long end. Which is the main way to save lots of bulk.
     
  13. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    That was the OP's existence proof. The only thing Caldwell said was ". . . so I don't think a 12-50/2.0 for ~$1000. is unrealistic at all."

    http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54420096
     
  14. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    I would venture an assumption that they were able to make the lens more compact because they didn't have the limitations imposed by a lens mount. The designer would be able to mount the rear element 'dangerously' close to the sensor and make the rear element group whatever size was necessary for even light distribution. No risk of damaging the rear element or sensor with lens changes gives a lot of design freedom.
     
  15. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    No, "Speed booster + 17-70 = 12-50mm f/2-2.8 right now for ~ $900" originated in the title of Brian's post. It did not come from the OP.
     
  16. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Veteran

    406
    Aug 31, 2013
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/gdeoshe55kr944n/DSC_2733T.jpg
    20-53mm f/2.0

    Close enough. $500 for the lens. $400 for the Speedbooster.
    That's a 135 format lens. Look at the 17-50mm f/2.8 class lenses if you want something wider and smaller.

    I prefer my 13-25mm f/1.2 for my walkaround set of primes, however.
     
  17. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Well, now we're arguing semantics. I'm not convinced his title functions as a proof for a 12-50mm constant f/2...but then, I've never considered the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 to be huge. Even with a SB, it would be about 15-20mm shorter than an Oly 12-60mm f/2.8-4 with the MMF-3.

    I think we'll just have to agree to disagree, Doug.
     
  18. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    It may be semantics as to whether that's an existence "proof" in the robust sense of the word, but it most assuredly did originate in Brian's post, in the title, not with the OP's post. And I agree that I disagree with you.
     
  19. Inazuma

    Inazuma New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 19, 2014
    Considering how many clones of the speed booster and how metabones are able to sell theirs for such a huge price (especially the electronic ones) I really do think that the market for fast, wide/standard lenses is there. IMO their current 12-35 is overpriced anyway. I really like the quality from m43 but the one thing that always bugs me is that they're not very adventurous with their lenses. Or when they are (eg the panny 42.5m f1.2 OS) they are ridiculously expensive.

    The sigma 17-50 balances fines with the d5200 and I'd imagine if a 12-35 f2 was made it could balance well with the gh3/4 and omd em1. Maybe even the g6.
     
  20. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    I think a few posters have pointed out that technical ability to do something isn't the same as it being profitable.

    The reverse could also be argued - Canon & Nikon are not very adventurous with their mirror-less offerings (although the 'Nikon 1' is cool; its just not well supported).