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Olympus 15mm/8 design variants...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by IcemanYVR, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. IcemanYVR

    IcemanYVR Mu-43 Regular

    105
    Nov 16, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Allan
    with the addition of Olympus' 15mm/8 body cap lens, I'm wondering what the design or physics limitations of releasing variants in other fixed focus/aperture focal lengths.

    Back in my film days, one of the best pocket cameras you could buy was an Olympus Stylus Epic with a fixed 35mmf/2.8 lens. It took very sharp pictures and I always had a roll of Provia 100F loaded. The camera was full frame (obviously) and it was tiny.

    With the smaller m43 sensor, this makes me wonder how small they could make a 17mm/2.8 fixed focus/aperture lens. It would be great for just grabbing one lens and going.
     
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The Stylus was so thin mainly because the lens is very close to the film. That's a problem for digital because the light needs to reach the sensor at close to a 90 degree angle, and the closer the lens to the sensor, the harder it is to engineer that.

    The 15/8 gets away with being tiny because it has a very small aperture (f/8) and no AF motor or mechanism.

    Still, if they did away with the interchangeable mount and had the lens assembly collapse into the camera body, I'd bet they could make such a camera be no larger than the current Pen Mini.
     
  3. IcemanYVR

    IcemanYVR Mu-43 Regular

    105
    Nov 16, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Allan
    I was thinking an interchangeable lens, not a camera. I know it would be bigger than the 15/8. Just don't know how much bigger it would need to be.
     
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I suspect that 14/17 might be the limit of small size with a 2.8-ish aperture.
     
  5. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    That's not that much of a problem anymore with the new Sony sensors. They have microprism arrays so the light doesn't have to hit the sensor at a 90 degree angle. A light ray can hit at an angle and the microprism will refract it so that it will hit the sensor at a right angle. That's why the vignetting on the NEX was drastically improved starting with the C3/5N.

    So compared to film, I don't think the distance from lens to sensor is the limiting factor in making the camera smaller. It's the distance from the sensor to the back of the camera. Look at most film cameras, the film is pressed against the back of the camera. In a digital camera that's not possible. A CMOS sensor is in essence a large glorified RAM chip. It needs to be in a housing and mounted onto a circuit board. All that takes space. If the camera has a IS system, that's even more space between the sensor and the back of the camera.
     
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    If you want AF and a filter thread, I don't think you're going to get an interchangeable lens that's much smaller than the 14/2.5. Unless the you do away with the lens mount or somehow make it retract into the camera body, that means at least 20mm or so in terms of thickness.

    The only pancakes that are smaller lack an AF motor (e.g. Pentax's 40/2.8), a filter thread (the 15/8) or both.
     
  7. IcemanYVR

    IcemanYVR Mu-43 Regular

    105
    Nov 16, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Allan
    I never said AF... I'm just curious how small they could make a 17mm with fixed focus and fixed 2.8 aperture. I would expect they could make one smaller than the 14.