Prime retail kits something of an anomaly?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by agentlossing, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Before really getting into m43 recently, I can't recall seeing retail kits with prime lens options. Is this ever a wise market move? I personally love primes, with their better aperture and (sometimes) better optics, but I'm aware that I'm in the minority if you take the larger (less educated, i.e. less geek) consumer market into account.

    Initially, I viewed the kit primes (like the Panasonic 14mm) with caution, from I guess a subconscious thought that whatever lens came with a kit was going to be either cheaply thrown together, optically bad, or both. But these manufacturers seem to have given the photographer, not the mass market, what they want with the prime kits. Thoughts?
  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    My thought is, the primes should be bundled with better bodies than the GF-series.
  3. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    It's an interesting move...since part of the allure of mirrorless systems is their diminutive size, and primes can be made very compact (pancakes), it makes sense from that perspective. From what I've seen on Canon boards, the EOS-M with the 22mm pancake is a very popular "kit." The Fuji X-series with the 35mm prime is also a very popular combo to pick up all in one box...

    I, personally, wouldn't like that...generally the primes they come with aren't the most exciting of focal lengths...I prefer to buy body-only then go lens shopping. :)
  4. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    First off, I don't think "better" is a fair term for the most compact camera Panasonic puts out for this system. For the size and price, they're darn good.

    But it is true that the gf series is the most beginner-friendly of the g cameras, and the target market isn't advanced amateurs, who would probably see more of the good in a prime lens. The newcomer from a point and shoot or a superzoom probably wouldn't be thrilled about relearning framing and composition just to use their "upgraded" camera.

    But then you have the simple fact that pancake prime lenses fit in with the diminutive size of the gf series better than any other lens, except the pancake type zoom that's offered now. So you get a little of a mixed message with these prime kits, because the target market for the gf series is less inclined to use them, and the market that's more used to prime lenses might be said to look at that camera body series as less advanced than they need.
  5. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    They're putting the pancake primes in the GF series to appeal to people who want a pocketable camera or for street shooters. They have zoom kits as well, to appeal to people who want that.
  6. sam_nl

    sam_nl Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 19, 2013
    That's what I thought before I got the GF3 with the 14mm. Take this combo everywhere and I'm pleasantly surprised by it.
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    They also have a third option: the collapsible powerzoom kits.
  8. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Didn't 50 primes use to be 'kit lenses' on some old film cameras?

    We need more pancake-y lenses. I adore my 14.
  9. Yup... but that was during a time when zooms were relatively new to the market and thus priced high as with most new tech.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Mu-43 mobile app
  10. How are those collapsible power zooms? Kinda toyed with the idea of a power zoom attached to an epm1 for my wife a while back. We ended up with a fuji xf1 instead.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Mu-43 mobile app
  11. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    I've actually had both. The XF1 is much more compact when powered off since the lens retracts into the body completely. And the lens is faster, and with more range.

    But... I'm selling my XF1 in favor of a GX1 with the 14-42 PZ. The image quality just seemed much better to me.

    That said if you really want a compact, pocket-able camera that's easy to use with a good range and good image quality, the XF1 is a good buy. Short of the RX100 I'm not sure you can do better with a P&S.
  12. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    It seems sorta cool to me that the rise of mirrorless camera systems have brought back so many "classic" things, even down to prime lens retail kits.

    I don't have the pancake zoom, just the older 14-42mm kit zoom, I think I'd dislike using the zoom lever on the power zoom, but it's still better than trying to fit the non-power zoom in a pocket!
  13. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I've got the 14-42 power zoom pancake and like it. The E-PM2 with that lens is a nice, portable kit, and I had no issues with the shutter blur, as least on the PM2.
  14. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Being slightly more cynical I suspect the GF plus 14mm makes them more profit per sale than GF plus zoom.

    This is a guess but having seen how the price differential changes on kit prices vary I don't always suspect there is a direct link between costs and selling price. For example in the UK the step between the two kit zooms on kits is only £20 on the GF5 but on the G6 and GX1 it's £60.
  15. Hagane

    Hagane Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2013
    Limburg, Netherlands
    Is this really the case anymore? I think the new mass-market is already using primes.... cell phones....

    A few years ago you would upgrade from a point&shoot to a DSLR/mirrorless, but nowadays many people discover photography while taking pictures with the cell phone.

    So maybe a prime lens isn't so odd as we think it is...
  16. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    I love prime lenses, I think they make a lot of sense...

    To me the Olympus PEN E-P5 kit with 17mm f1.8 makes so much sense. Perfect street shooter combo for me to get me started with m43...Besides Olympus don't do decent enough zooms with fixed aperture for my liking, and I don't even think they would put a kit together with the 12-35 and 35-100 :)
  17. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Yes, the E-P5 with 17/1.8 kit is a bit unusual (and welcomed by me) these days. The 14-42 kits have become all-too-commonplace and really tiresome, especially for those of us who have bought numerous bodies over the years and have cycled through a number of these kit zooms.

    For decades, the 50/2 or 50/1.8 sometimes even the 50/1.4 was THE kit lens. It became so common back in the day that I sought out body-only cameras because (like today with the 14-42 kit lenses) I had gone through quite enough 50/2s and 50/1.8s. To me, the 50mm focal length quickly became relatively 'boring', optically, and over time, I sought out new body-only cameras packaging to use with 20mm, 24mm, 105, and 180mm primes, which offered more interesting image making possibilities than the relatively boring 50mm kit lenses.
  18. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    That's really the key shift in the camera market, isn't it? Before smartphones became so common, superzooms were where it was at in the eyes of the non photographer consumer. More zoom = better, and all that. Now, smartphones have made it relatively difficult to zoom (thankfully, dreadful digital zooming tends to require an extra step that people in a hurry won't bother with), and tend to feed the consumer a wide angle lens. The iPhone has a narrower fov @ 35mm than many android phones, or the Nokia windows phones (my Nokia is 28mm).

    Slowly, insidiously, people are being detached from that obnoxious idea that zoom=better. I like that.
  19. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I'm not sure that's the case. People may be getting back to using single focal lengths by necessity on phones, but many of the people that are still buying compact cameras are doing it specifically because they want something with a bunch more zoom. Any time I've handed my camera with a prime lens to someone to use, the first question is usually "how do I zoom?" and when they find out it doesn't, it's usually a disappointed "oh" in response. We've got a ways to go yet before people stop associating zoom range with quality :wink:

    If you think about it, camera phones are the equivalent to the old disposable cameras. Cheap, ubiquitous, fixed focal length and all auto. Just like with those disposables, people put up with the limitations for the convenience factor. When the world went digital zoom came out on top for consumer cams, and I think that trend is here to stay. More likely than seeing more prime kits, we'll see more zoom-capable camera phones :biggrin:
  20. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I've experienced this exact reaction more than once. The fact that single focal length lenses are (generally) of higher quality than zooms is not an idea that is generally shared by the public at large.