Seven Lenses Under Development for Sony NEX and No Pancakes

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, May 18, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    And now a word from the competition...

    Sony Japan has provided additional information regarding seven lenses under development for the Sony NEX system:


    The lenses:
    • Carl Zeiss 24mm f/1.7* lens (available 2011)
    • 55-200mm f/4-5.6* telephoto zoom lens (available 2011)
    • 30mm f/3.5* macro lens (available 2011)
    • 50mm f/1.8* portrait lens (available 2011)
    • High performance G standard zoom lens (available 2012)
    • Wide zoom lens (available 2012)
    • Medium telephoto lens (available 2012)

    With normal, telephoto, macro, and portrait lenses slated for release this year, Sony is looking to rapidly erode the Micro Four Thirds lead in lens coverage. If they can beat Micro 4/3 to the release of a portrait lens, that would be a strong statement.

    Notably absent, however, are any pancake lenses amongst the Sony roadmap for 2011-12. How important are pancake lenses to you? :polling:

    Source: Sony Japan (Google translated) via DPR forums via 1001 Noisy Cameras

    *Sony released only the focal length. Rumored f-stop ranges provided by Mirrorless Rumors.
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  2. Kosta

    Kosta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 29, 2010
    whoa very 'sexy' lineup! aside from no pancake, that zeiss 24mm will be a wanted lens!

    they have the market covered. very clever sony. I think they read this forum for ideas on how to get people to buy into NEX.
  3. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    A pancake would really matter to me. Once the kit reaches a certain size, I just take the K7. Not completely true as I do have the Lumix 45-200, but for me an m43 body needs at least one good lens/body combo with a small form factor.
  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I have a NEX-3, and I must say the only thing disappointing is the lack of dedicated e-mount lenses. In my opinion, if it weren't for the Panasonic lenses, NEX would seriously beat ยต4/3'ds.....(and NEX is already ahead of Olympus)
  5. mike_hessey

    mike_hessey Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2010
    Sony lens roadmap

    Some nice specs there, but missing pancakes are a problem. And still no news of a viewfinder? And the user interface of existing cameras does not seem to match how photographers work, unlike Panasonic.
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Good point about an EVF there Mike - I won't disagree with you either.
    Note: NEX does have an optical viewfinder similar to the VF-1 that E-P1 users use...
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I have the Nex 5 and I like shooting with the 16mm a lot, partially because of its pancake form factor. But I suspect if I got the Zeiss 24 (not likely now that I have an X100), I'd almost never take it off of the camera. I've shot some with the kit lens and the size of it never bothers me. I tend to shoot mostly from the belly or waist with this camera and its awesome flip-up screen, so I'm working the controls and shutter with my right and, but I'm generally holding the camera/lens with my left and working the zoom (when applicable) with the left, so this is not a one-handed camera for me regardless. Hence, a little more lens isn't really an issue.

    In addition to the 24, I'd be very interested in it higher "G" level zoom when its available and possibly the 50mm portrait lens. But I'm very unsure about that one. I currently have a 50mm f1.5 manual focus Voightlander. I have adapters for both my m43 cameras and the Nex. And as a low light, sit around after dinner, or hanging out taking candid portraits at a party, lens, I prefer the effective 100mm length on an m43 than the effective 75mm on the Nex. I've always though of a good portrait length as about 90-120mm - 75mm just doesn't do it for me. I might be interested in the wide angle zoom, but that would mean I was basically abandoning m43 for everything other than long telephoto, and I'm not there. So, the 9-18 should do me there and I already own it. The Nex telephotos and super zooms just don't interest me at all - too much of a camera/lens imbalance and m43 can use notably smaller lenses here.

    I believe the Nex 7 will have some sort of EVF. I don't personally feel the need. I find the Nex 5 screen so incredibly good even in bright light that I'd never be tempted to use it. Particularly since I almost always shoot TLR style with this camera mashed against my belly or waist. But I'm sure it'll be available for those who want it.

  8. mike_hessey

    mike_hessey Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2010
    Sony, Olympus and viewfinders

    Looked at the NEX5 at Focus, and appearance is beautiful, and just to shoot an image it feels really good. Lenses have been pathetic in terms of range (and not great IQ) until now. But for me the lack of a viewfinder is a killer, and even the updated UI is poor compared with most Panasonics. My E-P1 is a lovely camera, and a must-have for someone like myself who still has their original Pen from the late 50s/early 60s (and my original D), but to be honest I think the E-P1 was flawed, and the optical v/f, for only the 17mm lens, is nearly useless as far as I'm concerned.

    I guess it is down to marketing, and I understand why they (Panasonic) have done it, ie followed Sony, but GF2 compared to GF1 is bad news for most photographers (to be honest, I have never have got on with GF1 as I hate to manually switch to v/f, and with v/f it is not really smaller than GH2). G3 compared with G2 and G1 similarly is dumbed down - yes, smaller and may meet a need, but why on earth did they drop eye-detect on the LCD and v/f? The need to manually switch display is to my mind one of the worst features of GF1 with its optional v/f.

    So Sony are getting better, but like ALL their products the emphasis is on style rather than function, and remember how they ditched their Clie PDA?

    (E500, E520 [both sold/given away], E420, E3, E-P1, G1, GH1, GF1 and GH2 user, several other digital system cameras and P&S, and LOTS of old film cameras too)
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    For me, the overall interface of Sony NEX is inferior from a working standpoint, and lack of integrated EVF is a non-starter.

    On the lens side, I could work with non-pancake lenses, but smaller is better. I'm very happy with the Pana 14 and 20mm lens performance, and if someone can bring out a 50mm lens f/2 or faster which is relatively small and light for Micro 4/3, that would strengthen the size/weight advantage of our system further still.
  10. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 1, 2010
    I don't get the concept of a pancake body without pancake primes to match. NEX is intriguing, but a non-starter for me due to interface and VF issues as well.

    I hope PanaOly see the importance of beating NEX to the raceline in releaseing a high performance standard zoom, top notch portrait lens, etc.
  11. travisennis

    travisennis Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2010
    Sony has an interesting assortment of lenses coming but to be honest, with these mirrorless cameras I enjoy shooting legacy lenses on them more than native. So the larger sensor and crop-factor of the Nex cameras is compelling to me. I do wonder about the interface. The few times I've handled a Nex it didn't seem as intuitive as the Panasonic interface. Also the lack of an EVF wasn't much of a concern to me until I tried my my wife's G2. So, for me, there is still something that I haven't encountered yet to convince me to try the Nex.
  12. wyip

    wyip Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    I agree, but Sony has been making digital cameras in the "small camera big lens" style since the DSC-F series (think compact P&S with a giant Zeiss lens grafted on the front).

    I'd be interested in NEX if Sony made a body like the DSC-R1 (larger than the current NEX bodies but still smaller than an DSLR or SLT) with built in EVF. They also need to bring over the UI from the Sony Alpha line. The lens roadmap looks pretty good so far, though.
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I sure wish I could put my NEX3 sensor in my E-PL2 body :smile:
  14. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    To me, they matter a lot. Or rather, compact lenses do. I bought the GF1 for that reason, or else I would have got a T2i for travel.

    The NEX line screams for a touchscreen though. It just makes more sense w/ the limited number of buttons it has. When trying my friends out, I kept trying to touch the screen, ha.

    I also don't like the fact it's missing a normal hotshoe.

    However, my concerns are of minimal value to Sony.. they have a huge market to pull from, heh. I just hope m43 can keep it up.
  15. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    I'm not interested in Sony cameras does as long as they don't build in a viewfinder, but I like the stimulus to other manufacturers in the direction of some fast, high quality primes.

    Pancakes? I like them, especially when served with plain sugar or hot cherries. OTOH, I'm completely indifferent to pancake lenses. I always use a bag, pocketability of a camera with EVF is an illusion anyway.

    In the MFT lens line-up I really miss a high quality telephoto zoom. The Panny 45-200mm has a very versatile range, but could do with better optics. And mind you, I'm not even asking for higher speed because that would add to bulk and weight.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 1, 2010
    True, but Zeiss has been making great pancake primes for decades... It would be cool if there is some fusion in their thinking. :smile:

    If Sony hates pancakes, Zeiss can make some for us in the m4/3 market (nudge, nudge Zeiss).
  17. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Pancakes matter a lot to me. I like having a very small kit with a range of lens choices. Once lenses go up significantly in size the overall bulk of the kit is influenced, and I might as well go with a larger camera too.

    I do not like the Nex interface. If they add a VF and a better interface I will consider looking again. In the end though I want a kit that is small, light and flexible.
  18. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I don't know, I don't see anything particularly spectacular in there. IF they deliver all those, I think they will be (at best) equal to m43 in lens count, and if their past history about lens quality is any indication (and if they are devoting all these resources, it could be even worse), there will still not be much competition.

    That said, m43 needs to keep their foot on the throttle and get the bright zoom and other "promised" lenses out of the pipeline and into the market.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I wish Olympus and Panasonic would give us a detailed roadmap like this!
  20. sparkin

    sparkin Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    No kidding!

    With all due respect to Sony, and notwithstanding image quality and usability, the NEX and its DSC-F forebears has absolutely zero feng shui. A suitably skinny pancake may go some way to alleviate this ...