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The problem with m4/3s

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by OzRay, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    If there's one thing that I feel is really a problem with m4/3s, is not that they have so few prime lenses, but that all of the zooms are so slow. The latest offerings give one vast zoom ranges, but at the cost of very slow speeds. I would be very happy with low range zooms like are available with 4/3s, but are fast and have constant aperture. I don't necessarily need constant f2 lenses, but I'd be really happy with something better than f4.8-6.7 and f3.5-5.6. What would it take to make even a constant, f2.8 or even f4, 3x zoom?

    Cheers

    Ray
     
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  2. naturecloseups

    naturecloseups Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Jun 10, 2010
    Agreed, especially the DoF at any given aperture is twice that of 35mm for the same "frame filling potential".

    I think the only thing that is holding Ply/Pana back is size of fast/const aperture zoom lenses -- I am yet to see any such lens that is reasonably portable/compact and m4/3 is mostly about portability/compactness.
     
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  3. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    635
    Jul 17, 2010
    Let's assume we want to produce a 75-300mm zoom with f/4.0 at the long end. That is, 300 divided by 4 equals 75. That means, that the physical opening of the aperture would be 75mm. The front glass would be even bigger than that and the body of the lens would be rather huge for a µ4/3 camera. The lens would be heavy and very expensive, because making the lens one stop faster means about eight times the effort to design and construct the lens. This lens would be even more than one stop faster than the lens introduced by Olympus.

    Now imagine a constant f/2.8 zoom: 300 divided by 2.8 equals 107. Thus the front lens of such a lens would be more than 10 cm large. Olympus cannot break the laws of physics.

    It happens that the introduced lens could not be much faster as it already is.
     
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  4. hmpws

    hmpws Mu-43 Regular

    177
    Apr 24, 2010
    Auckland, New Zealand
    That's very true, but slow zooms are also useless.
     
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Yes, that's true, I have the 4/3s 90-250mm f2.8 (a big hunk of a lens), but what we lack are zooms that are in the order of 3x or less that are reasonably fast. Not everyone wants super-zooms that work at their best in the Kalahari desert at noon, Olympus/Panasonic doesn't seem to understand this.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. igi

    igi Mu-43 Regular

    111
    Feb 24, 2010
    The biggest disappointments are really the zooms! Even if they are good, why bother with them? We didn't buy into these small systems just to look like some canikon fan with lenses longer than the subway!

    We want to travel light! We want to able to use small bags!

    Give us small, fast primes!!!
     
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  7. naturecloseups

    naturecloseups Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Jun 10, 2010
    Cosina to the rescue :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I sit in both camps. I think good, fast, zooms are as valuable as good, fast, primes. Primes need to be very fast (for the respective focal length), zooms need to make a compromise (for size), so they need to be 3x or less and they can be more than f2 (but at least be constant).

    Cheers

    Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    635
    Jul 17, 2010
    They are not useless. However, if you really need fast zooms, nobody will hinder you to use the adapter and put Olympus' f/2.0 Zooms on your pen. But if you do, you shall ask yourself, why you don't use a DSLR instead.
     
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  10. igi

    igi Mu-43 Regular

    111
    Feb 24, 2010
    I know it wouldn't be that small like the 20mm pancake but at least it will never extend to nearly double its size!:wink:

    The irony here is that the major proponents of the system seems to be the one who could not understand their own goals of building a small, lightweight system!
     
  11. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    With :43: I saw a system that would enable me to use older type manual focus lenses which suit my style of photography (in the main). As such I have settled for building up a collection of voigtlander rangefinder lenses, not necessarily very fast (or cheap sadly), but lightweight and ideally matched to the size of the cameras that I use them on, Panasonic G1 and GF1.
    It might be that people who desire faster lenses might indeed have to question whether the :43: system is suited to their needs, perhaps they ought to consider buying into a system that does cater for them, after all if you wanted to do the type of photography that wasn't meet by the Leica rangefinder system for example then you wouldn't buy into that system, the same applies to :43:.
    Using a large lens on a small lightweight camera does rather defeat the object in my eyes, but that is of course just my personal opinion, by all means campaign for what you want.

    Barrie
     
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  12. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I love their glass....but
    If they're making dedicated m4/3 lenses, why can't they have AF also. I mean $1000.00 and MF only.....not right.
     
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  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Have you seen the Oly 14-150? You think that looks or feels like a similar focal length lens for a Nikon or Canon DSLR? Really? You think we need big bags to carry a camera with a 14-150, 9-18, and 20? Really? I walk around town with this combo a lot, and usually also toss the 17 and the evf in the bag and its a VERY small bag. I had a slightly bigger one when I traipsed around Europe, but I wanted room for a second body and some travel supplies as well. But I can travel EXTREMELY light with this setup.

    Or I can just take the camera out with the 20 or 17 and nothing else and travel insanely light. But none of it is a hassle, even with the full kit. I never noticed the bag I carried around Europe except for one day when I also had a Kindle and a bottle of water in/on it - THEN it started feeling a little bit heavy after a few hours. Otherwise, no sweat.

    Fast zooms would be great, but there are tradeoffs, as Pictor explained so well. I'm fine with the zooms we have and a couple of primes, one of which is reasonably fast. If you want to capture night time images at long focal lengths, there's gonna be some noise. Or you have to carry a much larger setup. Your call.

    edit - to illustrate, this pic is my small bag with the ep2, 14-150, 9-18, 20, 17, evf, and spare batteries and memory cards aboard. NOT large...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4948177620/" title="small bag by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="768" alt="small bag" /></a>

    -Ray
     
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  14. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    715
    Jul 23, 2010
    I just don't get it fast telephoto just does not fall in to the ethos of the µ43 feel. Or at least this is how I feel about the cameras. For me it is about a small higher quality portable and subtle cam. I think of µ43 as the digital equivalent of the original Leica, it is not the machine for sports. It is however a fantastic travel camera and a great street camera. I am going to get a tele lens but it will only be for the less than 1% time I fancy a bit more reach.
     
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  15. silverbullet

    silverbullet Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    Feb 10, 2010
    When I bought my D300, my dream lens was the Nikkor 17-55 DX 2.8....
    In terms of a small footprint while walking by feet through cities, the lens is a nightmare now.....:frown:
     
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  16. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    Good point here, I agree. I think the biggest M4/3 problem is poor High ISO performance. I appreciate the small size of M4/3 gear and fast long lenses get big and heavy fast.

     
  17. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I personally have been wanting a faster 3x or 4x lens. Considering they have it in 4/3 with the 12-60 and 14-54, why not m4/3. .
     
  18. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    300
    Jun 6, 2010
    Alternatively : one thing I enjoy with the Pen - it is something like an advanced point & shoot AND a digital rangefinder AND an entry-level DSLR - with only one body ; depends on the mood and circumstances whether I will pocket it with a small pancake on, bring a small bag with two or three alternate lenses (mine is much like Ray's) or take bigger guns like the 70-300. I do lose some quality when compared to a real DSLR, and it is bulkier and heavier than a p&s... but it does all that at the same time. And anyway, isn't photography always all about compromises ?
     
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  19. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    Jun 13, 2010
    Japan
    I think marketing, if enough people would buy at prices with good margins then Olympus and Panasonic would bring them to the market.
    - The whole idea behind m43 is not only small and compact, it is cheap to manufactor for larger margins (and small and compact and the same time).

    Time will solve that (technology will improve), although DSLR will by then get even better High ISO performance given still significantly larger sensor, but effective difference for customers will likely became smaller very fast.

    In my opinion, m43 is currently is "just" a hype. Small fast primes with AF at affordable prices is what could lift m43 ahead of DSLR.
    - That is compensating for smaller sensor on resolution as well as to play with depth of field.
    - But so far the prices are not very competative with DSLR (too high price premium for "new / fancy" lenses)

    One other crucial difference is the Optical vs Electronic view finder.
    - Electronic is in the end probably cheaper (optics are typically more expensive than electronics) and it is the only way for Video
    - But automatic focus on m43 still has to improve
    - DLSR can utilize the LCD and kind of become a mirrorless camera as well

    For me using old lenses on m43 body seems to be the only financially reasonable application, but I can't imagine that is Panasonic/Olympus target.
    - How about Nikon/Canon/Pentax coming with a camera to enable auto focus on old lenses? (Pentax has 1.7x converter with AF functionality for MF lenses) Or magnification on LCD for easy manual focus control? (Pentax AF systems already confirms focus on MF lenses)

    Either way, m43 needs fast auto focus primes at affordable price level.
    - Fast (tele) zooms on DSLR are also big and expensive...
    - And still for some time the EVF / AF of M43 will also be no real competition to DSLR
     
  20. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    780
    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Peter
    I would like to see a compact 17-35mm f/2.8 which would make a nice little walk-about zoom. The old Pentax 110 20-40mm f/2.8 shows that it is viable. Note the 110 format has a slightly larger image area to MFT so I would expect that you could make a similar sized lens with an AF motor in it.
     
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