Thom Hogan Opines on the Native Lenses

blue

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I can't be the only one that finds Thom Hogan nearly as tiresome as Ken Rockwell ... can I ?

I had never heard of this guy before, but reading his review and website tells me virtually nothing about the lenses - but quite a lot about the author. In other words: an article by Thom H for the benefit of .... Thom H.

As was already mentioned, there's much better information to be had from the people posting on this forum about their experiences, likes, dislikes and images.

I think if we did a vote here for people's top three native lenses we'd get a very different and much more useful picture.


(Edited to add: and anybody who refers to other photographers as "fanboys" = instant loss of credibility in my book)
 

~tc~

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Not really. In the first place, 17mm is quite a deal wider than 20mm in optical terms; however, Panasonic utilises in-camera lens correction to adjust the inherent distortion that the 20mm exhibits. To have corrected this distortion in the lens, would have made the lens much more expensive, and possibly larger, especially if they had stayed at f1.7. More than happy to have corrected this misconception. :smile:

Cheers

Ray
Um, no - you said it had to be significantly bigger.
It's not

Slower
It's not. And considering the 20 is both longer AND faster, the lens requirements for the aperture are MUCH larger than for the 17

Cheaper
The 17 is not that much cheaper than the 20.

The 17 employs distortion correction also - all m43 lenses do. So you get a lens that's about the same size, about the same image quality (sharper in the center, softer in the corners - evidence of in camera distortion correction IMHO), about the same weight, about the same price, and ALOT slower despite being wider No thanks
 
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Why should the 20mm be bigger because it is a longer focal length than the Oly 17mm? It is closer to the standard field-of-view than the 17mm so you would expect it to be smaller (or to have a larger max aperture, which it does).
 

Djarum

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I don't quite understand the angst about the 17mm. I really like mine and find it to be very good to excellent in just about all conditions. Corner to corner and central sharpness is great, fringing is very low and only in the worst of conditions, focus is well and truely fast enough for what I need, and it's small and wide enough to be a very good general purpose lens. It's just the perfect combination with my E-P1.

Cheers

Ray
I think it is because it doesn't live up to the expectations set by the 20mm. Panasonic set the bar. Then again, when these lenses came out, I believe the 17mm was a good bit cheaper too...
 

Djarum

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There seems to be a misconception here that lens size is related somehow strictly to focal length. This is generally the case for telephoto lenses or lenses who's focal length exceeds the flange distance.

The micro four thirds flange distance is about 20mm. This might have been the reason Panny chose this focal length for their lens instead of 25mm. At any rate, 17mm is wider than the flange distance and usually anything wider than the flange distance requires a little more design. With the popularity of the 20mm, if it was as easy and cheap to do, then why isn't the new 14mm from panny faster than it is?

Time will tell, but my guess is that the 20mm will stay the standard for speed and sharpness.
 

Narnian

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Maybe there is some coordination between Panasonic and Olympus to minimize overlap, at least on the primes, where professionals and advanced amateurs would have strong interest.

Panasonic has a 20 and 14 while Olympus has a 17 and a coming 12.

Though why on earth we would need TWO 8mm fisheyes I will never know. :rolleyes:
 

Djarum

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Maybe there is some coordination between Panasonic and Olympus to minimize overlap, at least on the primes, where professionals and advanced amateurs would have strong interest.

Panasonic has a 20 and 14 while Olympus has a 17 and a coming 12.

Though why on earth we would need TWO 8mm fisheyes I will never know. :rolleyes:
Don't fish have two eyes:rofl:
 

OzRay

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Um, no - you said it had to be significantly bigger.
It's not

Slower
It's not. And considering the 20 is both longer AND faster, the lens requirements for the aperture are MUCH larger than for the 17

Cheaper
The 17 is not that much cheaper than the 20.

The 17 employs distortion correction also - all m43 lenses do. So you get a lens that's about the same size, about the same image quality (sharper in the center, softer in the corners - evidence of in camera distortion correction IMHO), about the same weight, about the same price, and ALOT slower despite being wider No thanks
I did not say the lens had to be significantly bigger, I said that it might, if it were to incorporate more exotic lens elements. The wider a lens gets, in focal length and speed, the more complex become the lens designs. Olympus possibly could have made a 17mm f1.7 lens with little to no distortion, but few would have been able to aford one.

I have no idea why you're raising the issue of slower and cheaper. But try and find any lens in the 17mm range that's fast and cheap. In Australia, the 20mm is 2.5x the price of the 17mm. Yes it's 1.5 stops slower, but is also 3mm wider. You can easily adjust for the speed difference, but you can't for the focal length.

There is no software distortion correction applied to any of the Olympus lenses on Olympus bodies. Yes, Olympus designs its lenses to minimise distortion (if you want to call that distortion correction), but then so does every other lens manufacturer to one degree or another.

Be happy with your 20mm, as I am with my 17mm, this debate really is about apples and oranges.

Cheers

Ray
 

Brian S

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After reading his reviews- I can give him as much credibility as Moose Peterson. Anyone remember the "What's in my Bag" article that was the last that Moose did for Pop Photo? Hogan's "What's in Thom's Bag" reminded me of that.
 

~tc~

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Its only $50 difference here in the US. About $250 for the 17 and $300 for the 20
 

hmpws

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In my opinion, I have just never come to love the 20mm (as much as the 14-45mm kit, on the wide end I may add...). It is just not a focal length I like (for example, I find myself loving my 25mm a lot more). 20mm doesn't seem wide enough or long enough, each to their own I guess.
 

ccunningham

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Personally, I like reading Thom Hogan's posts. I don't always agree 100%, but I think he's honest, and I can respect that, whether I agree or not. Frankly, Thom Hogan's writings about mFT are what got me to rethink and give it a try out.

And I like the 17mm more than he does, but it's ok, it doesn't make him a villain.;-) I do wish the 17 was an f2 instead of an f2.8.
 

markitos

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I started out reading Thom Hogan when I shot Nikon and have followed him over the years. Now I shoot Canon and am awaiting a GF-1... I generally find his articles to be well thought out and well-reasoned, and he usually explains when he doesn't like something because it doesn't work for HIM, but might work for others.

He is one of the more consistent reviewers and writers about photography that I've found on the web, and I like that he continually emphasizes the image and the craft over the gear, while also reviewing the gear.
 

jpgrahn

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I have been a Nikon user for more than 30 years. So that makes me biased I know. Mostly because of this I "found" Thom in dpreview.com. He was one of the reasonable posters.
No offence, but in my book he's views carries a lot more weight than most posters here.
(Hope I don't get hit for this!)
Instead of just rehashing what he has read about he actually does some testing. And he is critical about Nikon and Nikkors as well.
 

Iconindustries

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Ok, so you can buy an apple for $250 and an orange for $300. You can't make apple juice from an orange and vice versa.

That's why I bought the orange and then I guess if I don't like it I can always buy the apple afterwards. BTW the apple and orange is always gonna be better than a lemon, so if you don't get a lemon you'll be right. IMHO
 

Ray Sachs

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That's why I bought the orange and then I guess if I don't like it I can always buy the apple afterwards. BTW the apple and orange is always gonna be better than a lemon, so if you don't get a lemon you'll be right. IMHO
Right, but the fundamental decision point is whether you want an apple or an orange, and only THEN whether you can pay the price for the more expensive fruit, no? If you like the apple more, it doesn't make the orange 'better' just because its a more popular and/or expensive fruit. Me, I like many types of fruit, including apples and oranges, and I have both for different types of shooting. Not sure I need the tangerine (the 14 that's soon to in season) but I'm looking forward to the mango (the Oly 12 that's supposed to ripen sometime next year). If I can afford it. To stretch the hell out of a metaphor, I like tangerine's just fine, but I already have them available in a couple of mixed fruit combinations (14-150, 9-18), and don't often feel the need to just have a tangerine around...

-Ray
 

Narnian

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Meh. I prefer tomato juice. With a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

Would that be the unannounced 10mm lens?
 

~tc~

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I don't know if I would go so far as to say apples and oranges ... Maybe green apple and red apple. Regardless, unless someone out there is a lens designer and has access to the manufacturing costs, there is no backup for your stipulation that the 17 could not be as fast or faster than the 20, as your argument about cost is not born out by the current street pricing (at least here in the States). The simple fact is it is much easier and cost effective to make a shorter lens faster than a longer lens because the diameter of the aperture opening is smaller. While, yes, i agree making a wider lens is more complicated (especially if it's telecentric), and 17 has a considerably wider FOV than the 20, in terms of angles, it's not that much different. They are both "normal" lenses - its not like we are comparing to a 7 or 9 mm lens here.

As several people smarter than I have pointed out, m43 needs faster lenses than most systems out there, shame on Olympus for not pushing the envelope with the 17.

LOL@Ray S - nice post.
 

~tc~

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There is no software distortion correction applied to any of the Olympus lenses on Olympus bodies. Yes, Olympus designs its lenses to minimise distortion (if you want to call that distortion correction), but then so does every other lens manufacturer to one degree or another.
Ray
The dpreview.com review of this lens shows pretty clearly that it uses software distortion correction, but not chromatic aberration correction (although the article says it should) like the 20.

If you're going to spread misinformation, I guess it's nice that it was something easy to check.
 

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