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What is considered a high grade MFT lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by yekimrd, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    I just wanted to gather thoughts from other people about what they believe makes a micro four thirds lens high grade.

    Is it the price tag? (I saw somewhere that anything above 400usd is considered high grade).

    OR

    Is it the speed of the lens? (F2 or lower for primes, constant aperture for zooms)

    OR

    Is it the lens construction? (All metal finish or weather-sealed)

    It's hard to set a price cutoff for high vs. standard grade lenses (the OM-D 12-50mm kit is at 500usd when sold separate from the kit). A lot of people argue that the Oly 75-300mm lens is not worth the 899usd and is too slow to be considered high grade. (Am personally very happy with this lens which shoots sharp pics with the E-M5) On the other hand, while the Oly 45 f/1.8 is definitely a steal and an extremely capable 'FAST' lens, one can hardly call it high grade because of it's plastic finish. The ones I've seen/read people consistently refer to as high grade MFT lenses are the Oly 12mm f/2, Oly 75mm f/1.8, the 2 PL lenses and the soon-to-come Oly 60mm macro.

    Thanks to everyone for reading. All comments are welcome.
     
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I would add the 20/1.7 and 12-35/2.8 to your list
     
  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Come on, the 20mm is a wonderful lens but it isn't "high grade". It's a cheap plastic slow external focusing prime. The optics might be worth the label, but the rest of it is not.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I have no idea what constitutes "high grade", and I really have no clue why that terminology would matter to anyone.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    Oops, I completely forgot about the Panny 12-35 and the upcoming 35-100mm f/2.8. Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  6. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    I wouldn't say it necessarily matters much. Just thought it would make for a good discussion. :cool:
     
  7. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    OK; don't let my attitude dampen the discussion then.
     
  8. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    In Canon philosophy at least i know that L lenses means they are made with REAL glass when i say real i mean, the one that breaks, the non L versions most of the time are "organic mineral glass" or some name of the sorts, which in common language means "plastic". also the construction not always means metal. which nowadays just a few things are plastic....damn! even cars are plastic!.

    now in m43 i think my personal experience there's no "L" lenses out there YET!, maybe for Oly/Pana they were not even considering more "serious" photographers jumping in the wagon or enthusiast would be demanding and asking for "serious" glass to the format, and they are just yet working on those.

    personally i dont care. making a "fast" lens doesnt mean a "high grade" lens. that "blogger-notion" that bokeh, means "pro" lens/camera/photographer is so wrong. I rather have an f2.8 lens or even f4 lens but made of real glass that would be quick to focus and SHARP....like THAT sharp!.

    but then again...thats my personal opinion based in personal experience, and is not the scientific one you might be looking for.
     
  9. betamax

    betamax Mu-43 Regular

    195
    May 7, 2011
    NSW, Australia
    Alan
    Is there a scientific defintion?

    I imagine it means different things, for different people.

    All I know is I love my 45mm and 20mm for their sharpness and low light abilities. For me I guess, edge to edge sharpness, low CA and price are my 3 main requirements. In that order. And the 45 and 20 don't cost the earth, but I'd class them as high grade.

    I can imagine durability and hence components and build quality and weatherproofing being important for the pro's amongst us. But if they don't produce stunning IQ, then I'm not sure you'd call them high grade.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    Both the Nokton 17 and 25 mm lenses would qualify as "high grade"
     
  11. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    How do you rank Oly 75/1.8? What could be more "L" in it?
     
  12. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    And while I think metal and glass are parts of high grade definition, there are plastic Panasonic lenses with very high quality. Somehow I would consider a few of them also high grade.
     
  13. Donsantos

    Donsantos Mu-43 Regular

    47
    Mar 24, 2012
    25mm 1.4 is definitely "L" lens worthy. I'm also sure that the pans 12-35mm, 12mm oly, pana 7-14, pl 45mm are all "L" worthy.

    btw I've had the 20mm 1.7 and 45mm 1.8 and I don't consider them canon "L" level
     
  14. Donsantos

    Donsantos Mu-43 Regular

    47
    Mar 24, 2012
    75mm 1.8 definitely "L" worthy.
     
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    In Nikon-Speak, there is no L glass equivalent. I'd say the newer nano-coated lenses are probably of premium quality. With M43, I'd consider 2.8 zooms and f/2.8 and/or faster primes are also considered premium lenses.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sam
    Having just recently gotten hold of some legacy lenses, I must say....construction wise, none of my MFT lenses "feel" high grade.

    Not to say that I don't like my native lenses, I love my primes, and even my 14-150 zoom, but I wish they looked better and felt better to the touch
     
  17. Tincam

    Tincam Mu-43 Regular

    65
    Apr 25, 2012
    Iowa
    Matt
    "High Grade" is in the eye of the beholder. One of M43's main attractions are the light weight options. Oly's 45/1.8 definitely qualifies as one of the top M43 lenses, especially because of it's construction. Heavy, glassy lenses do not automatically determine a higher photographic value.
     
  18. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    is it out yet? i thought is was coming out for photokina, and thats probably what i meant by YET in my comment. "L" lenses are going to come! :smile:

    I respect your opinion, but why would you rate the P45 and "L" lens and not the O45? just asking...

    Thats the thing, you can get Canon lenses with f2, or f1,8 and such not being "L" and for example the canon "nifty fifty" for 100 bucks which is f1,8 is really a "toy" were the fast aperture doesnt relate to IQ AT ALL!. But then you have the Canon 50mm f1.4 and though its not the best, its definitely the "best bang for buck" you can get. Cause the 50mm f1.2 L lens is 3 times more expensive, but it doesnt produce 3 times better images.

    I personally think theres tons of marketing behind the "red ring" of each lens, at least in canon (where i have my experience based) but i cant deny theres high quality behind it. I still dont know if in m43 there is or not an "L" lens. but again i own the "cheap" trilogy of the m43 P14, P20, O45 instead of the "L" trilogy O12, P25, O45.

    At the beginning though i hated the P14 but later on i started to appreciate it, just today i did a small photo shoot here at the agency with my OMD and the P20 and O45, got keepers from both. no one asked questions if they were L lenses or not. we got images sharp enough to print em. Love them.

    Also when I joined m43landia, i wanted something small in size and weight not in the IQ department. i think i got it. If i need something "else" i would definitely go with the FF gear. but what ive been getting from m43 and my small setup is good enough for me, to be now selling my FF gear.
     
  19. tanMu4358

    tanMu4358 Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Jul 26, 2012
    To me lenses made in Japan and Germany are considered high grade (quality of glasses, heaviness, IQ, fast focus, etc...) even third party lenses like Carl Zeiss, Schneider Kreuzbach, Leica, Sigma, Tokina and Voigtlaender.
     
  20. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    I'm sorry, but I would pit the 20mm against any m43 lens for IQ.

    typed on my phone, sorry.
     
    • Like Like x 1