What is holding back fast zooms or primes?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Z-man, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Z-man

    Z-man Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 16, 2011
    Being very new to the 4/3 family I was hoping someone could enlighten me on why there seems to be a noticable absence of fast telezooms or even fast primes on the longer end. In fact, is there a m4/3 prime longer than 45mm?
    It would be nice to have something in the 85-105mm range, 2.8, or something like a 24-70 2.8?? I know these tend to be DSLR focal lengths, but you guys get my point.:smile:
     
  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Samsung has an 85mm ƒ1.4 and a 60mm ƒ2.8 MACRO that almost makes me want to buy into the system just for those lenses....:biggrin:
     
  3. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    I've seen Samsung's 85/1.4 in person and OHMIGOD it's HUGE! Really huge, and heavier than Nikkor 85/1.4D.
     
  4. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    I'd imagine its primarily a size/cost relationship.

    I'm no engineer but I've observed the discussions of others who are knowledgeable in such areas. Apparently, shorter focal lengths yield the greatest reduction in size when comparing optics for smaller sensors as compared to the 35mm standard.

    For instance, a 300-400mm f4 lens requires a specific minimum final lens diametre regardless of sensor size. Look at the size difference between CaNikon 300mm f4 primes and their f2.8 counterparts.

    I have the Panasonic 100-300mm OIS and the Nikon 70-300 VR. Not as much size differential between the two as one might expect, especially after I place my GH2 next to my D300 :smile:

    I believe a 300/44 or even a 400/f5.6 designed specifically for m4/3 would be a decent seller for the maker but I doubt either one would be substantially less expensive or dramatically smaller than similar lenses from the big boys.

    That said, I certainly pony up immediately for either one :smile:

    I'd like to see Sigma put a m4/3 mount on their nice 50-500mm OS. Its a beast of a lens but it'd sure be fun to use a GH2 as a rear lens cap on that big zoomer :biggrin:
     
  5. Brewed4Thought

    Brewed4Thought Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Nov 18, 2011
    Santa Rosa, CA
    But a Samsung 85 mm is a 127.5mm equivalent. A comparable lens would be the Olympus 45mm which is a 90mm equivalent.

    Fast zooms would be nice, but there are more important issues to attend to at the time. If you look at what's missing from the wide variety of lenses offered, fast zooms are next in line.

    Fast zooms would be a great idea to attract the soccer mom audience.
     
  6. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    This is one of the reasons that I will keep my DSLR kit. I can't imagine a fast m43 tele-zoom will be significantly smaller, that much lighter or less expensive than a comparable DSLR, at which point I would prefer a larger body that is more proportionate and balances better with the lens. And in my case, the tele-zooms are also already paid for. :smile:
     
  7. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    574
    Aug 16, 2010
    Australia
    Exactly! The size of the front lens element (and therefore the size of the entire lens) is determined by simple physics. And since you cannot change the laws of physics, nothing can be done to reduce the size of the lens beyond a certain point. A lens' maximum aperture is the ratio between its focal length and the diameter of its front element (the size of the opening through which light enteres the lens). So a 300mm f/2.8 lens needs to have a front element at least 107 mm in diameter or larger, and a 300mm f/4 lens needs at least a 75mm opening at the front to reach f/4 at its max aperture (aperture is just another word for opening after all).

    The reason smaller sensors such as :43: can get away with smaller lenses is because of their crop factor - because they need shorter focal lengths to achieve the same FOV (than 35mm full frame, which would require a lens with twice the focal length of :43:), the lenses can get smaller. A 300m equivalent lens only needs to be 150mm in focal length on :43:, and a 150mm f/2.8 only needs a 54mm front lens element (or larger) - half the size of full frame! That is still quite a large lens, but the benefits increase with shorter focal length (a 45mm f/1.8 only needs a front lens element of 25mm (one inch) or larger to reach its max aperture, and so forth).

    Everyone wants a 24-1200mm f/1.4 (35mm equivalent) zoom for their camera but unfortunately, given the laws of physics in this Universe, nobody would want to actually cary one. :biggrin:
     
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  8. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    A 150mm f/2.8 with a 54mm front lens element is a very attractive proposition! :wink:
     
  9. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    574
    Aug 16, 2010
    Australia
    Those are the MINIMUM requirements! Most likely the front lens element would be even larger, if the designers wanted to minimise vignetting and other unwanted optical abberrations when wide open. Then you have to add the bulk of aperture blades, AF motor, the lens barrel itself etc, etc, maybe even IS mechanism, and all of a sudden that lens is very large compared to that :43: body. And it would still have to be fairly long, so large all-round.
     
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Listen people, it's not about technical limitations - it's all about the market and what Panlympus think they can sell and make money on. Why do you think there are umpteen gazillion 14ish-45ish zooms? Because that's what most people will buy most of the time.

    Also, consider this is still a very young system compared to Canikon & co.

    Bright zooms are (supposedly) coming very soon, and I would imagine bright telephoto primes would be next after that.
     
  11. Z-man

    Z-man Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 16, 2011
    I too have the 100-300 and can't wait to get little free time to compare it with my Nikon 70-300VR. I was surprised that they aren't much different is size for sure. My 70-300VR performs quite well and is very sharp. I think it might be one of the most over looked lenses for its IQ and value. I am hoping that I can get a simliar performance out of the 100-300, but it might take me a while to find out.
     
  12. Z-man

    Z-man Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 16, 2011
    I am thinking even something around a 75 or 85, 2.8 would be a very popular lens. But I am also starting to understand that a major appeal of the 4/3 format is size. I think you are starting to see a trend with the other makers too like Samsung, Nikon, and Sony who want to make interchange lens systems to target a market of people who want a better camera that a P&S, but don't want the size of DSLR and also aren't going to care that they can't get a 105mm 2.8 lens or a 300 F4. :smile:
     
  13. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    The Olympus 4/3 150mm f/2 is only 100mm x 150mm (about 4x6 inches) with an 82mm filter thread. That's not THAT big, Although at 1.5 kg it's fairly heavy. A 150/2.8 could be considerably smaller and lighter.
     
  14. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    574
    Aug 16, 2010
    Australia
    That might be, but they will be a lot larger than the current crop of zooms. If they have a wide aperture, they will have to be!
     
  15. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    574
    Aug 16, 2010
    Australia
    It could be smaller... by almost a third. So it would still probably weigh around two thirds of 1.5 kg - so around 1 kg! That would not be a small lens...
     
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I don't care. I have said 10000x, smallER is good enough for me (and many others). So long as the engineers don't totally drop the ball, m43 lenses will be smaller than any other APS-C sensored alternative. In theory, the PentaxQ and Nikon1 can have smaller lenses, but so far, they aren't any smaller or not by much.

    I would also argue that you're not factoring in the advantage of software correction. While the physical aspect of the aperture diameter must be maintained, a lot of the other factors may be able to be shrunk considerably.

    I also understand they will likely be more expensive. So long as the trend of exceptional image quality continues, I'm ready and willing to pay. The more boxes it checks, the more I would be willing to pay:
    bright - would pay big money for f/2 or faster through entire range (won't pay much for f/2.8-3.5)
    fast AF
    IS
    quality construction
    weather resistant
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Any 150 mm, f/2 or f/2.8, will be smaller than a comparable 300mm on "full frame" or 200mm on APS.
     
  18. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    574
    Aug 16, 2010
    Australia
    Software cannot correct for aperture and focal length - there is a limit to how small a lens can be for a given focal length and max aperture.

    Agreed, but there is a hard physical limit to how small a given lens can be. And the reduction is because of the shorter focal length required for the smaller sensor, as I mentioned before. A Canon EF 135mm f/2 is nowhere near the size of a Canon 300mm f/4, even though it's two stops faster. That's because it's less than half the focal length, and for no other reason! Some people here have expressed interest in a fast 300mm tele for :43: - that will still be as large as it physically needs to be, and it will be just as large as any 300mm lens, regardless of sensor size (in the ballpark anyway, there will always be some differences between lenses due to design and technologies built in, such as AF motors, IS, etc).

    Canon have tried out a new "DO" (Diffractive Optics) technology for the past several years, making some of their lenses shorter than they would otherwise have to be (they still have to maintain their aperture, so lens diameters still stay the same). Overall, the technology has been a flop because, optically, the lenses are not quite up to par to traditional lens designs. Physics is physics, and we're not going to break the laws of physics anytime soon. :smile:
     
  19. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    My point is that all current SLR lenses are larger than the laws of physics say they have to be. Yes, the focal length and aperture are distances that have to be maintained, but I would argue that the lenses are much bigger than that due to things like flange-back distance, diffraction, distortion, etc - many of which can be software corrected to a high degree of image quality, making "traditional lens designs" obsolete.

    Look at the internally zooming "folded" optics in the weatherproof point and shoots as an example. Look at the size difference between the 4/3's lenses and their m43 counterparts. There are many examples of how lenses can be made smaller, still maintaining a high level of optical performance.
     
  20. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Pentax has the FA77/1.8 Ltd. and DA70/2.4 Ltd. The 70/2.4 is a pancake lens, and the 77/1.8 is nearly a pancake lens. Both offer very good optics. The 77/1.8 was made for full frame sensor cameras, while the 70/2.4 was made for APS-C sensor cameras. While neither has a built-in or internal AF motor (they rely on the Pentax cameras' motors), my guess is that it should be physically possible to make m4/3 lenses of the same focal length that are about the same size as these two. Food for thought.