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Why does Oly like retracting/locking lenses?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by slothead, May 21, 2013.

  1. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I don't particularly like them only because it inserts some additional step (however minor) into the process of getting the camera ready to take a picture. This is obviously more of an issue in an immediate-mode hurry-up-and-take-it photo when the event is not going to last much longer, but that can be the source of some of the best shots. This design characteristic has led me to use only primes from Oly (which can be the fastest solution unless that prime is the wrong length, then it really slows it down).

    So... While there is probably a very good reason for it, is it possible that Oly will ever make any non-retractable zooms (and maybe they already do and I just don't know it)?
     
  2. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    First, most of the oly zooms are non-retracting... It's only the 9-18mm and 14-42mm that are.

    And the reason - they can make them smaller when not in use, simple.
     
  3. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    The obvious exception is your 12-50 of course.

    The 40-150 is retractable. Yet has no switch and is always ready to go. I guess you are not including that one though.

    I guess Olympus sees the "packaway" size as important. So, unlike the 12-50, you have the bonus feature of a compact lens. And thus should be delighted with it. Look how small the PZ 14-42 is!
     
  4. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    The 40-150 isn't really retractable, that is just the zoom at different intervals and is common to lower end lenses. The OP is referring to the lenses Oly make that have a lock position where the lens is unusable.
     
  5. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Yes although some zooms are "internal" and some are "extending" zooms. Let us all hate the extending ones too! Grrrrr. :mad:
     
  6. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    I have only one such lens - the 9-18. I don't so much mind it extending - It's the locking/unlocking feature that I find tough getting used to. If it's locked when I turn the camera on, the black screen with a message always gives me a split-second concern that there's something wrong with my camera. :redface:
     
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I share your dislike of the collapsing lens design, Tom, but I can see the utility when trying to make a kit as small as possible. As others have pointed out, the only two collapsing (not to be confused with external zooming, which is a different thing) lenses are the 14-42 and the 9-18. I guess that's technically three since there have been two iterations of the O14-42.

    Thankfully reasonable alternatives to both of these lenses exist in the Panasonic 14-42 (particularly the recently introduced mk II which is approximately the same size as the O14-42 is when collapsed) and the Panasonic 7-14.
     
  8. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    I generally hate lenses that change their dimensions in any way (whether it's while zooming or while focusing)...HOWEVER...the whole reason I'm going M4/3 is that I want something compact and inconspicuous for travelling. And for those reasons, the collapsible lenses are brilliant!
     
  9. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I just noticed two that had locks: one that I was interested in, and one that I already had (and never use). I discarded this topic after I posted it when I noticed other lenses that didn't lock. Sorry to distract you guys with a false topic.
     
  10. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Thats OK. It's always nice to have something to be angry about.
     
  11. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    May 12, 2011
    I'm surprised ya'll don't care for the collapsing lenses. I think they're innovative and play to the system's greatest strengths. My dream lens for the system would be a collapsible telephoto prime.

    It only slows you down when you first put it on the camera, and given that you're already changing lenses, the one extra turn like you're zooming doesn't really slow anything down. It's also really a completely optional feature given that you don't need to collapse anything.

    Do ya'll feel that it's really a hindrance?
     
  12. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    First world problems

    You're right that it's really not THAT big an issue -- definitely a "first world problem". However, I've found there have been times when that one extra step of having to extend the lens has caused me to miss a shot when shooting with the O14-42. The length of that lens when extended and, frankly, its plastic-y build quality are such that I will usually collapse the lens every time I'm done shooting, since I don't want that long lens banging around while the camera is hanging off my strap or sling. This means that I end up extending the lens each time I shoot rather than just a single time when I mount it. Add to that the fact that I don't shoot with the O14-42 all that often, and the frustration it causes mounts, since I'm used to just turning the camera on and starting to shoot.

    Because of all this, I find myself choosing the Panasonic 14-42 (mk I) most often over the O14-42 whenever the need for a short zoom arises. This despite the fact that the Olympus lens is optically sharper (at least to my eye) and the Panasonic is considerably larger than the Olympus is (when collapsed). I'm interested in seeing how the newly introduced P14-42 (mk II) performs, since it is almost exactly the same size as the collapsed Olympus and it doesn't need to be extended to shoot. Early indications are that it is a pretty competent performer, which may lead me to pick one up and dump my existing kit zooms, even though I'll have to practically give them away.

    Which is all to say: different strokes for different folks.
     
  13. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I do feel it's a hinderance, but it's probably not a "ya'll" situation. it's prolly just me. Sorry to rock the boat.
     
  14. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    it seems this thread contains reasons to have a collapsing lens.
     
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Yes.

    They're not robust, and uncollapsed they're actually larger than normal design would be (see e.g. the Olympus 14-42 and the new Panasonic 14-42).
     
  16. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    Those worried about missing the shot should simply arrive earlier. That, and have the camera out. What's the camera doing in the bag anyway?
     
  17. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    May 12, 2011
    That might be part of the difference. I collapse the zoom when I take it off the camera, but am usually content to let it dangle when the camera is out.

    Indeed! Luckily we have interchangeable lenses and a mess of companies making them for our mount!
     
  18. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    May 12, 2011
    [
    I don't know that that's a fair comparison. Compare the new Panasonic zoom to its older models and there's a world of difference in size, so I would guess that its small stature is more a result of lessons learned after years of miniaturizing lenses than of it not being collapsible.

    I agree that, so far, Oly's don't feel robust, but for me that's not a major concern for a slow zoom. I also haven't seen reports of them being any more fragile than other lenses. As was said earlier, different strokes.