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Why no ultrawide primes (<10mm)?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tolesy, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. tolesy

    tolesy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 14, 2011
    NE Indiana
    I am a fairly new photographer and take pleasure in taking pictures of my travels and my family. I have an Oly 14-150 that meets 90+% of my needs. On my most recent vacation I found myself having to back further and further away from my subject to get the desired background with my lens backed down to 14mm. After viewing the link below that I found floating around in another thread it made me realize just how much wider I would like to be able to go.

    Olympus Zuiko lens field of view comparison

    Is there an underlying reason why Panasonic or Olympus doesn't make a 7mm, 8mm, 9mm, or 10mm prime? Is it easier to produce a wide zoom as opposed to a prime?
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I assume you mean a rectilinear prime? There are two fisheyes which are great fun and can be corrected to rectilinear.
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I would guess the manufacturers don't see enough demand. Although Panasonic sells a fisheye, which can't have a lot of demand, either.

    I think that as the system continues to mature you'll see a wider variety of lenses available, but for the moment the only way to get a lot wider than 14 is a zoom. The Panasonic 7-14 is just a wonderful lens that can be used to create very dramatic and compelling images (or really boring, poor images). The Oly 9-18 doesn't get quite as dramatically wide, but is a lot smaller and a fair bit less expensive (cheaper than the 12mm prime), and still a lot wider than the 14.
  4. digitaldan1

    digitaldan1 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    Designing a quality extreme wide angle lens is an expensive process. If you look at the cost of super wide angle lenses for conventional dSLRs, you'll see mainly zooms as well. These often go for $1000 or more (although cheaper, lower quality ones are out there).

    Usually to go really wide inexpensively means going fisheye, which as someone noted above, can be a lot fun, but can also produce a lot of distortion. There are a couple of things you can consider though. One, is buying a legacy super wide made to go on a Nikon or Olympus dslr camera and use it via an adapter (MFT gives you a huge range of options this way).

    Another workable, modest cost option is to go with a Lensbaby and get one of the wide angle or extreme wide angle front mount lenses. This combo provides decent quality (although certainly not up to the dSLR standards) and relatively inexpensive. It of course, also provides the ability to use the Lensbaby for selective focus compositions.

    Keep in mind, fast autofocus or autofocus at all isn't really a requirement with super wide lenses because their inherent depth of field is so great.
  5. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I imagine they feel it's too niche..if you are that interested in a wide prime your best bet is de-fishing the samyang/rokinon 7.5mm lens (assuming you don't mind abit of post processing/soft corners). The price is attractive though.
  6. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 29, 2011
    You could also consider an affordable wide-angle converter add-on for your kit lens, such as the Olympus WCON P01 or the Panasonic DMW-GWC1. $100 or less to get 3mm or so of extra wide reach seems like a pretty fair trade off if you don't have $700-1000 to spend on the Panasonic or Olympus wide zooms.
  7. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    A wide prime would be great. The 9-18 m.zuiko is very good, but I really like primes. And the 12 f2.0 isn't wde enough ...
  8. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    United States
    I'd love a wide prime also (8-9mm) but I really doubt the market for it is very big.
    Ideal for me would be an f4 9mm. I don't need a particularly fast lens in that FL, and an f4 could be made fairly small at a reasonable price.
    But I imagine I'll see pigs fly first. :smile:
  9. Azimuth

    Azimuth Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    Thornbury, Victoria
    Not wide enough for what?
  10. jmw

    jmw Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    Too niche and UWA zooms are so much more compelling. The 16-35 f/2.8 is one of the most popular Canon lenses. They also make a 14mm f/2.8 prime but it's nowhere near as useful as the zoom. There's just so much difference in FOV at short focal lengths it makes it much sense to have a zoom handy.
  11. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I love the Rokinon/Samyang 7.5 and "de-fishing" is a one button fix. Rectilinear ultra-wides are just super expensive to design to start with and then a limited audience make sit even more expensive.

    Do a search here for de-fish to see what the little $300 lens can do.
  12. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    12mm, even 9mm, is not wide enough for a lot of people's (myself included) desired FOV with a rectilinear lens.

    Fisheye and de-fishing in post isn't an approach I would like to take because I like to see the end result while I'm shooting and want as much corner sharpness as possible for placing near objects in close corners.

    I use my 7-14 mostly as a 7mm prime. I rarely zoom beyond 7mm with this lens and that's just fine with me.

    I would like a 7mm prime, f/4 is fine, doesn't need to be fast. If that never happens and, anyway, in the meantime, the 7-14 gets the job done magnificently. :smile:
  13. tolesy

    tolesy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 14, 2011
    NE Indiana
    This is what I will most likely end up doing though I don't want to shell out $1000. I have not crossed over into the processing arena to heavily. I like shooting jpg out of camera and then running it through various items on Elements... this is about as creative as I get.
  14. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
  15. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I prefer UWA lens myself so i'd love to see a fast prime below 10mm. I have the 8mm fisheye and it's gotten the most use out of all my lens, though my 12mm has been getting a lot of love since i picked it up. Is it safe to assume that a fast UWA prime (or fisheye) is just a pipe dream? Based on the comments in this thread it sounds like it would cost a lot and there wouldn't be much of a market for it.

    before I bought the 12mm, i was really considering the 7-14mm (to use just at the 7mm end the way DHart does) but I was conflicted since i already have the 8mm. Everytime i look at the 7-14mm image thread, I wonder if I made the right decision. I really like the images I get from the 12mm, particularly in low light conditions, but I always wish it were wider.
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