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View Full Version : Why no faster Zuikos?


geirsan
27th December 2008, 11:56 PM
I've got the Sigma f1.4 and am relatively happy with it, but don't find it the ultimate lens. Can someone explain why Olympus haven't made or plan to make a f1.2 - 1.4 type of lens, like Canon has? An f1.2 or 1.4 at 20mm would be just perfect. But is it a dream only? I wouldn't consider the Sigma 24mm f1.8 a solution.

Fluffy
28th December 2008, 01:12 AM
I'd guess that's because Panasonic makes and sells a Leica designed and Leica QC's f1.4 25mm. Even says Leica on the lens. It's heavy and not too cheap, but an overall superb lens. The realities of wide and semi-wide lens for FT means they're going to be relatively big. mFT may help there a lot. But for the moment the PanLeica 25 f/1.4 is it.

Steve

Naughty Nigel
30th December 2008, 03:08 PM
I have often thought the same. One of the reasons I still enjoy using my OM cameras is the ability to use really fast prime lenses, with resultant big, bright viewfinder images.

However, lens design has moved on a lot over the past twenty years or so, and I have heard it said that, for ultimate quality, smaller maximum apertures are usually better.

I have also heard it said that the 50 mm f1.8 Zuiko actually produced better quality images than the 50 mm f1.2 or f1.4 optics, although I have always been very happy with mine.

I have no idea whether there is any truth in these stories, but it may just be that Olympus' design team have decided that f 2.0 is fast enough.

We should also remember that many of these fast prime lenses were designed at a time when photographers routinely used films of 25 and 64 ASA, and anything faster than 400 ASA had grain the size of golf balls. *yes

HughofBardfield
31st December 2008, 02:28 PM
I have often thought the same. One of the reasons I still enjoy using my OM cameras is the ability to use really fast prime lenses, with resultant big, bright viewfinder images.

However, lens design has moved on a lot over the past twenty years or so, and I have heard it said that, for ultimate quality, smaller maximum apertures are usually better.

I have also heard it said that the 50 mm f1.8 Zuiko actually produced better quality images than the 50 mm f1.2 or f1.4 optics, although I have always been very happy with mine.

I have no idea whether there is any truth in these stories, but it may just be that Olympus' design team have decided that f 2.0 is fast enough.

We should also remember that many of these fast prime lenses were designed at a time when photographers routinely used films of 25 and 64 ASA, and anything faster than 400 ASA had grain the size of golf balls. *yes

Certainly John Foster's tests on his "Biofos" site suggested the faster OM lenses didn't - on balance - perform as well as the "standard" versions on 4/3rds. I haven't seen any rigorous experimentation with using baffles to reduce light spill in the mirror box however - I have seen suggestions that it might help.

I think the answer to the OP is simple though - Olympus clearly think it's too limited a market to make the manufacturing and design costs give an economic return. Canon have a much bigger market for expensive, "pro" lenses than Oly ever will. Sigma et all produce the same lens for numerous mounts and can amortize their costs over (presumably) greater sales, and - dare I suggest - their QC seems less rigorous...?

Naughty Nigel
1st January 2009, 05:40 PM
I think it would also be fair to say that many of the Pro spec lenses, and especially the longer focal length optics in the current Zuiko line up are fast by any current standards.

The 12 ~ 60 and 14 ~ 54 are certainly 'adequately' fast with maximum apertures of f 2.8. Anything faster would make them very heavy and bulky.

The 50 ~ 200 zoom is also fast; again with a maximum aperture of f 2.8. And for those who can afford them, there are the excellent 150 mm f 2.0 and 300 mm f 2.8 optics.

I already have more than enough Zuiko glass to keep me happy, so I don't study the lens charts very often these days, but I'm sure there are plenty more that I haven't mentioned.

Having said all of that, I agree; I would love a really fast 20 mm prime lens for my E1.*chr