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Thread: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    I tried the Sigma and found it hunted too much for my liking.

    If I had to choose a single prime, I'd want it to be a 100mm f2--to replace the OM version that I currently own.

    If Oly came out with a 150mm 2.8, in a compact size, I'd be all over it!
    Olympus E-500, E-1,
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    If a focal reducer is a feasible route, how come we haven't already seen it all over the place in Four Thirds? It seems there are plenty of great applications:

    A 50/1.0 (based on a 100/2) would be a great cheap portrait lens.

    A 42/0.6 (based on an 85/1.2) would end talk of DOF limitations of FT.

    A 25/0.7 (based on a 50/1.4)) would be a system-selling night shooter's dream.

    A 14/1.4 (based on a 28/2.8) would finally give us a fast wide angle, and for cheap!

    A 35-100/1.4 (based on a 70-200/2.8) would make the industry's collective jaw drop. Especially if an 8-16/1.4 and 14-35/1.4 were to follow.

    I'm no optical engineer... is there something preventing Four Thirds members from doing any of this? It seems there must be, as Olympus can't even manage to produce a 14-35/2.0, let alone an f/1.4 design.
    Chris


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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Hi Chris,

    the focal reducers I have seen have been optimized for astronomical telescopes which always are focused at infinity. I read somewhere that it isn't possible to make such a device for an arbitrary focal distance. I have lost the reference to that statement however. Also, a focal reducer is likely going to be a clumsy device in comparison to a teleconverter.

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
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  4. #54
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by jebir View Post
    the focal reducers I have seen have been optimized for astronomical telescopes which always are focused at infinity. I read somewhere that it isn't possible to make such a device for an arbitrary focal distance.
    This is probably true, though it's also true that any fast lens has a sweet spot at which it's optimised and then either elaborate correction or diminished performance away from there. A 25/0.7 or 50mm f/1 lens could be designed to work well at portrait range, or at infinity, but likely not both with a reasonable price point. That's fine - such lenses are for specific purposes anyway.

    Teleconverters on fast lenses are not a free lunch either. When light is more radically bent it requires exponentially more care to keep aberrations from creeping in. All lenses have some residual imperfection one way or another, and this will usually be compounded by any secondary optics. (Occasionally this is not the case, such as when a matched teleconverter is used to simultaneously null out a known aberration, or where it just happens by fluke.)

    I think the bigger problem with the hypothetical focal reducer is that it's ideal placement would be right next to the rear element of the primary optic. But this spacing varies from design to design, and usually with focal position as well.

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by jebir View Post
    I wonder how useful it would be with a 12 mm diameter image circle?
    Such a device could work with some of the Sigma lenses designed for 35-mm format though.
    Well of course I meant the OMZ 50/2.

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    another strategy could just use a demountable focal reducer designed for a specific lens. A 0.5x FL reducer would make the 50/2 1 full stop faster generating a 25/1.4
    I've thought about the focal reducer concept for a little while now, since an earlier discussion.

    My thoughts are that you would integrate a 0.7x focal reducer into an adaptor for each of the common full frame lens ranges. This would improve the resolution and brightness of those lenses while still leaving the worst of the vignetting common to FF out of shot. If you had the right electronics in there you potentially get full operation from any motorised lens this way.

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Hi acme,

    Quote Originally Posted by acme View Post
    Well of course I meant the OMZ 50/2.
    OK, thanks for that clarification. Since this is a thread about the "Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps", I thought we were discussing 4/3 compatible lenses.
    Just to clarify for those who are not familiar with optics: A 4/3 lens is made for an imaging sensor with only ~22 mm diagonal. This means that the lens must project its image on an image circle of about 24 mm (with ±1 mm margin added for IS sensor movement). A 0.5x focal reducer will shrink, not only thesize of the features in the image, but also the image circle to 50%, i.e., ~12 mm for a 4/3 lens. Not very useful on a 4/3 body IMHO.

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
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    Default Focal reducers

    I have been told a focal reducer cannot be done easily outside of a telescope I would love one but I think there is a physics reason why it has not been built.

    Still we were told that a pancake lens could not be done for 4/3 because less than 30mm fl lenses must be retrofocus designs. Look we now have a 25mm f2.8 pancake so if it can be done Olympus will do it.

    After all Olympus make amazing microscopes I use them for work they equal Zeiss and leica at a lot less cost.

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Thanks for filling me in, guys! Optics makes my brain hurt, so I appreciate your expertise. Hopefully the 25/2.8's reducer works well at all distances... its minimum focus distance is quite short!
    Chris


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    Red face Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    The lens gap for me relates to the use of my primary lens for events. Shooting field events means that I use the 90-250mm lens for 95% of my shooting. I did have a 35-100 lens. It was (for me) very difficult to carry the 90-250mm lens on a monopod (usually with flashes) and the 35-100 mounted on a second body while patrolling sidelines.

    I had to sell the 35-100mm lens and was forced to use (first) the 14-54 and eventually the 12-60. Because of lighting I then had to put flashes on the second bodies also. I still have a dead zone in the 60-90mm range.

    Maybe a 20-100mm f2.8 would help me a lot.

    At least I don't want to end up like most of the local "Canoneers" with three bodies and the requisite 400/2.8, 70-200/2.8 and a 24-70/2.8. Somebody I knew dropped his EOS1D MKlll with a 24-70 lens but "only" broke the filter while he was juggling the twins around his neck.

    I keep waiting for the word on the 100mm macro due this year.

    Randy

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by the beast View Post

    I keep waiting for the word on the 100mm macro due this year.

    Randy
    Ditto!

    JW
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Olympus have done a good job with the wide angle and short telephoto glass, as long as you aren't a hold out for primes. The zooms are great, in my opinion.

    I've always wanted to see Olympus add more fixed aperture 2.8 lenses across the range.

    I think another gap, alluded to above, is the long end. One 'target' lens for me would be Canon's 400/5.6. I'd pay double for Olympus to build a Zuiko edition. I too would love to see a 200-400/4, and while it would probably sticker higher than the 300/2.8, that zoom would really take advantage of the 4/3 sensor, and probably bring more sports and especially wildlife shooters from other brands.

    Fun to speculate.

    Rob Davies

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB View Post

    I've always wanted to see Olympus add more fixed aperture 2.8 lenses across the range.
    I'd like to see Olympus lower the price of the F2 glass.

    Also, I'd like to see an F4 set of glass. I own the Canon 70-200 f2.8L and the f4L version of this focal range and I'll use the f4 most of the time--its smaller and lighter and this inturn helps me to bring home more keepers.

    As sensor technology improves ISO performance, faster glass will play a lessor role in the capturing of images.

    Developing a collection of glass in a constant F4 would yield a more compact and lighter solution--and would be better positioned for the future.
    Olympus E-500, E-1,
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    i still think the highlight problem is a quality portrait solution that wont send you broke. This is the most outstanding need and it seems for all intents and purposes to be impossible without some unimagined innovation.

    I think this is for the most part a requirement for smooth bokeh that has only been gained by fast relative apertures on FF rigs. We simply cant get the wide stops to compete with F1.4/1.2 lenses on systems that already 2 stops faster. If you thought the adequate portrait FL range was between 60-90mm EFL there are very few lenses that can even compete even on a stop for stop basis. The fastest 35mm (70mm EFL) is F1.2 and cost about 1k.

    Olympus need to do better here, they need to find a place were the imagery is not simply good enough but outstanding, even incomparable.

    I've been thinking that a short macro slide on an adapter for a lowish cost film lens might be a good proposition. In that way we can get a fast relative aperture, and the shift from infinity focus pretty well guarantees a smooth bokeh. Focus confirmation would help.
    Riley

    Olympus User, Pro Photographer since 2003

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Hi Riley,

    I agree with your analysis about the lack of a perfect portrait lens. However, I fail to see any advantage with your proposition:
    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    I've been thinking that a short macro slide on an adapter for a lowish cost film lens might be a good proposition. In that way we can get a fast relative aperture, and the shift from infinity focus pretty well guarantees a smooth bokeh. Focus confirmation would help.
    Do you mean a bellows rather than the macro slide? How would it differ from having an ordinary MF lens attached to the body? I probably misunderstand you so, would you mind clarifying your thoughts a bit here?

    Cheers, Jens.
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    I think trying to compete with FF in smooth bokehs is a losing proposition. When I want extreme subject isolation (buttery smooth bokeh), I use my 5D and 135 f2L.

    I believe Olympus should continue its pursuit in building compact and lighter solutions.
    Olympus E-500, E-1,
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by jebir View Post
    Hi Riley,

    I agree with your analysis about the lack of a perfect portrait lens. However, I fail to see any advantage with your proposition:
    Do you mean a bellows rather than the macro slide? How would it differ from having an ordinary MF lens attached to the body? I probably misunderstand you so, would you mind clarifying your thoughts a bit here?

    Cheers, Jens.
    if you can imagine a device which allows the lens to slide forward, increasing the distance from the exit pupil to film plane. I recall reading somewhere that in the OM lineup we used to have a 6mm macro tube, which some portrait artists utilised to affect the focus range. The resulting bokeh was smoother and softer
    Riley

    Olympus User, Pro Photographer since 2003

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Hi Riley,

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    if you can imagine a device which allows the lens to slide forward, increasing the distance from the exit pupil to film plane. I recall reading somewhere that in the OM lineup we used to have a 6mm macro tube, which some portrait artists utilised to affect the focus range. The resulting bokeh was smoother and softer
    OK, I see what you mean. That would work with lenses that utilizes internal focusing or have floating elements (such as the ZD 50/2.0), but wether the effect is positive or bad should depend on how the lens designers proiritized the various trade-offs for each particular lens. For lenses which moves the entire lens package in order to focus it will not affect the bokeh (I suspect the ZD 25 and 35 fall in this category).

    EDIT: By the way, if a 7 mm extension tube (I'm not aware of any 6 mm ones) was adequate to achieve the effect for a portrait focal lengths in the OM-system, then the corresponding extension should be ~3.5 mm for fourthirds. A pretty difficult mechanical task to fit both male and female bayonets along with the electrical contacts in such a thin adapter.

    I'd rather see that Olympus made a dedicated f/1.2 portrait prime lens.

    Cheers, Jens
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    300 mm f4 or 150 - 450 f5.6 both great wide open please !!

    Something like the Canon 1 - 5 x Macro would be greaT

    Regards

    Tim Hughes
    http://www.artwanted.com/timhughes

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by jebir View Post
    EDIT: By the way, if a 7 mm extension tube (I'm not aware of any 6 mm ones) was adequate to achieve the effect for a portrait focal lengths in the OM-system, then the corresponding extension should be ~3.5 mm for fourthirds. A pretty difficult mechanical task to fit both male and female bayonets along with the electrical contacts in such a thin adapter.

    I'd rather see that Olympus made a dedicated f/1.2 portrait prime lens.
    The extension trick would not be difficult to do in a purpose-built lens, however. Canon has their 135/2.8 SF, Nikon has their 135/2 DC, and Minolta has their 135/2.8 STF. What's stopping Olympus from introducing a dedicated portrait lens with some sort of special effect to throw the background into a complete blur? (Preferably a solution like Minolta's... the best out there IMHO.) Olympus could produce something potentially superior to the FF alternatives with this approach. A system-seller, rather than an also-ran.

    A 50/1.4 for $300 and some sort of super-portrait lens for $1000 (say, a 50/1.2 with an STF-like aperture control) would cover the bases quite nicely. Play with focal lengths between 40mm and 70mm to taste.
    Chris


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