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Thread: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

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    Default Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    I have looked at the lens roadmap closely and it it looking pretty good
    especially if you include the promised 25mm pancake, 100mm macro,
    14-35mm f2.0 and the standard ultra wide zoom 8-16mm?

    I can only see three real gaps (excluding primes at every 10mm)

    The Standard Grade lineup is fairly complete now with the 70-300
    and promised 8-16 ultra wide zoom.

    The mid or pro grade lineup is looking great except at the very wide and super tele ranges.

    There is no way to get past 200mm with weather sealing at a resonable price. This is the first gap.

    The 70-300 has filled a sore need and bringing the 4/3 system into its own with affordable long telephoto reach. Though it is a bit dark at f5.6 and not weather sealed. A possible solution would be a 100-300 F2.8-4.0 or similar though I think this would get too big and expensive.

    I would rather see a high quality 300mm f4.0 with SWD and weather seals coming in at a price above the 50-200 SWD but below the 7-14.

    The second gap is wider than the 11-22 without going fisheye.
    I think rather than a mid grade super wide zoom a 9mm weather sealed prime would be a better option. Hopefully it could also be made faster than the 7-14 possibly 2.8 or 3.5.

    The super high grade or top pro lineup is also looking pretty complete once you include the 14-35 f2.0.

    The only obvious gap I can see would be a dedicated super shallow DOF portrait prime. Possibilities are 40mm f1.0 or a 60mm f1.2 with the focus on bokeh rather than absolute wide open sharpness (remember this lens dosnt need to be small light or cheap we are talking SHG lenses here).
    I imagine this thing would cost anywere between the 7-14 and 14-35mm.

    In summary I regard the most logical lenses for the future ZD lineup (excluding promised roadmap lenses) would be:

    1. ZD 300mm f4.0 SWD mid grade weather sealed $1500 US
    2. ZD 9mm f3.5 ultra wide mid grade weather sealed prime $900 US
    3. ZD 60mm f1.2 SWD super high grade weather sealed portrait prime $2000? US.

    Anyone feel free to comment on my thoughts or agree disagree?

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    I think your 300/4 would be a good addition, although I probably wouldn't buy it because I don't need the length and generally prefer the versatility of a zoom.

    On the 9/3.5, I agree it would be nice to see a sealed ultra-wide, but I would prefer a slower lens at a somewhat lower price point.

    Your 60/1.2 is longer than I would want for portraits, and I would not want to pay 2,000 dollars. A mid-grade lens at f/1.4, between 35 and 50mm, might get my interest.


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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by plant.nerd View Post
    1. ZD 300mm f4.0 SWD mid grade weather sealed $1500 US
    2. ZD 9mm f3.5 ultra wide mid grade weather sealed prime $900 US
    3. ZD 60mm f1.2 SWD super high grade weather sealed portrait prime $2000? US.
    The current line-up is looking good and I can't wait for the 100mm macro lens to be released. I think a 300 f/4 would be good, but with the features you listed I wouldn't expect it to come in below $2500. The 9mm ultra wide may be a nice option for some, but I don't do a lot of ultra wide work. A 60 f/1.2 would be a killer lens, but I'm sure it will weigh in closer to $3000 plus range. Plus many people would look at the 50 f/2 macro since it would be much cheaper. This thread should be interesting.

    JW
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    I do agree with your assessments, but there is one more gap that I can see. Although it might be a bit marginal.

    That is a mid grade version of the 35-100mm f2.0 lens.

    This could be something like a 25-100mm or 30-120mm f2.8-3.5 zoom. That is a 'little brother' to the 50-200 and compliment to the 11-22.

    I sure would like one
    Cheers, Mick
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    But you do have the 14-54 F:2.8-3.5. No need for overlapping. That will be justified, only if you need to travel extra-light with a single lens on the camera.
    _____________
    Cristian Samoila
    www.tertulia.ro/blog
    E-500, ZD 14-54, ZD 40-150, ZD 70-300, ZD 35, ZD 14-45, FL36

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by mick_finn View Post
    30-120mm f2.8-3.5 zoom.
    I think this would be a nice option as well, but hold the weather sealing.

    JW
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by mick_finn View Post
    I do agree with your assessments, but there is one more gap that I can see. Although it might be a bit marginal.

    That is a mid grade version of the 35-100mm f2.0 lens.

    This could be something like a 25-100mm or 30-120mm f2.8-3.5 zoom. That is a 'little brother' to the 50-200 and compliment to the 11-22.

    I sure would like one
    Interesting option, mick. I often use my 11-22 as my main travel lens with my 40-150/4-5.6 in my bag. I find the 50-200 too big and heavy and the 70-300 a bit too big and slow (and as an aside, why does the front element rotate? doesn't work with grad ND filters), so I bring the more compact 40-150 kit lens. I find it's a bit slower than I would like. I could go for a 40-150/2.8-4 with the main goal to keep it as light and compact as possible -- if we wanted big and heavy, we would just use the 50-200 or the 35-100. Basically, what's needed is a semi-pro version of the slow consumer 40-150/4-5.6 that's one stop faster.

    Canon does a great job with their f/4 semi-pro 'tweener lenses. I'd like to see more of that in the industry, and who better to provide that than the king of high quality zooms (Olympus)?
    4/3: Oly E-3, E-1, E-520, 9-18, 11-22, 14-54, 50-200, 70-300, 25/2.8, 35/3.5 | Leica 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
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    Sony: A55, A900, 24-85, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 30/2.8, 35/1.4G, 50/1.7, Zeiss 85/1.4
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by cifcap View Post
    I think a 300 f/4 would be good, but with the features you listed I wouldn't expect it to come in below $2500.
    Although given economies of scale Olympus tends to price things a little higher than Canon and Nikon, I can't see a them pricing a 300/4 two and a half times more than the competition.

    I would love to see Olympus produce this lens...

    Cheers,

    Bruce

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by e_dawg View Post
    Interesting option, mick. I often use my 11-22 as my main travel lens with my 40-150/4-5.6 in my bag. I find the 50-200 and the 70-300 too big, so I bring the more compact 40-150 kit lens. I find it's a bit slower than I would like. I could go for a 40-150/2.8-4 with the main goal to keep it as light and compact as possible -- I we wanted big and heavy, we would just use the 50-200 or the 35-100. Basically, a semi-pro version of the slow consumer 40-150/4-5.6.

    Canon does a great job with their f/4 semi-pro 'tweener lenses. I'd like to see more of that in the industry, and who better to provide that than the king of high quality zooms (Olympus)?
    Yes, that's pretty much how I figured it. I also use the 11-22 + 40-150mkII as my carry around zooms. But I sometimes could compromise a bit from the extreme portability of the 40-150 for a bit wider and a bit faster.

    Ergo, a 25-100 f2.8-3.5, or even better 25-125mm, if any company Oly might be able to pull that off.
    Cheers, Mick
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    This is never going to happen, but I'd be happy with 14-45 and 40-150 f/2.8 lenses. The slowness on the long end is my only quibble with the kit lenses.

    JW
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by ZuikoGuy View Post
    I can't see a them pricing a 300/4 two and a half times more than the competition.
    A 300/4 is one of the simpler lenses to design. It's already telecentric by nature and there is no need for a lot of lens elements or fancy ED glass. It should not cost more than $1000.

    /Jörgen
    Jörgen

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by plant.nerd View Post
    The mid or pro grade lineup is looking great except at the very wide and super tele ranges.

    There is no way to get past 200mm with weather sealing at a resonable price. This is the first gap.

    The 70-300 has filled a sore need and bringing the 4/3 system into its own with affordable long telephoto reach. Though it is a bit dark at f5.6 and not weather sealed. A possible solution would be a 100-300 F2.8-4.0 or similar though I think this would get too big and expensive.

    I would rather see a high quality 300mm f4.0 with SWD and weather seals coming in at a price above the 50-200 SWD but below the 7-14.
    Olympus actually lose a lot of potential new users because of the lack of a mid-range 300mm zoom. I own both the the 50-200 and the 300/2.8 plus the EC-14 and EC-20 but I still don't have a good combination for photographing wild deer. The 50-200 on its own is woefully short. With the EC-14 it's a bit too slow. The 300/2.8 is rather cumbersome and compromises mobility too much whilst stalking the deer. A 100-300/f4 or f2.8-3.5 would be ideal for my purposes. Add the EC-14 to give a FL of 420mm and you'd have a really usable birding lens too. I think it would also be a good lens for outdoor sports photography.

    My instinct is to advocate additional lenses which can serve well in a range of photographic disciplines. I believe that this is more likely to demonstrate a reasonable market for that lens and thus motivate Olympus to actually build and sell it. From my POV and as one who already uses a 300mm prime, the 300/f4 prime is very much a niche lens. I'm not saying the system should never have one but I consider it far more important to have that 300mm zoom available ASAP..
    Best wishes

    Paul

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Seems to me a 150mm f/2 + EC20 would fill the bill for a high quality 300mm f/4 at lower than 300mm f/2.8 priceing (by half!) and net you two great lenses rather than just one. Not cheap, but good and cheap together when it comes to lenses is very rare.

    Godfrey

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Seems to me a 150mm f/2 + EC20 would fill the bill for a high quality 300mm f/4 at lower than 300mm f/2.8 priceing
    No it wouldn't. A 300/f4 (either prime or zoom) can be used with a teleconverter to extend its reach beyond 300mm. The 150+EC-20 combination cannot do this.
    Best wishes

    Paul

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    For a long lens I would really like to see a 200-400mm f4. I would probably sell the 90-250mm and use the 200-400mm and 50-200. (But I assume it would be expensive)
    Second I would like to see a tilt/shift WA lens.
    Finally a couple of the little primes, but all in all I think it is avery nice line up of lenses.
    I can't wait to get my hands on the 14-35mm.

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    I personally would love a 40mm F 1.0 for $900.
    Olympus E-30(dead)............Zuiko 50-200mmF2.8-3.5 SWD
    Leica 25mm F1.4...............QuantaRay 1000mm F16
    Zuiko 7-14mm F4..............Zuiko 1.4x Teleconverter
    Zuiko 12-60mm F2.8-4......Olympus FL-36
    Zuiko 50mm F2 Macro........Olympus FL-50r


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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    I think the Four Thirds lineup has a couple big holes:

    1) Lack of primes. To speak in 35mm-equivalent terms, we've got a 48, a couple 50's, a 60, a 70, a 100, a 105, two 150's, and a 600. Essentially that's four normals, three short teles, two teles, and a super tele. Bleh! I'm not looking for giant world-beating primes, because I think Olympus' zoom lenses do a good enough job at that task. I'm looking for reasonably-sized lenses like the upcoming 25/2.8 and the 50/2.

    2) Lack of long telephoto choice. I want a long tele that exploits the claimed Four Thirds advantage: compact, high quality, reasonable price. Right now Olympus only has me covered out to 400mm, with the 50-200. Olympus could give us a lot more without much difficulty, and become a major player in the wildlife arena. Many people want to shoot wildlife, but don't because the gear is so expensive. I want to see results near the 300/2.8, but in a more compact and affordable package.

    With exception of those two gaps, I think Four Thirds has no major holes. That in itself is a shocking statement for such a young system! Bravo Four Thirds members!

    Here's the lenses I would add to fill the gaps I see:

    10/2.8. Compact, quality to match the 11-22. $350.
    14/2.8. Very compact, quality to match the 14-54. $250.
    50/1.4. Hopefully compact, but nice bokeh is key. Think Canon 85/1.2. $600.
    200/2.8. Fast AF, excellent IQ even with a 2x TC. $800.
    300/4.0. Fast AF, excellent IQ even with a 2x TC. $1000.
    100-300/4.0. Lets get Sigma's 100-300/4. It's an excellent lens. $900.

    The two wide primes make Olympus are needed for street shooters, which Olympus is trying to court with the E-420.

    The 50/1.4 finally gives us a real portrait lens, without the crazy size/price of the competition (look at an 85/1.2L in the shop someday!) with a nice big profit margin.

    The two teleprimes give us reach on the cheap, and should be sharp enough to mount a 2x TC without much of a knock in IQ. Who would like a 2lbs "840/5.6" for $1000? I sure would. They'll be excellent wildlife lenses for those of us who are on a limited budget and/or hate carrying around big heavy crap. (I think these are fairly common sentiments among Four Thirds users, and photographers in general?)

    Finally, the 100-300/4 is an existing lens, and an excellent one at that. I've seen tests on the Canon system that put it close to the Canon 300/4IS in sharpness. I believe it would be at least as sharp as the 50-200, in fact. Its AF is quick and accurate. It takes a 1.4x TC effortlessly. It comes in at a reasonable 3lbs. And the price is good, at $900. Add all this up and you have a perfect lens for the Four Thirds system. Where else could you get a "200-600/4" for $1000? Not to mention one you could mount a 1.4x TC on to get a "280-840/5.6"!? Its only downside is that it might put a crimp in 50-200 sales.

    So that's what I'd do if I were head of Olympus. Well, that, and I'd take a hack saw to an E-420 and stuff an E-3 viewfinder in there, add electronic shutter blades for silent shooting (ala 40D) and sell it for $750.

    Will anyone hire me for CEO?
    Chris


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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by ptuk View Post
    No it wouldn't. A 300/f4 (either prime or zoom) can be used with a teleconverter to extend its reach beyond 300mm. The 150+EC-20 combination cannot do this.
    Fine.

    But I'm completely, utterly uninterested in lenses that long. 200mm on the 4/3 format is already such a tight field of view that, for my work, it is only once in a blue moon I find myself using it.

    A 150/2 plus a 2x teleconverter would be just dandy for my "every so infrequently often" need. I'm considering just getting the EC14 as it and the 50-200 I already have will do the job at minimum cost.

    Godfrey

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by ckrueger View Post
    Will anyone hire me for CEO?
    I would if you could get the 100mm Macro released and an upgrade to the E-300/330 series bodies. E-360 sounds good to me!

    JW
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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Fine.

    But I'm completely, utterly uninterested in lenses that long. 200mm on the 4/3 format is already such a tight field of view that, for my work, it is only once in a blue moon I find myself using it.
    I think that's a common experience, unless you're shooting wildlife. I've very rarely wanted to go beyond 400mm for anything but an animal.

    For wildlife shooting, I've never had too much reach. I've shot relatively-tame wild turkeys at close range and wished for more reach than the 840mm my 5D gave me with my 300/2.8 and stacked TC's.

    I guess "enough" reach for me would be when I could take a headshot of a distant finch. That's gotta be something like 4000mm... which is beyond feasibility due to atmospheric haze and heat waves. Damn physics.
    Chris


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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by ckrueger View Post
    To speak in 35mm-equivalent terms, we've got a 48, a couple 50's, a 60, a 70, a 100, a 105, two 150's, and a 600.
    your making a small error here, the 105 and the tw0 150's are 210 and 300 in 35mm equivalent terms.

    bout pricing, i think you're being a bit to optimistic. if olympus would make a 300/4 i think it will be about $1500,-. and a 100-300/4 from olympus will be quiet a lot more expensive as the sigma (and a lot better and way better QC).

    but i wouldn't hire you as a CEO. as i have said before in an other topic, olympus is doing a quiet ok job when looking at the zooms. when the 14-35/2 and the standard UW are there, olympus is okay for zooms for a couple of years as far as i'm concerned. let them focus on primes now for a while.

    These are the lenses i would add to fill the gaps;

    In the standard line - next to the 35 macro - I think there should be three small primes;

    the coming 25/2.8
    a small (preferably a pancake) 14/4 (faster probably would make it to big)
    a small 60~70/4.


    In the mid grade I would like to see the following lenses;

    12/4
    20/2.8
    100 macro (which is on the road map for years)
    200/2.8
    300/4


    And in the top grade;

    12/as fast a possible/reasonable
    17/1.4
    25/1.4 (not really necessary as there already is the PanaLeica one)
    42/1.4
    60~70/1.4


    I would buy the 17/1.4 and either the 42 or 60~70.

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    First I would like to thank everybody for the well thought out an polite replies, this forum is a breath of fresh air compared to the antics seen on that other forum (you all know where I mean). Here you can actually have a discussion instead of a ghetto gangland streatfight.

    I would like to add that I am happy with my current lens lineup that is:
    11-22
    14-42
    14-54
    35 macro
    50 macro
    40-150 old
    50-200
    ec14

    This setup does most of what I need except the 50-200 +ec14 is a little dark or short for some of the conditions I shoot wildlife under.

    I am also frustrated at the Olympus lens prices here in Australia
    The 50-200 is $1500 then the next lowest price lens is the 7-14 at around $3000 the 150 and 35-100 are $4000 and 300mm and 90-250 f2.8s are $11000+ ! Considering our dollar is 90 US cents this is hard to swallow.

    I would buy a 300 f4.0 to use with ec14 for wildlife if it was priced at or lower than 7-14.

    I would also buy a 7 or 9mm prime for vast landscapes that we have so many of here down under.

    A few photo examples
    Varigated Fairy Wren
    E510 and 50-200 heavily cropped
    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b2...igatedWren.jpg
    Currawong
    E500 + 50-200
    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b2.../Currawong.jpg

    New Zealand Fur Seal E500 +50-200 Ec14
    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b2...d_/FurSeal.jpg

    Sea Cliff Cave 11-22
    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b2.../Punakaiki.jpg

    Sunset NZ Coast 11-22
    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b2...iki-Sunset.jpg

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by atmosphere View Post
    your making a small error here, the 105 and the tw0 150's are 210 and 300 in 35mm equivalent terms.

    bout pricing, i think you're being a bit to optimistic. if olympus would make a 300/4 i think it will be about $1500,-. and a 100-300/4 from olympus will be quiet a lot more expensive as the sigma (and a lot better and way better QC).
    Whoops, my mistake. You're right, I forgot to add the crop in there for those three. But the point remains: we don't have crap for compact wide lenses, nor do we have many good long tele choices.

    I agree with you that I'm being optimistic on the telephoto prices. Olympus would probably inflate the prices past the competitive level. I can only hope they wake up at some point and start charging market prices.

    I don't think I'm being optimistic on the WA prices. I don't think they'll sell at a much higher price than that. I know I'd sooner lug my Canon kit than pay $400 for a slow 28mm prime, to be perfectly honest.
    Chris


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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by ckrueger View Post
    100-300/4.0. Lets get Sigma's 100-300/4. It's an excellent lens. $900.

    Finally, the 100-300/4 is an existing lens, and an excellent one at that. I've seen tests on the Canon system that put it close to the Canon 300/4IS in sharpness. I believe it would be at least as sharp as the 50-200, in fact. Its AF is quick and accurate. It takes a 1.4x TC effortlessly. It comes in at a reasonable 3lbs. And the price is good, at $900. Add all this up and you have a perfect lens for the Four Thirds system. Where else could you get a "200-600/4" for $1000? Not to mention one you could mount a 1.4x TC on to get a "280-840/5.6"!? Its only downside is that it might put a crimp in 50-200 sales.
    Totally agree! We only get the crappy 135-400/4.5-5.6 as the only Sigma 4/3 long tele zoom. The 100-300/4 would be perfect. Forget about Olympus making a superior version -- I doubt they could come up with anything better than Sigma has already for less than a ridiculous price. The 100-300/4 is an optical gem like their world-class 70/2.8 and 150/2.8 Macros.

    The two wide primes make Olympus are needed for street shooters, which Olympus is trying to court with the E-420.
    Yep. No idea why they and the rest of the 4/3 consortium have come up short here. I mean, it's glaringly obvious. Nothing below 24 mm (48 mm EFL) all this time? Are you kidding me?

    I like the suggestion on the 10 and 14 mm primes, but I would really like to see an 18 or 20 mm prime as a classic 35 or 40 mm EFL prime -- maybe even before say the 10 mm prime.

    I believe a poll conducted on dpreview's Olympus forum had a large number of people choosing either 18 or 20 mm as their most wanted focal length for a new prime lens. Neither was the single most requested focal length, but combined (let's say they please both groups and produce a 19 mm instead), it would easily be the most requested focal length for a new prime.
    4/3: Oly E-3, E-1, E-520, 9-18, 11-22, 14-54, 50-200, 70-300, 25/2.8, 35/3.5 | Leica 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
    m4/3: E-P3 | G1 | 14/2.5 | 20/1.7 | 14-42 IIR | 17/2.8 | 45/1.8 | Nik 20/3.5
    Nikon: D90, D700, 70-300/VR, 24/2.8, 35/1.8, 35/2, CV 40/2, 50/1.4G, 60/2.8, 85/1.8, 180/2.8 | f/2.8 zooms | Zeiss 25/2.8
    Sony: A55, A900, 24-85, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 30/2.8, 35/1.4G, 50/1.7, Zeiss 85/1.4
    P&S: Canon S90

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    Default Re: Four Thirds Lens Lineup Gaps

    Quote Originally Posted by e_dawg View Post
    Yep. No idea why they and the rest of the 4/3 consortium have come up short here. I mean, it's glaringly obvious. Nothing below 24 mm (48 mm EFL) all this time? Are you kidding me?
    Indeed! Olympus is ignoring its strongest advantages: size and crop factor.

    They're ignoring their crop/density advantage by producing few long telephoto choices. The 70-300 is a good idea, but it's dancing around the issue. A 300/4 is a compact, cheap lens, and on the Olympus system gives you a "600/4".

    I think the easiest way to speak to their advantage is to compare against another system. I own a Canon 5D and Canon 40D. To get a 600/4 on the 5D I have to spend $7000 and carry a 12lbs lens. To get a "640/4" on the 40D I have to buy a $5200 lens and carry a 4.3lbs lens with diffractive optics (a can of worms in itself).

    Canon ALSO produces a 300/4 with IS for $1150, weighing 2.6lbs. Olympus could make this same lens, but without the IS element. If it came in at $1100 and 2.5lbs, look at the huge advantage! That's a $4000 and 2lbs+ savings over APS-C, or a $5000 and 9lbs savings over 35mm!

    On the other end of th spectrum, they're ignoring their size advantage by skipping out on an ultra-compact prime lineup. This may be changing now with the 25/2.8 pancake, thankfully. So we've got a compact normal. Give us a compact ultrawide (14-20mm) and a compact wide (24-35mm), and possibly a shrunken down non-macro 50mm and Four Thirds suddenly becomes a great street shooting system.

    I'll cross my fingers.
    Chris


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