Can m4/3 be adaped to 4/3?

Started Mar 22, 2010 | Discussions thread
boggis the cat
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Advantages and disadvantages
In reply to alaska_tim, Mar 31, 2010

alaska_tim wrote:

So in a nutshell, there is no size advantage to 4/3 when building a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 zoom, when compared to a full frame 70-300mm f/4-5.6?

Thinking about this...

If built from scratch (i.e. not a 135 or APS lens adapted to 4/3) then you should theoretically be able to build a lens that, if it duplicates the 135 variant specs exactly, would be smaller by approximately the ratio of the image circles.

In practice, you would not see a reduction equal to this for various reasons (notably the requirements of the mount size, physical robustness of the lens, and extra costs of miniaturising some components).

Building a lens that projects a smaller 4/3-sized image circle onto the 4/3 sensor does not mean the lens can be smaller than the homologous lens on a FF camera?

Yes, but the optics have to be completely modified so you may as well try to do better than simply duplicating a competitor's lens. 4/3 lenses tend to be either substantially smaller than 135 (and APS) or substantially faster. The SG and HG line effectively bracket the low-end lens lines from e.g. Canon and Nikon. (While the HG and SHG lines bracket the high-end lens lines.)

Given that Olympus are not stupid they would have foreseen that closing the sensor advantage gap on larger formats would takes some time, so they went for a very well thought out lens system as the competitive edge. (Along with the best weather sealing available and rolling out a lot of innovations.)

If you want very small lenses (with some fairly nasty optical compromises, IMO) then you should look at micro 4/3; or a competitive system when they become available.

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