why Sony can continue normal pace of Nex lens intros

Started Jul 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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RussellInCincinnati
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why Sony can continue normal pace of Nex lens intros
Jul 23, 2012

After years of following this forum, and lots of arguing, finally understand why Sony Corp. does not feel compelled to introduce new Nex mirrorless-APS-C lenses--at a rate faster than they have produced new lenses so far.

(As an aside, Zackiedawg has done a good job on this forum of describing the rate of new Nex lens intros, and has shown that the number of new lenses that Sony is getting out the door for eMount is kind of ordinary, neither real fast nor real slow. Regardless of how awful or great you feel the lenses are, considering the newness of the system the number of lenses is pretty average for new camera lines.)

Sony need not speed up new eMount lens intros, for the same reason that any other manufacturer of full frame and/or DSLR cameras, who wants to introduce a new mirroless APS-C sensored camera, isn't going to bother bringing out a "full suite of lenses" with their new mirrorless APS-C camera.

It's because as long as the camera companies provide an autofocusing adapter for a full suite of lenses they already make , the whole issue of having a full suite of compact APS-C-mirrorless-optimized lenses, in order to get good sales of the mirrorless body, is solving a problem that users may want to be solved, but doesn't need to be solved for the manufacturers to enjoy good sales.

Why should Sony or Canon spend zillions rushing out a bunch of new lightweight mirrorless lenses, as long as

(a) they have the most overwhelmingly popular kit zooms and maybe a fast prime or two already covered and

(b) the folks who would be, in the abstract, outraged by the light little mirrorless lens' optically-unambitious performance and lack of selection are either

(b1) thinking of lenses so inherently big that the adapter needed to use the existing non-mirrorless lenses is not problematic, or

(b2) aren't thinking about the ever-shrinking importance of lens optical performance as display targets become more and more low-res web pages, and computational photography correction and sharpening tools that make sheer optical performance less important or

(b3) are also looking for things, like certain kinds of handling and autofocusing capability, that the tiny APS-C mirrorless body ain't gonna have anyway.

To refute this argument, one should be able to

(a) show poor sales of a new APS-C mirrorless body (from a manufacturer of an existing suite of DSLR lenses) that can be reasonably be traced to a lack of a full suite of miniaturized lenses and

(b) explain how many people who want inherently larger, heavier, more expensive higher-performing lenses are going to even notice or care about the largeness, weight or price of 110gram-to-200gram (even phase detect autofocusing) adapters (that give you balanced and professionally useful perfect tripod mount points by the way) needed for the relatively rare occasions when the uber-lenses are needed. And

(c) explain how people who want faster lenses, and/or longer lenses, are not also going increasingly likely to be demanding other features, like phase detect autofocusing, or in-body stabilization, or handling balance with big lenses, that cameras like the super light weight (hence popular) 250-gram-ish Nex's can't compete with anyway.

My own case is typical. Am not excited by the optical performance and selection of the Nex real light weight eMount lens line. They're not what I want for a good fraction of my purposes. But a Nex is quite competitive for me anyway . Because the Alpha mount lenses that can do what the eMount lenses don't, perfect corners or whatever, are inherently so big (and the Nex body is so small) that I don't even notice or begrudge the adapter that's required to get to those lenses.

I'm hoping Sony keeps developing the cost-effective, high-performance Alpha lens line, lenses that are usable on many types of cameras...and I don't even want Sony to bother with more eMount lenses that can only be used on one type of camera. Heck with eMount lenses that will (a) always be compromised in performance or cost in order to be "suitably small" for the little mirrorless bodies and (b) bring performance to a body so small that, no matter how perfect the eMount lenses are, the resultant system is never gonna have the features I want for highest-performance situations anyway. Bulkier Alpha DSLRs will always do better for those rare-for-me situations (and probably rare for most Nex users, who after all bought a camera missing many a DSLR feature). And it's great to be able to run around with a near-weightless all eMount kit when that's adequate, so Sony gets sales to me despite the Nex shortcomings compared to Alpha DSLRs.

Cost me $50 to add the bulky lens (of course bringing nicer corner resolution) I wanted to the Nex, to take this way-better-than-point-and-shoot level of photo yesterday. Sony would not generate more overall sales from me by bothering to duplicate the will-always-be-bigger Alpha lenses I like in native eMount.

Bothering and risking lots of new, duplicative and inherently compromised (to make them Nex-tiny) eMount lenses isn't going to get new Sony purchases from me. The new eMount lenses would just be to try to get me to pointlessly switch from Sony Alpha purchases (of lenses that can be used on multiple camera types) to purchases of eMount lenses that can be used only one, feature-compromised-to-be-tiny camera type.

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