Have RF lenses had their day ?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
parallaxproblem
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Re: and in the new reality ...
In reply to Tom Caldwell, 11 months ago

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Well put, Sony are caught in a cleft stick, they don't have a wide range of FE lenses to offer, and they are bound to be quite expensive. Only really suitable for those well heeled enough and willing to start a completely new lens collection. Obviously by normal definition those fairly new to setting up a camera system.

Those who have been at it for years already have some (or more) good glass and have various degrees of willingness to start all over again. Those that want most of the benefits of good glass on a lens $ budget have the opportunity to get there on a legacy lens assignment. Leica Zeiss tragics of course want to use these excellent lenses forever on whatever camera they choose, preferrably a Leica, but are always interested in something more affordable.

So Sony don't want to make it too easy to use non-FE lenses but they need good volume of A7 type sales to create a market for their FE lenses, to just make it "possible". Nor do they really want any other lens that can be possibly be mounted to better what a FE lens might deliver.

I think that access to the A7 type and it's successor bodies will never be perfect, just do-able, and the friendliness to third market lenses will get less as the market penetration of FE suitable type camera bodies increases (not get more friendly). Access to lenses other than FE on the present A7 type is probably about as good as it gets. Sony want users to buy more FE lenses and plenty of them and users had better get used to the price for quality lenses which is more likely to go up than down. Of course not that far away are cheaper built kit lensed "FE" cameras both in aps-c and FF sensor build. Most new lenses, kit or otherwise, are likely to be FF sensor capable and of course will retrofit to the NEX bodies.

Happy days in the new reality.

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Tom Caldwell

What's interesting about this new experiment is that Sony are going 'in the opposite direction' from most manufacturers with their FF E-mount system.  For Nikon, Canon and A-mount: FF bodies allowed the majority of the *existing* lenses in that system to be used properly on digital for the first time

That was why I bought an FF A900 five years ago: not for the better IQ of a full frame sensor but because I wanted my lovely 85/1.4 to be an 85mm lens again, not a nearly-unusable 130mm portrait lens, and I wanted my 50/1.4 to be a standard lens again not a 'portrait lens without the portrait rendering'...

The issue here is that E-mount is uniquely 'moving-up' from APS-C to FF and although you 'can' use the existing APS-C lenses on the FF bodies, it is not too intersting to do so as it results in a crop which is equivalent or worse to the performance of the original NEX cameras from 2010, or alternatively it requires you 'geeking-around' trying to work out how much of the image circle of the APS-C lens is viable on a FF sensor without crop and then considering this when you frame your photos

That leaves Sony having to create a completely new range of FE lenses, whilst at the same time, as you so accurately describe in your above postl, trying to balance their 'encoragement and support' of other makes of FF lenses on the new bodies such that people believe there are some options, but not 'encourage and support' them so much that they present a threat to FE lens sales

I regret that Sony took this approach.  It would have been more adventurous to present the new FF body as an 'oversized-sensor' NEX (ideally in a NEX-sized body) which allowed lots of crop ratios within the APS-C image circle (1:1, 16:9 etc) and some exciting new tech (better AF?) which might encourage existing APS-C lens owners to buy the camera in order to get *more* out of their *exisiting* lenses.  This would have required a 36.4MP or higher sensor (otherwise the crops would have been uninteresting in terms of resolution) but it would have kept current users on-board.  Of course Sony could still release FF lenses but the pressure to build a new FF system quickly would be lower and they could still release APS-C lenses to fill-out the older-system

As it stands, Sony have instead rather stupidly created a 'chasm' in E-mount ownership with two very different types of customers owning NEX and A7/r series, as is very clear in this forum.  I hope the new release announcements planned for spring go some way to closing that chasm otherwise we will begin to see an increasing number of NEX customers jumping-ship as the realisation of what has happened sinks-in

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DUMP the HUMP! Campaign for *REAL* NEX replacement bodies

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