Interesting read by Thom Hogan

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
ProfHankD
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About the lenses
In reply to Geedorama, 8 months ago

For what it's worth, I think the strength of Sony's line is the lenses... just not lenses branded Sony.

Although Canon and Nikon have larger lens lines, nobody really has a lens line that is best-in-class in every slot. For example, the Minolta/Sony 135mm STF lens has no serious competitors from Canon, Nikon, nor anybody else. They key is to get away from being stuck with lenses from one brand.

The 4/3 and u4/3 idea was to team-up brands, and it has sort-of worked, but not all that impressively. I think the problem is that 4/3 sensors are a size that there were not a pile of old lens designs waiting for.

You also can trade being stuck with one lens brand for being stuck with one mount just by change of attitude: there are 3rd-party lenses for all mounts that people often forget or dismiss. For example, Sigma has dominated the ultrawide market for some time independent of which mount the lens has. However, that just gets you 3rd party lenses, not lenses from competitors.

Sony makes the best sensors. The E/FE bodies are leveraging that by allowing you to stick just about any lens intended for FF or APS-C in front of them -- even lenses made by competing brands. Yeah, Sony hasn't taken the scary and impolite step of making adapters for other folks lenses themselves, but who cares? All that has to happen is fast AF with adapted lenses and it is game over for other body makers. (Although many of those competing bodies use Sony sensors, so Sony wins either way.) Interestingly, fast AF even with most manual lenses is technically feasible on an E/FE mount (I know because I've seriously considered commercially building such an adapter). We just don't have that adapter yet, and Sony's AF algorithms from the LA-EA1 are too slow. It will be interesting to see if Sony focus speed on non-native lenses is improved on the A6000....

Why have Canon and Nikon continued to dominate the market? Because they're there. Go to a department store or big-box store and try to buy a Sony. They don't have them. Sony hasn't yet learned how to get product on shelves and into store displays. This is probably based in the rigid way in which Sony lets stores get and sell their product. In my opinion, that's the thing Sony has to fix -- and they could.

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