Lens selection - M4/3 v Sony A mount

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Chris R-UK
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Lens selection - M4/3 v Sony A mount
3 months ago

A week or so ago somebody on a thread in another forum claimed that M4/3 had a better selection than Sony A mount. That surprised me so I decided to do the analysis below.

The lens data come from the Four Thirds site and SonyAlphaLab. The categories come from the Four Thirds site and I have use the equivalent APS-C focal lengths for the Sony categories:

  • Wide: minimum focal length <12mm (M4/3) <16mm Sony
  • Standard/Standard Zoom : minimum focal length >12mm/16mm and maximum focal length <100mm/133mm
  • Telephoto/Telephoto Zoom: maximum focal length >100mm/133mm.

Analysis including 3rd Party lenses that can be used without an adapter:

  • Wide zoom: M4/3 2, Sony 6
  • Standard zoom: M4/3 14, Sony 16
  • Telephoto zoom: M4/3 9, Sony 24
  • Macro: M4/3 2, Sony 10
  • Wide prime: M4/3 2, Sony 5 (includes fisheyes)
  • Standard prime: M4/3 19, Sony 17
  • Telephoto primes: M4/3 1, Sony 6 (M4/3 is Tamron 300mm mirror)

Totals:

  • M4/3 "In-house" 42, 3rd party 7, total 49 (does not include Lensbaby)
  • Sony "In house" 31, 3rd party 53, total 84 (3rd party Sigma and Tamron only)

(There may be errors in the numbers and I think that they only include currently available lenses and not discontinued lenses or lenses that have been announced for future release like the Olympus 300mm f/4.)

The surprising numbers for me were that M4/3 has more "in-house" (i.e Olympus+Panasonic) lenses than Sony. There is clearly quite a lot of overlap between Olympus and Panasonic, especially on kit lenses, but there is also DX/FX overlap for Sony.  There is a lot of overlap between Sigma and Tamron on the A mount telephoto zooms, especially 70-200.

The other surprise number was the enormous number of third party lenses available for Sony.

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Chris R

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