fast 35mm - why so expensive?

Started Aug 29, 2012 | Discussions
DonSantos
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fast 35mm - why so expensive?
Aug 29, 2012

Here are my options:

1. Leica m9 + 35mm 1.4 summilux 7000$ + 5000$ = 12000$ total
2. Canon 5d mk 3 + 35mm 1.4 L 3500$ + 1380$ = 4880$
3. Nikon d800 + 35mm 1.4 3000$ + 1650 = 4650$
4. Nex 7 + 24mm 1.8 = 1200$ + 1000$ = 2200$
5. Fuji x100 23mm 2.0 = 1200$
6. used 5d mk 1 + 35mm 2.0 = 700$ + 300$ = 1000$

xpro1 = no fast 35mm equivalent available
micro4/3rds = no fast 35mm equivalent available
(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

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GregGory
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to DonSantos, Aug 29, 2012

DonSantos wrote:

(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

On a GHx in 16:9 it's 37.8mm EFL. Close enough for most people.

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Adventsam
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to GregGory, Aug 29, 2012

In 16:9 I think it closer to 36mm on the GH2? 1.8

In any event it seems unusual not to have a 35mm option (fast) for m43 17mm should be an easy lens to make for both companies, even a 1.4 or a 1.2(my preference).

VL are spot-on with the 17mm 0.95 but its MF but c/w Leica, should be similar and a darn sight cheaper?

GregGory wrote:

DonSantos wrote:

(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

On a GHx in 16:9 it's 37.8mm EFL. Close enough for most people.

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pannumon
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to GregGory, Aug 29, 2012

GregGory wrote:

DonSantos wrote:

(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

On a GHx in 16:9 it's 37.8mm EFL. Close enough for most people.

It is always 20mm, when using the multi-aspect ratio sensor. This is 40mm equivalent.

If someone is only interested how wide the image is, one could say that on 4:3 20mm is effectively longer than 40mm (compared to the 35mm 3:2 format).

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Adventsam
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to pannumon, Aug 29, 2012

pannumon wrote:

GregGory wrote:

DonSantos wrote:

(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

On a GHx in 16:9 it's 37.8mm EFL. Close enough for most people.

It is always 20mm, when using the multi-aspect ratio sensor. This is 40mm equivalent.

If someone is only interested how wide the image is, one could say that on 4:3 20mm is effectively longer than 40mm (compared to the 35mm 3:2 format).

Don't go there!

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Ray Sachs
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to DonSantos, Aug 29, 2012

Well, there's the Voigtlander 17.5 f.95, but that's more than an X100. But there's a 23mm f1.4 set for next year for the Fuji XPro system, so that may be the cheapest high quality option (assuming you already have the camera body). But it's not here yet.

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Julian_K
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to DonSantos, Aug 29, 2012

You haven't considered the 17.5mm f0.95 from Voigtlander? Not cheap but a damn good lens:

http://admiringlight.com/blog/review-voigtlander-nokton-17-5mm-f0-95/

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Anders W
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to DonSantos, Aug 29, 2012

DonSantos wrote:

Here are my options:

1. Leica m9 + 35mm 1.4 summilux 7000$ + 5000$ = 12000$ total
2. Canon 5d mk 3 + 35mm 1.4 L 3500$ + 1380$ = 4880$
3. Nikon d800 + 35mm 1.4 3000$ + 1650 = 4650$
4. Nex 7 + 24mm 1.8 = 1200$ + 1000$ = 2200$
5. Fuji x100 23mm 2.0 = 1200$
6. used 5d mk 1 + 35mm 2.0 = 700$ + 300$ = 1000$

xpro1 = no fast 35mm equivalent available
micro4/3rds = no fast 35mm equivalent available
(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

According to Pekka Potka, the 20/1.7 is actually more like 18.5 than 20 mm. I haven't tried to measure this myself, but Pekka usually knows what he is talking about so I trust him on this. Consequently, to me, the 20/1.7 is practically equivalent to a 35 mm when it comes to FoV, and highly recommended quite apart from my preference for this FL.

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Hagane
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to Anders W, Aug 29, 2012

Anders W wrote:

According to Pekka Potka, the 20/1.7 is actually more like 18.5 than 20 mm. I haven't tried to measure this myself, but Pekka usually knows what he is talking about so I trust him on this.

Interesting! I thought it's the other way round. From the lenstip review of the 20mm I've got the impression that it's more of 42/43mm equivalent.

Lenstip states that this is because of the rather high barrel distortion (around -3.6%) and the resulting cropping from the auto-correction.

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Adventsam
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to Anders W, Aug 29, 2012

20mm is in some ways more preferable for m43, just giving that little extra with dof?

Anders W wrote:

DonSantos wrote:

Here are my options:

1. Leica m9 + 35mm 1.4 summilux 7000$ + 5000$ = 12000$ total
2. Canon 5d mk 3 + 35mm 1.4 L 3500$ + 1380$ = 4880$
3. Nikon d800 + 35mm 1.4 3000$ + 1650 = 4650$
4. Nex 7 + 24mm 1.8 = 1200$ + 1000$ = 2200$
5. Fuji x100 23mm 2.0 = 1200$
6. used 5d mk 1 + 35mm 2.0 = 700$ + 300$ = 1000$

xpro1 = no fast 35mm equivalent available
micro4/3rds = no fast 35mm equivalent available
(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

According to Pekka Potka, the 20/1.7 is actually more like 18.5 than 20 mm. I haven't tried to measure this myself, but Pekka usually knows what he is talking about so I trust him on this. Consequently, to me, the 20/1.7 is practically equivalent to a 35 mm when it comes to FoV, and highly recommended quite apart from my preference for this FL.

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s_grins
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to DonSantos, Aug 29, 2012

You have your options, you have to make your choice.
The more choices you have, the more it difficult to make your choice.
I'd follow my gut, or follow the cheapest option because it hurts less
--
I’m surprised how much Wikipedia contributes to the forum.

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Andy Crowe
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Why so hung up on having exactly 35mm FOV?
In reply to DonSantos, Aug 29, 2012

Here are my options:

1. Leica m9 + 35mm 1.4 summilux 7000$ + 5000$ = 12000$ total
2. Canon 5d mk 3 + 35mm 1.4 L 3500$ + 1380$ = 4880$
3. Nikon d800 + 35mm 1.4 3000$ + 1650 = 4650$
4. Nex 7 + 24mm 1.8 = 1200$ + 1000$ = 2200$
5. Fuji x100 23mm 2.0 = 1200$
6. used 5d mk 1 + 35mm 2.0 = 700$ + 300$ = 1000$

xpro1 = no fast 35mm equivalent available
micro4/3rds = no fast 35mm equivalent available
(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

Why so hung up on having exactly 35mm FOV? The difference between 35mm and 40mm is only 7 degrees, you may prefer to have 35mm but will 40mm ever stop you from getting a shot?

Also there's a big difference between a full frame 35mm f1.4 and an APS 35mm eqiv f2, if you consider that fast then you could use a 35mm f2.8 on full frame cameras for exactly the same effect.

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jim stirling
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to GregGory, Aug 29, 2012

GregGory wrote:

DonSantos wrote:

(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

On a GHx in 16:9 it's 37.8mm EFL. Close enough for most people.

With the small problem of DOF the 35mm f1.4 lens on FF gives the equivelent DOF of a 17.5 0.7 lens on mFT which seem to be in short supply. The Voightlander 17.5 0.95 which is a manual focus only lens comes in at £1100 here in the UK I image an even faster f0.7 lens would be very expensive.

Voightlander price

http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/shop-by-brand/voigtlander/lenses/voigtlander-17-5mm-f0-95-nokton-micro-four-thirds-lens.html

The Nikon 35mm comes in at £1285 so not much of a difference especially when you consider that the Nikon utilises a great deal more raw materials which I imagine are not overly cheap.

Nikon price

http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/7459103/art/nikon/af-s-nikkor-35-mm-f-1-4g.html?srcid=369

Much as I love my 20mm it was one of my major attractions to mFT , it is small , light and gives great results however it is very far from being a pro grade lens in build especially it also seem to be a bit tardy in the AF dept.

The comparisons between systems are pretty worthless buy what you want and use what you want .

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Anders W
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to Adventsam, Aug 29, 2012

Adventsam wrote:

20mm is in some ways more preferable for m43, just giving that little extra with dof?

You mean shallow DoF? Well, I don't care about that for a lens I would rarely use for subject isolation by means of background blur even on FF, where I used a Vivitar (Komine) 35/1.9 back in the film days. In terms of DoF, the max aperture of the 20 is equivalent to 3.4 on FF and if I manage a bit of background blur with it, it's more a matter of "collateral damage" than anything else. It's widish, fast, small, light, and sharp already wide open and that suffices for me.

Anders W wrote:

DonSantos wrote:

Here are my options:

1. Leica m9 + 35mm 1.4 summilux 7000$ + 5000$ = 12000$ total
2. Canon 5d mk 3 + 35mm 1.4 L 3500$ + 1380$ = 4880$
3. Nikon d800 + 35mm 1.4 3000$ + 1650 = 4650$
4. Nex 7 + 24mm 1.8 = 1200$ + 1000$ = 2200$
5. Fuji x100 23mm 2.0 = 1200$
6. used 5d mk 1 + 35mm 2.0 = 700$ + 300$ = 1000$

xpro1 = no fast 35mm equivalent available
micro4/3rds = no fast 35mm equivalent available
(I don't consider 20mm 1.7 a 35mm equivalent lens)

According to Pekka Potka, the 20/1.7 is actually more like 18.5 than 20 mm. I haven't tried to measure this myself, but Pekka usually knows what he is talking about so I trust him on this. Consequently, to me, the 20/1.7 is practically equivalent to a 35 mm when it comes to FoV, and highly recommended quite apart from my preference for this FL.

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Anders W
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to Hagane, Aug 29, 2012

Hagane wrote:

Anders W wrote:

According to Pekka Potka, the 20/1.7 is actually more like 18.5 than 20 mm. I haven't tried to measure this myself, but Pekka usually knows what he is talking about so I trust him on this.

Interesting! I thought it's the other way round. From the lenstip review of the 20mm I've got the impression that it's more of 42/43mm equivalent.

Lenstip states that this is because of the rather high barrel distortion (around -3.6%) and the resulting cropping from the auto-correction.

Yes, the distortion correction of course yields a reduction of the FoV relative to the uncorrected image. However, I am sure the official specifications take the correction into account. Otherwise, they would be systematically misleading. And I think Lenstip simply overlooked that when they said what they said in the distortion section of the review.

As to Potka's claim, you find it here, in the 19 mm section of a review focusing on the performance of the 12-50:

http://www.pekkapotka.com/journal/tag/lumix-20mm

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jtan163
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to DonSantos, Aug 29, 2012

Is f2.8 "fast"?

If so there's the Panny 17, and the Sigma 19, which are both pretty damn close to 35mm.

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jim stirling
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to jtan163, Aug 29, 2012

jtan163 wrote:

Is f2.8 "fast"?

If so there's the Panny 17, and the Sigma 19, which are both pretty damn close to 35mm.

Surely one of the main rationales of a very fast 35mm F1.4 lens on FF is to utilise shallow DOF techniques, F2.8 lens on mFT give the same DOF as an F5.6 lens on FF which is hardly the same.

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GregGory
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to pannumon, Aug 29, 2012

pannumon wrote:

If someone is only interested how wide the image is,

As long as the aspect ratio is constant, width, height, diagonal ratios are all the same.

As I said, shooting 16:9, the crop factor is 1.89 on a GHx.

one could say that on 4:3 20mm is effectively longer than 40mm (compared to the 35mm 3:2 format).

Except for the GHx.

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azazel1024
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to GregGory, Aug 29, 2012

As for why, fast retrofocus lenses tend to be expensive to make, especially high quality ones...which is what you typically want to be paying for when you buy a fast lens.

I don't know which lenses on m4/3 are retrofocus, but the sensor/flange distance is around 19.5mm on m4/3, so I'd assume anything of a shorter focal length is retrofocus for m4/3. So a 17mm lens would have to be a retrofocus design, which increases cost and complexity (you can make retrofocus pancakes, so you can make them small though if you use a pancake optical design).

Also to expand upon that, m4/3 has been around all of...what? 4 years now? Its not like it is a 20 year old system where no one has made a fast 35mm equivelent lens. I bet if you hang in there another 5 years, someone will have almost deffinitely made a 35mm equivelent lens at f/2 or faster. It might not necessarily be cheap though.

If you figure something like maybe 8 new lenses per year for m4/3, which I don't think is out of the possible/likely, then it won't be too long before someone starts producing one. Olympus seems to be churning out roughly 3-4 new lenses per year, Panasonic 4-5 and now Sigma is in the game and probably Tokina and Tamron will be joining them along with a few of the others soon (including some more niche ones like Samyang, CV, etc), so we might even be seeing more than 10 new lenses per year between all of the manufacturers for a couple of years. Guaranteed that there will be a lot of overlap and duplication though on those new lenses.
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Anders W
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Re: fast 35mm - why so expensive?
In reply to jim stirling, Aug 29, 2012

jim stirling wrote:

jtan163 wrote:

Is f2.8 "fast"?

If so there's the Panny 17, and the Sigma 19, which are both pretty damn close to 35mm.

Surely one of the main rationales of a very fast 35mm F1.4 lens on FF is to utilise shallow DOF techniques, F2.8 lens on mFT give the same DOF as an F5.6 lens on FF which is hardly the same.

Hmm. I think the opinions about that have been somewhat variable. Consider this ad for the Vivitar 35/1.9, a lens announced in 1974, which I bought shortly afterwards.

http://www.djibnet.com/photo/braless/vivitar-35-1-9-advertisment-1974-475124045.html

Here is the text of the ad (since it's a bit tricky to read it in the picture):

"Here is one of the fastest wide angle lenses available.

Why are so many photographers leaving their 50-55 mm lenses at home and using 35 mm as a normal lens? Because of the incredible depth of field possible with a medium wide angle lens. Look at the example on the next page taken with the new Vivitar 35 mm f1.9 lens. In sunlight, stopped down to f11, everything is in focus from 4 feet 8 inches to 14 ft 9 inches. (With a 55 mm lens, the depth of field would only extend from 5 feet 9 inches to 9 feet). You simply prefocus at 7 feet and practically anything interesting that happens on the street can be shot, in focus, without wasting valuable seconds refocusing. When you get the picture, you can then crop to suit. Or shooting indoors with tungsten light and color, the extra depth of field can make the difference between a partially or totally sharp picture. Of course the depth of field is reduced when you shoot wide open with a wide angle lens but it is still greater than that of a normal 50-55 mm lens.

Why is the f1.9 speed so important. Because it is practically as fast as the standard 50-55 lens and opens up that whole wonderful area of "available light" photography. Until recently, there were very few wide angle lenses this fast and they were usually very expensive. Computer design efficiencies have made it possible for Vivitar to offer this lens with top resolution, high contrast and a rational price."

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