Why no lens uniformity?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
thomasw333
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Why no lens uniformity?
8 months ago

Why did Olympus not make all of their Prime lenses standard. Why not make them all 46MM filters, and have snap back focus rings.

12MM and 17MM have snap focus, but the old 45MM does not which makes sense, but you would have thought that the new 25MM would have the snap focus ring.

I do not understand why lens manufacturers cannot make lens with more similar traits. But it is really confusing for Olympus, they just started making mft lenses in the last 5-6 years. You would think that they would have sat down and made some rules about their lens designs.

I personally want all of the Prime lenses to be metal bodies with the same filter size, and the manual focus snap ring.

Anyone else wish for more lens uniformity?

ANd at this point what is the lens hierarchy for Olympus MFT.

They used to have HG and SHG glass. But I do not see any naming scheme for the MFT lenses, except the new Pro lens.

Pro lens is high quality and Weather Sealed I guess. I wish it was clearer.

What line it the old 17MM f2.8 in, what line is the 45MM f1.8 that is obviously much better, but still plastic and no fancy manual focus, and what line is the 17MM with al the bells and whistles, but no weather proofing.

Because at this point it seems like they just make up lenses as they want. Or the have about 4 levels of lenses.

1. Cheap 17mm f2.8

2. Plastic and good 45mm f1.8

3. Premium 17mm f1.8, with manual focus ring

4 Pro the 2.8 zoom, weather sealed

I guess it does not matter but does anyone have any insights into lens design?

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Corkcampbell
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Wow...did high schools actually stop teaching physics?
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

thomasw333 wrote:

I personally want all of the Prime lenses to be metal bodies with the same filter size, and the manual focus snap ring.

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Spiridakis Michael
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Re: Why no lens uniformity?
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

You just gave the answer by yourself in the conclusion of your post.... 45mm + 25mm are plastic because boss wants them as cheap as possible their main duty is to give people cheap BOKA... LOL... bokeh you know what I mean.... it happens with all camera companies to have fast plastic cheap primes at 50mm for this reason... cheap alcohol... that's all...

the old pancake 17mm/2.8 is just one of the first on m43 at their marketing experimentation period...

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thomasw333
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Re: Wow...did high schools actually stop teaching physics?
In reply to Corkcampbell, 8 months ago

Corkcampbell wrote:

thomasw333 wrote:

I personally want all of the Prime lenses to be metal bodies with the same filter size, and the manual focus snap ring.

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"Knowledge is good." Emil Faber

You provide nothing with your statement. Basically you know nothing and have nothing good to add to the world. I know that Olympus would not be able to make the filter size the same for all lenses, unless they had a very large size, as in unnecessarily large for some lenses front element. It does not take an adequately intelligent person to make some inferences from my statements. But if a person would use a tiny bit of logic, they could still see the validity of my post, in that it would be nice for some lens uniformity. Some lens "lines" that people could read and understand what level lens they are buying.

And I do not really care about the metal bodies, actually I want plastic bodies, or at least the front end of the lens to be plastic so we could use simple bayonet mount lens hoods. I do not care about the manual focus rings either. But I put that in the thread to hopefully drum up some more responses.

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Dheorl
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Re: Wow...did high schools actually stop teaching physics?
In reply to Corkcampbell, 8 months ago

Corkcampbell wrote:

thomasw333 wrote:

I personally want all of the Prime lenses to be metal bodies with the same filter size, and the manual focus snap ring.

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"Knowledge is good." Emil Faber

So what reason do you have why this couldn't be the case. Yes the 75mm would obviously have to be bigger but the 12, 17 and 25 are all 46mm. The lens barrel on the 45mm is already bigger than its filter thread so would it really have been that hard to bump the filter size on that up to 46mm to match?

(And I have a first class honours degree in physics so please don't try saying I was never taught it because I will just laugh)

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Corkcampbell
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Yes, the 75mm was the one that came to mind.
In reply to Dheorl, 8 months ago

If the OP hadn't written "all" of the primes, then I wouldn't have written my comment.

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ryan2007
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Re: Why no lens uniformity?
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

If a camera manufacture does not make a product you do not like and with MFT's you have options. You can use Panasonic & Olympus glass or look to a different mirror less manufacture that does things different or go to a DSLR.

What many do not understand is the DSLR on the high end is what is still be used for professional work. You see it in how sturdy or tank like the camera body is and how well made the lenses are.

Even inside the DSLR's most 2.8 fast glass is a 77 mm take the same with MFT's or Fuji X and the APS-C sensor and the idea is a mini DSLR with great optics.

When you start with metal construction and more groups/elements to those lenses combined with a constant aperture it costs and consumers pay. I am positive any manufacture can do anything they want and throw cost to the wind, but it is still a business.

I would not get strapped down to any manufacture and only you know how to solve your own deal breakers. You do not have to accept what you do not want to accept as a deign flaw or mis step.

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Dheorl
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Re: Yes, the 75mm was the one that came to mind.
In reply to Corkcampbell, 8 months ago

Corkcampbell wrote:

If the OP hadn't written "all" of the primes, then I wouldn't have written my comment.

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"Knowledge is good." Emil Faber

Fair enough. Maybe all the "common primes" would have been a better statement. The 75mm is IMO a more specialised lens with the price tag to match.

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DonSC
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Lens classes are as follow
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

thomasw333 wrote:

They used to have HG and SHG glass. But I do not see any naming scheme for the MFT lenses, except the new Pro lens.

Pro lens is high quality and Weather Sealed I guess. I wish it was clearer.

M.ZUIKO; M.ZUIKO PREMIUM; M.ZUIKO PRO. http://www.olympus-imaging.co.in/products/dslr/mlenses/

I think the difference between Premium and Pro is the sealing, as you suggest.

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thomasw333
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Re: Lens classes are as follow
In reply to DonSC, 8 months ago

DonSC wrote:

thomasw333 wrote:

They used to have HG and SHG glass. But I do not see any naming scheme for the MFT lenses, except the new Pro lens.

Pro lens is high quality and Weather Sealed I guess. I wish it was clearer.

M.ZUIKO; M.ZUIKO PREMIUM; M.ZUIKO PRO. http://www.olympus-imaging.co.in/products/dslr/mlenses/

I think the difference between Premium and Pro is the sealing, as you suggest.

Thanks for the link. This is good info that people can use. Now we can see exactly how Olympus classifies their lenses. I suppose it is a fault of mine, being too lazy to do a simple search and instead using the forum as an information hub.

Though they do not put the word premium anywhere on their lenses, I have the 17MM f1.8 and I have checked.

So premium to Olympus is good glass and wide apertures.

"The high-image quality fixed focal length lens series features sharpness and enjoyable soft defocusing effects."

But still, looking at the 12, 17, 25, and 45, it is strange to me that these four lenses do not have the same construction and features, 2 metal, 2 plastic. I prefer the plastic body and the ability to use bayonet mounted hoods. The manual focus ring is fine with me, but I would not be mad if they did not have it.

It just seems like they (Olympus) would have had a meeting and said, "hey we are starting fresh here, lets make our lens with X features and make them uniform."

Anyway, I am just here trying to have a conversation about things, this is a forum. It is sad when so many people post pointless, or worse disparaging comments about others. I do not understand when people comment about a persons parents, or how a person lacks education etc, why they waste time in doing so.

But I have to admit that I was angry earlier and took my own comments too far. I try and comment only when it makes sense, and can add some meaning to the conversation. I also try to ignore people who make wasteful comments. In short I try to keep my posting on point.

Some people can be so picky about details. But that seems to be the nature of forums, and I will try in the future to be more precise, hopefully not running over into the side of obnoxiousness.

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Corkcampbell
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Kinda off topic, but I don't use my 75mm that much.
In reply to Dheorl, 8 months ago

Hard to explain, but I kinda like the Sigma 60mm (and Oly 45mm) better for some reason, probably focal length and the fact it's lighter. I have often thought of putting the 75 on eBay. By the way, if my memory is correct, I think that all three Sigmas use the filter size (46mm?) which should make the OP happy.

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DonSC
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Re: Lens classes are as follow
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

You can find the same categories on the USA Olympus website but it's not on the landing page for lenses. I'm not sure why they bury the categorization since it makes things easier to understand IMO. http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lens_chip_layer You can even find a roadmap for both 43 and m.43 lenses by catetory. http://cache.olympusamerica.com/static/getolympus/files/lens_roadmap.pdf

The strategy looks good actually. With an exception or two, you have consumer zooms at the bottom, fast primes without sealing at the next level, and then fast zooms (not as fast as the primes) with sealing at the next level.

As was suggested, I think the answer about why some of the primes have more features is price. This is one of those damned if you do and damned if you don't situations. Some want the lenses cheaper. Some more feature rich. Personally I'd rather the primes be cheaper rather than feature rich because I can fill in the features with the Pro lenses. No doubt many others would have a different take.

But you posed an interesting question.

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frankmurphy
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Re: Lens classes are as follow
In reply to DonSC, 8 months ago

It does feel that the Olympus lenses weren't really planned out as lines though (with the exception of the new PRO lenses and the two "R" kit zooms). For the primes, there are only pairs of lenses: 12 & 17mm, 25 & 45mm, 9 & 15mm bodycaps. The 17 f/2.8, 60 macro and 75mm all stand apart (for different reasons). The weather sealing is all over the place. The 12, 17, 25 & 45 look the closest to a "lens line", but the furnishings are different. Compared with what Canon did with its original "ugly duckling" EF lenses, the Olympus ones are all over the place.

In the end, it shouldn't matter, but these little fit-and-finish things do give a certain impression of a company's products. It's part if why the upcoming PRO line looks to be all of a unified visual design.

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Aethon
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Re: Why no lens uniformity?
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

I totally agree with the premise of this post.

While I still have an EPL2 for hiking, I moved my main system investment to Fujifilm primarily because two years ago the combined Oly/Panasonic m43 lens strategy was so confused. Banding issues made me distrust investing in Panasonic lenses with my preferred Oly bodies, while Olympus couldn't even make its silver lenses the same damn color, let alone provide a consistent user experience or rationalize filter sizes.

Fujifilm is crap with its filter sizes too, but at least all the XF lenses mostly feel the same and work the same. And Fujifilm's lens roadmap makes a big difference in terms of feeling confident about investing in the system.

Why are lens roadmaps hard?

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s_grins
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Re: Why no lens uniformity?
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

thomasw333 wrote:

I personally want all of the Prime lenses to be metal bodies with the same filter size, and the manual focus snap ring.

Anyone else wish for more lens uniformity?

I personally want all lenses have a standard M43 mount - all Nikons, Canons, etc. lenses to be M43. Can I have a dream?

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Impulses
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Re: Wow...did high schools actually stop teaching physics?
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

Corkcampbell wrote:

thomasw333 wrote:

I personally want all of the Prime lenses to be metal bodies with the same filter size, and the manual focus snap ring.

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"Knowledge is good." Emil Faber

You provide nothing with your statement. Basically you know nothing and have nothing good to add to the world. I know that Olympus would not be able to make the filter size the same for all lenses, unless they had a very large size, as in unnecessarily large for some lenses front element. It does not take an adequately intelligent person to make some inferences from my statements. But if a person would use a tiny bit of logic, they could still see the validity of my post, in that it would be nice for some lens uniformity. Some lens "lines" that people could read and understand what level lens they are buying.

And I do not really care about the metal bodies, actually I want plastic bodies, or at least the front end of the lens to be plastic so we could use simple bayonet mount lens hoods. I do not care about the manual focus rings either. But I put that in the thread to hopefully drum up some more responses.

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Lets promote calm rational arguments.

So you're just trolling? If you have no skin in the game, so to speak, what purpose does the discussion serve? Seems you're contradicting your own points...

I don't care about the metal bodies or manual clutch rings, specially if it has a very obvious impact on the pricing (e.g. 12mm & 17mm). I care much more about the speed, the general optical quality, the size, the weight, hell even the minimum focus distance; so I'm glad they ignored uniformity in light of other considerations.

I'm not too concerned with branding or where a lens "fits" in a product line, ultimately that's mostly marketing bs anyway. If it's weather sealed or has fancy metal body I can see it in the specs, doesn't need a cute moniker.

Maybe that kinda thing helps sell glass though, which is something Olympus should definitely weigh, but I'm not a marketing major and I gather most people here aren't either nor do they have access to Olympus' books... So any discussion towards that end is pure conjecture at best and fanboy ranting at worst.

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zuikowesty
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Re: Why no lens uniformity?
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

thomasw333 wrote:

Why did Olympus not make all of their Prime lenses standard. Why not make them all 46MM filters, and have snap back focus rings.

12MM and 17MM have snap focus, but the old 45MM does not which makes sense, but you would have thought that the new 25MM would have the snap focus ring.

I do not understand why lens manufacturers cannot make lens with more similar traits. But it is really confusing for Olympus, they just started making mft lenses in the last 5-6 years. You would think that they would have sat down and made some rules about their lens designs.

I personally want all of the Prime lenses to be metal bodies with the same filter size, and the manual focus snap ring.

Anyone else wish for more lens uniformity?

ANd at this point what is the lens hierarchy for Olympus MFT.

They used to have HG and SHG glass. But I do not see any naming scheme for the MFT lenses, except the new Pro lens.

Pro lens is high quality and Weather Sealed I guess. I wish it was clearer.

What line it the old 17MM f2.8 in, what line is the 45MM f1.8 that is obviously much better, but still plastic and no fancy manual focus, and what line is the 17MM with al the bells and whistles, but no weather proofing.

Because at this point it seems like they just make up lenses as they want. Or the have about 4 levels of lenses.

1. Cheap 17mm f2.8

2. Plastic and good 45mm f1.8

3. Premium 17mm f1.8, with manual focus ring

4 Pro the 2.8 zoom, weather sealed

I guess it does not matter but does anyone have any insights into lens design?

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Lets promote calm rational arguments.

I agree, and posted about this recently.

Makes me wonder if anyone from Olympus' OM days is still there. The OM system was beautifully and logically designed, as a whole. Systems like this build life long customers (myself included). As a new MFT user, and previous FT and OM user, I see little reason to feel excited about the MFT system as a whole, nor have much confidence that it will converge into something more cohesive any time soon, especially if their haphazard approach to lens design is indicative of the future MFT products.

Olympus seems to have lost their vision in the late 80s, found it again with FT and a well developed line of lenses, then lost it again a few years later. MFT lead the mirrorless movement, but leading without vision won't last long.

I found it interesting to read this article about the history of mirrorless, where Olympus is not even mentioned, but the Panasonic MFT system is. Market perception is a powerful thing these days.

http://hdslrshooter.com/a-history-of-mirrorless-vs-mirrored-cameras/

ps: those who know me will know I am not trying to bash Oly, I just wish they'd get their head out of whatever dark place it's been in...

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Impulses
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Re: Wow...did high schools actually stop teaching physics?
In reply to Impulses, 8 months ago

Despite having already stated I couldn't care less about high level uniformity, I'll say I'm glad they at least started selling most of their primes in black in addition to silver... That's just low hanging fruit, i.e. easy for them to address and something that I'm sure pleased many.

Then again, what do I know, I've probably made the oddest choice as far as colors... Bought the 45mm/1.8 in black (figured silver plastic would look cheaper), the 20mm/1.7 in silver (cause it just looks cool)... Then ended up with the 12-32mm in silver too, figured I'd keep all my pancakes silver at least, heh. It actually totally looks like metal too, they used pretty decent plastic on it, makes me curious about Oly's silver plastic now.

I guess the fact that I put so much thought into all that kinda validates the uniformity argument at some level, but ehh... I'm still glad it's seemingly their last priority. Something like the 9-18mm would probably work nothing like the lens it is if they were trying to fit it into some preconceived style mold, yet I want it because it's collapsible, small, has a nice and usable range, etc.

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kovanloo
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Re: Why no lens uniformity?
In reply to zuikowesty, 8 months ago

I fully agree with the original poster. I have the 17,45 and 75 and 12-40, and although I understand that at some point you have to step up in size, it would be so much more convenient to standardize filter size, ways of manual focusing and quality and finish. The hoods are a jokes in my opinion. Expensive, overly retro and clumpsy to attach (this is for the metal one with the screw). In my Canon A1 days 35 years ago Canon had things better sorted out. Despite this complain, I am to happy with my new set to be distracted.

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danstroud
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Been wondering about this too
In reply to thomasw333, 8 months ago

I was just thinking about this the other day and part of the confusion here is that some of the better quality lenses, optically, have lesser build quality. I suspect that it has something to do with who is designing or manufacturing the lenses for Olympus/Pany.

One area of frustration for me is that I really do want to have manual focus (snapback), aperture control (as on the forthcoming Pany 15mm), and lens function buttons, but having this on some lenses and not others is sometimes more of an irritation than a help. I'll forget whether I am switched to manual focus ia the snapback ring or via the software settings, etc…

All in all, it's not a big issue, but I think it speaks to the general lack of planning with Oly/Pany and their product lineup. I almost wish that updated versions of lenses were released more frequently to add features to older lenses to keep them up-to-date. Maybe it's for the best so I don't waste more money

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