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Did Sigma design the Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8?

By dpreview staff on Aug 29, 2013 at 10:00 GMT

It's an open secret that many compact cameras are produced by OEMs - companies that produce large numbers of products that are then sold under other brand names. Tamron, for example, builds lens/sensor modules that form the basis of many compacts. Companies such as Asia Optical and Sanyo DI Solutions build compacts that are then sold under a range of brand names. The practice isn't confined to compacts, though, with distinctly Tamron-esque lenses appearing in big brands' lineups, for example. But we were still surprised to read about Sigma's latest patent for a 75mm F1.8 prime lens...

The patent, highlighted on the egami blog, shows the details of a 75mm F1.8 prime, specifically designed with a lightweight internal focus element to allow fast focusing for stills and movies. That's a combination of features that sounded somewhat familiar.

Sigma's patented 75mm F1.8, 10 element, nine group lens design
The 10 element, nine group design used in the Olympus m.Zuiko 75mm F1.8

And, while that could be because it's essentially a text-book definition of how to design a high-quality lens for contrast detection AF systems, a look at the optical formula diagram offers more convincing evidence to support the idea that Sigma designed the Olympus m.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 - one of the best lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system.

Source: Egami Blog

Comments

Total comments: 200
12
DavieK
By DavieK (6 months ago)

Two years ago Sigma installed new lens coating lines in order to meet the specifications required by one of their marque brand clients - they make lenses for everyone as the article implies - and this has improved their own lines as well. They make some of the best regarded top-series lenses that you think come from the 'maker', they have subcontracted for both Leitz and Zeiss, and because of their proprietary lens-making and especially their moulded aspherical expertise they also supply component (groups, cemented elements, elements) to most other lens makers - and they also buy optical components in. Sigma has been a member of the FourThirds Consortium and its micro successor, and Sigma products were a key element in the international photo show exhibits which launched MicroFourThirds. Part of their brief from the very start was to produce lenses for the other consortium members so it would be pretty remarkable if they did not do so.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (7 months ago)

Hmm time for a little logic, instead of clucking ... The 'evidence' above proves nothing more than they might use similar software to design lenses ... would that surprise anyone?

IF Sigma DID make this lens, it would cover APSC - DOES IT? I doubt it.

Of course, what the article suggests DOES happen.
While watching promo Video on the Tokina factory, my then boss (fluent in Japanese), reads the writing on the 35-105 boxes as they whizz past on a conveyor belt. Some had : Ship to Nippon Kogaku with an address

MORE IMPORTANTLY:
For some results with the 75/1.8 (and 45/1.8), look here:
http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Performing-arts

or at the link in my signature below.
Select Browse and then Performing Arts.

Some of the shots were taken in such DIM light that an OVF would be utterly useless. I certainly couldn't see properly and still I shot.

The "BIG camera" boys with their 2.8 bazookas were tripod/mono-pod bound. I was able to hand hold very easily ... and I got the shots.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (7 months ago)

@yabokkie: "no matter who makes the lens how much does it worth if it can have similar resolution and aberrations as say Canon 135/2L?"

These arguments are garbage. If the Oly 75mm f/1.8 and Canon 135 f/2 are equally sharp with similar distortion on bodies with a similar MP count, then they are worth the same money. On DxOmark it seems that their sharpness is similar.

The light gathering / DOF argument is garbage. Usually you either want to maximize or minimize the DOF. In one case the FF sensor wins, in the other case the m43 sensor wins. If smaller sensors were to cost more than big ones, you'd probably be arguing the opposite argument.

The light gathering of a sensor is directly defined by how much of the surface gathers light and how much goes to waste to wiring. You can project the exact same light on a FF and a m43 sensor. 10 years ago, FF might have been much more efficient because so much sensor was wasted, but nowadays the difference in efficiency is minute.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

isn't a large part of photography is about gathering light,
which makes it possible and gives it good quality?

if you mind doing some research by collecting lens specs and prices and applying some simple linear regressions, you should be able to see the relation between aperture area and lens price and get similar or better result than mine (there are other factors but the caliber is by far the most beautiful dominating one).

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

light gathering is done by the lens, not a sensor which has zero capability to gather any light other than already done by the lens.

a sensor has non-zero capability to waste light.

1 upvote
Guy McLoughlin
By Guy McLoughlin (7 months ago)

>> isn't a large part of photography is about gathering light, which makes it possible and gives it good quality?

...You are absolutely clueless as always yabokkie.

Photography is all about capturing or creating a beautiful image.

Nobody cares about the absolute light gathering ability of a lens, what they care about are correct focus and correct exposure when trying to produce the image they want.

You are like a constant broken record about the absolute light gathering ability of lenses, and are ALWAYS missing the boat when it comes to what great photography is all about.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

I see you don't need light, you may need some fresh air.

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (3 months ago)

Rude yab, very rude.

0 upvotes
Steve oliphant
By Steve oliphant (7 months ago)

Look at Nikon Half there glass is Tamron made, but Tamron is a good company some chevs are toyota thats not bad .

0 upvotes
Brian Mosley
By Brian Mosley (7 months ago)

The lens on my old Sigma DP1 was superb - and my 75mm f1.8 seems to be on a par with my Olympus SHG ZD lenses - so no complaints here.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Onya Brian ...

Quite a few of the pics here:
..
http://http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Performing-arts
..
were taken with the 75/1.8.
The images have astounded every person who looks at the images, especially those who had that OTHER equipment - NO exceptions.

Many of the pics were shot in such DIM LIGHT that I was very thankful for the Bright OMD viewfinder. THe CaNikSon crowd didn't stand a chance, simple as that.

Regardless of what Jabberwocky (who rarely posts pics) may say, they stand scrutiny. Even the smoke was rendered OK.

While they may not be pulitzer prize pics ... you should have SEEN their faces when we compared what the diminutive OMD delivered! I couldn't be happier and the wrists are thankful too.

I have the EM-1 as well now but have yet to shoot a show with it. April, maybe..

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
fastlass
By fastlass (7 months ago)

Then I'll take two!

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

would prefer half price than buy one and get one free.

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (3 months ago)

WHy do you need 2 of them yab?

0 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (8 months ago)

Ieeeeesh I thought I was on a rumors site.

This happens all the time with all brands. Olympus has done it before with the ZD 70-300 and a few others . Its a optical copy of the Sigma 70-300. But that's about where it stops you can't really compare the two . Things like glass quality , components, materials , QC , manufacturing processes etc. give you the final product. There are different grades of optical glass at massively varying prices and quality also coatings etc.

It not does mean because you can design it you can build . Although Sigma seem to have upped their game and have excellent lenses. They may even have built it. (75mm) who knows and no one is telling.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

lens should be made in exactly the same glass as designed.

how do you know this is not made at Sigma's Aizu plant? Oly have two plants, one in Shenzhen and the other east of Ho Chi Minh City (they have three other places none in Japan).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

yabokkie, you are wrong, here is their factory in Japan making interchangeable lenses:
"Nagano Olympus Co., Ltd.

6666 Inatomi, Tatsuno-machi, Kamiina-gun, Nagano 399-0495, Japan

Development and manufacturing of life science products and industrial products. Manufacturing of medical products. Manufacturing of interchangeable camera lenses.
TEL: (81) 266-41-4111 "

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@yabokkie,
even if Olympus manufactures in China, so what?
Are you implying that Japanese workers are superior to Chinese? Are you saying that your Karate is stronger than their Kung-fu?
Are you racist yabokkie?

5 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

@peevee1, a recent Oly report mentioned they were in a process to merge five factories into two, all of them abroad, for consumer imaging products.

but I'm not saying 75/1.8 have to be made in Aizu. I mean we need to know that the lens is really made by Oly first.

we only know the lens is made in Japan (maybe the last screw), in Oly brand (instead of Leica) and sold by Oly.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

They do have 2 factories in China - it does not make Nagano factory disappear.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

we know they had two in China, and
they used to make lenses in Nagano. that's okay.
then what's your point?

0 upvotes
Martin.au
By Martin.au (8 months ago)

Eh?

Given that Oly is still making SHG and HG lenses, all of which are badged "made in Japan", and given that the 12mm f2.0, and the 75mm (unless built by Sigma) are badged "made in Japan", it seems very unlikely to me that Oly has no factories making lenses in Japan.

Where is your information coming from Yabokkie?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

I heard long time ago that Oly had been shifting a lot of work from Nagano to Guangdong including part of lens development so I assume Nagano is almost gone (for consumer lenses).

I think mZD12/2 is pure Oly and that's why it's so expensive while the performance is not very impressive (for a 24/3.9 lens on a 39mm flange-back mount).

0 upvotes
thorkilry
By thorkilry (8 months ago)

I guess Olympus pay a fee to Sigma, for using their design.

0 upvotes
Guy McLoughlin
By Guy McLoughlin (7 months ago)

>>I think mZD12/2 is pure Oly and that's why it's so expensive while the performance is not very impressive

Yabokkie, you have to stop trying to equate Micro 4/3 lenses with their Full Frame DOF equivalents, because it makes absolutely NO sense.

The Olympus 12mm f/2.0 lens is a high performance wide-angle Micro 4/3 lens, and ANY equivalent Full Frame lens would have to have the SAME FIELD OF VIEW and SAME f/2.0 APERTURE, otherwise they are NOT THE SAME.

You seem to have equivalent DOF on the brain, but NOBODY else cares about this. We care about FOV and EXPOSURE. If the Full Frame equivalent lens does not match these two criteria, then THEY ARE NOT THE SAME.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

it looks that there were two competing teams and one team won.

it's interesting that DPReview call Sony "big brand."
I call them third class:
1c, need no words, Canon and Nikon,
2c, make products proudly in own brand, Pentax, Oly,
3c, make products in someone else's brand (not OEM), Sony, Pana,
no confidence in their own products.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Mario G
By Mario G (8 months ago)

So if Nikon uses Sony sensors, what would that make of Nikon's class?

2 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

I shall declare yabokkie the silliest person on DPR Forums with this post....

6 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

Fujifilm 2nd class,
Samsung 3rd class.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (7 months ago)

There was a time when Sony refused to use any products (down to components) except their own. Was why the XBR TV line had a flaw that took years to fix, apparently.

0 upvotes
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (7 months ago)

meh to your list.

1) Leica, Zeiss
2) Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony, Fuji, etc.. etc..
3) Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, etc.. etc..

0 upvotes
thinkfat
By thinkfat (7 months ago)

Ah yes. And Samsung manufactures the iPad and iPhone processors shamefully hiding the fact. Sure, dude!

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (3 months ago)

Yab is dafter than I ever imagined.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (8 months ago)

Hahaha, and Oly fanboys used this lens as a prime example on how great Olympus engineers are.
fail

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

Any engineer with optical software can design more less decent lens in todays' world. 100 years ago only lucky few were good enough, most were PhDs in Optical design, could design a nice lens.
Most of today's lenses are derived from older designs and this one not an exception. If Sigma good enough to design the sharpest 35mm DSLR lens, they are good enough to design anything in my book.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

fanboys need fans to cool themselves down.

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (3 months ago)

What do you need yab?

0 upvotes
starwolfy
By starwolfy (8 months ago)

HOLY CRAP !!!!! I sell mine right away on ebay cuz Sigma's are noobs !!!!!
Just kidding but this could have been a true reaction few months ago.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

no matter who makes the lens how much does it worth if it can have similar resolution and aberrations as say Canon 135/2L?

135/2L got a 1.4 stops larger aperture (the difference of focal lengths also considered), more elements thus costs more to make. but if we ignore the internal formula issue, the lens should worth 1.4 stops less than 135/2L thus 989 * 2 ^ (-1.4) = 375 US.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
pdelux
By pdelux (8 months ago)

Yabokkie you only look at aperture and DOF to base your price evalutations.

Well there is no secret, m/43 lense can be pricey. But you also need to factor in build quality, (metal or plastic), sharpness, resolution, colour, design/style and most importantly the market.

The Market will decide the price ultimately.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

sorry both got 10 elements.

> you only look at aperture and DOF

I said it clear aperture yes, and DOF not. other factors like AF speed are also important but including them won't significantly improve the accuracy of the estimation. so let's keep it simple stupid.

btw, there are lens lines or grades that you can see easily via simple regression and I assume both lenses are in the same high grade.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@yabokkie,

I liked 135/2 and FF combination a lot, but I'm not going to carry it anymore. I chose a smaller format and I'm aware of limitations. If you can't isolate your object with m4/3 and 75/1.8, you have some serious problems with your skill.

To me Oly 75mm = 300g vs Canon 135mm = 750g. The diffirence = 2.5 means that Canon should cost around $360 (oh wait, I DON"T CARE, ITS TOO BIG AND TOO HEAVY, I DONT WANT IT at any price point) Now that we got this out of the way, how are you doing my friend? did you take any pictures lately?

8 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

> Oly 75mm = 300g vs Canon 135mm = 750g.

that's a good point. log2(750/305) = 1.3 stops which is in line with the difference between aperture area.

a lens' worth/capability is also reflected by the weight (excluding wide angles). in case of these two lenses, more than 1 dollar per gram.

we need larger aperture to gather more light and a lens becomes heavier with larger aperture.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

in case of Canon they have 2.5 lens leagues (they don't have many lenses in the fool's league).

for the premium league the price is about 0.4 * cal^2 for example the price of 85/1.2L is 0.4 * (85/1.2)^2 = 2000 US.

there are many L lenses sold at minor league prices and 135/2L is one (maybe a flaw in my calculation, but the 1.4 stops difference of quality is still there).

0 upvotes
zaurus
By zaurus (8 months ago)

@Vadimka The Olympus 75/1.8 is equivalent to a 150/3.5 lens on FF. So your comparison to the FF Canon 135/2.0 is ridiculous.
Better compare it to the Canon EF 100/2 USM on a APS-C body, like any Rebel. There the Canon lens is equivalent to a 160/3.2.

However, the Canon 100/2 is $450 whereas the Olympus 75/1.8 is $900. Both are the same size and weight.
And the Canon SL1 body is about the size of the OMD-EM5 -- but cheaper.

Oops!
Right.

3 upvotes
Martin.au
By Martin.au (8 months ago)

Canon 135mm f2
DXOmark 26 on FF, 19 on APS-C.

Oly 75mm F1.8
DXOmark 27 on OM-D.

I think I'll go with the cheaper lens thanks.
What kind of idiot assumes that lens prices can be calculated by leaving out most of the factors?

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

When did a 135mm 750 g portrait lens become TOO HEAVY for an adult male? I'm no Arnold Schwarzenegger physically and still don't find any such lens to be "too large and too heavy".

As far as price, a FF lens that corrects aberrations with optics and not software and is designed for a larger image circle and requires more glass, will always cost more to manufacture. Some vendors are pricing cropped sensor lenses like they are pro-grade FF lenses and there will always be some who will go along for the ride.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

just for those who are interested,
at very different angle of views,
a 75/1.8 for any format should worth about the same.
so mZD75/1.8 worths less than 85/1.8, AF-S/G or EF.

a word on DxOMark score. I cannot talk about it because I have no clue how the scores are computed (would some one please tell me?).

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@yabokkie,
you don't need Olympus to gather more light. I can say the same about Canon FF lenses, they need to gather more light, because last time I mounted one on my 4x5 they did not do sh*t...
Different formats, you know...

@zaurus,
first of all, what is wrong with 135mm f3.5 equivalent??? Have you ever shot FF at f2.0??? I had numerous FF f1.4 and f2 lenses and I did stop them down in 99% of the time.

In the beginning of last century when FF was introduced, people also were skeptical and it was considered an amateur format, but eventually people realized that there are PLUSES to FF as opposed to Large or Medium format. One of those important pluses was actually LESS shallow DOF, yes LESS shallow can be super good for shooting at darker situations, also SIZE and WEIGHT, shooting handheld.
And remember the diffirence between FF and m4/3 is about x2 in diameter. The difference between 4x5 format and FF is about x4. Ansel Adams did travel for a while with both 4x5 and Leica FF.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

> last time I mounted one on my 4x5 they did not do sh*t...

what 4x5 lens that you have can compete with 35mm format ones in light gathering capacity?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

> what is wrong with 135mm f3.5 equivalent

nobody said the lens' spec is wrong. it's okay.
I'm saying the lens' price is right, for the fools.

btw, mZD75/1.8 is 147/3.5 equiv.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@yabokkie,
for 4x5 you can use Schneider 150/2.8, Cooke 162/2.5, Dallmeyer 200/2.9 or if thats not enough try Ernostar 165/2 or Dallmeyer SS 200/1.9

Really? Yes, I made a typo, but can you even tell the difference between 135mm and 147mm if you look at pictures??? I know I can't.

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (8 months ago)

Oh yabokkie, do stop trolling. You know you can't simply calculate the value of lenses based on aperture size, you said so yourself about that Canon 55-250mm you liked.

1 upvote
Martin.au
By Martin.au (7 months ago)

Sure he can. I found a Canon equivalent lens (or near enough). It's L glass, 180mm f3.5, so pretty close to the Oly. It's a macro, but unfortunately, but that doesn't factor into Yabokkie's calcs, so we can ignore that. Therefore the cost of the 75mm f1.8 should be around about $1500-$1600 dollars.

:P

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

> It's a macro

so you know it's a very different lens.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

@Vadimka, what are the fast long focal length (> equiv. SLR flange back of about 45mm) lenses for large format?

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (3 months ago)

Yab if you are trying to make everyone on DPR hate you I think you are succeeding.

0 upvotes
Paco 316
By Paco 316 (8 months ago)

This is stupid. Please stop. I thought this was a professional review site, not a gossip "I-heard-from" non-sense trash site.

19 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

Agree. I don't see much of a benefit of this particular thread. What is the point of speculating who make what.

DPR is slowly but surely becoming a gossip site. Get on with some serious reviews on products that matters.

We are waiting.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

much more meaningful information than "made in Japan."

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

I find optical design and discussions of lens design / manufacture extremely interesting. Gossip? Hardly.

I'm guessing that if this article was about Canikon outsourcing it's 24-70 f/2.8 lens to Tamron people wouldn't be complaining about "DPR becoming a gossip site". Since it's Olympus, m43 fans are getting annoyed. It's normal.

4 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (3 months ago)

Where we you made yab?

0 upvotes
John Ellis
By John Ellis (8 months ago)

Wish Sigma would start some nice Fuji-X lenses such as this. My X-E1 is waiting!

1 upvote
ntsan
By ntsan (8 months ago)

Sony E 50mm F1.8 and Leica 25mm 1.4 is also designed by Sigma too

1 upvote
harold1968
By harold1968 (8 months ago)

No, the Leica 25mm f1.4 Panasonic is designed by Leica

2 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (8 months ago)

Given Sigma and Leica history, I would say that it might be possible. Dunno if theres any way to learn wheres truth.

1 upvote
MightyMike
By MightyMike (8 months ago)

"No, the Leica 25mm f1.4 Panasonic is designed by Leica"

look really carefully, the Panasonic patented m43rds 25mm F1.4 has fewer elements is a slightly different configuration than the Sigma patented one, and the Sigma matches the promotional material where the Panasonic doesn't.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

Leica is just a promotional website hired by Panasonic marketing.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (3 months ago)

Are there we go with the Leica hatred. Calm down and take a valium yab. Brreath, breath.

0 upvotes
goblin
By goblin (8 months ago)

I would have no problems whatsoever to know that Sigma designed my 75mm 1.8. I love Sigma.

Still:

- Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens: Officially announced on February 8, 2012. Prototypes in the works at least months prior to that. Rumored at least a month prior to the official announcement. Don't remember if there were photos leaked or not prior to the official announcement.

- Sigma patent: dated February 3, 2012.
So if the 75mm was their doing, they designed it, tested it, finalized it and ONLY AFTER thought about FILING a patent to protect their concept ?

I find this naive, at the least.

9 upvotes
JPMontez
By JPMontez (8 months ago)

There is a long period of time between patent request and patent atribution... Is that the date of patent request?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
goblin
By goblin (8 months ago)

Patent filed: 03 February 2012. Patent published: two or so days ago.

1 upvote
leekil
By leekil (8 months ago)

You only have to file for the patent before you put out the product. They definitely would have already planned to patent it.

3 upvotes
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (8 months ago)

Wow. the 75mm f/1.8 is the sharpest m43 lens and Sigma made it.

6 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

Yes. But the funnier part is 35/1.4 the sharpest Canon and Nikon mount lens and Sigma also made it. :)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
19 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (8 months ago)

We don't know who made it though - just that it looks like it's a Sigma optical design.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

Yes, but Canon and Nikon designed and manufactured their own 35 f/1.4, and their own 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.2 or f/1.4, 70-200 f/2.8, 300 f/2.8 and so on. Apparently the same in not true for Olympus, which is surprising.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Starkiller
By Starkiller (8 months ago)

The Sigma 35mm f1.4 is just the sharpest 35mm lens. All macro lenses and all supertele primes are a lot sharper.

3 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@marike,
so what you saying that Canon is too greedy to outsource some great designs and stick to what they have in their system (even thou some of them are not that great)
Please tell me how many innovative truly new (not refresh) lenses that Canon announced in the past 10 years. Not many....
Now look at Olymus 4/3 and m4/3 - probably looking at 30-40 lenses and most of them of extreme good photo quality. So if 3 or 4 out of those 40 were outsourced from other company, so what??? As long as they are excellent lenses, More power to Olympus.

@Starkiller, yes some macros and teles that Canon makes are sharper than Sigma 35/1.4, wow OK,, they better be... or they really have a problem...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

it's just like waves that one clashing a rock may go higher than tsunami.

0 upvotes
Kurnia Lim
By Kurnia Lim (3 months ago)

I have 35mm 1.4 Sigma, and sold my Zeiss in just 3 days after bought the sigma :D, also the USB dock is great, going to get other sigma lenses from now.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

Who cares who designed it.
If you really want to know who designed it, just give credit to mr Taylor, who designed Cooke Triplet well over 100 years ago. This lens is heavily modified Triplet Derivative.

So thank you mr Taylor and TTH Cooke company.
Also huge thank you to Dr. H. Lee also of TTH Cooke company, who designed a Double Gauss f2 lens in 1920, commonly used today on most 50mm fast lenses, including Noctilux.

11 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

Yeah that's it, Cooke really designed it. Nice save.

7 upvotes
Jude McDowell
By Jude McDowell (8 months ago)

It could have been designed by CANIKON for all I care; it's a cracking lens. It's the performance not the branding or designers name that matters.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

It would be great to know how you figure this 10 elements in 9 Group - 3 ED lenses, 2 HR lenses optical formula is derived from a Cooke triplet designed in 1893.

To say that this modern telephoto design is derivative of the Cooke triplet is like saying a motorcycle is a "heavily modified" skateboard.

Cooke Triplet design diagram (see link)
http://spie.org/x33126.xml

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@marike6,
number of elements are not everything when it comes to lens design. Therefore a name Derivative. Triplet does not mean it only has three elements. Elements are added to accommodate for brightness and aberration corrections, etc...
Sonnar for example is also triplet derivative and it doesn't have 3 elements.

And Marike, skateboards are not modified motorcycles, seriously, what are you smoking?

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

@Vadimka
I know what a triplet is and I don't smoke, but the point is you could then say EVERY lens is derivative of a Cooke Triplet or a Gauss Doublet. But that would be an absolute reach.

But rather than just admit that yes the Olympus 75 f/1.8 is a 100% Sigma design, you think that saying it's derived from a Cooke Triplet from 1893 means something. ALL lenses have their basis in earlier optical formulas in some sense. Some lenses like Pentax Takumar are actually derived almost exactly from earlier formulas like the Zeiss Planar. The difference is the Olympus 75 f/1.8 is not based even remotely on a Cooke Triplet design.

By the way, the Sonnar is derived from a earlier Tessar design. See here to read about the Tessar, which was not derived from a Cooke Triplet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tessar#Tessar_type_lenses

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

The Olympus 75mm f1.8 has a topology very similar to that used in the Konica Hexanon 50mm f1.2, as can be seen here:
http://taunusreiter.de/Cameras/FastLenses_en.html

The additional elements G1b and G2 are introduced for internal focusing. In contrast, the Hexanon was focused by moving the lens as a unit.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@marike,
Yes we could say that every lens is a derivative of either Cooke Triplet, Gauss, etc... And its not just me who say it, people with PhDs in optical engineering saying that as well. So lets give them credit, not me.

You are wrong. Sonnar was not derived from Tessar design. (and your link does not support your statement, read it again, plus wiki is not exactly a reliable source, I'd prefer published books on optical design from optical experts)

Tessar is a different desing type, separate classification (along with Gauss and Triplets, etc) Sonnar was derived from Ernostar design, and Ernostar desing was derived from Cooke Triplet. Therefore Sonnar derived from Cooke Triplet.

You want me to admit that Oly 75mm is 100% Sigma design. OK, I admit it a big possibility. But why do you make it sound like its a bad thing? They used famous and common lens design as the base.

Also why Cooke Triplet derived lens is a bad thing? Best lens Canon makes is 135/2 is based on CT Ernostar.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@Frank_BR,
that Hexanon was symmetrical lens design, therefore a Double Gauss derivative. This lens has no symmetry, its more of a tele design, closer to Canon 135mm f2 which is in turn an Ernostar = Cooke Triplet derivative.

1 upvote
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

Hexanon 50 1.2 symetrical? Are you kidding?

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@Frank,
yes, Hexanon is asymmetrical double gauss design. (word "symmetrical" was an autocorrect typo) But anyways, yes, diffirent lenses, just because booth have many elements don't mean they are the same :)

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (7 months ago)

Dennis Taylor believe in something most camera companies don't believe in anymore; diffraction-limited lenses.

0 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (8 months ago)

It's one thing to design the optics, another completely to design the mechanical and electrical components and figure out how to get it manufactured to the price point and quality level that is desired.

Sigma has likely had the capability to design excellent optics for years, but the mechanical/electrical design & manufacturing may be on Oly's side of things.

I think a lot of companies are capable of stellar optical designs, but getting them to be made small enough, cheap enough, reliable enough can be a skill that perhaps only a few have.

2 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (8 months ago)

Um, you do know what Sigma's main business is - making lenses. It's just as likely Sigma designed all of optics/mechanics/electronics -- they are a member of the consortium. Sigma might even manufacture this lens for Olympus (all Sigma lenses are made in Japan.) This is not the first OEM u4/3 prime that Sigma has been rumored to have done.

4 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (8 months ago)

Yes, I know what Sigma has been doing all these years.
They know how to make decent optical designs with just OK mechanics/reliability (until recently).

My point is that it takes skill to make something of high quality AND keep the price down/reliability high and perhaps Sigma is behind on this aspect until just recently.

0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (8 months ago)

There is further evidence not mentioned in the DPR article:

Both designs (the patent according to Egami and Olympus according to their website) use a 10 elements in 9 Groups - 3 ED lenses, 2 HR lenses design.

Where the usage of same ED and HR cannot be pure coincidence (even if similiar software optimizations are applied) and Olympus would then break Sigma's patent anyway.

So yes, this is a Sigma patented design licensed to Olympus.

11 upvotes
Anfy
By Anfy (8 months ago)

Although I perfectly understand the enthusiasm about this lens given the stellar performance as to the reviews, its focal lenght somehow makes me think: too long for studio work (if you do not have very large room), for location shootings I prefer (quality) zooms.
Different tastes, all legitimate. That's why I love m4/3: you have choices!

1 upvote
Valentinian
By Valentinian (8 months ago)

Sigma became a very good quality lens maker. Will they ever design and make a 250mm/f4 for m4/3 ? (it'll be ok if sold under different "brand" name...)

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (8 months ago)

Interesting - but these days they probably all use the same software, or similar software, to design lenses. Put in the same parameters and you're likely to get the same result.

How much does one lens design have to differ from another to qualify for a patent?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Chris_in_Osaka
By Chris_in_Osaka (8 months ago)

Well, it wouldn't be a first. Back in the pre-m4/3's days, weren't the Zuiko 18-180mm and 70-300mm Sigma designed? The only difference is that those were low end "standard" lenses. The 75mm 1.8mm is a higher end product.

What I'd be more interested in finding out is if Olympus is actually manufacturing the 75mm. Considering that almost everything else in their product line is made in China, and sales of the old regular 4/3's lenses that were made in Japan are pretty much as dead as that system, it wouldn't surprise me if the 75mm is made in Japan by Sigma. I can't imagine Olympus are keeping a lens factory running to produce only 2 high end, limited market lenses (the 75mm and 12mm).

Another company manufacturing for Olympus wouldn't be a first either. If I remember correctly, the original E-1 camera, the only E system camera to have been manufactured in Japan, was built by Sanyo.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

Oly used to make some preproduction ZD lenses in Japan as part of the development but it turned out that it can be done better in China.

0 upvotes
Valentinian
By Valentinian (8 months ago)

Sigma lenses are made in Japan.... is Sigma making the 75/1.8 for olympus?

1 upvote
cfh25
By cfh25 (8 months ago)

The latest Olympus 75-300 is made in Japan

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (8 months ago)

Some years ago, I had a Tamron 70-200 that was optically, mechanically and physically identical to the Nikon equivalent. It wasn't particularly good under either brand name but that's not the point.

Since you "know for a fact" that some big name OEM lenses are made by other companies, it might be useful to say so. Why? A lot of the negative, fan stuff here has to to with "It's an "L" lens, what more do you need to know?" or "You pay more but you get Nikon's legendary quality", etc. What if people knew that everybody makes stuff for everybody else?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Gregm61
By Gregm61 (8 months ago)

Ask me if I really give a rat's rear who designed it....

It's a great lens.

7 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (8 months ago)

DPReview takes so long to review products, obscure patents for same products can surface first.

The old preview from May 2012 is still listed. Like so many previews, it is not followed by a review.

6 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

they should definitely include this in their 75/1.8 review.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

DPR does not seem to be very focus on reviewing lenses. Probably, they have other priorities.

For more up to date reviews on lenses, its better to go to :

lenstip.com

photozone.de

diglloyd.com

fredmiranda.com

.......just to name a few.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
dpalugyay
By dpalugyay (8 months ago)

That's right White Shadow. Unless you're looking for a cell phone camera review, then you've come to the right place.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

Though my optical design knowledge is rudimentary, but looking at the two designs above, they would have different light collecting properties.

The middle element in the Sigma design is thicker. Unless Sigma decided to use ED or Super ED glass, the refraction of that lens will be significantly larger, and light traveling pattern after that would be different. The front element of Sigma's is over-engineered compared with m.Zuiko's. Don't know how much those etches around the edge of m.Zuiko lenses would affect the optical quality.

So yes, different proportion of element's size and glass used will change the final IQ. They're still of the similar design, but IQs would be different. And production costs would be very different due to whether ED elements are used or not (and Olympus's production technology is higher than Sigmas's).

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
MightyMike
By MightyMike (8 months ago)

You make a good point and i noticed that too, however if you've ever seen full patents you'll fine most of them have more then 1 optical formula for the same sort of lens, all very similar, the one that was posted may not be the one that was used. Also the promotional material isn't always right, i noticed this when i dug up the patent for the Panasonic 20mm F1.7, the formula that is in the promotional material is in that patent but for a lens this is wider angle and has an F1.8 aperture where a very similar but slightly different optical formula in he patent right next to that one has the specifications for the 20mm F1.7 to within a few hundredths of a decimal place. so either we don't see the whole picture of the promotional material might be slightly off.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

Here, lens design diagrams. As you can see, many lenses from different manufacturers use similar designs, just different element sizes or switch around certain elements from the basic design, but most of them are stemmed from Zeiss designs. http://taunusreiter.de/Cameras/Biotar_en.html

Before CAD, design your own lens from ground up without following Zeiss formula is just too difficult. Now with CAD, even zoom lenses can be designed with high quality. And Olympus is the pioneer of using CAD for optical designs.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

Zeiss may have some formula, but can they use those to design and make good lenses? definitely not.

0 upvotes
Tim F 101
By Tim F 101 (8 months ago)

Sounds like good business practice to me. Sigma makes money, Olympus looks good and the m4/3 system benefits. SOP for the industry.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

don't know if Oly forced Sig to sign an agreement to prohibit them from making f/1.4 zooms.

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

Something is very strange in this history.

The Zuiko 75mm F1.8 lens was announced in Feb 8, 2012. However, according to the Egami blog the Sigma patent's filing date is Feb 3, 2012, that is, only five days before the announcement.

On the other hand, after a lens design starts, it takes months, if not years, until the production (and announcement) effectively happens. So, it is not reasonable to think that Sigma started the design process of that lens long before filing the patent application.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

it's a technical issue for many of us.
it's a psychological issue for someone else.

0 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (8 months ago)

I just chalked it up to being an OEM.

0 upvotes
revio
By revio (8 months ago)

"it IS reasonable..." should have been better wording in your last sentence corresponding to the rest of your rant (!)(?)

0 upvotes
Dr_Jon
By Dr_Jon (8 months ago)

The only requirement for a patent is to file before the product is announced. It's not uncommon to leave it to the last minute, aside from anything else it gives you a longer time to play with the patent before it is finalised. Plus less notice for the competition of what you're doing. I remember the Canon EFCS feature, launched in the 40D, has the patent filed only a little while before the 40D was announced.

1 upvote
MightyMike
By MightyMike (8 months ago)

Patents rarely are applied for or filed at the exact time of the start of a project or the announcement of a project, some patents don't become visible to the public until years after the lens has been on the market. its a non issue as to the dates

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

@Dr_Jon and MightyMike

Probably you are correct. However, leaving to file the patent in the last minute means to take a great risk, I think. What if there were a traitor inside the project? He/she could pass the secrets to a competitor that would file a patent and make the project unfeasible. In Japan, where the work ethic is tight, the theft of industrial secrets is rarer than in other countries. But who knows? The scandal involving executives of Olympus shows that no country is safe from misconduct within the companies.

0 upvotes
MightyMike
By MightyMike (8 months ago)

I suspect you're worried more than the companies are, I'd suspect that most employees are very loyal to their well paying excellent job and wouldn't want to ruin their lives by getting caught helping the competition. in this kind of job its not hard labour but a labour of love otherwise you wouldn't easily make it into such a position.

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

No, I'm not more worried than the companies! Google 'industrial espionage' and you'll get more than 600000 results. There is a lot of industrial espionage even in Japan.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

Most lenses are based on Zeiss formulas, so it's not surprising many lenses designs are similar (but not identical, because that would patent fringing). This is especially true for telephoto lenses (not super telephoto) where elements are smaller in number.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

for the last several decades, if a German lens is good, that should be because it's designed and made by Japanese.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (8 months ago)

How did these guys manage to lose a world war?

You look at German and Japanese cars.... then compare them to French, British and American cars... and you wonder what happened.

8 upvotes
dbateman
By dbateman (8 months ago)

Not surprised at all. Japanese made stuff pre-war was bad. The US litterly blew up most of Japan. So the industry was reborn, New with all new stuff.
Thats why its good, Now.

1 upvote
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

Actually that's not true, dbateman.... I remember reading a little history about that. Nikon became a well-known brand in the U.S. because many soldiers brought back Nikon products from WWII. The story was about a soldier first discovered Nikon because he went on board of a Japanese submarine and noticed how bright the scope for looking at the surface (whatever that is called) is. And it was designed by Nihon Kogaku (now Nikon). I am pretty sure they designed the lens before Japan surrendered.

Same for Olympus. From OM Lens manual, Olympus said many of their 35mm ambitions were destroyed during the war, so they had to restart 35mm camera designs from ground up. But before that, they had a lot of good blue prints already.

@Marty Because many people dwell on their laurels. So a little hardship is actually good motivation for innovations. Once a person thinks he's the king of the hill, he has no motivation to become better. Romans fell the same way.

2 upvotes
alatchin
By alatchin (8 months ago)

Marty,
Germany and Japan lost the wars mostly due to being massively outnumbered and out-supplied. Both Germany and Japan were being strangled, and after a couple of poor decisions the war was over for both f them.

An extreme simplification, but a simple truth, empires overstretch from the Assyrians to the Romans,the British and so on. Generally a quick expansion is followed by a rapid contraction... wars work in a similar fashion.

Oh, as an edit, the work ethic in both Japan and Germany has been superb for many years, combined with a string sense of national pride and internal investment (like the USA did in the middle of the last century) and you have a recipe for success.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

a bear can never make some best things as honeybees.
but honeybees lost the war.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (8 months ago)

US nuked Japan.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

a well known lens is Sigma 70-300/4-5.6 from 2005 that Oly came out with a zoom of exactly the same formula (they only toggled colors for ED and non-ED elements) 2 years later.

Sig 2005/05: http://www.sigmaphoto.com/sites/default/files/508-lens-contstruction.jpg (USD 190)

Oly 2007/10: http://olympus-imaging.jp/product/dslr/lens/70-300_40-56/spec/popup01.html (USD 400)

but 75/1.8 is different that it's one of major attractions in Oly's lineup.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (8 months ago)

Sigma rocks.

1 upvote
Doroga
By Doroga (8 months ago)

There were sigma patents for m43 25/1.4.
As I remember optical formula diagram was just a bit different from final Leica lens ))

0 upvotes
Doroga
By Doroga (8 months ago)

Here they are:
http://egami.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2012-11-20 - Panasonic patent
http://egami.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2013-01-22 - Sigma patent

And actual lens design that looks more like Sigma's patent.
http://photorumors.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Panasonic-Leica-DG-Summilux-25mm-f_1.4-ASPH-lens-design.png

Panasonic had their patent submitted just 2 months earlier than Sigma, so it is possible that Sigma was just hired to fine-tune design, not to develop it from scratch.

Most interesting thing here is Leica name on lens ))

Comment edited 60 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

don't think Pana 25/1.4 is a good lens.
those at Sigma are also human.

0 upvotes
Doroga
By Doroga (8 months ago)

Not related to lens quality Leica name on Sigma lens is weird and funny.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

definitely Sigma don't need a red dirt stain on their lenses.

0 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (8 months ago)

Third party OEM is nothing new, so long as they have the tools and talent to meet the clients specs and stick to them. Who cares what the origination address is?

In my search for vintage lenses, I remember an article (for which I can't find the link), that the majority of early Japanese lens manufacturers were all based a stones throw from one another, and consequently, copied each other.

In the 80's Sear's had a few good lenses made by Tokina, and it requires some research to know which ones were gems hiding under the name. Vivitar was well known for utilizing many different OEMs for their lens designs. There were several different OEM's for a given lens (i.e. 4 different 70-200 series 1), and their serial numbers were all telling of those of whom made them, (Tokina, Komine and Kino are regarded as the worthy versions).

It all basically boils down to a great design, supported by a vendor with solid capability. Sigma sells some very decent lenses, so it's no surprise.

2 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

The Sears/JC Penny/Vivitar don't make their own lenses, so they contract OEM makers and rebrand lenses. That's a very different business model than manufacturing lenses using other people's lens formula.

It's true most early Japanese lenses makers were copying each other's lenses. Olympus, wasn't one of them. Olympus was and still is a microscope company, and their "original" intention to make camera lenses was to create some lenses for their microscopic division, so they had the incentive to create lenses in house from ground-up. Many OM lenses are not copying or a modified version of Zeiss formula, which was not the norm at the time. OM 135mm f/2.8 is one of those original designs. I think the legendary OM 50mm f/2 is also another fine example.

I've used Sigma 19mm f/2.8 for m4/3 though.... RAW performance (i.e., non-software corrected performance) is not impressive. Contrast is very low, CA is very high, but geometric distortion control was good.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (8 months ago)

Well, everybody knows Sears isn't a lens manufacturer (except for eyeglasses). But the situation is a little different when companies go out of their way to conceal who made something. Quality can still be superb; Cosina does a great job making "Zeiss" lenses, for example.

1 upvote
Prairie Pal
By Prairie Pal (8 months ago)

I had a contractor build me a house. He's a good builder, an excellent builder. He could have designed the house also and it would have been a lovely house. But I enlisted the help of a professional designer to make it an excellent house.
BTW, has anyone seen the tear-down from Lens Rental of the Olympus 75? cut'n paste >> http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/07/the-olympus-75mm-f1-8-is-expensive-because-its-worth-it

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (8 months ago)

This really isn't that shocking.

There were rumors that the 4/3 18-180mm lens was based on the design of the Sigma 18-200mm lens, and was limited to 180mm because the far end performance was lacking. The lens design is identical.

Since these designs can be patented, we should assume that Olympus is paying a royalty to Sigma for the design. And it's a good thing they are doing this, because they ended up with a popular and superb lens that commands a premium price.

The reason Sigma may not be able to "do it by themselves" is that there is more to building a lens than the design. Olympus seems to do a better job making lenses for their own cameras than even their partner Panasonic does. (And... the reverse seems to be true... if you own an EM5 get the MZuiko 12-40mm... if you own a GH3, then get the Lumix 12-35mm).

Sigma specializes in making lenses that can be adapted for multiple platforms, which means they can have compromises in them that cause focusing issues.

2 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (8 months ago)

Would be intesting to see if anyone has ever used the m43's - NEX adapter to see if it covers an APS-C sensor?

2 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (8 months ago)

Why would that be interesting? It's a design for a 4/3 sensor. If you put it on a NEX the electronics won't work. It's a beauty and only available for m4/3.

0 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (8 months ago)

I wouldnt wonder why we are not seeing new products which suit us better when sigma is paid by other companies. If they are working with Sony we will never see a mirrorless foveon cam. Could interfere with sony plans of the new sensor.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (8 months ago)

I wonder what the business side of this looks like. Is it a one-off commissioned design, or does Sigma license the design to Oly and get paid per lens made. If its an m43 specific design, it seems like some type of commission. Maybe its even made in a Sigma factory or another third party manufacturer like Cosina.

With the proliferation of mirrorless formats now, being a lens designer/manufacturer seems like a good position to be in.

2 upvotes
gerard boulanger
By gerard boulanger (8 months ago)

Might be interesting to know which company designed what and for who?

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (8 months ago)

Sigma makes some great products. I hope they design some more m4/3s lenses. I would love to see a nifty 50mm F1.4 from them for a reasonable price.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

I'm also (and more) interested in 12-60/2.8-4 for the SLR 4/3". Oly didn't have much know-how of modern lens design but this lens was very different.

0 upvotes
daddyo
By daddyo (8 months ago)

Your kidding, right?

Olympus is an optical company. Olympus optical systems are used in many of their medical industry products, including, its my understanding, the optical system for the DaVinci Robotic Surgical System.

Yep, Olympus doesn't know much about modern lens design.

16 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

bokakkee strikes again. :)
Optical design is the strong horse of Olympus. Electronics is not their strongest one. Thats the reason they abandoned OM system, because the AF was not on par with the competition, but OM lenses were some of the best of Japanese glass ever made. 4/3 lenses are another example and Oly zooms were and still the best ever made, like 14-35mm and 12-60mm.

That 12-40 looks very much like 12-60, if its indeed at least 90% in performance, it will be a super hit.

8 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

@daddyo & Vadimka,

keep your cool and down to the point please.

what Oly had when they threw the OM in to toilet and came out with a smart 4/3" mount? their experiences with AF lenses were from compact cameras with small lenses (the SLR 4/3" mount is the proof they didn't have a clue about camera and lens design).

they did have "floating & internal focusing" before ZD12-60 but this lens is their first success, a landmark for Oly I think.

Nikon also switched to give high priority to internal focusing around the time which Canon had been doing for two decades (Canon lenses made around 1990 are still top class ones if some new Nikkor ones beat them slightly).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

Olympus was the first company to use computer aid design to make lenses..., when all other companies were still using trial-and-error method back in the 80's.... Not knowing how to make modern lenses? Enough said.

7 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (8 months ago)

@Yabokkie Yeah what does Olympus know about lenses! The zuiko 14-35 f2 & 35-100 f2 were crap...

Do you think before you post? Do you actually know anything about Olympus or their lenses? Zuiko lenses are/were some of the best lenses ever made.
You should probably show a little restraint in posting comments...

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

> zuiko 14-35 f2 & 35-100 f2 were crap

good point. they are really are.
thay's why we don't have them for the m4/3" mount.
Oly are not that stupid to do stupid things again.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
MightyMike
By MightyMike (8 months ago)

Sigma also designed the Pana-Leica 25mm F1.4 for full size four-thirds and the Pana-Leica 25mm F1.4 for micro 43rds, they designed the Olympus 90-250mm F2.8 and the 75-300mm F4.8-6.3. The designed one of the 40-150 slower lenses too. I'm sure there are others. the thing is all companies have the ability to design great lenses and all companies sometimes cut too many corners and design junk so no need to be a Sigma basher as they're actually pretty good. Why does Sigma get to make lenses for Olympus, Panasonic and Leica? I supposed these companies fished around for a design so they don't tie up their resources that are actually being put to other things. its either a resources issue or Sigma designs these lenses for the sole purpose of selling the design to another company. Another case is the Tokina 16.5-135mm that patent is owned by Pentax. and if you look hard enough you'll find such collaboration or sharing across many companies.

5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

To say that Sigma lenses are "actually pretty good" is an understatement considering the recent class leading lenses (35 f/1.4, 17-50 f/2.8, 18-35 f/1.8) that they have recently released and their long history of making excellent FF telephoto zooms like the 70-200 f/2.8 HSM, 100-300 f/4 and 120-300 f/2.8.

As far as Pentax, there are a number of lenses in their catalogue that are simply Tokina rebrands, most notably the 16-50 f/2.8, 50-135 f/2.8, 12-24 f/4 and 10-17 3.5-4.5 fisheye zoom.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
rikyxxx
By rikyxxx (8 months ago)

"Sigma also designed the Pana-Leica 25mm F1.4 for full size four-thirds and the Pana-Leica 25mm F1.4 for micro 43rds"
Is there any proof?

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
MightyMike
By MightyMike (8 months ago)

rikyxxx Yes just find those Sigma patents for both of the the 25mm F1.4 and you'll see they look identical and are identical to the promotional material provided by Panasonic... I never actually saved the patent to my computer but i took from the m43rds patent the optical formula and plugged it into an optics program. its performance comes out just like the reviews and peoples opinions, I also did the same thing with the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 and fount it to be an excellent lens by comparison however that is only because the rear element has 2 aspheric surfaces, remove those and you'd thing the lens was junk!

0 upvotes
rikyxxx
By rikyxxx (8 months ago)

I don't have to find anything since I'm already aware of sigma patent for a 25/1.4 lens.
BUT I ALSO KNOW THAT A PANASONIC PATENT FOR THE SAME KIND OF LENS EXISTED BEFORE SIGMA'S ONE.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
MightyMike
By MightyMike (8 months ago)

rikyxxx I do have an answer for that, look a the panasonic patent, a very similar design to the Sigma but with fewer elements, so was Panasonic going to come out with a mark I version of the lens or are they just patenting it for future use when the contract with Sigma runs out. They also could've both worked on the lens together at the same time and after several designs were presented they decided the Sigma design was the better of the 2. Keep in mind that patent dates are extremely variable and sometimes things don't show up in patents until years after the product reaches the market.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
rikyxxx
By rikyxxx (8 months ago)

This is just a theory, not a proof.

Olympus-Sigma "cooperation" is old and well-know but there's no evidence something similar happened between Pana and Sigma.

Don't get me wrong, Sigma has proven to be a very good lens maker and Pana might benefit form such a partership, but the story you told it's far form being 100% plausible.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
MightyMike
By MightyMike (8 months ago)

rikyxxx You don't need to believe it however i provided enough evidence that Sigma does a heck of a lot more than we give them credit for, the same is true for Tamron and Tokina, until one takes a comprehensive look through thousands of patents one can only know what they see presented to them... I was surprised myself when i found such connections but the way i hear it many Japanese companies along with competition also work to help each other out and keep the whole sector alive and well.

0 upvotes
Mistral75
By Mistral75 (8 months ago)

@marike6

16-50 f/2.8, 50-135 f/2.8 and 10-17f/ 3.5-4.5 fisheye are Pentax-patented designs.

12-24 f/4 is a Tokina-patented design.

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (8 months ago)

Still not convinced..
If sigma could make a lens this good for the m43 format, why are their other Sigma branded m43 lenses pretty average?

3 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (8 months ago)

They are far from 'pretty average', but the big thing is they are VERY cheap, whereas the 75mm is really not so much.

9 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (8 months ago)

It would be a big investment for Sigma to make a sigma branded 75mm f/1.8, however selling the use of it's patent to Olympus, and having Olympus produce it, and make it work (pay for everything else), is great.

Besides, Olympus has great lens' factories for high precision parts like this that were probably just sitting idle.

If it "was" a sigma lens' made fully by sigma, it might have been a different lens in a lot of ways.

2 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (8 months ago)

By average I meant Build quality not really lens performance. I know sigma make great optics, I just bought the 60mm F2.8 its supposed to be better performing than the Oly 60mm MACro - but the Olympus build quality/design and style is on another level. The sigma is like a very ugly sister but performs great.

1 upvote
julieng
By julieng (8 months ago)

If its the case, kudos to Olympus for seeing the quality in that patent. The 1.8/75 isn't short of very favorable reviews!

4 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (8 months ago)

It must be pleasure to work for Sigma...

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

Sigma has been on a roll lately first with the excellent 35 1.4 FF lens and then the absolutely fantastic 18-35 f/1.8 which is one of the sharpest and THE brightest APS-C zoom ever created, AFAIK.

Now this news. Wow. I have to wonder how Olympus fans feel about the fact that Sigma seems to have designed their very best lens.

6 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (8 months ago)

I'm sure they arent' worried about it unless they heard that all of Oly's lenses were designed by another party. This isn't the first lens that Oly has made that is a cut above the rest- Oly makes very fine lenses.

4 upvotes
stevez
By stevez (8 months ago)

I have the Olympus 75mm and if Sigma designed it all I can say is WOW.

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

"Sigma designed" - lens design does not end at the patent like this, Olympus could have licensed the patent for example and go from there. Interesting that filing date of the patent is 2012.2.3, and Olympus started to sell its lens 6 months later - usually the way from design to sales is many times longer (see 200-400, or still not released Pana 150/2.8 for recent examples).

1 upvote
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