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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
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (8 months ago)

Makes a lot of sense to me. The thing I don't get is why Oly?

75mm is a bit of an odd duck on four thirds, 3.5x the "normal" focal length for four thirds (a 150mm equivalent). The classic portrait lenses are 85, 105, and 135mm, 2x, 2.5x, and 3x normal.

75mm is the portrait lens that everyone wants on APS-C, where it's 2.5x normal, but quite awkward on four thirds.

1 upvote
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (8 months ago)

And people that use the lens absolutely love it, I really want one as well. It's not a classic length? So what, the difference in FoV between 135 and 150 isn't much to make it unusable for portraits

6 upvotes
aldoc
By aldoc (8 months ago)

Does anyone know, if the image circle of this lens would cover APS-C? Might be we are in for a surprise after a Sigma-Oly specified waiting time???

0 upvotes
jack1000
By jack1000 (8 months ago)

I thought the reason was that Oly wanted to provide a portrait lens with similar ability to throw areas out of focus to a more normal portrait length lens on APS-C cameras.

1 upvote
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

150mm equiv makes sense on 4/3 format. I have one. You have to remember 4/3 sensors have squarish aspect ratio, so the extra reach actually makes up to feel like a 135mm, and I love that FL.

And your 2.5x normal and 3.5x normal doesn't make sense to me. 135mm and beyond is telephoto. Telephoto has a very different feel to them (compression). It has nothing to do with how many times of "normal" focal length (which is actually 43mm).

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

This is perfectly normal. It has been a long time since companies commonly designed and made everything about their products from scratch. There used to be a great website called "laptop jungle" that tracked who actually made which laptop computers... and companies like Clevo were more often the answer than whatever brand name you saw on the box. Heck, Olympus used to make lenses for companies like Vivitar before they started selling cameras under their own brand.

0 upvotes
eddie_cam
By eddie_cam (8 months ago)

Sigma-branded lenses - at a cheaper price - at least have lens hoods supplied, something Olympus mostly doesn't care for.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
rb59020
By rb59020 (8 months ago)

Physically it does "look" like the first versions of Sigma's m43 19mm and 30mm f2.8 EX DN lenses. All three share the same wide ribbed focus rings.

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/19mm-f28-ex-dn

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/30mm-f28-ex-dn

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (8 months ago)

The overall style of the 75mm looks more like the Olympus 45mm and 12mm though.

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (8 months ago)

to bad they didnt manufacture and sell it under there own brand. could have saved us all 500 bux

21 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Yep. Seems they have different accountants from Oly and Pana.

2 upvotes
thecameraeye
By thecameraeye (8 months ago)

And given us lens hoods?

10 upvotes
yslee1
By yslee1 (8 months ago)

And given a lens hood too, I'm sure!

5 upvotes
revio
By revio (8 months ago)

"their" own brand you must have meant...and I´d say that it´s worth a few bucks to have it Zuiko/Oly branded anyway ;-)

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (8 months ago)

seriously youd pay double just to have it say zuiko oly? and lets not kid ourselves it would be double

0 upvotes
rikyxxx
By rikyxxx (8 months ago)

Bu||$hit$. That masterpiece cannot be sold for just 400$. Oly brand might "weigh" 50$, 75 at best, no more.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (7 months ago)

the nikkor f1.8 G is a little longer same f/stop and one of the sharpest slr lenses you can buy full frame and 500 bux. yeah i think sigma could be even cheaper

0 upvotes
rikyxxx
By rikyxxx (7 months ago)

Based on what you think the Olympus-made (NOT SIGMA) 75mm could be even cheaper than a lens with a full plastic barrel? Pure and ridiculous fanboyism?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (8 months ago)

Nice work, Sigma!

Maybe you could design us m43 users a nice rectilinear 7mm f4.

Thanks.
S

4 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (8 months ago)

There's already the Panasonic 7-14mm f4...

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Olympus has a patent for 8-20mm f/2.8-4 for m43, published about a year ago. I'd prefer Sigma released it, it would not be THAT highly priced.

2 upvotes
Kinc
By Kinc (8 months ago)

Very interesting topic, especially when you own the Olympus 75mm lens. It's a perfect portrait and walk around, street lens. You just have to back up to use it at times. Anyone interested in Japanese quality and quality control after WWII should look at the wikipedia entry for Deming, the American whose name is attached for the annual award in Japan:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming. The German/Japan technical advantage in WWII disappeared in 3 years. By the end of the war the US was flying the most advanced planes, tanks, ships, you name it. The shared lens/camera world makes sense. If you can make good lenses but cannot get the economies of scale by selling them in cameras, then pass them to someone who can sell more cameras. The Olympus OMD-5 came from a camera making company, the sensor and electronics from Sony, the EVF from Epson, the lens from Sigma (perhaps), leaving the consumer very happy indeed. The cell phone camera is spoiler in all of this..

1 upvote
thecraftysnapper
By thecraftysnapper (8 months ago)

Tamron's 18-270mm is also made for Pentax but just rebadged .

But the Tamron costs £250 and having the Pentax name on it costs £599 it does make you wonder how much the 75mm would cost released under Sigma'a name. ;)

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 200
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