Olympus fast zooms may be coming in 2013

Started Feb 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,964
Re: Olympus fast zooms may be coming in 2013

amtberg wrote:

Anders W wrote:

clengman wrote:

clengman wrote:

clengman wrote:

amtberg wrote:

OniMirage wrote:

clengman wrote:

ryan2007 wrote:

Olympus should do fast zooms for Olympus users. If you know the Olympus lens may work better than the Panasonic on the Olympus body will you wait?

Also, manufactures always say their lens is great and revolutionary as a marking thing. You need to show confidence in your product. Sure, they will be good lenses.

The cost should be on par with Panasonic if constructed in a similar way like the internal zoom of the Panny 35-100 2.8.

No, no, no.

They shouldn't make fast zooms because olympus needs fast zooms that work on olympus bodies. The panny zooms work on olympus bodies. They need to differentiate their product somewhat. I'm not sure I'd be interested anyway. I think Id prefer to use my kit zoom and a few sub f/2 primes and I doubt I'll ever have the money for a fast zoom ​and​ fast primes.

But my point is, Olympus can't just make a 12-35 f/2.8 and a 35-100 f/2.8. They should make non-constant aperture zooms with longer range and no OIS. If they could do a 12-50 f/2.8-4.0 and a 50-150 f/2.8-4.5 (or something like that.) and make them a hair less expensive than the panny zooms they'd have something competitive.

Don't you make the 12-50 kit redundant at that point? The only features separating them at that point is the power zoom and macro feature.

They would have higher IQ, faster aperture, and higher cost, so they would be differentiated.

I don't think constant aperture is that big a deal. Most people who are into video don't zoom while recording anyway. Many would say that you should NEVER zoom while recording.

constant aperture is a pretty big deal for what I think is a good amount of enthusiast shooters.

Constant aperture zooms are a gimmick and imply a waste of glass. If you have a big enough front element to give f/2.8 at 40mm, then you have enough glass to make it much faster than f/2.8 at the wide end.

I can see how it could be useful for a zoom-happy videographer.

constant aperture zooms are a gimmic? that is one of the most ridiculous things i have ever read on a photography forum. yes if you can make a zoom 2.8 at the long end you can make it faster at the wide end, but then it would be more expensive to make it as sharp on the faster wide-end.

the 17-55EFS 2.8 was the most used lens in my repertoire for street and general travel shooting:


some of us take advantage of that type of range. for stills. why do you think lenses like the 24-70 2.8 are the most common range for FF shooters? because they are a gimmick?


Yup... Gimmick. Waste of glass.

you do know that zooms are far more complex to make than primes. they have to worry about optical performance across a range of focal lengths - CA, vignetting, sharpness, distortion - getting that more open aperture adds to all of those challenges. it's not as simple as just saying - oh we have this much of an aperture opening at our long end, it's as simple as just using that physical opening to make a wider aperture at the wide end. it introduces more challenges that become more expensive - so they could do it, but it's far from making a constant aperture gimmic.

on top of that, your statement that zoom ranges like that are only useful for videographers is also quite possibly even more stupid than the aperture argument. are they useful for all photographers? no, some like primes. that's just fine. but that doesn't mean it's not useful for stills for many others.

actually it's quite hard to choose which position of yours is more stupid. they are both pretty high up there.

My comment about zoom-happy videographers had nothing to do with the focal range. Just the constant aperture. In other word, a videographer who thinks it's a good idea to zoom in the middle of a shot might think that a constant aperture zoom is useful as it wouldn't change the exposure as the focal length changes.

In fact I believe that constant aperture zooms were first designed with cinematography in mind.

I stick to my assertion that a constant aperture zoom is an unnecessary compromise. I'm not alone in thinking that.

No you are not alone. For obvious reasons, it's always considerably more difficult to make a zoom fast at the long than at the short end. If you opt for f/4 at the long end, it's pretty easy to make it f/2.8 at the short, if you opt for f/2.8 at the long end, it's pretty easy to make it f/2 at the short and so on. Abstaining from the "bonus stop" at the short end just to get that constant-aperture magic is rather silly. And having the "bonus stop" hardly hurts videographers. If you want the same aperture across the range, just set it to the max aperture the lens can manage at the long end.

Do you have any evidence to support this? Logically I can see that it could go either way from a marketing perspective. Constant aperture is a selling point, but faster maximum aperture is also a selling point. I think the latter would be a bigger selling point if it could be done at no expense while maintaining good IQ.

It's pretty obvious that video isn't the main reason, as constant aperture lenses were popular long before these cameras were capable of recording video.

I did not mean to say that constant aperture zooms were designed for video-capable digital cameras.

I ​think​ but I could be wrong, that they were initially designed for film motion picture cameras. For this application, I think they'd be particularly useful.

I think the rest of it is mostly a matter of inertia. Film SLR users saw that a constant aperture could be useful to keep flash exposure ratios similar while changing lens focal length. I think it was probably a nice thing to have in that kind of scenario, if all adjustments had to be made manually. If you're shooting an event with a flash, you can keep your exposures consistent with a minimum of futzing. Then the constant aperture became a "necessary feature" in a pro zoom lens.

At this point, like Anders said, you can set the aperture you want and the camera will keep it there as you zoom. Since it's no longer a matter of offering more convenient manual operation of a mechanical lens, I think there's less value in that "feature."

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