I think the notion of FF = heavier lens may not be true

Started Nov 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,850
Flnge distance and FF

Jack Hogan wrote:

Promit wrote:

The older 4/3 lenses you picked were widely panned for their size, and rightfully so. Olympus picked a smaller format and reaped little or no benefit from it.

The current m4/3 lenses are very small though, and it's a combination of three things:

  1. Smaller format
  2. Small flange distance
  3. Software correction

It's all of those, together, plus a bit of modern design technique, that gives m4/3 lenses their size and weight advantage. Leaving distortion and CA in the capture and fixing them in software means less glass elements and lighter glass elements. The small flange distance reduces the need for retrofocal designs.

This is a good point, and every format can do that. Things are in flux, but the mFT guys are pushing the envelope of progress faster than APS-C and FF apparently because they have to in order to be competitive in the market they play in.

Things will tilt back to the mean (where the notion that equivalent FF lenses are heavier may be less true) once we start seeing simpler/lighter/smaller/cheaper FF and APS-C lens designs that also offload some of the optics onto the camera's DSP.

We live in interesting times.

Smaller flange distance for FF would also mean smaller designs for FF, but the cost is there and it may require soft corrections. I'm not sure Nikon and Canon will reduce the flange distance for FF as they move into ML. The mirror box may be gone, but will venerable lens designers adopt that? I think APS-C will ove to a different mount for both companies as Canon has already done, but FF is bit more complicated, as backward compatibility may be seen, especially by Nikon, as essential. They kept its mount even when it looked like a changevwas needed.

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