Michael Reichmann's take on smaller full frame Sony FE mount lenses

Started Dec 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: Reichmann talks nonsense

Clayton1985 wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Apparently, you misunderstood me here. My intention was not claim that you were wrong. I merely wanted to spell out some additional implications of your truth.

The implications of 2.5 ounces? Not much to me, maybe something to you but either way more informative than 50%.

The poster to whom you responded (here) used relative quantities (proportions). You switched to absolute ones (ounces). The poster to whom you responded was talking about both bulk and weight. You omitted the bulk factor. Are you saying that the change of quantities and the omission of the bulk factor was made in an effort to make the exchange between the two of you more "informative" and easy to follow?

I'd prefer to provide the information in a way that others can use to decide for themselves instead of twisting it around to feel better about my brand or format.

In what way does my effort to undo your changes and omissions amount to twisting things around?

If what you really wanted was to be maximally informative, then you might have said the following:

The Oly 9-18 is 150 g and the Sony 10-18 is 225 g. That makes the Sony 75 g and 50 percent heavier.

The Oly 9-18 is 124 cm3 and the Sony 10-18 244 cm3. That makes the Sony 120 cm3 and 97 percent bulkier.

and it is a better lens than the 9-18 IMO.

Got any evidence you'd like to point to in support of that opinion.

I already gave my reasons in the below paragraph plus the 10-18 accepts filters where the 7-14 does not.

Oh. I thought you might be referring to the optical properties (other than those we can get from the specs) of the lenses at issue. But I now realize that you wouldn't want to speak about those.

No, I was making an effort to take the high road and give credit to the optical properties of all of the lenses discussed since I made it clear that I prefer the 10-18 for other reasons.

No, you did not make it clear to me or anyone else that you considered the optical properties (apart from things we can get from the specifications) of the lenses discussed to be equal and that your claim that the Sony 10-18 "is a better lens than the 9-18" did not refer to such properties.

But if you want to point me to the comparisons you've done or DXOMark or any other meaningful information to back up your winky winky then I'm willing to learn.

First of all, the Sony 10-18 has vignetting figures that can only be described as catastrophic (see DxOMark as well as Photozone). Not only is the vignetting extremely bad wide open. It stays that way throughout the aperture range. For example, at 10 mm, it is close to 2 EV even when stopped down to f/11. Things remain extremely bad at longer FLs too. At 14 mm, for example, it is close to 1.5 EV across the aperture range. The Oly 9-18 fares much better here. Vignetting exceeds 0.5 EV only when shot wide open at the shortest FL. At all other FL-aperture combinations, it is no worse than 0.5 EV and usually somewhat better than that.

On top of that, the transmission values (see DxOMark) at the center are worse for the Sony (i.e., it deviates more from the transmission we would expect on the basis of its f-stop specifications). So in reality, the Sony is a much slower lens than its specs would lead us to believe. Towards the corners, it is more like f/11 than f/4 at full WA.

Second, based on the DxOMark figures (see under sharpness, profiles; those from Photozone are not comparable in this regard), the Oly on an E-M5 is sharper across the frame at all comparable EFLs in spite of the Sony enjoying the advantage of being tested on the 24 MP NEX-7. If mounted on your A7, with about 10 MP in APS-C crop mode, it would of course lag even more seriously behind.

Third, the CA values for the Sony as indexed by Photozone are significantly worse. Since the DxO values for lateral CA are rather similar, I would think that much of the difference is due to more longitudinal CA on the Sony. This impression is reinforced by Sony's own sample image here:


None of the above is particularly surprising. Like some other Sony E-mount lenses, e.g., the 16/2.8, the 10-18 is simply underdesigned in optical terms, probably in an effort to keep bulk, weight, and price down. The Sony has only 10 elements (not much for an UWA zoom with such specs), four of which special glass. The fact that it contains so little glass is of course a major reason why it is comparatively light. In spite of being less ambitious with regard to speed as well as AoV, the Oly 9-18 has 12 elements, five of which special glass. The Panasonic 7-14, with FL and f-stop specifications more similar to the 10-18, has 16 elements, six of which special glass.

It does use a 62mm filter but it's light, faster than the 9-18 and you gain the extra range on the wide end. It sounds like the A7r with the 10-18 and a 2nd A7r with the 24-70 would produce outstanding results for you. Wide/ultra wide is a weakness for m4/3 not a strength.


MFT has two fisheyes (Samyang 7.5/3.5 and Panasonic 8/3.5), two UWA zooms (9-18/4-5.6, 7-14/4), four pretty fast AF primes (12/2, 14/2.5, 17/1.8, 20/1.7) with a fifth on its way (15/1.7), some fast MF primes from CV (17.5/0.95) and Noktor (12/1.6) on top of that, two fast zooms going down to 12 mm (12-35/2.8 and 12-40/2.8) and two slower ones as well (12-32/3.5-5.6, 12-50/3.5-6.3).

You listed exactly two UWA zoom lenses other than the fisheyes

Sure. So what? You said that "wide/ultra wide is a weakness for m4/3" so I thought it appropriate to include WAs as well as UWAs in my list.

Yes, you just conveniently left out the UWA primes because they don't exist.

You need to improve on your use of idiomatic expressions. An example of conveniently leaving out something is when you left out the difference in bulk between the 10-18 and the 9-18. Not mentioning something that does not exist is simply honest rather than convenient.

Now I initially thought that we were talking about native lenses only. If you are willing to include any adapted lens, as you apparently are, there are of course UWA primes for MFT too.

and both have limitations as compared to similar and better lenses available for any APS-C or FF system. The 9-18 is not as wide as other UWA zooms and the 7-14 doesn't accept filters.

My 7-14 certainly accepts filters.

Yes and my A7 has a more extensive AF lens selection than your m4/3 camera. Should we leave out any other details in either scenario?

You mentioned the inability of the 7-14 to take filters as one of the presumed weaknesses of MFT on the WA/UWA side. I corrected you. Are you now saying that the matter is in fact irrelevant? If not, what's your point?

There are exactly zero UWA primes except for fisheyes (unless you consider the 12mm to be ultra wide).

If you are happy to include adapted lenses, as you apparently are, then you can of course put the Samyang 14/2.8, the Nikon 14/2.8D or the Canon FD 14/2.8L on a speed booster and get yourself a 10/2. You can of course do the same with the Samyang 10/2.8 for APS-C, and get yourself a 7/2. I personally see no need to do either since I am rarely pressed for speed when shooting in the UWA range. But it is certainly possible.

I don't see anything that you are saying that changes the obvious(at least to me) that 4/3 is weaker than other formats when it comes to wide and ultra wide angle options.

I can't say I am surprised that you don't see it and can't say I am particularly worried about that. I am sure others have a clearer view in this regard.

Just because you can find an example to prove that there are options won't change that fact.

No one is saying that you can't find acceptable options in most cases and no one is criticizing the m4/3 lenses that are available --

As everyone can see for themselves, you told me, for example (I make no attempt to be exhaustive), that the 7-14 does not take filters and that MFT, in contrast to the Sony A7/A7R, didn't have any UWA primes. And you said these were unacceptable shortcomings to you. So you actually said that you could not find acceptable options and you were in fact criticizing the MFT lenses that are available.

I corrected your facts in both regards. My 7-14 takes filters and if you include adapted lenses, as you are of course forced to in order to get anywhere with the A7/A7R, then there are certainly UWA primes for MFT too.

I am just pointing out the facts as I see them.

Sure. And you appear to turn a blind eye to quite a few of them.

Wide angle is better but can't compare to FF. It is absolutely a weakness when compared to other formats especially FF. I'm not sure why anyone would argue otherwise?

In what sense can it not compare to FF. Please keep in mind here that the exchange between us, as well as the entire thread, revolves around the issue of bulk and size. So how does the various FF systems (you need to remember that FF, unlike MFT is not a system, just a sensor format) stack up compared to MFT in that regard?

You're beating this thing to death.

As everyone can see for themselves, I am just trying to keep you on topic. Unfortunately, strong efforts in this regard seem to be required. Everyone can see why.

I've already given you plenty of examples of lenses (many of them are the best that you can find for any format).

Now you went off topic again. The examples you gave are certainly not the best if it is bulk and weight we are talking about. And in other regards, see my point about unsubstantiated claims below.

And size starts to become irrelevant if you don't have an equivalent lens in any size.... what size is the 9mm prime for m4/3?

I didn't say that there was one specifically at 9 mm. As I pointed out, you can get 7/2 and 10/2 with adapted lenses. These would be pretty heavy and bulky, just as the adapted lenses you can use with the A7/A7R. Since I prefer less bulk and weight and am rarely pressed for speed at 9 mm, I prefer other solutions. If you want a small 9 mm lens for MFT, the 9-18 zoom is smaller and lighter than any FF UWA prime that I am aware off and gives you a whole range of focal lengths to choose from on top of that.

Again, so that I'm not misunderstood.. I know that not everyone wants a 9mm prime but some do.

It seems you want one. Why? Exactly what is it that you want to do with that UWA prime that you can't do with an UWA zoom?

The Sony A7/r with only a few "native FE" lenses produces excellent results with the below (and this is just a sample - I didn't include any of the fisheye lenses, Canon lenses, Pentax lenses, etc):

Excellent results with all of the below? In what sense do you consider the results excellent and on the basis of what evidence do you make that claim? I see quite a few older lenses in that list and I am anything but certain that they produce excellent results by current standards. On top of that, you have to worry about getting adapters that are perfect in every regard (not least if you shoot WAs and worry about corner sharpness). See here for further info on what I have in mind:


And the same challenges would apply to your speedbooster solution to get a 20mm equivalent prime.

Sure. So what? None of the FF lenses you listed escape that problem. Are you saying that it is a weakness of MFT that this problem can be avoided across the board except for UWA primes?

You can search and find plenty of examples right now with the lenses I've listed and many others to show you the IQ that you can get and you can judge for yourself.

Since I am not in the market for a 20 mm EFL prime, I have absolutely no need to do that. However, for the purpose of this discussion, you have a need to back up your claim that the results are excellent. As everyone can see for themselves, you are unable and/or unwilling to do that.

UWA: Zeiss 12mm, Olympus 18mm f3.5, Sigma 19mm f2.8, Olympus 21 f3.5, Nikon 20mm f3.5 AIS, Nikon 20mm f2.8D, Zeiss 21mm, Sony 20mm f2.8, Sigma 8-16, Sony 10-18 f4, Sony 11-18, Tokina 11-16, Sony 16-35, Tokina 17-35, Tokina 16-28

WA: Sony 24mmf2, Minolta 24f2.8, Nikon 24mm f1.4, Sigma 24 f1.8, Samyang 24 f1.4, Zeiss 32mm f1.8, Sony 35mm f1.8, Sony 35 f2.8, Sigma 30mm f2.8, Voigtlander 35 f1.4, Nikon 35 f2.

It seems you overlooked a few things here.

First, the Sigma E-mount 19/2.8 (29 mm EFL on APS-C) certainly does not qualify as an UWA and the Sigma 30/2.8 (46 mm EFL on APS-C) as well as the Zeiss 32/1.8 (49 mm EFL on APS-C) do not qualify as WAs.

I'm aware of the lenses I listed that are APS-C and the ones that are FF. The majority of the APS-C lenses listed including the Sigma 19, 30 and the Zeiss 32 cover significantly more than the APS-C image area and when cropped will give you UWA or WA coverage and more resolution than any m4/3 sensor.

Could you please back up your claim that the majority of the APS-C lenses you mention cover significantly more than the APS-C image circle, including, of course, the associated figures for vignetting and edge/corner resolution. It follows from what I say at the beginning of this post, that the Sony 10-18 doesn't even cover, in any real sense, the image circle of APS-C.

The only one that I probably shouldn't have listed is the Sony 35 f1.8 which will likely end up being in the normal range when cropped.

Second, a number of the other lenses you list are DSLR APS-C lenses and can of course be used as UWAs on MFT too. For example, putting the Sigma 8-16/4.5-5.6 on an MFT speed booster gives you a 5.6-11.2/3.2-4.0. That's wider than any rectilinear FF UWA can manage.

Third, you chose to compare FF, and the A7/A7R specifically, with MFT. What's the point of bringing in APS-C lenses given that starting point. Sure, you can put APS-C lenses on an A7/A7R and reduce the sensor resolution to some 10 or 16 MP, respectively. What's the point of doing that? If you want to shoot such lenses, you'd be better off with a NEX-7.

This is a generalization that can be true but can just as easily be wrong. There certainly are times that the NEX 7 would be better but there are plenty of scenarios where it wouldn't. I can use a 35mm f2.8 and/or 55mm f1.8 FF lens as my normal lenses and when needed use a lens designed for APS-C that gives me a larger sensor and more resolution than m4/3. How exactly is this a negative or a problem as it relates to m4/3?

I think my opinion in this regard match those of this poster on the Sony forum pretty well:


Finally, but most importantly, how do the FF lenses you list, including the required adapter, stack up compared to native MFT lenses from the bulk/weight point of view that our exchange as well as the entire thread is about? What FF counterparts to the two MFT fisheyes, the two MFT UWA zooms, the series of MFT WA primes, and the four MFT standard-range zooms that go down to 12 mm can you point to that manage to match them from a bulk-and-weight point of view?

It's simple enough for me. The 20mm prime that I have mounted on the A7 right now is not big, heavy or bulky and that includes the adapter.

So what 20 mm prime are you using with what adapter?

I could have chosen from a number of other lenses that are of similar size and weight. If you're telling me that you have better options for m4/3 in terms of size, weight, cost and performance then I'm all ears.

For reasons already pointed out, I don't need a 20 mm EFL prime. For my UWA needs, a more versatile zoom, like the 9-18 or the 7-14, is preferable.

I don't see how the examples you've provided compare in any way but you may feel otherwise.

I certainly do.

But if you want to forget about all of this and just focus on what you do have with m4/3 then fine -- what I want (and can get with virtually any other system) is a zoom lens that covers at least the 16-28mm range and accepts filters. A 2nd request would be a prime lens that is around 20 or 21mm. That isn't asking too much and as far as I know you can't get it with m4/3. I fully realize that you and others are fine with the 9-18 or the 7-14 and may not need a prime lens wider than 24mm but there are some people that do.

As already pointed out, you can certainly get a 16-28 mm (actually a 14-28) EFL that accepts filters as well as a 14 or 20 mm EFL prime for use with MFT.

I hope that the upcoming Olympus UWA zoom covers the zoom lens gap but I don't see ultra wide and wider primes catching up any time soon.

As far as I can see, the gap and catching-up you are talking about are largely illusory. Of course, it would be nice to have a native rectilinear UWA prime too, although I am personally not in the market for that. On the UWA and WA side of things, I am perfectly fine with what I am currently using (7-14/4 and 7.5/3.5 FE, 12/2, 20/1.7).

Because you can find lenses you are happy with is not and never was the point and I said as much in my previous post.

No. The point is the facts. And you appear to turn a blind eye to quite a few of those.

And I hope you don't get the wrong impression. I love my E-M1 and the lenses I have with it.

Well, I certainly have the impression that you don't think highly about MFT. So what's the reason why you don't sell your MFT gear now that you have the A7? If WA/UWA are weak spots for MFT, what are, in your opinion, its strong sides compared to what the A7 has to offer?

Every system has compromises and in my opinion wide and especially ultra wide is a weakspot for m4/3. If you don't see it that way then I'm happy to just agree that we have different perspectives about this.

It's already clear to everyone that we have "different perspectives". What is possibly of interest to other readers is the extent to which we can back those perspectives up by means of facts.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
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