Why not a 12-35 F1.8 - F2.8?

Started Apr 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,731
Re: Why not a 12-35 F1.8 - F2.8?

Discussions like this often involve people oversimplifying lens design and construction. For a moment, let's lay aside equivalency considerations of FF vs 4/3 (and keep in mind that while the 24-70 f4 FE lens is comparable in size to the Panasonic 12-35, and looks to be a sweet lens for the A7, the 70-200 f4 FE is considerably larger than the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8. So this particular discussion is fairly limited to lower range zooms)

While aperture size at a given focal length is the major factor in lens size, many other factors come into play as well. How many elements in the lens, and of what type of glass? How many aspherical elements are used? What materials are used in the construction and how robust is the build? People have brought up the large size of the SHG 1-35 f2.0 lens. It must be considered that being an SHG lens, it's meant to have a much more durable construction, with higher precision parts and function, than other lenses. It is also as sharp wide open as it is stopped down, something that seldom occurs with fast aperture FF lenses. Many test reports, and practical experience, show that 24-70 f2.8 FF lenses often have to be shot at at least f4 or f5.6 to give the same sharpness and contrast the ZD lens offered at f2.0.

If Olympus wanted to merely make the lens f2.0, with average performance and durability, they probably could have reduced the size of the lens, but they chose not to compromise the goals of the SHG line. Sadly, most people don't understand why the lens the size it is other than thinking it's merely because it's f2.0.

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