Why no 40mm pancake (or similar)?

Started Feb 9, 2018 | Questions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 38,452
Re: It might all be about the economics

alex2b wrote:

Agreed. I stated something along these lines here . I fully understand that I am in the minority.

But the same logic applies when you look at the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 and the Olympus 17mm f/2.8. The Pana-Leica 15mm and the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 make more sense to most customers. Still, these pancakes have been developed and especially the Panasonic 14mm is a real gem (I like the rendering and colors of the 17mm f/2.8 too, by the way). The order of development might have had some influence ;-). Incidentally, I own(ed) all four. Only the 17mm f/1.8 has been sold. The Pana-Leica 15mm lives on my Olympus E-M5 - although I am silently crying each time I look at the aperture ring.

I still think that the essence of a new mount system is to get as many cameras as possible sold to crete a market for the lenses that must in the end be the reason why a mount system will survive in the long run.

So in early days - sell reasonably priced cameras and mainly entry level lenses with a few high perfomaing expensive lenses laced in so that the mount system does not get a reputation as simply for low grade gear and entry level users.

But to make it more for professional users they will not only have to bring out lenses of professional standard and bodies to match.  This means expensive slow selling gear with big margins allowing it to be either small bench level production runs to be topped up by demand - or larger runs that can afford to be stored and sold off over many years.

Some of Canon’s EF lenses were designed and first sold in the 1980’s and even then were often based on even earlier FD mount designs.  But they keep on expanding their range of lenses on offer and cannot possibly be continuously making all of them (even Canon).

So some of the most exotic and expensive M4/3 lenses are most likely only made in small batches to a demand - in that manner there is no need to ever seriously discount them to clear slow selling stocks.  It was only fairly recently when Olympus announced that they were no longer selling 4/3 mount lenses.  At their RRP these very excellent lenses could be bespoke custom made almost on demand in lots perhaps as low as 5 units at a time.

On the other hand a mount system would strive long-term to plug every available lens-type hole in their market.  Consequently when some spare cash pops up allocated for new lens market hole plugging someone might say brightly “there is no 40mm pancake style lens for the M4/3 system - how much would it cost to design and make (say) 200 units to fill up that gap”.  Done, build 200 units, publicise them a bit, sell 50, put the rest into a store and the product catalogue and wait while the level of demand soaks them up.  Selling like hot cakes? Make another 1,000 .....

Patience might be rewarded but I would not wait up ....

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow