Reflections on the popularity of the S1/S1R

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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 38,478
Reflections on the popularity of the S1/S1R

Great cameras - but only two posts before this one within the last 24 hours.

I am sure that the camera has a toe-hold but with the low level of posting interest in this forum then we might wonder.

Obviously Leica users might not wish to comment on what might be seen as a “Panasonic fief” forum.  The trumpeted Sigma FF foveon seems to have disappeared from view and the compact “Bayer” Sigma fp might not yet have hit the shops.  Not sure that a FF sensor camera body without a built in evf is that good an idea - it is certainly not something that might enthuse me - a sort of huge GM1 maybe?

Sigma has a flurry of lenses on the way but what is the uses of a bunch of new-mounted lenses when the camera bodies for them are not being sold in quantity?

Not everyone wants to abandon their existing lenses and swap everything for a new mount system. Most posts here have been driven by those who have done that or others considering doing so - not many.

From my “EF” collection of lenses point of view Sigma’s MC-21 is certainly workable but it is obvious that Sigma has not really put its heart and soul into it.  Those coming from other electronic adapters from EF to other mount systems will quickly see that the MC-21 is not a full-bottle adapter but more a make do interim product to allow other than Sigma EF lens mount users to dabble with their lenses in preparation to buying another crop of made for L-Mount lenses.

There are only a certain number of early adopters of new mount systems who will buy and enthusiastically rush to commit to oem lenses for it.

Sony has had a better start - they had the benefit of Metabones EF-E/FE adapters early in the piece - a company that has pursued a complete compatibility of EF-E/FE effectiveness - not only in reliability but also in making sure that all EF mount lenses will work well on E/FE camera bodies.  Not sure if Sigma has the same “fire in the belly” as they really want to sell new Sigma L-Mount lenses but by doing so they actively limit how many Panasonic (especially) L-Mount camera bodies might be sold - ie: shoot themselves in the foot.

If L-Mount camera body sales stall then the variety of lenses available will stall with them and also third party vendors have no incentive to try and compete in the EF-L mount electronic adapter field.

Sony were happy enough to wear the swings and roundabouts of EF lens owners adapting to Sony E/FE bodies because they knew that in the long haul plenty of EF lens owners would become FE lens owners once there were enough camera bodies out there in the marketplace.  They may even have “encouraged” third party adapter manufacturers by making it easier to give good interface between EF and FE.

So where are we today - EF mount dslr fans can easily use their lenses on multiple Sony A7/9 type bodies or Canon RF bodies (even M4/3 bodies !) with wide ranging compatibility and excellent performance.  They can use their lenses on L-Mount bodies but Novoflex adapters are not getting good reports and are very expensive.  The Sigma MC-21 does work with a good number of EF mount lenses other than Sigma made (I am more disappointed than unhappy) but it is partially crippled and has no firmware update method provided.  Those EF mount lenses that don’t work will never work on L-Mount with this adapter. It will never do C-AF no matter what firmware improvements Panasonic make, furthermore it also does completely lock out some of the AF functionality tweaks that Panasonic have much trumpeted.

I hate to say it but Panasonic needs to release a more affordable, more compact, RF-style body for L-Mount with evf really soon.  They also should actively encourage a third party adapter manufacturer such as Metabones to make a rival EF-L mount adapter to the one that Sigma offers - but then maybe pigs might fly and the price of Sigma’s participation in the L-Mount consortium was the promise that a huge number of L-Mount camera bodies sold would boost sales of their lenses.  This I think is back to front as if every L-Mount camera body sold sells three L-Mount lenses (eventually) then they have to encourage as many cross mount new users as possible to buy new camera bodies and continue to use their existing lenses for at least a while to smooth the process.

The MC-21 is ok but it is “just ok” and a bit of adapter competition would not be a bad thing.

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Tom Caldwell

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1
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