Why the 12mm prime barrier?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Impulses Veteran Member • Posts: 7,675
Re: Why the 12mm prime barrier?

mount evans wrote:

Chris666666 wrote:

Laowa have exploited the territory. There has been a 7.5mm available for several years, and a new 10mm has just been launched. Both are f2.0

And both manual focus. Someone needs to update the list on Wikipedia.

Most of the widest (3rd party) FF UWA primes from the likes of CV and Laowa are manual focus too, but they do go much much wider than what's available in smaller formats (Laowa has 9/5.6 & 11/4.5 FF primes, along with some faster ones like 12/2.8 & 15/2, and even a 10-18 zoom)... There's a few third party FF UWA primes with AF at 14-16mm (I believe there's a Sony 16/1.8 GM on the way) but just like M4/3, the zooms tend to outsell the primes by a considerable margin so 1st parties focus on that, eg Sony's 12-24 & 16-35 zooms at f2.8 & f4.

FF options at 18-20mm are much more plentiful tho, with AF even and whether 1st or third party. M4/3 had a pretty bad hole here until Laowa started releasing native UWA primes, the 7/2 is great and the 10/2 and even the 9/2.8 (APS-C transplant) all look pretty good. The system is spoiled with zoom choices tho, back when there were only 2 I never thought it'd end up with 4-5 1st party UWA zooms. There's also the Kowa Prominar 8.5/2.8 btw and the SLR Magic 8/4, Laowa's just ended up being the most popular but they aren't the only player that tried to patch that hole for M4/3.

If I was still shooting M4/3 for wides (mostly using it for teles now) I'd have bought that Laowa 10/2 even tho I already have the 7.5/2... I lusted after the Voigtlander 10.5/0.95 for a long time (has a pretty unique look, including those sunstars) but the combination of it's weight/bulk and MF kept me at bay (bad coma correction too), I eventually scratched that itch with something way sharper at a similar equivalent aperture and at a similar size & price (but lighter!). :>

APS-C systems have had the Samyang 12/2 (18mm equivalent) and later the Laowa 9/2.8, I was kinda jealous of that for a while but the number of nice UWA zooms M4/3 ended up with squashed that jealousy for me. That being said, the better or premium M4/3 (and APS-C) UWA zooms are really not much smaller or lighter than some of the FF ones (eg Nikon Z 14-30 f4, Tamron 17-28 f2.8). There's nothing as compact as the Oly 9-18 elsewhere tho, I started with that and sometimes I kinda miss it. Useful range, very little flaring (often a big issue with UWA zooms on larger formats) and you can even use filters on it.

 Impulses's gear list:Impulses's gear list
Panasonic GX850 Sony a7R IV Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm F1.7 Sony FE 20mm F1.8G +27 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow