Will Panasonic bring more (cheap) lenses to 4/3

Started Oct 9, 2005 | Discussions
OzRay
OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,428
Re: Will Panasonic bring more (cheap) lenses to 4/3

Ross wrote:

OzRay wrote:

Panasonic is not into making lenses and while it's more than likely
that Panasonic will bring out a body soon, they will probably
source lenses at least from Olympus, but perhaps elsewhere as well.

Cheers

Ray

Hi Ray,
Panasonic is a world leader in the fabrication of aspherical
high-precision lenses and leads in the aspherical glass molding
mafg. technologies. I suspect that if you see aspheric elements in
a lens, they might have come from Panasonic's factory. If you prowl
around Pany's Lumix site for the Leica DC lens link, there is more
info. I tried to get a link to the lens thing for you, but it
didn't work.
So while they aren't a big name in lenses, they are a quiet, behind
the scenes factor. Kind of like Minolta who supply much of the
optical glass blanks in Japan. If we only knew, we migh find that
our beloved 14-54mm was a Tamron design refined by Olympus, with
elements made from Minolta glass blanks & Panasonic aspherical
lenses and finally assembled by Olympus into barrels from Sigma and
cams from Tokina and chips from Toshiba..:-)

What I meant was that they don't seem to have been into designing their own, but licensing designs from others. So it didn't seem likely that Panasonic would create their own lenses from scratch.

It wouldn't seem to make economic sense either, considering the development costs for good 4/3s lenses. Panasonic has always seemed to be good at designing and manufacturing the electronics side of things and this is why I think that they'd be more into building alternative 4/3s bodies.

Cheers

Ray
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wolfie
wolfie Veteran Member • Posts: 3,961
Primes shouldnt be $1,000...

I dont think the primes would be that expensive, you may not have taken into account that 25mm on 4/3 is a "standard" lens coverage, not a wide angle at all.
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J Stevens Regular Member • Posts: 306
Re: It's a Leica...

Well I look at it this way, if the 50 2.0 Macro was $500, then a metal body Leica prime lens that will sell in less volume will be $800 or more.

I would pay for it, as long as it's metal, weathersealed, and Leica.

Out of all the lenses I miss from all the DSLR's I've had, the Pentax 31mm Limited is the one. If I could get something close 40mm to 50mm (35mm equiv) then I would spend the money.
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JP Lee Contributing Member • Posts: 793
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa... Stop...

The reason I am purchasing the E-500 is because it's the best bang for the buck.

I started this sub thread with "Need Good Less Expensive Primes" and we're now at a $1K Leica???!!!

All I want is a sub $100 fast prime rivaling the Canon 50mm/f1.8... I think Oly may just sell a few of those, no?

Ross
Ross Veteran Member • Posts: 5,072
Re: Will Panasonic bring more (cheap) lenses to 4/3

Hi Ray,

I asked Ian Burley over at dpnow about this, because he had gotten a tour of Panasonic's lens facilities. He said that I would be surprised at what they were doing that he couldn't tell about. He said they wouldn't have any problems making 4/3rds lenses. (Ian has an E-1, BTW).

Don't forget that they have been making lenses for TV cams for decades and would have the optical design software and engineers.

Now, they wont have instant brand recognition with PanyLux or Lumiflex and we might even have some grief with one on our E-1s, but if there is good quality and a useful lens, who cares. I suspect that they will not be a source of primes, but I'm willing to be wrong....:-)
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J Stevens Regular Member • Posts: 306
Re: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa... Stop...

My point was that since Panasonic and Leica come together in the digital photo world, maybe Panasonic will bring Leica into the 4/3rds as well.
--
Jeff

Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 28,254
Re: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa... Stop...

J Stevens wrote:

My point was that since Panasonic and Leica come together in the
digital photo world, maybe Panasonic will bring Leica into the
4/3rds as well.

When the deal was announced last year, a Panasonic exec was asked this question, and he basically said Leica was not part of the deal. Obviously things could have changed since then.

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espressogeek Contributing Member • Posts: 519
Re: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa... Stop...

I really wonder what a good series of low cost wide angle primes would buy us? Lets see, there is the cannon 28, 35 and 50mm ranging in apature values of 1.8 - 2.8 . We can now pick up the 11-22 for 620 from dell which is equal to 22-44 in 35mm terms. How much sharper or how much more resolution does a handfull of primes get me compared to a top shelf oly lense? Are the oly zooms that good?

Also, and I know this is getting off topic, how does the oly 50mm f2.0 compare in sharpness and or resolution to any of the canon gear?

OzRay
OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,428
Sounds good.

That would be interesting indeed in Panasonic started to make lenses for 4/3s; a good thing in fact, as Sigma haven't really done very much. I think this would be important as well for the format, as that would begin to clearly cement the longevity of the system.

It's also important in order to ensure the basic premise of 4/3s, in that one is not restricted to one brand of lenses and bodies, and where mixing and matching would be the order of the day.

We live in interesting times, don't we? Now I guess we just wait for another naysayer to come along.

Cheers

Ray

BJL Veteran Member • Posts: 9,364
cheaper Sigmas for sure, maybe Panasonic lenses too

My first guess was that the arrival of Panasonic Four Thirds DSLRs would mostly just help to lower the prices of the current Four Thirds lenses through higher sales volume, and maybe encourage Sigma to add more models. Maybe with some Sigma made lenses in Panasonic versions, like a few of the new Olympus lenses seem to be versions of lenses made by Sigma.

But now that I read about Panasonic's lens making operations (developed first for video cameras?) I am starting to think that electronic giants with video camera experience like Panasonic and Sony are out to put a lot of pressure on traditional SLR makers in the DSLR sector with their lenses, too not just their sensors, DSP chips, and camera bodies.

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BJL Veteran Member • Posts: 9,364
Canon sepcs for that 1.3x CCD??

Karl Günter Wünsch wrote:

They built the CCD in one of their fabs to specs provided by Canon.

Do you know that or ar you just guessing? Canon has never designed or made a CCD sensor as far as I know, whereas Panasonic was already doing so before they made the sensor for the EOS-1D. So it seems more likely that Panasonic did both the design and fab. for that CCD. (Canon has always bought all the CCD's for their digicams from Sony etc.; the only sensors I know of them designing or making are the CMOS ones for their DSLR's.)

Their current small sensors can't handle ISO very well and are basically useless beyond ISO-200, just like the Kodak CCD's of similar size.

By Kodak CCD's of similar size, do you mean the interline CCD sensors they make for digicams? The Four Thirds format Full Frame Transfer CCD's are far larger than any current Panasonic CCD's.

The Panasonic sensor in the Leica Digiux 2 seems to have good enough noise performance when compared to other 2/3", 5MP sensors.

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dgrogers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,243
Re: Will Panasonic bring more (cheap) lenses to 4/3

There's an outside chance they'll produce lenses badged with the Leica name, but I expect to see mainly re-badged Olympus lenses (and probably the cheaper ones at that) -- at least for a while.

digits wrote:

Given that Panasonic are supposedly producing a 4/3 body early in
2006, do you guys think that they'll also produce cheap and
cheerful lenses to go with it? Or do you think that perhaps
Panasonic's mass market potential might encourage Sigma to port
more of their lenses to the 4/3 fitting?

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mmditter Veteran Member • Posts: 3,373
Do they make their own lenses now, or outsource them?

Either way, perhaps they will try to come up with something different to carve themselves their own niche in the 4/3 market.

Paul H Contributing Member • Posts: 583
Re: Smaller market...

Mike_PEAT wrote:

Unfortunately that's one of the disadvantages of owning an elite
camera, and we have to pay a higher cost per lens.

I purchased my E300 with the two lens kit for $614 from Dell and at that price/performance point it was a wonderful acquistion. Had the price been much higher, however, I would have looked elsewhere for my first dSLR or I would waited to see if the Four Thirds "standard" caught on before buying into another proprietary Olympus system (I'm a former OM-system film camera shooter). Right now, I'm looking at my new camera as a very reasonably-priced, dSLR-like prosumer camera that has the potential to be something more. Time (and the future price of good prime lenses from Olympus AND other manufacturers) will tell.

From my own experience as well as from many reviews, the E300 is hardly an "elite" camera, nor is its big brother, the E1. They are good-to-excellent cameras, certainly, and I'm happy to have mine, but they don't represent the "Creme de la Creme" of the digital camera world, the design to which all others aspire, but fall woefully short of the mark. (It's interesting to note, however, that such an "elite" camera as the E300 won't let you hook up an industry-standard cable release right out of the box.)

Indeed, all of this "you pay more for the best" talk I've been reading on this forum justifying Olympus' high prices for lenses is starting to sound suspiciously like the fable of the "Emperor's New Clothes": only us ultra-sophisticated and well-heeled Oly types can see how special the E-series dSLR's and accessories really are. All those other brand owners are just jealous they aren't members of our selective club. Oh, please: we all bought our Olympus digital cameras over the counter; they weren't given out as mememtos by the Queen when she elevated us to the Peerage.

Frankly, if non-Olympus branded cameras and lenses don't start appearing on the market fairly soon, in a year to eighteen months' time I expect to see Oly Four-Thirds cameras floating in the LaBrea tar pits along with some of the other critters Nature decided weren't such good ideas after all.

Or, as Elton John dejectedly sang, "We always thought the Crocodile Rock woud last." Well, it didn't.

aperture7 Regular Member • Posts: 154
Re: Smaller market...

4/3 is a discount camera, not elite.

aperture7 Regular Member • Posts: 154
Re: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa... Stop...

Hoe can you expect Rolls Royce to lend its name to Hyundai? Even if it does so, are you prepared to pay Rolls Royce price for the joint product?

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