KOWA releasing long telephoto lenses for mFT

Started Sep 24, 2010 | Discussions
asoujon Junior Member • Posts: 28
KOWA releasing long telephoto lenses for mFT

From Photokina: If you're into digiscoping, KOWA will be known to you as a manufacturer of high quality spectives.

They have announced to introduce 350 f/4, 500 f/5,6 and 850 f/9,6 telephoto lenses, that can be adapted to mFT mount.

The lenses consist of flourite crystal, have two seperate focus drives for quick manual focussing and a four digit price tag (according to Reinhard Wagner of oly-e.de).

Pic of the 500 f/5.6 mounted on his E-P2

Sorry, no plans to adapt the lenses to FT mount.

Regards
Andre Soujon

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G1Houston Veteran Member • Posts: 3,141
What is the point?

Look at the size of those tripods, which are needed to prevent camera shake for use of these lenses. If you need to use such a big lens together with a big tripod, what is the point of using a compact camera such as the PEN?

asoujon wrote:

From Photokina: If you're into digiscoping, KOWA will be known to you as a manufacturer of high quality spectives.

They have announced to introduce 350 f/4, 500 f/5,6 and 850 f/9,6 telephoto lenses, that can be adapted to mFT mount.

The lenses consist of flourite crystal, have two seperate focus drives for quick manual focussing and a four digit price tag (according to Reinhard Wagner of oly-e.de).

Pic of the 500 f/5.6 mounted on his E-P2

Sorry, no plans to adapt the lenses to FT mount.

Regards
Andre Soujon

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OP asoujon Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: What is the point?

The point is to inform...

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tmcfarla Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: What is the point?

Well, most dSLRs are absolutely terrible for manual focusing, micro 4/3 are not. Once the prominence of auto-focus meant that cameras no longer had that weird focus grid thing such that the picture looked all granulated unless it was perfectly in focus (I have no idea what it was called), manual focus became really really hard to do on a moving object. Manual focus in live view is easier because the image can be magnified to 5x or so, making it much easier to tell if something is in focus.

Micro 4/3 are about the only cameras currently made which are going to do reasonably well with manual focus on super telephoto lenses.

I think this is great.

That said, a 350 f4 manual focus lens on micro 4/3 probably doesn't make as much sense as a 300 f4 on a mid-range canon, nikon, or pentax dSLR. If bright 400-500 mm lenses are going for around $1000-1500, there will be some excited birders, I think.

Everdog Veteran Member • Posts: 4,837
The point is easy...

Let's say you have a G1.
Then you want to take some pics of the moon or something really far away.
Do you buy one of these?

or I am guessing your idea is: buy a second camera for $500 plus one of these (which will be even bigger because it will not have a 2x crop factor)?

Honestly how is buying a bigger second camera going to help you? Except force you to buy an even bigger lens.

pegasus1457 Senior Member • Posts: 1,852
Re: What is the point?

tmcfarla wrote:

Once the prominence of auto-focus meant that cameras no longer had that weird focus grid thing such that the picture looked all granulated unless it was perfectly in focus (I have no idea what it was called), manual focus became really really hard to do on a moving object.

It was called a micro-prism , and IMHO it was more effective than Panny's blow-up-the-image trick.

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tmcfarla Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: What is the point?

Ah, thanks. I wasn't trying to imply that the blow-up detail in live view beats a micro-prism, just that the blow-up detail in live view beats the regular viewfinder in other dSLRs.

Vulcanrider Regular Member • Posts: 307
Re: The point is easy...

Also, The m4/3 avoids the "mirror lock-up" required in an slr at these F lengths.

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Knight Palm Veteran Member • Posts: 3,723
awaiting image examples

and comparing with say the ZD 300mm/F2.8, which can AF to some extent.
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eenymac Senior Member • Posts: 1,153
Re: awaiting image examples

I looked at this system back in August at the British Birdfair. I say "system" as that is what it essentially is, having adaptors for 3 different focal lengths and a seperate bayonet mounting prism unit to turn it into a spotting scope, when used with Kowa's scope eyepieces.

For those, like myself, who often trek into the field carrying a DSLR with a long lens, plus spotting scope and tripod, this looks like a good way of cutting down on the amount of equipment needing to be carried, especially if it's a long hike.

Ok, so it's manual focus, but that's not a major obstacle to people using scopes for photography anyway - the target market I believe. From what I have seen so far, this lens system also delivers some very sharp images.

Another plus for this system is that it could well be a lot cheaper than a single long lens for those of us not flush with funds and able to afford some of the longer lenses available from the big camera or lens manufacturers.

I await further info and testing of this system with interest.

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 22,376
Re: KOWA releasing long telephoto lenses for mFT

I wish Kowa would bring back the Kowa 6 as a digital. One of the coolest MF cameras ever made.
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tmcfarla Regular Member • Posts: 131
Expensive

I got very excited when I saw this, and hoped that "4 digit price" meant something like $1500. I searched around on the internet and it looks like it will be more like $3500. Blast.

siward Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: What is the point?

pegasus1457 wrote:

tmcfarla wrote:

Once the prominence of auto-focus meant that cameras no longer had that weird focus grid thing such that the picture looked all granulated unless it was perfectly in focus (I have no idea what it was called), manual focus became really really hard to do on a moving object.

It was called a micro-prism , and IMHO it was more effective than Panny's blow-up-the-image trick.

But the microprisms or the split-image prisms on an SLR focusing screen could black-out at long focal lengths; also the screen could become dim - a particular problem with today's dim-viewfinder DSLRs. I much prefer the magnified EV of a Panasonic / Olympus.

S.

iano Senior Member • Posts: 1,896
everyone knows these belong only on 35mm or medim format or even large format

If you put any long lens on micro 4/3 it looks out of balance

Everyone knows that you need a larger camera body for a long lens

Even 300mm is too long m4/3. It looks as silly as 500mm on a 5D or D700

In fact a the canon 600mm f/4 doesn't belong on any Canon camera as it looks as out of balance as a long lens on m4/3. So on the same logic it should only go on medium format.

And that ridiculous canon 800 5.6 ....it should only go on large format!!!

Join the campaign to limit the ratio of lens size to camera size. I know there are a lot of members to this cause already

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ThorKre Regular Member • Posts: 215
Camera fashion police?

You want to "to limit the ratio of lens size to camera size" because "it looks out of balance"? Who cares how it looks, no one in their right mind would shoot this thing without a tripod, and with the tripod mount on the lens, there won't be any balancing problems anyway.

Would you be more happy if you could put it on the Olympus E3, a camera with an inferior sensor to the PENs', just because it looks better? Jesus Christ.

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Regards
Thorsten

tmcfarla Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: everyone knows these belong only on 35mm or medim format or even large format

Camera size is a moot point. You don't attach a lens this size to a camera, it is the other way around. A 500mm lens is shot from a very hefty and stable tripod. The camera, whether it is a GF1 or a canon 5D, is just a little thing dangling from the back.

Steven Alan Senior Member • Posts: 1,390
Re: What is the point?

siward wrote:

But the microprisms or the split-image prisms on an SLR focusing screen could black-out at long focal lengths; also the screen could become dim - a particular problem with today's dim-viewfinder DSLRs. I much prefer the magnified EV of a Panasonic / Olympus.

S.

Yep, I have a Pentax K1000 with a micro prism focus screen, it's fine at short focal lengths, but with my 135mm lens it starts to get a bit difficult, more so with the 200mm attached. Tried it with a 500mm mirror lens and it no longer works at all.

grapher
grapher Senior Member • Posts: 1,120
Re: everyone knows these belong only on 35mm or medim format or even large format

iano wrote:

Join the campaign to limit the ratio of lens size to camera size. I know there are a lot of members to this cause already

And membership is free, all you need is an internet-access, and please send your credit-card details to me.

Of course we also need some finetuning, because there are noticeable size-differences between different models even in µ4/3! So a lens for a G1 could be forbidden on a GF1 .....

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sacundim Senior Member • Posts: 1,111
Easy answer...

G1Houston wrote:

Look at the size of those tripods, which are needed to prevent camera shake for use of these lenses. If you need to use such a big lens together with a big tripod, what is the point of using a compact camera such as the PEN?

Why wouldn't you want to be able to use the camera you already have with a lens like that, instead of having to buy a whole new camera just to use that one lens? After all, you already own that one camera.

There's nothing about the fact that m4/3 cameras are small or light that makes them intrinsically unsuited for using them with such a lens. The size and weight just give you options.

caledonguy Regular Member • Posts: 470
Re: KOWA releasing long telephoto lenses for mFT

That's one hell of a monster lens, I wonder how big the 850mm is.

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