How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Jan Chelminski
Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 2,283
How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
3

So, a ‘full disclosure’ item...

Back at the beginning of 4/3 Olympus talked lots of ‘Telecentric’ talk. And they did, walk the ‘Telecentric Walk’ (as do I, btw, but I digress) in all fairness...To a fault.

This has, of course, been talked about to death, but I have just a few comments.

Around the time the E-620 was introduced, I described it a ‘grand slam’ here, but was privately a bit bothered.

Why couldn’t Olympus make this body in A1 form (use metal, or otherwise top grade build), instead of building the (to me) big E-3? The reason was the big, Telecentric SHG lenses, but this led to another thought:

Why doesn’t Olympus release a line of compact prime optics with ‘relaxed telecentricity”? These would be small and reasonably fast and bright.

What surprises me a bit today, Olympus could have done so in m4/3 very well once again, but failed to do so in a deliberate manner.

So yes, I was fooled by Olympus. The ‘T-C’ factor of lenses has a relation to performance at the edges and corners, etc, but the applied life of photography/optics does not need to revolve around this characteristic, far from it!

So, it is a bit annoying, in all honesty.

But I like this new, small 4:3 format, and the design and features of the new cameras. I am simply shifting back to older lenses, on various optical or simple adapters. Bye, 1X and big AF lenses. Hello, my old Zuiko’s, oh, how I have missed thee!

Jan

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"The camera introduces us to to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses"
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-----
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Bassam Guy Senior Member • Posts: 2,152
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
5

Please define "telecentric" to us dumb folk

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3dwag
3dwag Veteran Member • Posts: 4,485
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
2

Jan Chelminski wrote:

So, a ‘full disclosure’ item...

Back at the beginning of 4/3 Olympus talked lots of ‘Telecentric’ talk. And they did, walk the ‘Telecentric Walk’ (as do I, btw, but I digress) in all fairness...To a fault.

This has, of course, been talked about to death, but I have just a few comments.

Around the time the E-620 was introduced, I described it a ‘grand slam’ here, but was privately a bit bothered.

Why couldn’t Olympus make this body in A1 form (use metal, or otherwise top grade build), instead of building the (to me) big E-3? The reason was the big, Telecentric SHG lenses,

The large lenses were only part of the reason, the other reasons were a) the large pentaprism required for such a large reflex viewfinder image, b) new shutter and IBIS (at that point in time, more space needed including for electronics), c) larger battery, d) extra controls, e) to accommodate large vertical grip, e) stuff I forgot.

but this led to another thought:

Why doesn’t Olympus release a line of compact prime optics with ‘relaxed telecentricity”?

μ4/3 is in fact a design with reduced telecentricity, look at the difference in flange to sensor plane between the two formats, the 4/3 lens adapters are another clue, and then there are the relaxed geometric distortion lens designs for μ4/3 requiring software in-body (and RAW processor) software correction which many here have complained about (or, at least that is part of the reason for software geometric correction).

These would be small and reasonably fast and bright.

What surprises me a bit today, Olympus could have done so in m4/3 very well once again, but failed to do so in a deliberate manner.

So yes, I was fooled by Olympus. The ‘T-C’ factor of lenses has a relation to performance at the edges and corners, etc, but the applied life of photography/optics does not need to revolve around this characteristic, far from it!

So, it is a bit annoying, in all honesty.

But I like this new, small 4:3 format, and the design and features of the new cameras. I am simply shifting back to older lenses, on various optical or simple adapters. Bye, 1X and big AF lenses. Hello, my old Zuiko’s, oh, how I have missed thee!

Jan

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"The camera introduces us to to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses"
------
"The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion."
-------
- Walter Benjamin
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Drawing is a constant correcting of errors, maybe a great deal of creation is exactly that."
-----
- John Berger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"...to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude."
------
-- Susan Sontag

-- hide signature --

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Jan Chelminski
OP Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 2,283
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.

Olympus created 4/3 and debut the E-1 and new ‘telecentric’ lenses, 50mm f/2 and some others.

Olympus explained the reduced sensor allowed faster, technically superior optics, while maintaining similar or small lens size compared to corresponding 35mm equipment.

The ‘telecentric’ labeled (relatively highly corrected esp. the ‘SHG’ models) optics for the time) lenses are larger, as they (partly) use more optical area, relative to sensor size to achieve the typical 4/3-m4/3 edge/corner brightness, sharpness and correction.

The best m4/3 lenses even sharpen at the edges, well past 50MP at peak settings. So it’s quite excellent output for the sensor size, partly helped by (presumably) excellent telecentricity.

But its really beyond what most need, so I think the compact ‘flawed’ lenses and maybe a better grade M5 class camera would have been appreciated and done very well, but I could be wrong.

Jan

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"The camera introduces us to to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses"
------
"The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion."
-------
- Walter Benjamin
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Drawing is a constant correcting of errors, maybe a great deal of creation is exactly that."
-----
- John Berger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"...to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude."
------
-- Susan Sontag

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Danielvr Veteran Member • Posts: 5,515
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
7

Please define "telecentric" to us dumb folk

It means the rays of light leave the lens running nearly parallel to eachother, hitting the sensor perpendicularly.  That way, light will have no problem reaching the bottom of each photon-well, even in the corners of the sensor.

Back when the Four Thirds standard was developed, this was important because it resulted in a uniformly lit sensor. Legacy systems like those by Canon and Nikon, with their designed-for-film lenses, suffered from vignetting, in particular with wide angle lenses.

Telecentricity became more or less irrelevant thanks to improved micro lenses (a layer of miniscule lenses on the sensor) that funnel and direct the light into the photon wells.

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bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 67,153
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
13

Danielvr wrote:

Please define "telecentric" to us dumb folk

It means the rays of light leave the lens running nearly parallel to eachother, hitting the sensor perpendicularly.

It's can't mean that, because parallel rays could never form an image.

That way, light will have no problem reaching the bottom of each photon-well, even in the corners of the sensor.

Yes, it does, but no Four Thirds or micro Four Thirds lens has ever been remotely telecentric. To be 'telecentric' the exit pupil is placed at infinity, in front of the plane of focus. I'm afraid that it's another case of Olympus marketing spinning an existing technical term to create a misleading idea about their technology. In practice, the distance of the exit pupil is lengthened (maybe to 100mm or so) for 'designed for digital lenses' and the Four Thirds lenses are not exceptional in that respect. The MFT lenses often abandon this design goal altogether, since offset microlenses are available, as you note below.

Back when the Four Thirds standard was developed, this was important because it resulted in a uniformly lit sensor. Legacy systems like those by Canon and Nikon, with their designed-for-film lenses, suffered from vignetting, in particular with wide angle lenses.

Yes, but they replaced them with designed for digital quite quickly. This had the advantage that the legacy lenses were still usable, whilst designed for digital lenses provided optimal performance on digital cameras.

Telecentricity became more or less irrelevant thanks to improved micro lenses (a layer of miniscule lenses on the sensor) that funnel and direct the light into the photon wells.

The innovation was offset microlenses, which built in an allowance for the exit pupil position in the microlens placement.

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bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 67,153
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
14

Jan Chelminski wrote:

Olympus created 4/3 and debut the E-1 and new ‘telecentric’ lenses, 50mm f/2 and some others.

Olympus explained the reduced sensor allowed faster, technically superior optics, while maintaining similar or small lens size compared to corresponding 35mm equipment.

I think 'spun' would be a better word than 'explained'. No Olympus camera lens has been remotely 'telecentric', within the accepted meaning of the term, and the claim that the smaller aperture lens is 'faster' is somewhat specious, as is the claim that they can or are 'technically superier' by dint of the smaller senser.

The ‘telecentric’ labeled (relatively highly corrected esp. the ‘SHG’ models) optics for the time) lenses are larger, as they (partly) use more optical area, relative to sensor size to achieve the typical 4/3-m4/3 edge/corner brightness, sharpness and correction.

Which is what the claim is about. If you have a smaller sensor and maintain the same overall size envelope, the lenses can be relatively larger for the same angle of view and aperture. Nonetheless, FT and mFT never managed to offer the same apertures, mainly because the lower the f-number you go, the more complex a lens design comes for the same degree of correction.

The best m4/3 lenses even sharpen at the edges, well past 50MP at peak settings. So it’s quite excellent output for the sensor size, partly helped by (presumably) excellent telecentricity.

There is no 'telecentricity'. The established meaning of 'telecentric' in optics is that the entrance pupil is placed at infinity, with respect to the image plane. Nor Olympus camera lens is even close to 'telecentric' in the at the exit pupil is always behind the point of closest focus. Olympus' engineers would have been aware of the correct meaning, since telecentric lenses are used in microscopy, industrial and scientific imaging, markets in which Olympus corporation is active. Their marketing people picked the word up somewhere, corrupted its meaning and used it as a piece of marketing spin.

But its really beyond what most need, so I think the compact ‘flawed’ lenses and maybe a better grade M5 class camera would have been appreciated and done very well, but I could be wrong.

In the end system design is a matter of balancing compromises. The choice of sensor size is one of those compromises. Each choice brings with it advantages and disadvantages and different balances suit different peoples' needs. Thinking that one choice brings only advantages is naive. As it is, Four Thirds failed to ever demonstrate that its similarly-sized and priced cameras could produce better photographs than Canon and Nikon's offerings, 'flawed' though they might have been, and the market made its decision accordingly. mFT brought an opportunity to exploit the advantages of the smaller sensor, in terms of building a much more convenient, portable and available system, ideal for all kinds of locations and uses where other systems are not as good. Unfortunately for the future of the system, Olympus (and to an extent, Panasonic, following behind) had drunk deep of their own Kool-Aid, and really failed to systematically exploit the USP or the really excellent system that they had designed. Once again, the market made its decision, and the end result is Olympus packing it in and Panasonic betting its future on a larger sensor. It's a shame.

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bclaff Forum Pro • Posts: 10,911
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
8

Bassam Guy wrote:

Please define "telecentric" to us dumb folk

From the Olympus web site; here :

Best viewed "original size"

However, FWIW, there are several technical issues with these marketing statements.

First, strictly speaking, the lenses are not fully telecentric but rather more telecentric than retrofocal.

Second, it's not stated but this is image-space telecentricity as opposed to object-space (or both image and object).

Finally, and the most "troubling", is that this type of design will definitely reduce light fall-off but has little if anything to do with sharpness (which is the claim).

That said, the Olympus M.Zuiko designs are more image-space telecentric than most.
Image-space telecentric designs place the exit pupil further away from the sensor/film which results if higher pupil magnification. (A fully image-space telecentric design places the pupil at infinity).

A typical "wide" angle lens might have a pupil magnification of about 3 or 4.
Here the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 30mm F3.5 Macro has a pupil magnification of 9.57

Best viewed "original size"

Note that the green off-axis rays do arrive at the image (I) pretty parallel to the optical axis.

Telephoto lenses often have pupil magnification of about 0.5
Here the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 300mm F4.0 IS Pro has a pupil magnification of 0.97

You can "play" with these and other lenses at the PhotonsToPhotos Optical Hub .

For some basics on optics see the PhotonsToPhotos Optics Primer .

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LearningForeverIHope
LearningForeverIHope Senior Member • Posts: 2,210
TY :) (nt)
1

No text.

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Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 5,620
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
1

If I understand the terminology correctly, Telecentricity means that the Chief Rays are parallel to the axis of the lens when hitting the sensor (also at right angles (normal) to the surface of the sensor).

Thanks for clearing up some of the recent obfuscation on this topic.

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bclaff Forum Pro • Posts: 10,911
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
1

Eric Nepean wrote:

If I understand the terminology correctly, Telecentricity means that the Chief Rays are parallel to the axis of the lens when hitting the sensor (also at right angles (normal) to the surface of the sensor).

Right; the chief ray (singular).
In the examples above the angles (with respect to the optical axis) are 4.84 and 3.39 degrees respectively; these values are pretty low but parallel would be 0 degrees.

Thanks for clearing up some of the recent obfuscation on this topic.

No problem. Optics can be a confusing topic.

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rogerstpierre Veteran Member • Posts: 4,625
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
2

Jan Chelminski wrote:

The best m4/3 lenses even sharpen at the edges, well past 50MP at peak settings. So it’s ....

But its really beyond what most need,--

It is not what most need that drives camera/lens design, it's what most want. Why do you think FF is getting to be most popular? Arguably a huge percentage of the FF market do not NEED FF.

Roger

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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 18,843
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
1

Danielvr wrote:

Please define "telecentric" to us dumb folk

It means the rays of light leave the lens running nearly parallel to eachother, hitting the sensor perpendicularly. That way, light will have no problem reaching the bottom of each photon-well, even in the corners of the sensor.

Back when the Four Thirds standard was developed, this was important because it resulted in a uniformly lit sensor. Legacy systems like those by Canon and Nikon, with their designed-for-film lenses, suffered from vignetting, in particular with wide angle lenses.

Telecentricity became more or less irrelevant thanks to improved micro lenses (a layer of miniscule lenses on the sensor) that funnel and direct the light into the photon wells.

Yup, switching from CCD to CMOS reduced the "light well" issue to the point telecentric lenses were no longer a technical necessity.

Leica once published a white paper explaining there could not be a digital M camera because the sensor of the time could not accommodate the angles of incidence coming off certain M lenses. IIRC they worked with Kodak to create a (crop format) sensor with microlenses that addressed this issue: "The M8 has a ten megapixel CCD (with special offset microlenses to reduce vignetting)." The M10s use CMOS that are full-size, not cropped.

We have come far. To the OP's point, the common E-series lament back in the day was the lack of primes. With m4/3 there were tiny, fast primes by the dozen to choose from. We had a few years to wait for "serious" zooms, however.

Cheers,

Rick

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Jan Chelminski
OP Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 2,283
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.

Danielvr wrote:

Please define "telecentric" to us dumb folk

It means the rays of light leave the lens running nearly parallel to eachother, hitting the sensor perpendicularly. That way, light will have no problem reaching the bottom of each photon-well, even in the corners of the sensor.

Back when the Four Thirds standard was developed, this was important because it resulted in a uniformly lit sensor. Legacy systems like those by Canon and Nikon, with their designed-for-film lenses, suffered from vignetting, in particular with wide angle lenses.

Telecentricity became more or less irrelevant thanks to improved micro lenses (a layer of miniscule lenses on the sensor) that funnel and direct the light into the photon wells.

But, I think it was a more of a detriment, because it appeared to drive the development of larger, very expensive lenses during the 4/3 era, undermined Olympus reputation for compact designs. I couldn’t/wouldn’t invest into the 4/3 system because of this.

By the time m4/3 emerged, Sony had become a much more serious market force and Olympus brand had already been badly damaged, IMO. I’m very pleased with the m4/3 project, just a bit sorry it seems it won’t continue long enough to see the compact prime lenses I would expect would have been coming, before too much longer.

Similar to a comment I made below, Olympus did not need or want to build an E-1 sized camera and big SHG glass, and declare it a professional system. It was a decision that hampered Olympus, until the m4/3 correction. Actually, I am the most curious (not you, bob, lol) about this particular decision, I wonder who made that call, what options were weighed and how that went at the time, it would be interesting to know.

Jan

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"The camera introduces us to to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses"
------
"The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion."
-------
- Walter Benjamin
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Drawing is a constant correcting of errors, maybe a great deal of creation is exactly that."
-----
- John Berger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"...to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude."
------
-- Susan Sontag

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bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 67,153
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
10

rogerstpierre wrote:

Jan Chelminski wrote:

The best m4/3 lenses even sharpen at the edges, well past 50MP at peak settings. So it’s ....

But its really beyond what most need,--

It is not what most need that drives camera/lens design, it's what most want. Why do you think FF is getting to be most popular? Arguably a huge percentage of the FF market do not NEED FF.

Most of the mFT market doesn't 'need' mFT. But markets of non-necessities like cameras aren't about 'need', they are about 'want'. And the fact remains that if camera manufacturers want to charge $1k + for their cameras, as they need to in todays market conditions, then an FF sensor is the most effective way to convince enough buyers to pay that much.

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bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 67,153
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
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Jan Chelminski wrote:

Similar to a comment I made below, Olympus did not need or want to build an E-1 sized camera and big SHG glass, and declare it a professional system. It was a decision that hampered Olympus, until the m4/3 correction. Actually, I am the most curious (not you, bob, lol) about this particular decision, I wonder who made that call, what options were weighed and how that went at the time, it would be interesting to know.

You get me anyhow.

You have to remember the shape of the market back in 2003. FF was not a thing back then. The digital market was defined at the professional end by the Nikon D2H and D2X, the Canon EOS-1D. At the enthusiast level level by the Nikon D70 and Canon 300D. In the middle was the 10D and D100. All these cameras used smaller sensors than 24x36mm. The Canon 1Ds was available at an astronomical price for those that wanted to use the large sensor, but that was mostly about making full use of the lenses. Nikon sales agents would tell you that the APS-C D2X was fully equal to the 1Ds, and that the 'DX' format was the future of digital.

Olympus was in a position of not having to defend a legacy system, having botched the transition of the OM system to AF and then having let it die. The legacy manufacturers were using the APS-C sensor as the largest economically manufacturable sensor that would make sense of their existing lens portfolio. Olympus didn't have an existing portfolio to make sense of. In that situation, the choice of the 110 size sensor made perfect sense. It was more than large enough to give performance parity with film, and as they pointed out, with the use of slightly lower f-number lenses, would have easy parity with the APS-C systems, which seemed to be the forseeable future. The bet would be that Canon and Nikon would evolve their complete systems to APS-C, so FT was never intended to compete with 'FF'.

Seen as a pro digital camera, the E-1 was competitive in terms of sensor performance, and was a lot more compact than the D2 and 1D. What let it down was that the camera features weren't up to what that market expected. The AF was very primitive and the frame rate was low. So it ended up competing with the 10D and D100, where it looked oversized and overpriced. Also, without the legacy lens portfolio, it just didn't have the lens support that the pro market wanted. So the concept was right, the execution was lacking in some critical areas. They really went wrong with the abominable E-300. It was very clear that whoever designed that camera was channeling the Pen-F, and had they stuck just to that, they might have made a nice camera, but this was the starting point of Olympus idea that being sen as innovative would secure them a market. It invented 'Live View' (Actually, I think Fujifilm did, but once again Olympus was second and sold it as first), but the implementation involved building another camera into the viewfinder system, which bloated the whole thing until it was actually larger than the APS-C competition.

They kind of got it back with the E-500, which again matched the APS-C cameras in terms of size and performance, than Canon changed the game with the 5D.

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Jan Chelminski
OP Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 2,283
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.

bobn2 wrote:

Jan Chelminski wrote:

Similar to a comment I made below, Olympus did not need or want to build an E-1 sized camera and big SHG glass, and declare it a professional system. It was a decision that hampered Olympus, until the m4/3 correction. Actually, I am the most curious (not you, bob, lol) about this particular decision, I wonder who made that call, what options were weighed and how that went at the time, it would be interesting to know.

You get me anyhow.

You have to remember the shape of the market back in 2003. FF was not a thing back then. The digital market was defined at the professional end by the Nikon D2H and D2X, the Canon EOS-1D. At the enthusiast level level by the Nikon D70 and Canon 300D. In the middle was the 10D and D100. All these cameras used smaller sensors than 24x36mm. The Canon 1Ds was available at an astronomical price for those that wanted to use the large sensor, but that was mostly about making full use of the lenses. Nikon sales agents would tell you that the APS-C D2X was fully equal to the 1Ds, and that the 'DX' format was the future of digital.

Olympus was in a position of not having to defend a legacy system, having botched the transition of the OM system to AF and then having let it die. The legacy manufacturers were using the APS-C sensor as the largest economically manufacturable sensor that would make sense of their existing lens portfolio. Olympus didn't have an existing portfolio to make sense of. In that situation, the choice of the 110 size sensor made perfect sense. It was more than large enough to give performance parity with film, and as they pointed out, with the use of slightly lower f-number lenses, would have easy parity with the APS-C systems, which seemed to be the forseeable future. The bet would be that Canon and Nikon would evolve their complete systems to APS-C, so FT was never intended to compete with 'FF'.

Seen as a pro digital camera, the E-1 was competitive in terms of sensor performance, and was a lot more compact than the D2 and 1D. What let it down was that the camera features weren't up to what that market expected. The AF was very primitive and the frame rate was low. So it ended up competing with the 10D and D100, where it looked oversized and overpriced. Also, without the legacy lens portfolio, it just didn't have the lens support that the pro market wanted. So the concept was right, the execution was lacking in some critical areas. They really went wrong with the abominable E-300. It was very clear that whoever designed that camera was channeling the Pen-F, and had they stuck just to that, they might have made a nice camera, but this was the starting point of Olympus idea that being sen as innovative would secure them a market. It invented 'Live View' (Actually, I think Fujifilm did, but once again Olympus was second and sold it as first), but the implementation involved building another camera into the viewfinder system, which bloated the whole thing until it was actually larger than the APS-C competition.

They kind of got it back with the E-500, which again matched the APS-C cameras in terms of size and performance, than Canon changed the game with the 5D.

Why write this?

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-------
- Walter Benjamin
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Drawing is a constant correcting of errors, maybe a great deal of creation is exactly that."
-----
- John Berger
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"...to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude."
------
-- Susan Sontag

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bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 67,153
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
5

Jan Chelminski wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Jan Chelminski wrote:

Similar to a comment I made below, Olympus did not need or want to build an E-1 sized camera and big SHG glass, and declare it a professional system. It was a decision that hampered Olympus, until the m4/3 correction. Actually, I am the most curious (not you, bob, lol) about this particular decision, I wonder who made that call, what options were weighed and how that went at the time, it would be interesting to know.

You get me anyhow.

You have to remember the shape of the market back in 2003. FF was not a thing back then. The digital market was defined at the professional end by the Nikon D2H and D2X, the Canon EOS-1D. At the enthusiast level level by the Nikon D70 and Canon 300D. In the middle was the 10D and D100. All these cameras used smaller sensors than 24x36mm. The Canon 1Ds was available at an astronomical price for those that wanted to use the large sensor, but that was mostly about making full use of the lenses. Nikon sales agents would tell you that the APS-C D2X was fully equal to the 1Ds, and that the 'DX' format was the future of digital.

Olympus was in a position of not having to defend a legacy system, having botched the transition of the OM system to AF and then having let it die. The legacy manufacturers were using the APS-C sensor as the largest economically manufacturable sensor that would make sense of their existing lens portfolio. Olympus didn't have an existing portfolio to make sense of. In that situation, the choice of the 110 size sensor made perfect sense. It was more than large enough to give performance parity with film, and as they pointed out, with the use of slightly lower f-number lenses, would have easy parity with the APS-C systems, which seemed to be the forseeable future. The bet would be that Canon and Nikon would evolve their complete systems to APS-C, so FT was never intended to compete with 'FF'.

Seen as a pro digital camera, the E-1 was competitive in terms of sensor performance, and was a lot more compact than the D2 and 1D. What let it down was that the camera features weren't up to what that market expected. The AF was very primitive and the frame rate was low. So it ended up competing with the 10D and D100, where it looked oversized and overpriced. Also, without the legacy lens portfolio, it just didn't have the lens support that the pro market wanted. So the concept was right, the execution was lacking in some critical areas. They really went wrong with the abominable E-300. It was very clear that whoever designed that camera was channeling the Pen-F, and had they stuck just to that, they might have made a nice camera, but this was the starting point of Olympus idea that being sen as innovative would secure them a market. It invented 'Live View' (Actually, I think Fujifilm did, but once again Olympus was second and sold it as first), but the implementation involved building another camera into the viewfinder system, which bloated the whole thing until it was actually larger than the APS-C competition.

They kind of got it back with the E-500, which again matched the APS-C cameras in terms of size and performance, than Canon changed the game with the 5D.

Why write this?

Why not?

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Chris DC Regular Member • Posts: 414
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
2

Though the optically correct SHG lenses are big and heavy, the image files don’t, for the most part, need image distortion and other post processing corrections. The raw and jpegs look pretty much the same and my old lenses still work well even with higher resolution shots. For some reason I appreciate these well done optical designs.

CDC

Jan Chelminski
OP Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 2,283
Re: How Olympus Tricked Me, and why I decided...to let it go.
1

bobn2 wrote:

Jan Chelminski wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Jan Chelminski wrote:

Similar to a comment I made below, Olympus did not need or want to build an E-1 sized camera and big SHG glass, and declare it a professional system. It was a decision that hampered Olympus, until the m4/3 correction. Actually, I am the most curious (not you, bob, lol) about this particular decision, I wonder who made that call, what options were weighed and how that went at the time, it would be interesting to know.

You get me anyhow.

You have to remember the shape of the market back in 2003. FF was not a thing back then. The digital market was defined at the professional end by the Nikon D2H and D2X, the Canon EOS-1D. At the enthusiast level level by the Nikon D70 and Canon 300D. In the middle was the 10D and D100. All these cameras used smaller sensors than 24x36mm. The Canon 1Ds was available at an astronomical price for those that wanted to use the large sensor, but that was mostly about making full use of the lenses. Nikon sales agents would tell you that the APS-C D2X was fully equal to the 1Ds, and that the 'DX' format was the future of digital.

Olympus was in a position of not having to defend a legacy system, having botched the transition of the OM system to AF and then having let it die. The legacy manufacturers were using the APS-C sensor as the largest economically manufacturable sensor that would make sense of their existing lens portfolio. Olympus didn't have an existing portfolio to make sense of. In that situation, the choice of the 110 size sensor made perfect sense. It was more than large enough to give performance parity with film, and as they pointed out, with the use of slightly lower f-number lenses, would have easy parity with the APS-C systems, which seemed to be the forseeable future. The bet would be that Canon and Nikon would evolve their complete systems to APS-C, so FT was never intended to compete with 'FF'.

Seen as a pro digital camera, the E-1 was competitive in terms of sensor performance, and was a lot more compact than the D2 and 1D. What let it down was that the camera features weren't up to what that market expected. The AF was very primitive and the frame rate was low. So it ended up competing with the 10D and D100, where it looked oversized and overpriced. Also, without the legacy lens portfolio, it just didn't have the lens support that the pro market wanted. So the concept was right, the execution was lacking in some critical areas. They really went wrong with the abominable E-300. It was very clear that whoever designed that camera was channeling the Pen-F, and had they stuck just to that, they might have made a nice camera, but this was the starting point of Olympus idea that being sen as innovative would secure them a market. It invented 'Live View' (Actually, I think Fujifilm did, but once again Olympus was second and sold it as first), but the implementation involved building another camera into the viewfinder system, which bloated the whole thing until it was actually larger than the APS-C competition.

They kind of got it back with the E-500, which again matched the APS-C cameras in terms of size and performance, than Canon changed the game with the 5D.

Why write this?

Why not?

I mean, you say, ‘well, you’re going to get me anyway.”, but what is there to get from the above? I can’t learn anything from this, as usual.

Do you actually think there is something worthwhile to ‘get’ in, ‘equivalence’?

Bob, knowing you only here, I can only think you are a pretty weird guy, because all of that honestly seems pretty crazy. Sorry, really.

‘Jan

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"The camera introduces us to to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses"
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"The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion."
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- Walter Benjamin
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"Drawing is a constant correcting of errors, maybe a great deal of creation is exactly that."
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- John Berger
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"...to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude."
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-- Susan Sontag

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