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Thread: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

  1. #1
    asabet
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    PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    I bought an E-410 because it is so compact and light. With the 14-42 kit lens, it is in a class of it's own. Unfortunately there are no light and compact primes wider than 35mm (the Sigma 30, Sigma 28, and Leicasonic 25 are not light and compact to me), so I've turned to the OM primes. Stop down metering and manual focus through a small VF (even with the 1.2x magnifier and split prism VF installed) are far from perfect, so I'm really hoping that the rumored compact Oly 25 is a reality. The most obvious advantage of the Four Thirds system is the potential for a compact kit. Having a few compact primes seems like a no brainer.

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    well we both know what happens with rumours but
    a source elsewhere claims 3 primes
    also talk of more bodies in the Exx series, as opposed to Ex and Exxx

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    HI Riley, Amin
    I think there is lots of light in the 4/3 tunnel.
    First of all the viewfinder - of all the cameras I've owned, I think the E3 has the nicest viewfinder - it's very bright, it's just the right size (i.e. it's big, but you don't have to scan around it).
    Secondly, as you say, the primes - I'm sure they'll come, Pentax have done a good job with the primes for their system, and Olympus must see them as a competitor, mind you, personally speaking, those small Olympus zooms are so much better than they ought to be that it's hardly worth bothering.
    One word of caution -- I remember reading some theoretical stuff by an extremely knowledgeable guy a year or two back which said that you couldn't actually comply with the 4/3 standards exactly and produce a lens faster than f2 - if this is true, then Sigma and Leica clearly ignored it in the design of their f1.4 lenses, and I guess that Olympus might now do the same
    What I'd really like is something the size of the 410, with the build quality, image quality and viewfinder quality of the E3 . . . surely it's not too much to ask

    Just this guy you know

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    I've been on the brink of "moving up" to a DSLR for months now and, after reading Sean Reid's recent review, had pretty much decided on the Pentax K10D -- mainly because of the great variety of prime lenses (with more listed on the lens roadmap).

    But, since joining this forum, I've read Sean's observations about taking advantage of the greater depth of field offered by the 4/3rds format and Mitch Alland's post about how he prefers the 4:3 aspect ratio to the 3:2 ratio of APS-C and full frame DSLRs. These two insights articulated what I prize about my GR Digital and also indicated that the 4/3rds format is a better fit than APS-C for the pictures I like to make.

    Pretty much the only thing stopping me from picking up an E-3 is the lack of compact prime lenses. I simply don't understand why Pentax has placed such an emphasis on primes whereas Olympus has concentrated on making (admittedly excellent) zooms. Could it be differences in the history or corporate cultures of the two companies? Or a preference at the top level of management for primes over zooms, or vice versa?

    I also wonder whether it's just the echo chamber effect that makes me imagine that there are lots of us who want light, compact primes. Yet that doesn't explain the range and popularity of Pentax's offerings (and, of course, the M8).

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    What I'd really like is something the size of the 410, with the build quality, image quality and viewfinder quality of the E3 . . . surely it's not too much to ask
    What I'd really like is an E-3 with 14mm, 30mm, and 45mm lenses (each f/2), plus a 50-200mm SWD zoom.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    The lack of primes at Olympus is certainly not due to tradition. Small, good quality primes was one of the things they were famous for, and for each focal length, there were usually at least two models with different apertures, not to mention the huge number of macros (Olympus is also one of the leading microscope manufacturers, and some of their OM macros were rather unique).

    My guess is that Olympus, as an innovative company, decided to invent zooms that are as good as primes, and nearly as fast. They have come very close to succeeding, although not all of the zooms are small.

    Looking at it from a commercial point of view, both amateurs and professionals use mostly zooms nowadays. Primes are for the enthusiasts, and we are outnumbered many times by the hordes of point & shooters.

    I have often considered buying a Pentax to be able to use their excellent primes, but as my collection of older, interesting glass that can be used on the Olympus with adapters increases, Pentax disappears further and further down the priority list. And with their best primes costing the same as the Olympus mid-level zooms, it's probably best for my bank account that it stays that way. Cheap, old primes and great new zooms work very well, at least for me

  6. #6
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Pentax is currently the only DSLR maker that has put serious effort into producing very compact new prime lenses. It's one of the things that distinguishes them. It would make tremendous sense for 4/3 lens makers to follow their lead.

    Jonathan,

    I can well understand why you might debate between the K10D and the E3. My wife is leaning towards the E3 but we'll wait until I test the camera. Zeiss on K10D is turning out to be very impressive.

    Cheers,

    Sean

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Pretty much the only thing stopping me from picking up an E-3 is the lack of compact prime lenses. I simply don't understand why Pentax has placed such an emphasis on primes whereas Olympus has concentrated on making (admittedly excellent) zooms. Could it be differences in the history or corporate cultures of the two companies? Or a preference at the top level of management for primes over zooms, or vice versa?

    I also wonder whether it's just the echo chamber effect that makes me imagine that there are lots of us who want light, compact primes. Yet that doesn't explain the range and popularity of Pentax's offerings (and, of course, the M8).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    Pentax is currently the only DSLR maker that has put serious effort into producing very compact new prime lenses. It's one of the things that distinguishes them. It would make tremendous sense for 4/3 lens makers to follow their lead.

    Jonathan,

    I can well understand why you might debate between the K10D and the E3. My wife is leaning towards the E3 but we'll wait until I test the camera. Zeiss on K10D is turning out to be very impressive.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    A couple of points really:
    1. do you think that the reason Pentax has gone for primes are:
    a) that they can see a gap in the market
    b) it's not so easy to make great zooms for aps-c sensor and their lens mount

    2. Olympus have gone along the zoom route because:
    a) they can make great f2 zooms which really are as good as primes (but bigger)
    b) they are still being doctrinaire about their 4/3 whitepaper which, as I understand it, precludes lenses at less than f2 which will still conform.

    Sean
    Do you think there really is a noticeable demand for such lenses? (I'm not saying that there isn't), like Jonathan, I wonder whether it isn't an echo chamber effect.

    Whatever the answer, it would serve them well to bring out at least a couple more fixed lenses:
    40 f1.x and a 16 are the obvious candidates.

    I suspect that they'd say that their new 14-35 f2 is as good as any fixed focal length (and of course, they may be right judging by the quality of the 35-100 f2)

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    my source for the rumour is the same gentleman that released that notorious pdf paper about EP1, which was later to become E3.

    In an interview (pretty interesting in itself) with Ms. Sally Smith-Clemens, Product Manager of Olympus Imaging America, Mr. Richard Pelkowski, Product Manager Digital SLR of Olympus Imaging America, and Mr. Toshiyuki Terada, Product Planning Manager Olympus Tokyo just prior to the release of E3.

    http://fourthirdsphoto.com/special/E3interview.php

    Tony asked about the 'refit' of lenses to SWD

    Terada said that “We have to consider which lenses, in priority, we will change over. As well as, we are going to look at the development of some single focal length [prime lenses]” Mr Terada said. No matter what, it looks like we should see more prime lenses to be released in the near future.

    *******
    I am also aware that Olympus's strategy was to fill out the range with 3 levels of zooms first, and then to look at primes. And elsewhere again, in a translation from a Japanese interview they spoke of something called 'thin glass', which I take to mean pancake prime.

    For Tony himself, who is not to know all that is happening with Olympus he says "I believe that we will see primes in the market this year, or at least announced, but till this point it would not make since. Add another long macro, maybe another super telephoto, and then produce a 1/2 dozen prime lenses."

  9. #9
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    A couple of points really:
    1. do you think that the reason Pentax has gone for primes are:
    a) that they can see a gap in the market
    b) it's not so easy to make great zooms for aps-c sensor and their lens mount


    Sean
    Do you think there really is a noticeable demand for such lenses? (I'm not saying that there isn't), like Jonathan, I wonder whether it isn't an echo chamber effect.
    Hi Jono,

    I think the primes were introduced for their own sake, not because of any reservations about making zooms per se. Their little primes are mostly wonderful lenses. Pentax makes several zooms as well.

    Is there a wide demand? I don't know. That's a market analyst kind of thing to know. But I know that many serious photographers, myself included, appreciate very compact primes.

    Pentax is smart in not trying to be another "me too" DSLR company. They set their own priorities and make a distinctive system. Ditto for Oly.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  10. #10
    asabet
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    A couple of points really:
    2. Olympus have gone along the zoom route because:
    a) they can make great f2 zooms which really are as good as primes (but bigger)
    b) they are still being doctrinaire about their 4/3 whitepaper which, as I understand it, precludes lenses at less than f2 which will still conform.
    I'm hoping for f2 primes. Any faster, and they won't be as compact as I'd like.

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    fast wides arnt really an issue as they arnt really as useful and a cheap UWA (8mm zoom) is inbound in 08. What I see as the black hole in Olympus class is a fast portrait solution, Im not at all sure they need much else. But I do see a conflict of interests between the objectives optical finesse and fast small lenses.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    fast wides arnt really an issue as they arnt really as useful and a cheap UWA (8mm zoom) is inbound in 08. What I see as the black hole in Olympus class is a fast portrait solution, Im not at all sure they need much else. But I do see a conflict of interests between the objectives optical finesse and fast small lenses.
    I agree that a fast UWA is rarely needed. A small WA on the other hand, something similar to the 21mm f/3.5 for OM, would be very welcome. Currently, the 11-22 is doing the job for me, but it's at least 3 times as big as the old 21. A 9, 10 or 11mm f/3.5 or 4.0 would be nice.

    I've considered the fish-eye, but neither fishing nor de-fishing are among my favourite hobbies

    Occasionally, I'm using the OM 35mm f/2.0 for portraits. Something between that and the 50 macro, preferably one stop faster would be nice. The macro isn't bad for portraits, but with slow focusing and no limiter, it's far from ideal. I would even welcome a fast 70mm for tight head-shots (I use the OM 100 for that now, but it's a bit long), but that's only me.

    Oh well, one can always dream

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    what I meant by the 8mm wasn't the fish eye Jorgen. If you check out this image of the lens roadmap on the bottom left there's an ultra-wide zoom, we believe this to be a 8-16mm and a cheaper version of the 7-14/4

    Riley

  14. #14
    asabet
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    In an interview (pretty interesting in itself) with Ms. Sally Smith-Clemens, Product Manager of Olympus Imaging America, Mr. Richard Pelkowski, Product Manager Digital SLR of Olympus Imaging America, and Mr. Toshiyuki Terada, Product Planning Manager Olympus Tokyo just prior to the release of E3.

    http://fourthirdsphoto.com/special/E3interview.php

    Tony asked about the 'refit' of lenses to SWD

    Terada said that “We have to consider which lenses, in priority, we will change over. As well as, we are going to look at the development of some single focal length” Mr Terada said.
    It may be that he was simply referring to the 100 macro which is on the roadmap. I hope I'm wrong.

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    yes could be
    but i came away from it feeling like they really didnt know at that point
    while upgrading some lenses, 35-100/2 is an obvious one
    others are less than clear, and the apparent lack of instruction as to the FL of the primes on the roadmap suggests its all still in the air.

  16. #16
    spylaw4
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    More and more am I coming to find the bulk of the D3/L1 + 14-50 or 25/1.4, just a bit too big. Not so much to hump around all day, although I now take out only 1 lens/day(any more is just too much weight/bulk), but to pack away to take on a trip.

    I am looking forward to next week to the arrival of my D2 back from Solms!

    I thus find myself in a real quandry - 4/3 or not 4/3? With the D2 back I feel that for digital I will be using that rather than the L1. I suppose it all depends on what happens later this year from Panasonic and Leica + of course Leica at Photokina which I am going to go to.
    Despite my complaint about the size/weight I am hoping for a new Leica 4/3 body based on the E-3 or a similar(?) Panasonic. That might well persuade me to stay 4/3. In the meantime I may well sell the L1+14-50 but hold onto the 25/1.4

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    i tend to think that shooting some considerably smaller AF primes would make a world of difference to 4/3rds for many shooters. Thing is, the ones I've looked at are not especially small.

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    I've been using the E-3 to shoot sports in a confined space, close to the action, with not particularly great light. The E-3's autofocus with the 50/2 at ISO 800 and 1600 gives me reasonable results (now it's up to me, not the equipment), and the combination handles well. An attempt yesterday to get a little wider with my M8 and a 35/2.0 did not work out as well. It may take another year or two of relearning the rangefinder for me to compete with AF in that setting. I could use a wide angle zoom at its tele end on the E-3, but that means having at most f/3.5 at my disposal. Wouldn't a 21/2.0 for the 4/3 line be great? Even a 2.8, if it could be kept closer in size to the 50/2 than to the 25/1.4. If size can be made a selling point, a 25/2.0 should fly off the shelves.

    scott

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    i was thinking more like the Nocton 35/1.2, the format desperately needs a fast portrait solution (not that its my gig). But I agree that a fast compact 20 or so would be very desirable too

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    I've been using the E-3 to shoot sports in a confined space, close to the action, with not particularly great light. The E-3's autofocus with the 50/2 at ISO 800 and 1600 gives me reasonable results (now it's up to me, not the equipment), and the combination handles well. An attempt yesterday to get a little wider with my M8 and a 35/2.0 did not work out as well. It may take another year or two of relearning the rangefinder for me to compete with AF in that setting. I could use a wide angle zoom at its tele end on the E-3, but that means having at most f/3.5 at my disposal. Wouldn't a 21/2.0 for the 4/3 line be great? Even a 2.8, if it could be kept closer in size to the 50/2 than to the 25/1.4. If size can be made a selling point, a 25/2.0 should fly off the shelves.

    scott

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    Wouldn't a 21/2.0 for the 4/3 line be great? Even a 2.8, if it could be kept closer in size to the 50/2 than to the 25/1.4. If size can be made a selling point, a 25/2.0 should fly off the shelves.
    Last week at The Online Photographer, Mike Johnston pointed to various reviews of the E-3. He concluded the post with this observation:
    Alas, I just can't get over the lack of prime lenses in the system, and I've decided I can't buy into the Olympus system for that reason. I'm a prime lens partisan but not a prime lens snob—I've enjoyed using a zoom on my Konica-Minolta 7D, and on the Contax Aria I had in the late '90s. But I require that at least one or two wide-normal semi-fast single-focal-length street-shooting/snapshooting lenses be available in a system as an option.

    Were it not for this, I would buy an E-3. It's a beautifully designed and built camera.
    In the comment thread there are, as one would expect, opinions for and against Mike's view. Some of the comments bemoan the lack of semi-fast, wide-normal prime lenses for the 4/3rds system; others argue that the available zooms offer a more than adequate substitute. A comment by andy, however, was the one that resonated with me:
    It's a weird moment when you realize that a Nikon D200/D300 with any of three sharp, inexpensive AF primes (35/2, 24/2.8. 28/2.8) is considerably smaller than the E-3 with any comparable length Oly zoom. I am a fan of Oly going back to its OM days, and think their prosumer model cameras are pretty great, but when I saw the size and weight of the E-3 I was completely dismayed. It is almost exactly the size of the D200, no svelte figure there, and with the 12-60 that Oly is flaunting it's a big, honking beast. Sure the AF feels nice, and I'm sure the 12-60 is stellar, but it's all 30% too big.
    I compared an E-3 with a D300 in a camera store a couple of weeks ago and, although I walked into the store fully expecting to be blown away by the E-3, I was instead underwhelmed. The E-3 body is hardly any smaller or lighter than the D300 -- as the following specifications indicate:

    Olympus E-3
    Dimensions 142.5 x 116.5 x 74.5 mm
    Weight 810 g (body only)

    Nikon D300
    Dimensions 147 x 114 x 74 mm
    Weight 825 g (without battery, memory card, body cap, or monitor cover)

    Given that there are no small semi-fast, wide-normal prime lenses for the E-3, I'm beginning to wonder what real advantages -- apart from in-body stablilization and an articulating LCD screen -- the E-3 offers over the D300. The upcoming Pentax K20D reportedly has Live View and, given that the K10D weighs 790g *with* battery & memory card, it's unlikely that the K20D will weigh more than the E-3. Pentax already has a range of prime lenses and the highly regarded Zeiss primes as well as the recently released Voigtlander Ultron 40/2 pancake and Nokton 58/1.4 lenses come in both Nikon and Pentax mounts. Admittedly the Zeiss primes aren't small, but they're full-frame designs, as are the Voigtlander lenses.

    I can understand the appeal of the E-3 as a supplementary system for a Leica M-8 user who already has access to a full range of stellar prime lenses. For example:

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    If, like me, your m8 is your main camera, there are still times when it's good to have an SLR about the place - an E3 and a couple of lenses makes an attractive, robust and flexible outfit, without having to sacrifice very much with respect to image quality, and without breaking the bank (or your shoulder!)
    But, having been initially attracted to the E-3, I'm now hard pressed to see why I should purchase an E-3 rather than a Nikon D3 or a Pentax K10D/K20D. Even the 4/3rds depth of field advantage is not that significant (assuming that you regard increased depth of field as an advantage, which I do).

    For example, I prefer the 4:3 aspect ratio and, if I used an APS-C camera, would crop my shots accordingly. "Cropping" the D300's 15.8 x 23.6 mm sensor to 4:3 proportions reduces it to 15.8 x 21.1 mm. For an EFoV of 40mm, one must use a 20mm lens on the E-3 and a 23.5mm lens on the "cropped" D300 (which now has a FoV multiplier of 1.7). The DOFMaster Depth of Field Calculator indicates that, at a given subject distance and aperture, one only needs to stop down the D300 a further half stop to get the same depth of field as the E-3.

    Finally, I'm beginning to wonder whether small semi-fast, wide-normal prime lenses can actually be designed for the 4/3rds system, particularly given given this comment by Paul Norheim on Mike's E-3 post:
    Olympus said that TELE lenses would be smaller than comparable 35mm designs. Nowhere will you find an original claim that they'll make wides, normals or zooms nor bodies 'smaller'.
    Taking into account its 3:2 aspect ratio, the 20.7 x 13.8 mm Foveon sensor in Sigma's long-promised DP-1 is almost identical in size to that of the E-3. Yet the DP-1 has a 16.6mm (EFoV 28mm) f/4 lens -- not exactly what you'd call a fast, wide prime. Am I wrong in assuming that it should be easier to design a fast wide lens for a compact camera like the DP-1 than for an SLR such as the E-3? If Sigma can't do it, can anyone else?

    Apologies for the long post. I'm thinking aloud here (and, in a sense, playing the Devil's Advocate) because, despite the reservations with which I left the camera store, I'm emotionally drawn to the 4/3rds system in general and the E-3 and the Olympus lenses in particular. I may appear to have made up my mind against the E-3 but that's not the case. Rather, I'd be delighted if someone could point out the error(s) in my arguments. But at this point I can't help thinking that a D300 (from which I could "move up" to a full-frame Nikon later on) or a K20D (with its rumored 1.25 field of view multiplier and correspondingly larger sensor) would be a better choice...

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    No primes have kept me from going back to Olympus as well. I know they have the Pan/Leica 25/1.4, but it's huge. It doesn't really seem to me, that Oly is catering to the amature, as much as the more advanced users, so not having small wide to nomal primes seems like a poor move on their part. Had they come out with a 12/2.0, 14/2.0 17/2.0 and a 25/2.0 or at least one of those a few years ago, I think a lot more people would have made the switch, I know I would have. On the other hand, what do I know?

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    yes but you could say that pentax dont have enough zooms
    or sony are really funded by KM film lenses.

    since Olympus decided to scrap OM and go digital, including lenses designed for that size, theyve had a hard time getting a lens range together for complete coverage. Now they are saying thats nearly complete and the primes are to follow. I do support the view that primes ought be smaller, but many we are looking at belong to Sigma and Leica, not essentially an Olympus problem.

    Pana/leica could have capitalised in a prime lens range for 4/3rds, but have failed to do so. Im thinking pretty soon that opportunity will be gone.

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Finally, I'm beginning to wonder whether small semi-fast, wide-normal prime lenses can actually be designed for the 4/3rds system, particularly given given this comment by Paul Norheim on Mike's E-3 post:[INDENT]Olympus said that TELE lenses would be smaller than comparable 35mm designs. Nowhere will you find an original claim that they'll make wides, normals or zooms nor bodies 'smaller'.
    and i thought 410 was too small for some people
    would the lenses look like this ? Or am i mistaken, and this guy is suggesting a 150mm Olympus lens should be somehow smaller. I dont know who he is but indifference to his 'expert' view, these 3 lenses from Nikon Canon and Oly are all in the range of 80-300mm EFL.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Taking into account its 3:2 aspect ratio, the 20.7 x 13.8 mm Foveon sensor in Sigma's long-promised DP-1 is almost identical in size to that of the E-3. Yet the DP-1 has a 16.6mm (EFoV 28mm) f/4 lens -- not exactly what you'd call a fast, wide prime. Am I wrong in assuming that it should be easier to design a fast wide lens for a compact camera like the DP-1 than for an SLR such as the E-3? If Sigma can't do it, can anyone else?
    foveons exclusive properties are the issue for Sigma, since fall-off is an assertible risk on such a design, but where because of the deeper well design of foveon, falloff would mean losing red (at the very least) in the falloff zone. The obvious way to deal with this is to forcibly stop the lens down, by limiting it to F4. Its not the lens architecture that is really at fault, short lenses will vignet etc, its more to do with the properties of this unique sensor.

    As an aside, Sigma probably should have made SD14 a 4/3rds pattern, but got hooked into their own design philosophy with SD9 before they hooked up with four-thirds. As an example of what can be done and that works fine, you can use Konica Hexanon primes on 4/3rds and they do work very well. This is a 40mm/1.8



    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour
    Apologies for the long post. I'm thinking aloud here (and, in a sense, playing the Devil's Advocate) because, despite the reservations with which I left the camera store, I'm emotionally drawn to the 4/3rds system in general and the E-3 and the Olympus lenses in particular. I may appear to have made up my mind against the E-3 but that's not the case. Rather, I'd be delighted if someone could point out the error(s) in my arguments. But at this point I can't help thinking that a D300 (from which I could "move up" to a full-frame Nikon later on) or a K20D (with its rumored 1.25 field of view multiplier and correspondingly larger sensor) would be a better choice...
    my idea of moving from Dx series cameras to FF135 means losing the glass anyway. What would you expect to keep?
    Last edited by Riley; 16th January 2008 at 04:33.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    But, having been initially attracted to the E-3, I'm now hard pressed to see why I should purchase an E-3 rather than a Nikon D3 or a Pentax K10D/K20D. Even the 4/3rds depth of field advantage is not that significant (assuming that you regard increased depth of field as an advantage, which I do).
    I have the same dilemma, but tend towards two systems: an E-3 with two zooms, 11-22 and 50-200, plus two Pentax bodies, a (cheap backup) K10D and a K20D with an assortment of primes. There seem to be an endless selection of primes available for the Pentax bodies now, and with more "prime supporters" buying their cameras, it will hopefully only get better.

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Apologies for the long post. I'm thinking aloud here (and, in a sense, playing the Devil's Advocate) because, despite the reservations with which I left the camera store, I'm emotionally drawn to the 4/3rds system in general and the E-3 and the Olympus lenses in particular. I may appear to have made up my mind against the E-3 but that's not the case. Rather, I'd be delighted if someone could point out the error(s) in my arguments. But at this point I can't help thinking that a D300 (from which I could "move up" to a full-frame Nikon later on) or a K20D (with its rumored 1.25 field of view multiplier and correspondingly larger sensor) would be a better choice...
    HI Jonathan
    Interesting post and arguments - I'm pretty sure that there is no real problem in producing fast-wide primes to work with 4/3, BUT they may not be completely telecentric (and it seems as though Olympus are sticking to their rules about telecentricity, even though Sigma probably aren't) - for others, telecentricity means that all the light hits the sensor at right angles - very unlike most mid-wide angle lenses on FF.

    I've been all around these houses, and I'm pretty sure that the primes will appear, but if you're looking for a reason to buy into the Olympus system, in my opinion it's three fold:

    1. the great natural colours which seem so elusive on other cameras
    2. the splendid mid range f2.8 - f3.5 zooms:
    11-22 f2.8 f3.5
    12-60 f2.8 f4 (or the lesser 14-54 f2.8 f3.5)
    55-200 f2.8 f3.5
    They are decently priced, water resistant to a very high level, and they are excellent quality - from wide open to stopped down. They are also a decent size and weight. They all focus very close indeed (you hardly need a macro lens)
    3. the camera build quality and water resistance

    I don't think there are any equivalents to these fast, quality mid range lenses in any other manufacturer's list, and for me, together with the proven ruggedness and water resistance of the E3, they make a compelling argument (so much so that my Nikon D2x / D200 / 70-200 / 17-55 etc. went to the wall).

    Still, for most purposes, and for most of the time, I keep the 12-60 on - it's a splendid lens, focuses very fast in all light, and you can shoot it wide open without a second thought.

    I'd like to see the primes as well, but I use an M8 for that particular job!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    I too was put off the Olympus by the overall size and weight of a minimum usable system. Given the reduced sensor size something closer to the size of a compact camera should be achievable, and the lack of small prime lenses is part of the problem. For me the E410 is already the bulkiest sub-35mm sensor SLR I would consider (being only slightly lighter than some compact 35mm SLR bodies).

    I do mainly wideangle work, so I considered the E410 with the 11-22mm f2.8-3.5 zoom (which is not quite as wide as I'd like but near enough), but with the lens weighing more than the body you have a total camera weight of 920g even before you add in a telezoom to complete the outfit.

    So instead I opted for a compact, the Ricoh GX100, which even when you add its ultra-wide adaptor in comes to a total system weight (380g) of slightly less than just the E410 body. This gives me 24-72mm f2.5-4.4 (35mm equiv), and 19-57mm f2.5-4.4 with the adaptor fitted, which is exactly the range I need. Of course the sensor is much smaller, but this was a price I was willing to pay for a system only 40% the weight of even a single lens Olympus system (and coming in at half the price didn't hurt).

    I would still consider a DSLR at some point, but the fact that the 4/3 sensor hasn't resulted in significantly smaller camera systems makes me wonder what the point is of getting a 4/3 camera rather than one with a larger sensor.
    Last edited by hiro; 18th January 2008 at 17:45.

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Two years ago, I would say that Olympus was about to paint themselves into a technological corner, but with cameras like the E-410 and E-3, I see some possibilities that would make them more unique and more attractive at the same time.

    Many users point to the OM-1 when they express their hopes or expectations, and we are getting closer. If Olympus could fit an E-3 viewfinder on an E-410 body with IS, and add two or three relatively compact faster-than-2.8 primes, they would have an instant hit. Combining the camera parts is pure engineering, and they have shown with the 14-42 that it is possible to make good quality, compact lenses for 4/3.

    I know I'm not the only one that hope for something like this. Hopefully, Olympus understands that.

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    I tend to see "image-making" devices as systems: No matter how fantastic a camera is, if the lenses to go with it are not what you need then itīs useless. I have allways been very interested in the fourthirds system, and have been following it all the way from the begining.

    I have been tempted by the E410 as I believe it is a unique camera in many ways. My Canon DSLīs do their job OK but they donīt "speak" to me..The E-410, everytime I hold it in the store (and Iīve been in the fence a few times) speaks to me with sweet words and whispers..."buy me".

    But I believe the 410 is a "flawed" product from a "system" point of view. Why? The lenses. If you want to keep it small (and this camera begs to be used with small lenses , and I mean compact pancake primes), you need to stick with the kit zoom, which is, well, ehmm, a ZOOM (and not very fast at that,being only 3.5-6.6), which completely destroys the concept of what this camera should be: compact,well built, carry everywhere, available light camera.

    A pitty, really, because I keep going back to this camera, itīs just, that the current Olympus lens lineup makes this camera unusable for those purposes...

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    By the way, this is my idea of what would make the "system" perfect. This is what the E-410 should be (donīt you think that is SEXY??):


    This is a Hexanon lens converted to fit fourthirds mount by Brian Mosley ("borrowed the picture from another thread in "THAT" other place...

    Erik.

  31. #31
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    i think the problem Oly have with pancakes is this
    based on the unremarkable finding that Olympus pursue optical excellence
    pancakes are non-telecentric

    since the exit pupil is variously 85mm from the filmplane, limiting angular light to around 6 degrees, this pushes the design of the lens farther out from the mount. The glass then becomes larger and heavier on both the front and the rear optic.

    The lenses Brian and others are playing with have an exit pupil a lot closer, some are perhaps 40mm from the sensor. While they are compact and light, they wont shoot as well wide open.

    Last comment, the kit lenses are by virtue slower, and a more average lens speed is F2.8.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    I wonder whether future sensors will reduce the need for telecentricity... at that time, we could see more compact wide angle lenses.

    Until then, I'm happy with the compromise - switching to legacy lenses for compact primes and shallow dof - which are also relatively cheap.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    To put my previous post in an image (and ignoring older manual lenses) this home-made chart shows the current options in the fourthirds lineup by the various manufacturers:



    The Zuiko 14-42 and the Sigma 18-50 3.5 zooms are impressive in size (I ignore how they perform), but the slow aperture rules them out for available light.The fast zooms might be very good performers, but for that I might as well stick o my Canon gear(to me,they simply donīt match the cameraīs philosophy). Should I have to choose, I would probably go with the Sigma 30 1.4 (I allready own this lens in Canon mount and absolutely love it, itīs one of my most used), but the effective FOV of 60mm when mounted in a fourthirds camera would make it a bit difficult to use, specially indoors.

    Photon.

  34. #34
    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    sorta glad you asked that Brian
    as it happens there have been developments since the concept was announced. Microlenses and offset microlenses can deal with some of the ills that telecentricity seeks to prevail on.

    With more normal film based lens applications the exit pupil is circa 50mm, v/s 4/3rds 85mm. With FF the deviation from parallel light is around 20 degrees at 50mm, this is beyond the capacity of offset microlenses which i believe top out around 12 degrees. Curiously (or not) foveons crop of 1.74 sees around 11 degrees. 4/3rds with OM glass sees (52mm exit pupil) around 10 degrees. Also 52mm exit pupil and the variously 1.52x and 1.62x APSC see around 12 - 13 degrees.

    This presents 2 conclusions
    that FF will require stopping down to shake vignetting/falloff and soft edges.
    that 4/3rds could indeed now utilise a shorter exit pupil for more compact lens builds. Perhaps not 50mm, but less than 85mm. These effects are more prevalent in WA and UWA cases.

    It also means for 4/3rds that a larger sensor itteration is a distinct possibility. Since the object is sharper edges without fall-off/vignetting wide open, on an 85mm exit pupil they could move to around 1.7x+ without issue. Indeed the E3 sensor at 10.1Mp has additional area beyond the mask edges, where the entire sensor area seen it would rate 11.8Mp. One could surmise that this is necessary for the 5 stops of IS.

    At a density of 41,563 pixels per sq mm for 10.1Mp on 243 sq mm, this becomes 44,888 pixels per sq mm or 263 sq mm. Marginally short of foveons 285 sq mm at 20.8 x 13.8mm at 1.74x.

    Development wise, there are 3 ways they can go to increase available sensor real estate.
    1/ keep chasing smaller wiring (these gains so far have similar well sizes to 40D on much less area)
    2/ do as i just indicated and increase the crop size.
    3/ go the way of video, with 3 sensors and a beam splitter, this isnt new for Olympus in particular who used this approach for E20/E30, and it has been seen elsewhere but years ago now. This virtually requires telecentricity to work well, and would give then at least 5 yrs lead time on the competition, it being not possible on much larger sensor areas and requiring a telecentric lens suite.
    Last edited by Riley; 18th February 2008 at 10:34.

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Hi Brian. Though I believe you have moved to the E3 now, could you comment how hard you found manual focusing those lenses with the E400/410? Was it generally succesfull or more a hit & miss thing?

    Thanks.

  36. #36
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Photon-hunter View Post
    Hi Brian. Though I believe you have moved to the E3 now, could you comment how hard you found manual focusing those lenses with the E400/410? Was it generally succesfull or more a hit & miss thing?

    Thanks.
    I would say that the KatzEye split prism focusing screen is essential for manual focusing on anything smaller than the E-3 viewfinder.

    With the KatzEye, manual focusing is fine on the E-400/E-410 - and of course on the E-410 you also have live view for macro shooting.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

  37. #37
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Thanks for your kind reply. Now that you mention the katzeye, how did it affect (if at all) the metering with the adapted lenses?

    Thanks.

  38. #38
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Thanks for the info Riley, it will be interesting to see the next big breakthrough in sensor technology... and I also wonder whether we'll see more exotic optical lens designs - with more sophisticated computing technology and new glass technology.

    Plenty of scope for further improvements.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

  39. #39
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Photon-hunter View Post
    Thanks for your kind reply. Now that you mention the katzeye, how did it affect (if at all) the metering with the adapted lenses?

    Thanks.
    Metering with the E-400 was always a bit variable, until I added an Orion rubber eyeguard - this cuts out stray light entering through the OVF :


    For lenses less than f2 you have to keep an eye on auto exposure - but applying -0.3EV is very quick and easy with the controls on this cam.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Thanks. I feel dangerously tempted...Does anybody know if you can adapt m42 lenses to be mounted in this camera?

    Thanks, Erik.

  41. #41
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: PMA rumor - compact 25mm prime coming from Olympus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Photon-hunter View Post
    Thanks. I feel dangerously tempted...Does anybody know if you can adapt m42 lenses to be mounted in this camera?

    Thanks, Erik.
    Hi Erik,

    I'm assured that the M42 mount is the cheapest route to high quality primes, although I went the Hexanon route.

    You can find loads of adapters on e-bay... here's a UK supplier
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/M42-Lens-to-Ol...QQcmdZViewItem

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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