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Lenses - Sticky Topic


Andrew Reid
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It is certainly not a comprehensive list and it is one to be taken with a grain of salt. The ordering is strange and they leave certain lenses out for obviously lesser ones e.g. no PanaLeica 15mm but there is the Sigma 19mm.

I think rather than an elite list of the best of the best, they have gone for a mixture to cover all types of shooters with all budgets. It has actually got me interested in the Panny 30mm which I have never thought about before, because it informed me it has stabilization.

It was top 33 lenses recently so at least they are keeping it updated with ones like the 8-18. They probably don't have access to all lenses which isn't their fault.

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7 hours ago, Mat Mayer said:

It is certainly not a comprehensive list and it is one to be taken with a grain of salt. The ordering is strange and they leave certain lenses out for obviously lesser ones e.g. no PanaLeica 15mm but there is the Sigma 19mm.

I think rather than an elite list of the best of the best, they have gone for a mixture to cover all types of shooters with all budgets. It has actually got me interested in the Panny 30mm which I have never thought about before, because it informed me it has stabilization.

It was top 33 lenses recently so at least they are keeping it updated with ones like the 8-18. They probably don't have access to all lenses which isn't their fault.

Apparently, the Panasonic 30mm f/2.8 Macro is an excellent value at only $300 or so, is made of metal and built in Japan. But according to lenstip, stabilization is one of its weakest points, reaching a mere 2.5 EV, where the best OIS lenses are able to obtain 4.5 EV of extra stabilization. ePhotozine doesn't test this as far as I can tell.

edit: ePhotozine does say, 'with care' you should be able to get roughly 3 stops of stabilization.

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There are some great bargain lenses in the m43 system as well as some outstanding premium lenses. One thing I fail to understand is why some people refuse to pay as much for a top of the line m43 lens as for a full frame equivalent. Carrying that logic even further, the flagship Panasonic GH5 should only cost half that of say, the Nikon D810. In fact, this would make more sense, as many of us replace camera bodies every few years, whereas we often hold onto our lenses indefinitely. I think a good case could be made for purchasing something like a G85 and a couple of premium lenses rather than a GH5 and compromising on glass, because in three years many will already be replacing their GH5 with the GH7 with built in ND filters and PDAF anyhow. ?

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4 hours ago, jonpais said:

There are some great bargain lenses in the m43 system as well as some outstanding premium lenses. One thing I fail to understand is why some people refuse to pay as much for a top of the line m43 lens as for a full frame equivalent. 

Because m43 lenses aren't adaptable and therefore can't be migrated to other camera systems - while you can adapt a full frame Nikon lens to almost any camera system currently in use; when using a Speed Booster/focal reducer, even with higher apertures/lens speeds.

On top of that, electronic m43 system lenses are optimized for being lightweight and small and therefore involve a lot of optical design compromises - above all, firmware-/software-based geometry correction and devignetting. (I.e. your Panasonic or Olympus 12mm, 14mm, 17mm or even 20mm m43 lens actually happens to be a slight fisheye lens that relies on in-camera photoshopping - whereas all full frame DSLR lenses on the market are optically corrected.) On top of that, m43 lenses involve compromises in handling and built quality: plastic instead of metal, focus-by-wire instead of a mechanical focus ring, no aperture ring.

MFT lenses without these design compromises, such as the Voigtlanders and Veydras, typically cost as much as full frame lenses.

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25 minutes ago, cantsin said:

Because m43 lenses aren't adaptable and therefore can't be migrated to other camera systems - while you can adapt a full frame Nikon lens to almost any camera system currently in use; when using a Speed Booster/focal reducer, even with higher apertures/lens speeds.

On top of that, electronic m43 system lenses are optimized for being lightweight and small and therefore involve a lot of optical design compromises - above all, firmware-/software-based geometry correction and devignetting. (I.e. your Panasonic or Olympus 12mm, 14mm, 17mm or even 20mm m43 lens actually happens to be a slight fisheye lens that relies on in-camera photoshopping - whereas all full frame DSLR lenses on the market are optically corrected.) On top of that, m43 lenses involve compromises in handling and built quality: plastic instead of metal, focus-by-wire instead of a mechanical focus ring, no aperture ring.

MFT lenses without these design compromises, such as the Voigtlanders and Veydras, typically cost as much as full frame lenses.

Sigma, Nikon and Canon use lots of plastic in their lenses and many are also fly by wire with no aperture ring, am I wrong? And while m43 lenses may be electronically corrected for aberrations, I don't see how that makes them inferior in any way. Barrel and pincushion distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration have been corrected in Lightroom by stills photographers for ages, isn't that true? And isn't it a fact that m43 lenses, even if they are optically corrected in firmware, must still be of a higher quality than full-frame glass? For example, if an excellent full frame lens must achieve 50 lpmm resolution to be considered excellent, a m43 lens must achieve from 75-80 lpmm. And I think the Voigtlander Noktons can be found for as little as $800, at least here in VN they can, which is around average for any lens I'd think, cheaper than some full frame lenses, more expensive than others. As far as migrating goes, at the moment, I much prefer using native lenses to adapted lenses because of the weight savings. I happen to own a Fuji and half a dozen lenses of the highest quality, as good or better build quality than Zeiss in my opinion - all-metal construction, aperture rings, weather sealing - but they're also electronically corrected and are not at all adaptable to other systems (nor are there many other manufacturers making X-mount lenses), but I have no trouble paying $1,200 for one of their lenses either. Does the fact that I can't use an APS-C lens on full frame mean it's overpriced? Another point is that most OEM lenses are way overpriced to begin with, and Sigma's lenses are better in many regards than original Nikon or Canon mount lenses. 

Edit: but I've said it before, as lenstip points out, it's regrettable that Panasonic chose to team up with Leica rather than Sigma.

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Used the Sony 24-70 GM lens for a shoot last week, the B-Cam used the Canon 24-105. Which was a massive mistake. The difference in sharpness and general IQ between the two lenses was night and day, the 24-70 was like having a zoom prime lens, absolutely stunning. The 24-105mm looked like mush in comparison. Would never thought I'd be tempted by such an expensive lens beforehand but am now terribly considering it. 

Is there any alternative on Sony? Been struggling with Sony lens options for a while. I'd love native AF to futureproof myself for future hardware releases (or the A6500) but have heard bad things about the 24-70 f4 Zeiss. 2k for a zoom lens seems extortionate, but the GM really was quite amazing.

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24 minutes ago, Gregormannschaft said:

Used the Sony 24-70 GM lens for a shoot last week, the B-Cam used the Canon 24-105. Which was a massive mistake. The difference in sharpness and general IQ between the two lenses was night and day, the 24-70 was like having a zoom prime lens, absolutely stunning. The 24-105mm looked like mush in comparison. Would never thought I'd be tempted by such an expensive lens beforehand but am now terribly considering it. 

Is there any alternative on Sony? Been struggling with Sony lens options for a while. I'd love native AF to futureproof myself for future hardware releases (or the A6500) but have heard bad things about the 24-70 f4 Zeiss. 2k for a zoom lens seems extortionate, but the GM really was quite amazing.

Yup that Sony is INSANE. Razor sharp from wide open at every focal length with great background separation. I shot a corporate video and a wedding with it, $2K may be expensive, but that lens is worth it. Just don't have the money for it quite yet :)

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Really not a fan of the lumix lenses with the exception of their Leica branded stuff. I only the 20mm ii and I use it strictly for street photography. Lumix lenses have this super clean look to it that comes off as boring. I prefer to use full frame lenses with the speedbooster xl because it looks more like an aps-h camera in stills and a super 35mm in video in terms of rendering. 

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9 hours ago, Gregormannschaft said:

Used the Sony 24-70 GM lens for a shoot last week, the B-Cam used the Canon 24-105. Which was a massive mistake. The difference in sharpness and general IQ between the two lenses was night and day, the 24-70 was like having a zoom prime lens, absolutely stunning. The 24-105mm looked like mush in comparison. Would never thought I'd be tempted by such an expensive lens beforehand but am now terribly considering it. 

Is there any alternative on Sony? Been struggling with Sony lens options for a while. I'd love native AF to futureproof myself for future hardware releases (or the A6500) but have heard bad things about the 24-70 f4 Zeiss. 2k for a zoom lens seems extortionate, but the GM really was quite amazing.

Believe the Sigma 24-105mm is quite a bit better than the Canon in terms of sharpness and general IQ, then again, have you ever heard bad things about a Sigma Art lens? Don't think so either. Might want to give that a shot? Of course the Sony has the shorter range, so less compromises, plus, it's really engineered and built to kill on sight! It's a looker. It's also f/2.8 opposed to f/4 and just about everything is optimized... it has an extreme aspherical element and promises great solving power and minimal onion ring bokeh. But... you know, the price sorta reflected the expectation already... not always though, do companies really deliver what they're promising, so I'll give 'em that.

3 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

Really not a fan of the lumix lenses with the exception of their Leica branded stuff. I only the 20mm ii and I use it strictly for street photography. Lumix lenses have this super clean look to it that comes off as boring. I prefer to use full frame lenses with the speedbooster xl because it looks more like an aps-h camera in stills and a super 35mm in video in terms of rendering. 

I agree in terms of the pancake lenses and 14-140mm zoom. They were always very uhm... 'modern'. 'Poppy' contrast, saturated colors, cut-edge sharpness. Sounds good, unless you want something a little more 'organic'? But, I've gotta say, they seem to have improved a lot since the GH2 paired glass days. Maybe not the kit zooms, but the primes for sure.

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I want to stress again how amazing Duclos is if you want to get your lenses cinemodded. Just got my Voigtlanders back with matching gears.

P.S. Really annoying how soft the photos become in this forum compared to the original image, click the image to see detail.

Untitled_1.5.1.jpg

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19 hours ago, Geoff CB said:

I want to stress again how amazing Duclos is if you want to get your lenses cinemodded. Just got my Voigtlanders back with matching gears.

P.S. Really annoying how soft the photos become in this forum compared to the original image, click the image to see detail.

Untitled_1.5.1.jpg

What does something like that set you back, though? I'm guessing... quite a bit ('Voigtländers back' -> you had to send 'em over?? 'Duclos' (expertise = $$$).

I imagine something like Alan showed would work as well?

Or get custom 3D scanned/printed fittings? There's a 3D store right around my corner, bet they're popping up everywhere these days, if you don't already have some set-up at home.

7 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

Lumix 20mm ii w/ warm black pro mist filter

[..]

Awesome. I love how filters can transform a lens! Perhaps a seriously undervalued asset by many shooters. Though, you always seem to nail that urban earthy vibe, so can't give these filters too much credit. :grin:

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4 hours ago, Cinegain said:

What does something like that set you back, though? I'm guessing... quite a bit ('Voigtländers back' -> you had to send 'em over?? 'Duclos' (expertise = $$$).

I imagine something like Alan showed would work as well?

$80 per lens. A small price to pay to have them professionally geared, they come back cleaned in sealed wrapping.  Each lens has the focus rings width match the set. Worth it to be assured quality in my opinion.
 

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