Sigma's lame 4/3rds prime lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    RichA, Jan 10, 2012
    #1
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  2. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    RichA <> wrote:

    >f2.8 primes? Is this Russia, 1974?? Unless they're $100 a piece.
    >
    >http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/10/SigmaDigitalNeo



    Panasonic seems happy to offer an f/2.5 prime (14mm) and Olympus an
    f/2.8 prime (17mm). Both are reasonably good if unspectacular lenses.

    If the OEM Micro Four Thirds manufacturers are happy to produce lenses
    with these not-very-wide apertures, you can't really criticise a third
    party manufacturer for following their lead, especially as the Sigma
    lenses are likely to be inexpensive.

    Actually, I am pleased to see that Sigma has introduced new designs
    rather than offer tired old formulae in Micro Four Thirds mount, which
    is what Sigma did with their lenses for Four Thirds DSLRs.
    Bruce, Jan 10, 2012
    #2
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  3. Pete Stavrakoglou, Jan 10, 2012
    #3
  4. RichA

    RichA Guest

    On Jan 10, 12:07 am, Bruce <> wrote:
    > RichA <> wrote:
    > >f2.8 primes?  Is this Russia, 1974??  Unless they're $100 a piece.

    >
    > >http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/10/SigmaDigitalNeo

    >
    > Panasonic seems happy to offer an f/2.5 prime (14mm) and Olympus an
    > f/2.8 prime (17mm).  Both are reasonably good if unspectacular lenses.


    Panasonic also offers a 20mm f1.7 which is more in-line with what
    decent prime should be. The whole idea behind micro 4/3rds should be
    that you can release faster lenses at a lower cost (well, that hasn't
    materialized) than competing DSLR makers using APS sensors. A sensor
    with more noise paired with slower lenses just makes no sense, unless
    all you care about is weight.
    RichA, Jan 10, 2012
    #4
  5. RichA

    RichA Guest

    On Jan 10, 8:16 am, "Pete Stavrakoglou" <> wrote:
    > "RichA" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    >
    > > f2.8 primes?  Is this Russia, 1974??  Unless they're $100 a piece.

    >
    > >http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/10/SigmaDigitalNeo

    >
    > What is so lame about an f2.8 prime?


    It's too slow, unless it's a macro or a cheap 100mm. Remember when
    Olympus had f2.0 version of nearly all their OM wide primes, at a
    price.
    RichA, Jan 10, 2012
    #5
  6. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    RichA <> wrote:

    >On Jan 10, 12:07 am, Bruce <> wrote:
    >> RichA <> wrote:
    >> >f2.8 primes?  Is this Russia, 1974??  Unless they're $100 a piece.

    >>
    >> >http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/10/SigmaDigitalNeo

    >>
    >> Panasonic seems happy to offer an f/2.5 prime (14mm) and Olympus an
    >> f/2.8 prime (17mm).  Both are reasonably good if unspectacular lenses.

    >
    >Panasonic also offers a 20mm f1.7 which is more in-line with what
    >decent prime should be.



    But it is likely that the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 will always be much
    more expensive than a Sigma 19mm f/2.8. People with a m43 camera and
    kit lens who want to try a fixed focal length lens will probably find
    an inexpensive Sigma 19mm f/2.8 an attractive option at a
    significantly lower price than a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.


    >The whole idea behind micro 4/3rds should be
    >that you can release faster lenses at a lower cost (well, that hasn't
    >materialized) than competing DSLR makers using APS sensors. A sensor
    >with more noise paired with slower lenses just makes no sense, unless
    >all you care about is weight.



    .... or cost. If you cannot justify the cost of a Panasonic 20mm
    f/1.7, an inexpensive Sigma 19mm f/2.8 is an attractive option.

    You seem to forget that the new Sigma lenses are not aimed at people
    like you. ;-)
    Bruce, Jan 10, 2012
    #6
  7. RichA

    RichA Guest

    On Jan 10, 12:41 pm, Bruce <> wrote:

    > >The whole idea behind micro 4/3rds should be
    > >that you can release faster lenses at a lower cost (well, that hasn't
    > >materialized) than competing DSLR makers using APS sensors.  A sensor
    > >with more noise paired with slower lenses just makes no sense, unless
    > >all you care about is weight.

    >
    > ... or cost.  If you cannot justify the cost of a Panasonic 20mm
    > f/1.7, an inexpensive Sigma 19mm f/2.8 is an attractive option.


    The cost of the m4/3rds stuff is all over the board. $350 for a 20mm
    f1.7 prime seems fine to me, but $800-$900 for a normal zoom with a
    speed range of f4-5.6 or 6.3 seems like robbery.

    > You seem to forget that the new Sigma lenses are not aimed at people
    > like you.  ;-)


    We don't know what they cost yet, but I'll assume they'll be under
    $200.00/ea. But this is the old "golf club" conundrum. Do you spend
    as a novice a lot of money on a good set of clubs, because even an
    incremental improvement would help you, or should they be reserved for
    pros? In other words, is the novice going to be partly hobbled by
    buying a cheap f2.8 prime lens as opposed to a better, faster prime?
    RichA, Jan 10, 2012
    #7
  8. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    RichA <> wrote:

    >On Jan 10, 12:41 pm, Bruce <> wrote:
    >
    >> >The whole idea behind micro 4/3rds should be
    >> >that you can release faster lenses at a lower cost (well, that hasn't
    >> >materialized) than competing DSLR makers using APS sensors.  A sensor
    >> >with more noise paired with slower lenses just makes no sense, unless
    >> >all you care about is weight.

    >>
    >> ... or cost.  If you cannot justify the cost of a Panasonic 20mm
    >> f/1.7, an inexpensive Sigma 19mm f/2.8 is an attractive option.

    >
    >The cost of the m4/3rds stuff is all over the board. $350 for a 20mm
    >f1.7 prime seems fine to me, but $800-$900 for a normal zoom with a
    >speed range of f4-5.6 or 6.3 seems like robbery.



    I agree, there seems to be little logic to m43 pricing, even within a
    manufacturer's range. I can't work out why Olympus can offer an
    outstanding f/1.8 45mm (equiv. 90mm) portrait lens for less than $350
    but a mediocre f/2 12mm (equiv. 24mm) sells for a whopping $799.


    >> You seem to forget that the new Sigma lenses are not aimed at people
    >> like you.  ;-)

    >
    >We don't know what they cost yet, but I'll assume they'll be under
    >$200.00/ea. But this is the old "golf club" conundrum. Do you spend
    >as a novice a lot of money on a good set of clubs, because even an
    >incremental improvement would help you, or should they be reserved for
    >pros? In other words, is the novice going to be partly hobbled by
    >buying a cheap f2.8 prime lens as opposed to a better, faster prime?



    99% of m43 buyers won't need any better than cheap f/2.8 Sigma primes.
    Bruce, Jan 10, 2012
    #8
  9. RichA

    RichA Guest

    On Jan 10, 2:35 pm, Bruce <> wrote:
    > RichA <> wrote:
    > >On Jan 10, 12:41 pm, Bruce <> wrote:

    >
    > >> >The whole idea behind micro 4/3rds should be
    > >> >that you can release faster lenses at a lower cost (well, that hasn't
    > >> >materialized) than competing DSLR makers using APS sensors. A sensor
    > >> >with more noise paired with slower lenses just makes no sense, unless
    > >> >all you care about is weight.

    >
    > >> ... or cost. If you cannot justify the cost of a Panasonic 20mm
    > >> f/1.7, an inexpensive Sigma 19mm f/2.8 is an attractive option.

    >
    > >The cost of the m4/3rds stuff is all over the board.  $350 for a 20mm
    > >f1.7 prime seems fine to me, but $800-$900 for a normal zoom with a
    > >speed range of f4-5.6 or 6.3 seems like robbery.

    >
    > I agree, there seems to be little logic to m43 pricing, even within a
    > manufacturer's range.  I can't work out why Olympus can offer an
    > outstanding f/1.8 45mm (equiv. 90mm) portrait lens for less than $350
    > but a mediocre f/2 12mm (equiv. 24mm) sells for a whopping $799.
    >
    > >> You seem to forget that the new Sigma lenses are not aimed at people
    > >> like you. ;-)

    >
    > >We don't know  what they cost yet, but I'll assume they'll be under
    > >$200.00/ea.  But this is the old "golf club" conundrum.  Do you spend
    > >as a novice a lot of money on a good set of clubs, because even an
    > >incremental improvement would help you, or should they be reserved for
    > >pros?  In other words, is the novice going to be partly hobbled by
    > >buying a cheap f2.8 prime lens as opposed to a better, faster prime?

    >
    > 99% of m43 buyers won't need any better than cheap f/2.8 Sigma primes.


    We've cross a Rubicon though. Years ago, image banks and such
    wouldn't touch anything that wasn't taken with a Canon or Nikon DSLR.
    Now, we've got cameras from every mfg. capable to being submitted to
    just about any stock service there is. So there is the possibility
    more people will be engaging in submitting images to make money. A
    m4/3 with a slow lens is at a considerable disadvantage to an APS or
    FF with a fast lens, even at low ISO. I won't shoot above 400 ISO
    with an m4/3 for any image I really want to keep, unless I am forced
    to. Slow lenses are a major problem in this regard as even an
    overcast day can kill chances to obtain decent shots, if you are
    trying to shoot a 200 ISO with a zoom that never gets any faster than
    f5.6-6.3.
    Meanwhile, someone using a Nikon D7000 (I'm using this often as a
    comparison, but there are numerous DSLRs that are as capable) and a
    f4.0 lens has a major advantage, on the order of 2 stops, if not
    slightly more. So, if someone is "serious" about obtaining decent
    shots, they are at a disadvantage. The only way to make it so the
    m4/3rds can compete is to jack up the speed of the lens. Now, this is
    out of the question for long teles, no one (sane) will mount a 300mm
    f2.8 (Olympus charges $7000 for the 4/3rds lens) on an m4/3rds body,
    but wide lenses (50mm and under) could be faster. I have a 25mm f0.95
    that covers the m4/3 sensor, third parties have created some in the
    25mm - 50mm range. No reason Olympus or Panasonic can't do the same
    with AF.
    RichA, Jan 10, 2012
    #9
  10. On 1/10/2012 7:38 AM, RichA wrote:
    > On Jan 10, 12:07 am, Bruce<> wrote:
    >> RichA<> wrote:
    >>> f2.8 primes? Is this Russia, 1974?? Unless they're $100 a piece.

    >>
    >>> http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/10/SigmaDigitalNeo

    >>
    >> Panasonic seems happy to offer an f/2.5 prime (14mm) and Olympus an
    >> f/2.8 prime (17mm). Both are reasonably good if unspectacular lenses.

    >
    > Panasonic also offers a 20mm f1.7 which is more in-line with what
    > decent prime should be.



    Not for Micro 4/3 .... a really nice normal prime for that should
    be f/0.7 or f/0.8. Remember the small sensor still needs
    the apparent front aperture size as does a full frame 35mm (for the same
    angular field of view), for the same sensitivity.

    Doug McDonald
    Doug McDonald, Jan 10, 2012
    #10
  11. "RichA" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > Slow lenses are a major problem in this regard as even an
    > overcast day can kill chances to obtain decent shots, if you are
    > trying to shoot a 200 ISO with a zoom that never gets any faster than
    > f5.6-6.3.

    []

    People can get decent shots even with a P&S on overcast days! With the
    4/3 you have the advantage of a larger sensor, so overcast days should be
    less of a problem. No need to stick with ISO 200. May lenses these days
    have image stabilisation, so no longer are you restricted to the short
    exposures of the 1/F.L. seconds rule.

    Methinks you aren't taking full advantage of your equipment.

    (I accept that low light indoors is a different order of magnitude
    problem, but not just "an overcast day".)

    David
    David J Taylor, Jan 11, 2012
    #11
  12. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    "David J Taylor" <> wrote:
    >"RichA" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >[]
    >> Slow lenses are a major problem in this regard as even an
    >> overcast day can kill chances to obtain decent shots, if you are
    >> trying to shoot a 200 ISO with a zoom that never gets any faster than
    >> f5.6-6.3.

    >[]
    >
    >People can get decent shots even with a P&S on overcast days! With the
    >4/3 you have the advantage of a larger sensor, so overcast days should be
    >less of a problem. No need to stick with ISO 200. May lenses these days
    >have image stabilisation, so no longer are you restricted to the short
    >exposures of the 1/F.L. seconds rule.
    >
    >Methinks you aren't taking full advantage of your equipment.
    >
    >(I accept that low light indoors is a different order of magnitude
    >problem, but not just "an overcast day".)



    That's a sound analysis, David. The latest Panasonic 16 MP sensors in
    the G3 and GX1 bodies reliably produce low noise images at up to ISO
    1600, so there is no need to stop shooting on overcast days. So slow
    lenses are no longer an issue as far as noise is concerned.

    The latest contrast detect AF system is fast and accurate even in low
    light. Unlike most phase detect systems, it is not dependent on
    having a lens aperture of f/5.6 or faster. So once again, there isn't
    a problem with slow lenses.

    I realise that Rich, like so many m43 enthusiasts, demands very fast
    lenses whether he needs them or not. The only remaining requirement
    for fast glass on m43 bodies is control over depth of field. I'm
    tempted to suggest that every m43 outfit should include a fast, high
    quality portrait lens, and the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 is ideal.

    It is also inexpensive, offering probably the best value of any native
    m43 lens. Win/win.
    Bruce, Jan 11, 2012
    #12
  13. It's still fast enough for most people's needs.

    "RichA" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    On Jan 10, 8:16 am, "Pete Stavrakoglou" <> wrote:
    > "RichA" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    >
    > > f2.8 primes? Is this Russia, 1974?? Unless they're $100 a piece.

    >
    > >http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/10/SigmaDigitalNeo

    >
    > What is so lame about an f2.8 prime?


    It's too slow, unless it's a macro or a cheap 100mm. Remember when
    Olympus had f2.0 version of nearly all their OM wide primes, at a
    price.
    Pete Stavrakoglou, Jan 11, 2012
    #13
  14. RichA

    RichA Guest

    On Jan 11, 2:44 am, "David J Taylor" <david-
    > wrote:
    > "RichA" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    > []> Slow lenses are a major problem in this regard as even an
    > > overcast day can kill chances to obtain decent shots, if you are
    > > trying to shoot a 200 ISO with a zoom that never gets any faster than
    > > f5.6-6.3.

    >
    > []
    >
    > People can get decent shots even with a P&S on overcast days!  With the
    > 4/3 you have the advantage of a larger sensor, so overcast days should be
    > less of a problem.  No need to stick with ISO 200.  May lenses these days
    > have image stabilisation, so no longer are you restricted to the short
    > exposures of the 1/F.L. seconds rule.
    >
    > Methinks you aren't taking full advantage of your equipment.
    >
    > (I accept that low light indoors is a different order of magnitude
    > problem, but not just "an overcast day".)
    >
    > David


    I probably just have lower tolerance for noise. 4/3rds at 400-800ISO
    in shadows is noisy, so keeping (ideally) at 200 ISO is important.
    Also things like birds and animals tend to be shadowed, even on bright
    days (if you shoot in a forested area) so effectively, you are
    shooting in dusk-like conditions.
    RichA, Jan 11, 2012
    #14
  15. RichA

    RichA Guest

    On Jan 11, 2:59 am, Bruce <> wrote:
    > "David J Taylor" <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > >"RichA" <> wrote in message
    > >news:...
    > >[]
    > >> Slow lenses are a major problem in this regard as even an
    > >> overcast day can kill chances to obtain decent shots, if you are
    > >> trying to shoot a 200 ISO with a zoom that never gets any faster than
    > >> f5.6-6.3.

    > >[]

    >
    > >People can get decent shots even with a P&S on overcast days!  With the
    > >4/3 you have the advantage of a larger sensor, so overcast days should be
    > >less of a problem.  No need to stick with ISO 200.  May lenses thesedays
    > >have image stabilisation, so no longer are you restricted to the short
    > >exposures of the 1/F.L. seconds rule.

    >
    > >Methinks you aren't taking full advantage of your equipment.

    >
    > >(I accept that low light indoors is a different order of magnitude
    > >problem, but not just "an overcast day".)

    >
    > That's a sound analysis, David.  The latest Panasonic 16 MP sensors in
    > the G3 and GX1 bodies reliably produce low noise images at up to ISO
    > 1600, so there is no need to stop shooting on overcast days.   So slow
    > lenses are no longer an issue as far as noise is concerned.
    >


    Well, this is the GH2 at 1600 ISO (raw conversion, no NR applied) and
    while the noise is nice-looking, it is still visible. Click
    "Original" to see it full sized.

    http://www.pbase.com/andersonrm/image/133628881/large
    RichA, Jan 11, 2012
    #15
  16. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    RichA <> wrote:
    >On Jan 11, 2:59 am, Bruce <> wrote:
    >> The latest Panasonic 16 MP sensors in
    >> the G3 and GX1 bodies reliably produce low noise images at up to ISO
    >> 1600, so there is no need to stop shooting on overcast days.   So slow
    >> lenses are no longer an issue as far as noise is concerned.
    >>

    >
    >Well, this is the GH2 at 1600 ISO (raw conversion, no NR applied) and
    >while the noise is nice-looking, it is still visible. Click
    >"Original" to see it full sized.
    >http://www.pbase.com/andersonrm/image/133628881/large



    You obviously missed the bit where I specifically stated "The latest
    Panasonic 16 MP sensors in the G3 and GX1 bodies reliably produce low
    noise images at up to ISO 1600, so there is no need to stop shooting
    on overcast days."

    Note that I did not include the GH2 in that list. Thank you for
    providing a sample image which illustrates why.
    Bruce, Jan 11, 2012
    #16
  17. RichA <> writes:

    > On Jan 10, 8:16 am, "Pete Stavrakoglou" <> wrote:
    >> "RichA" <> wrote in message
    >>
    >> news:...
    >>
    >> > f2.8 primes?  Is this Russia, 1974??  Unless they're $100 a piece.

    >>
    >> >http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/10/SigmaDigitalNeo

    >>
    >> What is so lame about an f2.8 prime?

    >
    > It's too slow, unless it's a macro or a cheap 100mm. Remember when
    > Olympus had f2.0 version of nearly all their OM wide primes, at a
    > price.


    In 1970, the normal choices for 50mm and 35mm lenses were f/2 and
    f/1.4. Now, 40 years later, they're trying to pass off primes in that
    range that are a full stop slower?
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, ; http://dd-b.net/
    Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
    Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
    Dragaera: http://dragaera.info
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 11, 2012
    #17
  18. "RichA" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > I probably just have lower tolerance for noise. 4/3rds at 400-800ISO
    > in shadows is noisy, so keeping (ideally) at 200 ISO is important.
    > Also things like birds and animals tend to be shadowed, even on bright
    > days (if you shoot in a forested area) so effectively, you are
    > shooting in dusk-like conditions.


    Try viewing images at "normal viewing distance" rather than pixel peeping.

    David
    David J Taylor, Jan 11, 2012
    #18
  19. "RichA" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > Well, this is the GH2 at 1600 ISO (raw conversion, no NR applied) and
    > while the noise is nice-looking, it is still visible. Click
    > "Original" to see it full sized.
    >
    > http://www.pbase.com/andersonrm/image/133628881/large


    Yes, you can see the noise at 1:1 display, but that's a 47-inch wide image
    on my display. What's it like at 12 x 9 inches?

    David
    David J Taylor, Jan 11, 2012
    #19
  20. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    >
    >In 1970, the normal choices for 50mm and 35mm lenses were f/2 and
    >f/1.4. Now, 40 years later, they're trying to pass off primes in that
    >range that are a full stop slower?



    If you bring the 1970 prices up to today's value by allowing for
    inflation, I think you will find that many of today's lenses are much
    cheaper than those 1970s f/2 and f/1.4 lenses were.
    Bruce, Jan 11, 2012
    #20
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