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Old Aug 21, 2006, 1:53 PM   #1
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Hi all, my first post and in no way meant to be inflamitory. I am a 20 plus year OM user and waiting anxiously for an E1 replacement to make the jump into digital. I am very excited at the current and upcoming 4/3 lenses but had an observation to make that I did not want to keep to myself. Here is hopeing Olympus do scan these forums.

The current 14-35 f2 and 35-100 f2 are simply amazing looking lenses (from what I can see reading reviews and specs - I plan to get the 14-35). Canon and Nikon do not have equivilents. So what is the issue? I am a well healed self proclained (and successful) marketing focused individual (who can't spell, so my apologies)and I see this problem as such:

The Olympus f2 lenses will be seen as competitors for the Canon and Nikon f2.8 lenses of same focal leangth. They may be seen as better but this is a waste! They are absolutely a step up and need to be CLEARLY portrayed as such.

In my opinion Olympus needs to make a 14-45 (aprox) f2.8. The 14-54 f2.8-3.5 is excellent but I do not think is seen as equivilent in quality to Canon/Nikon's f2.8 examples.

By introducing this lens Olympus will clearly show that their equivilent lens (14-45 f2.8) is smaller than competition and that the 4/3 system does have some advantage (and I think they could do for lower price - at least same as Nikon) This would place the f2 lenses as a clear step up from the f2.8's which I think might start to be viewed as the 'past' benchmark pro apurature.

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Old Aug 21, 2006, 7:36 PM   #2
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The 14-35 f2 would be a terrific lens...if Olympus would ever get it to the market.

The 14-54 f2.8-3.5 Zuiko definitely isn't as fast as the Nikon and Canon f2.8 equivalents, but look at the priceyou pay fora lens such as Canon's 16-35 or 17-55 f2.8 to get that extra 1/3 stop of speed at the long end. At over $1,000 for those constant aperture lenses vs. something over $400 for a fairly fast, good quality lens like the Zuiko, which is not rated as a pro-line optic in the Olympus product line in the first place, so they're not made to compete with those pro Nikon and Canon zooms and the price reflects this. The 14-35 f2 Zuiko WILL be Olympus' prooption, and it will be at least as much in terms of cost (actually, probably more)as the Nikon or Canon f2.8 zooms.

Where do you go from the f2.8 lenses in the Canon line? There's not a lot of middle ground.Next, I guess, would be their 17-85 f4-5.6EFS (much slower)lens with image stabilizationand something less than stellar optical performance that depends on IS to sell it to the masses, or you can go with a 17-40 f4L (really a lower priced pro alternative- not anintermediate model)- very good optical quality, but a stop slower than the Zuiko and much less in terms of zoom range- I owned one of those for almost two years with my EOS outfits. It's an outstanding lens used with either 35mm bodies or full frame ($2,900+) digitalbodies, but fairly hum drum after a while shot on a 10D or Digital Rebel. In the middle range, where the 14-54 f2.8-3.5 Zuiko is placed, it is faster than at least Canon'sown lenses in the sameclass, and I'll take faster over IS any day. Actually, I'd like both speed and image stabilization, but you really pay for such models.

The reason Olympus can make an f2 zoom and Nikon and Canon can't/don't is because Olympus lenses don't have to project as large an image circle to cover the sensor- it's all about sensor size. I imagine an f2 wide to short tele Canon EF zoom would have a filter size in the 80's at leastand a price wellover what Olympus' f2 zooms cost. We know what a 35-100 f2 Zuikocosts...over $2,100. Who the heck knows what the 14-35 f2 Zuiko will cost when it finally does see the light of day, but it won't be inexpensive.

The possibility offaster zooms are one of the advantages of the smaller sensor. Less noise at higher ISO's due to the bigger sensor is the payoff in using Canon and Nikon equivalents, but at a cost of not being able to build as fast a zoom due to physical constraints. COULD they (Canon, Nikon, etc)make an f2 zoom? Sure- no doubt, but how many would they sell and, more importantly, they don't NEED to. Their sales figures don't seem to be suffering.

In the middle range, where the 14-54 f2.8-3.5 Zuiko falls, it's aboutas good as it gets. You're probably barking up a tree with no listeners when it comes to a lens like a 14-45 f2.8...at least until the market for Olympus' DSLR's grows some more to justify such a lens. As it is, a 14-45 f3.5-5.6entry level, 14-54 f2.8-3.5intermediate and 14-35 f2 pro lineis probably all we're going to see.

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Old Aug 22, 2006, 12:47 PM   #3
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Greg Chappell wrote:
The 14-35 f2 would be a terrific lens...if Olympus would ever get it to the market.
Yes, Olympus announced in February 2005 that it would be shipping in the 4th Quarter of 2005.

Well, it's 18 months later, and we're now coming up on the 4th Quarter of 2006, and I still don't know of anyone that's managed to actually find one yet.

As for it causing a stir in the marketplace, I think that most Canon and Nikon shooters look at the Olympus models as needing the extra stop you'd get with an f/2 zoom over an f/2.8 zoom, to make up for the difference in noise levels/detail, as well as to even out the Depth of Field differences between them for the same subject framing.

You've also got a lot of f/2.8 zooms to choose from in other camera mounts at reasonable prices (especially on the used market), since the 4/3 mount is the "new kid on the block"

For Nikon, Pentax, Canon and Konica Minolta DSLR models, you can pick up something like a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC AF Lens for around $400, brand new; and have roughly the same angle of view you'd have with the Oly 14-35mm f/2 zoom (because of the Oly's smaller sensor), shooting at a stop higher ISO speed with roughly the same noise/detail.

Other third party manufacturers are releasing similar lenses designed specifically for DSLR models with smaller sensors, too. For example, the new Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 XR AF Lens.

Sure, it's not a black and white thing comparing them for noise, detail, etc., and you'd need to take each model on a case by case basis.

But, that's my take on it (about a stop difference in ISO usability on average to the benefit of Oly's competitors), if you compare the detail left over after any noise reduction being used (either in camera or shooting raw and post processing). So, you need to use f/2 with the Oly to have roughly the same low light usability you'd have at f/2.8 with many competing models (since you could use a higher ISO speed with them).

Now, given that we're starting to see other manufacturers going to higher resolution sensors with more noise (for example, the new Sony DSLR-A100 and Nikon D80), that may make them more comparable at the same ISO speeds, since when you stuff more photosites into a sensor without increasing it's size, something usually gives (like real detail after noise reduction/smoothing). ;-)

I also don't expect Canon to be standing still (and their marketing types are already starting to hint about them working on models with usable ISO 6400 with better dynamic range)

Yes, the Oly lens looks great on paper, and it's probably a superior lens optically compared to many competing f/2.8 zooms (and it's also got weather sealing). But, we'll have to wait until it's actually shipping to get some unbiased reviews to find out. lol

From a competitive perspective, I think that most buyers are going to think that the "other guys" f/2.8 zooms are good enough, especially since you can't even find the new Oly 14-35mm f/2 zoom yet (and it's probably going to be very expensive, too). Right this minute, it's vaporware from my perspective.

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Old Aug 22, 2006, 2:57 PM   #4
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Hi Jim,

We've got news from Oly Indonesia. This news was unofficial and Oly ID released it in a gathering with Oly Users. Oly ID even did not allow us to take picture or copy the news.

Here is the news.

Olympus will release three lenses and expecting next month (Photokina). They are :

14-35/2.0 and will be priced approx Rp. 22M (USD 1 = Rp. 9K)
14-100/3.5-5.6 and will be priced approx Rp. 4 M
100/2.8 Macro and will be priced approx Rp. 9 M

However, that news is unofficial. It's possible to change. :?

Regarding uberzoom, I think that F/2.0 zoom must be better than F/2.8. If optical tolerance on F/2.8 applied on F/2.0, than spherical abberation could be 4-5 times higher. Therefore, the brighter lenses need tighter tolerance to reduce spherical abberation.

German Foto Magazin already reviewed both ZD 35-100/2.0 and EF 70-200/2.8 L IS on the page 46 August Edition.

Here the verdict :

ZD 35-100
- optical quality = 100%
- Mechanical quality = 95%
reviewed as "SUPER"

EF 70-200/2.8 L IS
- optical quality = 75% (with the price 80% of ZD, it's OK :-))
- mechanical quality = 90%
reviewed as "SUPER"

I've got the info of review here
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 5:56 PM   #5
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Hi Zoey

I like the sound of a 14-100 but I'd perfer a faster aperture - say 2.8-3.5, or if that wasn't possible even a 14-75 at 2.5-3.8 or even makign the 14-54 a constant f2.8 would be cool.

Well, just a few more weeks to go.




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Old Aug 31, 2006, 12:06 AM   #6
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Well, at least EISA has awarded Olympus' pro lens series the "European Professional Lens 2006-7 Award".
Let's hope now that Photokina shows us a camera body equal to the lenses.

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Old Aug 31, 2006, 12:03 PM   #7
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certainly while being burdened by a smaller sensor
and with the noise issue incurred and all
a faster lens suite would be a competitive edge that the larger crowd would find difficult to equal: price and weight

its early days yet, but with Olympus Kodak Panasonic Leica Sanyo and Fuji aboard the 4/3 system, there ought be some happy shoppers amongst the offerings, of a 'future' wide range.

it remains to be seen too, if the inherrent noise issues with smaller sensors can be engineered out
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