PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux

24Jun/102

Almost There

Doesn' this look fantastic?  A viewfinder is absolutely necessary, but Photokina may well bring us that.


NEX5 and 18mm Super-Elmar, here 27mm-equivalent.  Image found with this article.

Looking at the samples I think I can see some lens/sensor interaction problems.  That may never improve with this product line, but another manufacturer may try offset micro-lenses...

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  1. Hmm, well this does look sounds and possible but logically why? I mean Sony would probably come up with a better wide angle lens for the NEX line of product

    • I have no doubt that Sony will come out with a wide-angle lens that draws better images than the Super Elmar when combined with a NEX-3/5 camera. The main reason isn’t that Sony’s lens will be better per-se but they will make it more telecentric and the image will smear less away from the center. Sony’s lens will have other attribute that some people think are “better”, i.e. varied forms of automation.

      Still a small and cheap platform that can extract a useful field of view from an M lens is something I think is very exciting (I don’t consider 2.0x crops useful). I think the implementations will continue to improve from here, we’re just at the beginning of the wave of short-register products. Somebody will eventually want to make a compact symmetric wide-angle lens and they’ll discover a need for offset microlenses on the sensor.

      I hope we’ll see implementations with sensors even bigger than this too – unto 1.3x crop and 1.0x crop. Why stop at 1.5x? It’s just an arbitrary point on the curve, there is a high demand all the way to 1.0x. I think it’s clear Sony’s mount has a large enough throat to support a 1.0x sensor, the mount is almost larger than the current (low end) NEX cameras themselves. Even if they don’t promise such a product any time soon, it’s clear they’ve thought about it and future-proofed their new mount.

      One last thought… there was a rumor that ran in parallel with the rumor which eventually became the NEX camera, that Zeiss would offer lenses for NEX. I bet Zeiss would like to see offset-microlenses to ease the lens design.


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