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Four Thirds lens compatibility - what's your preference?

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  • #16
    Re: Four Thirds lens compatibility - what's your preference?

    Conventional DSLR - an update to an existing model like the E-5.

    in some ways this would have been the most acceptable to the 43rds community.
    It keeps their mount so they arent the second sister to m43rds

    A Four Thirds mount camera body with an electronic viewfinder.

    for the same reasons this has its attractions, but we couldnt technically get over this without pdAF on sensor,
    and an SLT version eats 1/2 stop of light in this the smallest 'SLR' format

    A Sony NEX-style smart adapter providing Phase Detect AF for Micro Four Thirds bodies.

    The m43rds/43rds adapter at 20mm thick, less 6mm for the electrical mount makes it 14mm, and you still have to provide an electrical mount on the other end and a reflected light path that equals the the registration distance. My investigations to this may have been a little coarse, but it seemed it wouldnt fit within the tighter confines. Remember Sony's A mount and E mount are quite a bit further appart, so allow more room for the geometry to work.

    A Micro Four Thirds body with a built-in solution for optimal FT lens AF using adapter.

    heres that second sister thing again, but at least we know that to a point it works
    Im just not convinced that hanging a $6k lens and 2x on the end of an MMF-x adapter is sensible or safe
    it is more likely to be acceptable to those presently operating a 4xx or 5xx body, less likely for Ex or Exx users

    None of the above.

    I think I have an alternate solution.
    This is based on the idea that having big heavy 43rds lenses on a more flimsy narrower m43rds mount is less desirable, and it prevents you from ever leaving the adapter home, or back in the bag instead of where you are shooting.
    The camera has the adapter on it all the time no matter the format.
    The adapter flange is quite a large 'stable' platform in which to attach lenses.

    this is a mirrorless camera with pdAF on sensor and an EVF
    it has a mount we will call a flange (F), neither 43rds or m43rds around 70mm in size.
    It need not be round but it must provide an electrical connection to the body.
    It has a lens mount on either end, m43rds (A) on the shallow side and 43rds (B) on a turret on the other.

    Ok so you are configured in m43rds mode and need to change to 43rds.
    Take the m43rds lens off the 'A' mount, pop the adapter off the flange 'F', turn it around and pop it back on the camera.
    Now the turret for the 43rds 'B' mount is on the outside of the camera ready to accept a 43rds lens.

    ****** ****** ****** ******

    So whats wrong with this?
    The 43rds telecentric lenses light path should cope with the slightly narrower opening while traversing the m43rds side of the mount, optically I dont see any issues.
    But it depends on having enough space within the body, and that it does not.
    The problem is that when in m43rds mode, the 43rds turret has to be able to go into the 'mirrorbox' of the body, but on measuring the inside bay of an m43rds body there is only 6mm from the shutter protection encasement to the outside of the mount, and just 13.2mm from the mount surface to the top of the filter stack (GH2).

    There are ways of manipulating that distance using a property known as 'Refractive Index', but essentially the sensor, filter stack, shutter entire, need to sit in a tower that can be within the 43rds side of the adapter when in m43rds mode. That provides the gap where the 43rds side of the adapter can sit inside the body. This in itself isnt a tremendous issue, but it could mean that the hardware parts they are using in m43rds cameras right now, may not fit within the towers allowed dimensions. Also the sensor probably needs to be slung off the front of the ibIS unit rather than within which is as it is.

    Now I know at first this seems an expensive way of getting about a more elegant (in operation) solution, so lets work through that.
    Sans the flange mount (F) the parts count is the same, it is simply that things are arranged a bit differently, and in different shapes.
    Different shapes do not in themselves cost more money, additional parts do.
    There would for instance be more parts in an SLR, and it would have less native market exposure.

    As the camera cant operate without the flange mount, they would use more material which costs more and weighs more, so it is a body that is more expensive because it comes with the mount whether you use it or not.
    The cost/weight of the flange mount (F) are offset by the MMF-x adapter cost/weight.
    Add to this, ideally lens changes can be a pain in a concert environment. You are on your feet operating out of a shoulder bag which you have to wear because it isnt safe to put it down.
    So ideally you would have an MMF-x adapter for each 43rds lens you would be likely to use for a gig. Whats that, 2 - 3 - 4 MMFx adapters?
    Considering on a m43rds body, and it contributes nothing to optical performance, thats definitely expensive.

    But it is a body which truly straddles both m43rds and 43rds formats. And as a consequence it appeals to both m43rds and 43rds markets, with the versatility of being either or both.
    It needs therefore to be towards the top line of cameras offered as they can better absorb the costs.
    For instance one could easily imagine it as a pro-video body in direct competition with the existing markets created by GH2/GH3. Which gives it an 'excuse' to live with the impending impact of cheap FF, which couldn't hope to offer the same optical suite variety or do the same things nearly as well.
    And make no mistake folks, competing with cheap FF is the challenge of our time

    Ultimately its the scope of the lens range that is the reason to do this, I guess it matters less for those who will never own SHG/HG glass, but this does seem to be the performance gap in the m43rds lens range.
    Add to that, eventually pdAF on sensor with m43rds linear drive lenses will behold faster and more accurate focus, and be cheaper to organise than traditional SLR hardware anyway.
    Last edited by Riley; 18th August 2013, 06:14 AM. Reason: additions


    • #17
      Re: Four Thirds lens compatibility - what's your preference?

      If rumours are to be believed... the answer is less than a month away....
      Will I have a set of bespoke lenses to use on my vintage Olympus bodies [no change there] or a good solid body upgrade path [E-7]....
      Let us see what the marketing men at Olympus are going to let us have....