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edwardkaraa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edwardkaraa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2010 at 17:48
The ZS are a good alternative until Sony fills the holes in the line up.

By the way, the ZA 16-35 and 24-70 are direct descendants of the N 17-35 and 24-85. The ZA 85 is basically an improved version of the ZE/ZF 85 with the main design modified to accomodate the floating elements and close MFD.

The ZA 135 is an exception, but I suspect it has been designed for the N line but never saw the light.

There are many Zeiss designs that never went into production. One which was mentioned recently is the 24/1.4, even MTF are available from Zeiss but the lens was never produced.
A900 ZA 24/2 85/1.4 135/1.8 24-70/2.8
 



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anonymous coward View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote anonymous coward Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2010 at 19:26
Given the vastly increased computing power we have today and the computational difficulty of lens design, I would guess that the "classic" Zeiss designs could be improved. I thought that the modern Zeiss advantage would have more to do with specialist glass additives, better coatings, better materials, better quality control, etc.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it the terms "planar" and "distagon" have more to do with the arrangement and exact curvatures of the ground glass elements - the parameters that can be improved by throwing more computing power at the problem. Quality workmanship is not that simple to improve or copy.

Another thing is that the flange focal distance on alpha mount is 44.5mm and the throat size is 49.7mm. On Nikon F mount it's 46.5mm and 44mm respectively. What is so hard about making all those EF-S and F mount lenses in A-mount also? Maybe there's an opportunity for the likes of mr James Lao here.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wprowland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2010 at 20:25
Forget a 50/1.4....I'd love a 50/1.2! How awesome would that be? I wouldn't complain about the addition of a tilt-shift lens either. But for now, I think a 50/1.2 would be a good add only b/c it would be one more thing sony could use to compete with the Big 2. Nikon's 50/1.2 is an older lens, and canon's is pretty expensive.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote youpii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 September 2010 at 03:38
Minolta did 50/1.2 & 58/1.2 in the past. It shouldn't be so hard.
I think it's more about priority in the factory.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhotoTraveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 September 2010 at 05:38
What minolta did in the past means nothing.   You can't just tack ancient MF lens and go presto and have a new lens.

What is old is gone.   New lens means new effort, all new design.

Sony could have Zeiss make a 1.2 or 1.4 50mm very quickly and probably are in fact doing such things. But since they have a 50mm,   3 50 mm lenses actualy, it's not a priority.

Let Sony get the other wide angle out. The next 2 ZA primes after that will probably be a 35 and a 50.   

Still I doubt such things are priorities for Sony, both the 35G and 50 were new models when Sony launched, neither were just rebadges.   And Sony needs to look at E and A mount and decide where to put resource.

Originally posted by youpii youpii wrote:

Minolta did 50/1.2 & 58/1.2 in the past. It shouldn't be so hard.
I think it's more about priority in the factory.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 September 2010 at 06:21
Originally posted by PhotoTraveler PhotoTraveler wrote:

What minolta did in the past means nothing.   You can't just tack ancient MF lens and go presto and have a new lens.

What is old is gone.   New lens means new effort, all new design.

Sony could have Zeiss make a 1.2 or 1.4 50mm very quickly and probably are in fact doing such things. But since they have a 50mm,   3 50 mm lenses actualy, it's not a priority.

Let Sony get the other wide angle out. The next 2 ZA primes after that will probably be a 35 and a 50.   

Exactly. From what i understood they used glass and methods that are not available anymore or cannot be used for environmental reasons.
 



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youpii View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote youpii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 September 2010 at 17:35
Originally posted by MichelvA MichelvA wrote:

Originally posted by PhotoTraveler PhotoTraveler wrote:

What minolta did in the past means nothing.   You can't just tack ancient MF lens and go presto and have a new lens.

What is old is gone.   New lens means new effort, all new design.

Sony could have Zeiss make a 1.2 or 1.4 50mm very quickly and probably are in fact doing such things. But since they have a 50mm,   3 50 mm lenses actualy, it's not a priority.

Let Sony get the other wide angle out. The next 2 ZA primes after that will probably be a 35 and a 50.   

Exactly. From what i understood they used glass and methods that are not available anymore or cannot be used for environmental reasons.


The Sonnars, Planars, Distagons bear these names because they are based on very old Zeiss classical designs. Adapting them to new glass is much easier than starting from scratch.

But what I meant is that if it was possible during the Minolta era (and the limited computers of that time), it should also be possible now. The only problem is that "top management" didn't approve these projects and probably downsized the R&D teams compared to the Minolta era.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote romke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 September 2010 at 18:48
technical difficulties related to changing existing Zeiss designs to accept the alpha mount with AF are not a problem. it can be done - and the Zeiss/Sony combo has chosen not to do it.

they have chosen to design completely new lenses and that certainly was not the cheapest option. it may have been wise to do so, from a commercial point of view: the alpha mount now has the privilege of using some dedicated designs that are not available elsewhere, the latest addition being a 24 mm FF lens.

as for a 50 mm and a 35 mm: i would love a Zeiss design. the Sony 50/1.4 is not that good unless stopped down to 2.8 or higher and the 35 mm is, well, a special case that you either like or do not like.

however, introducing a 50 and a 35 mm along what is already available now, does not look good marketing wise. most Sony shooters do not use the 50 and for those who do the 50 is already adequate most of the time. the same goes for the 35 mm. it could be a nice "standard" lens on aps-c but it would be both too large and heavy and too costly.

maybe when a 9xx is introduced a 50/1.2 and a 35/1.2 are nice to come along...

as far as longer lenses are concerned: a Sony rebadged 200 HS or a new and equally good design with SSM would indeed be attractive. a zeiss 200/2 would also be nice, but most likely too expensive to expect interesting sales figures. let's face it, who on Dyxum would be willing and able to pay Euro 3000+ for such a lens?

finally, a 16 mm FF lens from Zeiss for a dslr? i doubt whether there ever will be one. it would be very difficult, costly and complicated to design a lens that would, compared to the other Zeiss WA's, give a decent IQ.

so, there is not much left to wish for, apart from the 50 and 35 and perhaps a future 20. all of these lenses would certainly pose marketing problems that are not easily solved.
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edwardkaraa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edwardkaraa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 September 2010 at 19:00
I would be very happy with a 100/2.8 1:1 Makro-Sonnar, 21/2.8 and 35/1.4 Distagon, and a 200/2.8 Sonnar.

Edited by edwardkaraa - 10 September 2010 at 19:03
A900 ZA 24/2 85/1.4 135/1.8 24-70/2.8
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhotoTraveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 September 2010 at 02:20
No, starting from scratch is easier. You go and want to make a 1.2/50 G SSM from an 1.2/50 MC you aren't going to re-use anything.

It's the reality of the engineering world. Just because you made it in the past, doesn't mean you can today. First, Sony has no rights to those designs. If they did, they are all on paper, someone is going to have to go through and remodel/redraw them to bring them back to the modern world and manufacturing. But then you have to make all the changes. To turn them into AF lenses, all the body and mechanics gets scrapped. Even if you decide to make them manual focus which is a non-starter business wise for Sony, you would re-style much of them just so they don't look stupid in your lineup. And then you have to re-engineer the whol back of the lens to take A mount. Then a whole new aperture system.   Then on to the glass which probably can't be made any more do to materials in the glass being banned. Beyond that the company that made the glass may no longer exist, all the tooling is probably long since gone. And even if you could get the glass all back it's performance is not going to be as good as glass designed brand new today.

Old lenses are worthless to Sony, Zeiss etc. To try and bring something back into production is much more expensive than starting new. This kind of reality happens all the time in engineering/manufacturing. We are surrounded in a world of stuff that cannot be made again, or to make it again involves more effort than just making something all new.   I work in an industry were we have active product in use and still being serviced that was launched in the 1950s. A great deal of engineering is spent developing replacement paths since components simply can't be sourced anymore, or there exist no way to manufacture a component anymore. Often the solution is to update it to something that is 30 years old and obsolete, but better than the 50 year old and obsolete component. At any moment our customer could ask us to make a new batch of product and we haven't made any in decades, it's questionable if we could make them still.   And then your still left with something that while brand new would be completely obsolete.

When Zeiss launches those ZF lenses. They aren't just pulling out files and going to the shop with them. The whole thing needs to go through all their current processes, Q and A, analysis, manufacturing planning, etc, all requiring everything models, drawings, etc to be all updated.   While much of the ZF line may look like something from way back when, in reality it only shares looks, not actual parts.

If Sony wanted a 1.2/50, they could have Zeiss design and make a ground up new one quicker/easier/cheaper than trying to recycle an old design. Where Zeiss would re-use stuff is re-use bits used on the 2/24 ZA SSM, as it would actually have parts they could re-use and leverage.

Originally posted by youpii youpii wrote:

Originally posted by MichelvA MichelvA wrote:

Originally posted by PhotoTraveler PhotoTraveler wrote:

What minolta did in the past means nothing.   You can't just tack ancient MF lens and go presto and have a new lens.

What is old is gone.   New lens means new effort, all new design.

Sony could have Zeiss make a 1.2 or 1.4 50mm very quickly and probably are in fact doing such things. But since they have a 50mm,   3 50 mm lenses actualy, it's not a priority.

Let Sony get the other wide angle out. The next 2 ZA primes after that will probably be a 35 and a 50.   

Exactly. From what i understood they used glass and methods that are not available anymore or cannot be used for environmental reasons.


The Sonnars, Planars, Distagons bear these names because they are based on very old Zeiss classical designs. Adapting them to new glass is much easier than starting from scratch.

But what I meant is that if it was possible during the Minolta era (and the limited computers of that time), it should also be possible now. The only problem is that "top management" didn't approve these projects and probably downsized the R&D teams compared to the Minolta era.
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boyanphotography View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote boyanphotography Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 September 2010 at 20:42
Today I talked to the Zeiss guy at IBC, and he told me that at Photokina they will launch the full MF line of lenses for A-mount (18mm all the way to 100mm (including the 50 1.4), they start with bringing the 100 macro on the market at beginning 2011).

Also, he said Zeiss/Sony will release a new lens at photokina (besides the 24)!!!
He said he couldn't tell me what lens, though he said it's a very big one .
Could this be the CZ 200mm?

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youpii View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote youpii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 September 2010 at 21:05
Originally posted by PhotoTraveler PhotoTraveler wrote:


When Zeiss launches those ZF lenses. They aren't just pulling out files and going to the shop with them. The whole thing needs to go through all their current processes, Q and A, analysis, manufacturing planning, etc, all requiring everything models, drawings, etc to be all updated. While much of the ZF line may look like something from way back when, in reality it only shares looks, not actual parts.

However difficult you say it is. They actually did it, and quite fast.

I'd like Sony to do a bit more in that area. Sony announced a half-billion dollar investment for a new chips, but nothing for lenses.
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PhotoTraveler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PhotoTraveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 September 2010 at 21:37
Did what? Do you have evidence that the ZF lenses are using parts/part numbers from earlier lenses?

Also, how do you know how fast they did it? The world only sees the lenses at the end of the development, we have no idea how many years Zeiss was working on the project.

Originally posted by youpii youpii wrote:


However difficult you say it is. They actually did it, and quite fast.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote evangelos k Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 September 2010 at 23:18
My plea to SONY as far as lenses go is:

Drop your prices

Improve Quality Control.

That's it.   
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