New Konica 8-17mm f/2.8 Micro Four Thirds Lens patent!

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Egami spotted a new Konica-Minolta patent describing a 8-17mm f/2.8 zoom patent. It’s a lens designed for the Micro Four Thirds system. This is the third MFT lens patent after the 43mm f/1.4 and 12-42mm f/3.5-5.6 design patent (Source: Egami). It really looks like Konica-Minolta could soon join the MFT system! And it makes sense because Konica-Minolta has a long history of rangefinder camera and lens design. I owned the Minolta CLE for a while (here on eBay).  Konica designed the Hexanon M-mount Lens series (here on eBay). Minolta made the famous Rokkor M-mount lens series (here on eBay)

Really great stuff! If the new MFT lenses are as good as them I will certainly consider to buy them! And now answer…

Which Konica-Minolta lens would you buy?

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  • kevin

    AF or Manual ?

    • uiti

      AF.

  • Narretz

    Don’t hold your breath.

  • peevee

    8-17 f/2.8 sounds delicious! :)

  • It’s sound too good for this bitter world. ;)

  • Konica-Minolta was bought by Sony and does not exist as an independent entity. Could it be that the Sony-Olympus cooperation encompasses cross-system lens exchange? I am led to believe that Olympus is going to produce lenses for Sony’s A mount mirrorless cameras. The KM brand name could be designated to high quality lenses made by Sony for the m4/3 mount.

    • uiti

      Konika Minolta were sold only camera division,
      Lens division is existing.

      • Thank you. I was worried for a moment. Sony’s own lenses don’t have a very good reputation. They tend to have highly ambitious specifications but perform rather poorly due to under-engineering and assembly issues.

        • Vlad

          “Sony’s own lenses don’t have a very good reputation. They tend to have highly ambitious specifications but perform rather poorly due to under-engineering and assembly issues.”

          Huh?!?

    • Ranger 9

      Yes, Konica-Minolta does exist, but it makes copiers and other office equipment. Copiers do use lenses, so I can see why they’d need to have optical designers in-house. Maybe they’re designing these lenses as a contract job…?

      • uiti

        They develope the lens for OEM, projector, camcorder, smartphone,etc.

    • amalric

      In fact the Sony-Olympus rapport could become a highly symbiotic one since m4/3 is highly complementary with FF, and Oly would be unable to finance the latter.

      All in all m4/3 is becoming the biggest camera hub of them all.

    • Do

      Konica-Minolta wasn’t sold to Sony, Konica Minolta sold their Alpha system to Sony. They still produce optical products and on their homepage, they even have a site for “Interchangeable Lenses for Camera”.
      http://www.konicaminolta.com/opt/index.html

    • Darryl

      Konica-Minolta sold off the SLR body division to Sony, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the contract designer/manufacturer for many lenses sold for systems like Sony Alpha, NEX, and perhaps Nikon 1, and Pentax Q.

      See:
      http://www.konicaminolta.com/opt/products/reflex/index.html

    • Ilkka

      I am not sure what exactly was sold to Sony and on what terms, but most Sony A lenses are old Minolta designs so the deal has to include something in lenses as well. Maybe there was a non-compete clause for a while that is now running out? Maybe the Konica lens know-how was not sold, just the Minolta one?. There are many possibilities. But this is certainly interesting and good for us m4/3 users. I hope they come up with new lenses, not something that is already available. The short zoom would be good but we already have too many 17-20mm lenses and soon quite a lot in the 45mm or thereabouts focal length. Why no fast fixed wide angle? Oly 2/12 is the only one. Why no long lenses? 75 is not long. What happened to the 2.8/150? There is lefty of room for K-M to come up with interesting and lenses that can sell well.

      • Anonymous

        Konica Minolta sold a brand name, camera business, and exclusive rights on specific parts of the system design. Intellectual property they did not sell, merely a license on using it, for a recurring fee for that matter. KM did not sell their optics division, Sony did not take over their optical engineers either. Through I lament the disappearance of Minolta cameras, everything is pointing at KM being on the better side of this deal, and nothing in the deal has been stopping them from designing optics and selling those, either as design or as a product. This is actually a very important part of their business ever since they left the consumer market for cameras.

  • $999

    thats what I can pay NOW :)

  • Panny?

    I wonder if Panny can answer this with 6-12mm f/2.8X POIS?

    • uberzone

      I’d be happy with an updated 7-14mm. Ability to screw in filters is a must. Faster aperture would be greatly appreciated. It is the last of the original lenses that has not been updated. 20, 14-140, and 14-45 have all been replaced. If I had to guess the 7-14 is up next.

      • Yes, the 7-14 with filter thread alone would be a winner for me.

  • BdV

    Thanks KM! And in the meantime, why not already cut away 2/3 in the middle for a sweet 8mm prime spin off?

  • OMDuser

    8-17/2.8 – wonderful! But the question is – what will be the size, weight and price? Very useful equivalent 16-35mm (like Canon 16-35/2.8L). But such lens should be designed only for micro43 (size and weight), I’m not intrested in version designed for APS with m43 mount.

    • Jón

      Something like this?
      http://i.imgur.com/jMCJ8RJ.jpg

      (why are all my posts “awaiting moderation”?)

      • peevee

        Good comparison, but the imager plane is bigger in the chart than in the photo, so a lens itself should be smaller.

        • Jón

          I know. I don’t think the image plane in the chart is of correct size. Because when I scaled the chart up first, the rear element wouldn’t have fit inside the m43 mount, it would have been too close. My suspicion is that the size of the image plane, and even the distance from it is deliberately wrong in the chart. Or it just doesn’t matter regarding the patent application.

          • antony mouse

            Or the plane is actualy the size of the circle, not the height of the rectangular sensor.

      • I think all posts with links go into moderation, to make sure they are not malicious.

  • Curzon

    Admin, don’t forget this rumors about a 12-42 you spotted in january: http://www.43rumors.com/patent-konica-minolta-12-42mm-lens/

    • ha

      The 12-42 and 14-42 show some similarities with the Panasonic 14-42 MkII:
      – near constant length
      – shortest at medium focal length

      So maybe KM designed the 14-42 MkII and the patent is an unused alternative.

      If KM is doing lens designs for Panasonic we might get a f2.8 X replacement of the 7-14 lens…

  • Hubertus Bigend

    I doubt there is much left of Konica Minolta as an optics manufacturer except for being a supplier of some optical groups for JVC camcorders, and what else was still of value went to Sony. I especially doubt that there is any know-how left from what Konica and Minolta once had regarding high-end rangefinder gear when they were separate companies. More than that, the high-end spirit was already long gone when they fusioned to become Konica Minolta.

    That said, a decent 8-17/2.8 surely would be a welcome addition to the MFT lens lineup, and another manufacturer joining in would of course be good, too.

  • AhYap

    Please make sure I can put a filter on it. And hopefully it is weather sealed. Actually I hope Panasonic is the one coming out with this X lens to complete the trinity.

  • ArtP

    Would be interested in the 8-17 as a 9-18 replacement IF it wasn’t overly large/heavy, had decent IQ, and was somewhat affordable. And would need to be AF.

  • digbog

    with the noctitron?? (is that the name) the 43mm seems a bit redundant. I think the lens range is pretty ok now. just the prices are high for the fatser stuff

  • twoomy

    I’ve never been truly happy with the M43 Oly 9-18. (It’s a convenient lens, sharp in the middle, but corners not so nice.) Any alternative WA zoom would be a welcome addition to the system. If it takes filters, that would be bonus.

    But seriously, will this thing ever exist in reality? Patents are one thing; I have my doubt that this will ever come to market.

    • lone.samurai

      @twoomy
      How soft in the corners?
      If I stop down one stop to f5.6 is it much better? At what aperture is the lens really sharp across from edge to edge?
      Sorry about the 20 questions twoomy.
      Theres a camera retail store close to me that’s got 20% of all olympus M43 lenses and their prices were cheaper than recommended retail price already so this lens is listed for $607 after the discount and that’s a retail product with warranty.
      The size and weight of this lens is so attractive for travel and I know I’ll always carry it because of that but if it’s poor on the edges for lanscape than it’s of no use really.
      Thanks

  • Mr. Reeee

    8-17mm is a nice range, too bad it doesn’t start at 7mm!

    I love my 7-14mm, but it would be fantastic if we’re a bit faster and had a tad longer focal length.

    As has been said, patents are one thing…
    companies seem to patent EVERY hair-brained design these days…
    but will it ever actually SHIP?!?!?!?

    • Bob

      I don’t need longer. The 7-14 already overlaps with the 12-35. If anything, I want wider, but the 7-14 is plenty wide, really. Unfortunately, faster means bigger, too. I’ll make due with my 7-14.

  • Jón

    Interesting. I tried to scale up the diagram, but I suspect that the sensor height and the distance from the sensor to the rear element are deliberately wrong. Since I can’t fit the huge rear element anywhere. By making the size of it roughly the size of the 12-50 rear element, it might be very close in size with that lens.
    http://i.imgur.com/jMCJ8RJ.jpg

    And the obligatory FF comparision:

    http://camerasize.com/compact/#289.332,312.20,ha,t

    • Jón

      P.S. What I think is the most interesting part is that this is a very recent patent. I would have guessed that this would be a left-over from pre-Sony days.
      Publication date 2013.8.15
      Filing date 2012.1.31

  • carpandean

    This would nicely finish the m4/3 “holy trinity” …

    KM 8-12mm f/2.8
    Pan 12-35mm f/2.8
    Pan 35-100mm f/2.8

    Add in the forthcoming Pan 150mm f/2.8 for good measure.

    Of course, that’s probably $5k+ worth of lenses (w/ 150mm.)

    • carpandean

      Oops, KM 8-17mm f/2.8

      • uberzone

        Pan 7-14mm f/2.8

        • Mr. Reeee

          +1000
          Giving up the 7mm end would be a tragedy!

        • carpandean

          Last I checked, it was f/4, not f/2.8. May or may not be important, depending on the use.

  • JL

    If the 12-42 would turn to be better than Oly 12-50 and reasonable priced, that would be my choise.

    Having used Konica, Minolta and Konica-Minolta stuff I’m quite ready to buy something from them, if I need that lens (or a body, if that miracle happens)

  • Kyle

    I shoot Architecture and love Landscape. There are NO wide primes for Micro 4/3.

    The 7-14 has lots of distortion and the 9-18 is good but not great.

    They are expensive because the glass needs to be large and they squeeze in some zoom range even though it is pretty useless for these wide lenses simply by the nature of them being so wide.

    So why can’t someone just make a high quality wide prime for M4/3?

    It is also the one focal range that is very difficult to get high IQ from any adapted lens, even C mount.

    My wish is for a 7mm f1.8 prime that gets really sharp by f4 and has low CA and good color.

    • Anonymous

      Lots of distortion? Huh? Quite little for UWA. Or you mean perspective distortion? It’s not problem of the lens, but the problem of really wide angle, since pana starts at 7mm. Really need to be careful how you position camera, software correction also can help removing some of perspective distortion.

      Only weakness of pana 7-14 is flare and quite complicated use of filters, which involves some DIY stuff.

      • Anonymous

        +1 on the 7-14mm. Apart from flare, a phenomenal zoom and I’m not a fan of zooms. I have no reservations shooting it wide open at all mm’s. At 14mm it is superior to my Panny 14mm 2.5. If you really demand prime perfection its only a matter of time before Nokton dips down the range to wider lens’. Could they come close to their now legendary .95 speed at 8mm? That would be a lens worth a grand.

    • Bob

      “I shoot Architecture and love Landscape. There are NO wide primes for Micro 4/3. ”

      Really? Not sure how you define wide, but most people would call 12mm (24mm eq. FOV) to be “wide.”

      • Kyle

        No, 24mm (FF equiv.) is not wide when you are in a room. 17mm and 14mm (FF equiv.)are nice wide lenses for interiors and landscapes.

        Re; 7-14 distortion – yes, it has complex perspective / pincushion distortion which is very difficult to correct with buildings. And by the time you adjust in post you lose the corners by crop anyway so you don’t actually get a 7mm rectilinear image.

        Just a nice ultra wide prime is all a wish for.

  • 8-17 is a nice focal range. At a constant f/2.8 I wonder at what price they’d be
    able to sell it though.
    The 7-14 Panasonic f/4.0 sells at appr. 800 Euro here in Germany…

  • Mguarini

    Mmmm, this is quite wierd, why Konica wants to jump to M43 if its a sunken boat according to many here?

  • wreckless

    “Minolta made the famous Rokkor M-mount lens series”

    The mount series nomenclature is actually “SR” not “M” or “MC/MD” as many think.

    I, too, am a big Minolta fan and would happily snap up ANY lens or camera they made for the Mu4/3 system. I have lots of legacy lenses from my minolta film SLRs and adapt them to my GX1 and G5 (and formerly my G10) and think their optics are second to none. Auto focus would be lovely if they could manage it, especially if they provided an aperture ring on the lens, like the old days.

    FINGERS CROSSED!

    • Anonymous

      Minolta made the CLE with a series of Rokkor lenses. This is an M-mount camera, and the lenses to go with it are obviously also M-mount. This was also the first M-mount camera with ttl auto exposure (took Leica another decade or so), and since Minolta was cooperating with Leica at that moment for SLRs, lower-end M-mount cameras (Leica CL, Minolta CLE) and was acting as a second source supplier for optics, this is a ‘true’ M-mount camera, not just a ‘compatible’ one, and the matching Rokkors are well regarded

      So.. yes, their SLR mount is called SR, and MC and MD are mere variations that add meter coupling and ‘max aperture’ coupling (while maintaining both forward and backward compatibility), this is totally unrelated to the M-mount Rokkors.

      Could be that admin made a mistake and wanted to refer to the sr/mc/md mount.

  • Steven

    I think the focal length is the best for “Super 16mm sensor” Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera!! :P

  • Robot

    I thinnk this is great news!!!

  • Hans

    I hope this new lens will perform better on the OM-D than the Panasonic 7-14. This lens completely ruins all shots where direct light hits the front lens, leaving blue artifacts all over the image. On Panasonic bodies these errors are reduced by the software.

    • GW

      Non-believers contend that this is flare. Because they don’t get it on their Pany bodies. The 7-14 is a great less, just not as competent on the E-M5.

      I have been thinking about the GX7 or rear gels. But this would do as well. However I do like the size of the 9-18.

      • Anonymous

        Funny as I do see this on both panasonic and olympus bodies through not in exactly the same way (whitish and desaturated instead of purplish)

    • Anonymous

      You must have special e-m5 and panasonic bodies.
      On both my e-p1 and my 2 e-m5s, the ‘artifacts’ are purple. On my g2 and gh2, they are whitish and any colors underneath are way off due to desaturation. In both cases a clear reduction of contrast is evident.

      Its clearly visually different, but corrected it isn’t, and in general, flare is not something you can correct with software, at best you can make it visually less distracting, but that always comes with a penalty.

      • Bob

        The “artifacts” of which you speak is lens flare, plain and simple. And ALL ultra-wide lenses do this, especially ultra-wide zooms, when there’s a bright light source in the frame, and with these ultra-wides it’s early impossible to not have a light source in the frame.

        It’s the same flare on the OM-D and on Panasonic bodies. The only difference is that Oly, for some reason only they can explain, aren’t filtering out the near UV wavelength in their sensor assembly, unlike every other manufacturer.

        The purple blobs are not a lens problem. They’re and OM-D problem.

    • I’m very happy with the excellent Pana 7-14. It easily outperforms all of my UWA and WA primes from analog days, with the exception of the 28/2.0 Nikkor (when closed to 4.0).

      However, it is prone to flare from direct light, even more so because of the wide angle. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/liebermann/9557090938/lightbox/ for a recent example image – I already reduced saturation in one of the flares.

      It also creates noteable purple fringing on contrasty edges. Lightroom 5 easily corrects this from my RAW files. But fringing is also a problem with my old analog wideangles.

    • Darryl

      The problem is the unusually permissive sensor hot mirror used on Olympus cameras with Sony sensors, which let in a bit of both near UV (385-405nm or so) and near IR (700-730nm or so). While this permits shorter exposure IR photography, the near UV produces a objectionable purple color cast when used with several Panasonic lenses (the 7-14mm being the worst offender).

      This can be fixed with a $30 rear gel filter holder from the 8mm fisheye and a $30 Wratten 2A gel filter. See:

      http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51390321

  • Anonymous

    Brilliant if this happens. Someone sees a hole in the m43 system, which is dear to me (fast, wide zoom) and fills it. I really don’t care much for normal focal length zooms, which m43 is full of, but I guess people but them. To me, zoom matters the most at the wide end and telephoto.

  • Macintosh Sauce

    Now, I would love it if KM brought out micro 4/3 camera(s) as well as lenses. :)

  • Pharque Moi

    My prediction….Sony will join M43. The Olympus/Sony alliance will produce FF and M43. Sony are about to release their first FF NEX cam. They will drop APSC, which lets face it, is pointless size-wise for smaller Mirrorless cameras.

    • spam

      My prediction… Sony wont. NEX is too close to mFT in size and features, it would mean scrapping their own system.

    • Matt

      Best rumor of the day!!

      Sony joining MFT and gradually merging NEX into M43 in some way, e.g. using an adapter to help existing NEX users migrate. This is not impossible as NEX is clearly not becoming anything significant, why Sony is buying into Olympus to get a foot into M43, a much more promising mirrorless pasture.

      With E-PM1 and future models, Olympus M43 users now have 72 lenses to choose from, everything from cheap Sigmas, pancakes all the way to the best 43 optics for all sorts of requirements. Sony can do a lot worse ignoring the potential of Olympus.

      I can see Sony increasing its investment and involvement in Olympus camera development.

    • Bruce

      Long term, your prediction may be correct.
      FF will eventually offer the best bang per buck.
      M43 already offers the best bang per gram.
      As Amalric said, they are highly complementary.

      APS-C will eventually find itself in no-man’s land… but right now, APS-C still offers the best bang per buck which is why it is still the best seller.

      • Bruce

        To clarify, I am referring to ILC systems.

  • Bob

    The “rumor” for the 43mm lens is nearly a year old, and no one’s seen or heard anything since. It’s a lot easier to apply for a patent than it is to actually build and manufacture a lens, and the factory needed to build it.

    I’m not holding my breath.

  • zuzullo

    PRIME 8mm please!!!

  • konikonaku

    hai Admin…any F4/F5 specs/leak about that new Oly zoom lens ??

  • Matt

    AF does not matter so much for me for such a lens, since it will be big and heavy and not really usable for quick snaps like street shooting. The ability to use filters and image quality without the dreaded purple spots (like what the 7-14mm gives you) are more important. The f/2.8 is very nice too, not that I expect to use it much, but it should mean better quality when stopping down to the normal apertures for scenic shots.

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