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New cheap Micro Four Thirds lenses coming from China…


Image source: xinhuanet

Zhongyi Optics from China is developing a 28mm f/2.8 lens for Micro Four Thirds, which will have a 4 group and 5 lenses design. Price will be around CNY 500 (around 80 USD).

We already have a few cheap chinese manual m43 lenses:
SLRmagic 26mm f/1.4 eBay (Click here) SLR Magic 35mm f/1.7 eBay (Click here) Loreo lenses on eBay (Click here)

  • Agent00soul


    • stonebat

      “cheap” lens

      • Agent00soul

        A cheap AF lens would be real news. There are already cheap MF lenses in droves.

    • shutterwill

      very likely to be MF
      here is their product line:

    • fta

      revolver aperture is almost 99.999% Manual Focus since there will be an aperture control ring.

  • 56mm EFL is useless to me, and I believe to many others. Still, the price is unbeleivable. Cheaper than any decent legacy 28/2.8.

  • Jonathan

    On the contrary, I believe many will find this FL very useful. There are countless 55mm and 60mm lenses and for a good reason, they are very useful as slightly tighter normal lens.

    • Ad

      +1. I’ve always liked this angle-of-view, I’m in fact trying out several 28mm legacy lenses right now, but this one may be an alternative if it’s any good.

  • KI

    26mm is very attractive. My current E-PL2 + Leica 24/1.4 combo is rather big because of the Leica. … E-PL2 + 26mm toy lens would give me a great low light combo in a small package.

    How’bout a 14/1.8?

  • Igorek7

    There is a link on the Chinese forum showing some of images taken with pre-production (non-/half-coated) E-mount 28mm f/2.8 lens:
    In fact, the discussion appears to refer on Pentax DA40 F2.8 for the 28mm lens design, while there are also test images with 135mm f/2.8 (based on Leica 135mm f/2.8 R ?).

    • shutterwill

      they are testing uncoated prototype.

      • Igorek7

        135mm is coated (?). Skip to the page 4 for the images with 28mm with two out of five lenses coated.

  • shutterwill

    “The lens will use Lanthanum base high refraction low dispersion glasses. The revolver style aperture that gives perfect circular bokeh is one of a kind”

    huh, now this is interesting.

    • tutejszy

      Yeah, “perfect circular bokeh”, but this lens will have bokeh effect of f5.6 full frame 56mm lens (maximum!). So you will not likely see this “perfect cirular bokeh”, except of come crazy framing

  • MikeS

    This just further goes to show just how out of touch Olympus and Panasonic are with their users. Instead of giving us the primes and large aperture zooms we’ve been clamoring for since the start of the system, they have two nearly identical lines of lenses comprised mostly of consumer zooms, with redundant “video optimized” versions within them, to boot. It’s ridiculous that some no-name Chinese company would have room to step in and sell manual focus lenses for this system; sadly enough, they are fulfilling demand (minus autofocus).

  • snowflake

    True dedicated macro lens of high optical quality

    Since it seems there is some interest in manufactures to make manual lenses for m4/3rds, I’d like to voice my input.

    I have always lamented that the price of macro lenses are so expensive and have thought that there are many cost saving steps that could be made to reduce the cost of a good macro lens.

    With the hope manufactures are looking, what I would love to see made is a true dedicated macro lens of good optical quality but made less expensively by taking certain cost saving steps.

    The lens would not need auto focus since macro almost always needs manual focus anyways.

    It should not be a zoom. Optics should be focused on quality of image. It would be better to make a selection of primary close up lenses.

    The lowest focal length should be 45mm (90mm full frame), next would be an 85 and then a 150 or 200mm. If you had to make one first, start with the 150 mm since it would garner the most wow factor. On m4/3 this would exceed a 1 to 1 at a 38cm focal distance, resulting in a 2 to 1 image magnification when located about 38 cm away from object.

    On second thought, 85mm may be a more practical lens to start with.

    It does not need to be too fast since lower f stops are needed for depth of field.

    f4 is good with the understanding that at f4 there will be some softness towards the edges of the lens, but at 5.6 this should not be an issue. (Edge softness for many macro shots are acceptable since so much of the image is often out of focus). This suggestion may make the 85mm lens a more preferable first choice for manufacturing since it is easer to establish a reputation for quality.

    It does not need to focus at infinity.
    A 150mm lens that focuses from 38 cm 15 inches to 5 feet or 1.5 meters is fine. If anything, moving the closest distance on a 150 mm lens to something as close as 20 cm would be better. (But this dramatically increases the optical complexity beyond what would be gained by eliminating the ability to focus at infinity, which offsets the idea of a cheaper high quality macro lens. The primary emphasis should be on the sharpness of lens at the center within the focal range of lens, with out C.A. )


    • Archer

      I use an OM 50/3.5 macro (~$75), on both film and 4/3’s. Works great.

      Macro lenses are relatively expensive for a reason. They have a difficult job to do, as controlling spherical aberration at close object distances is, well, difficult. However, there are many truly great legacy macro lenses that are not terribly expensive, such as the above Olympus, as well as the Tamron 90SP, the Kiron 105 variants, and the Vivitar Series 1 90mm. Of course, the OM 90/2 is well out of reach, but isn’t that much better than the Tamron by all accounts.

      • david

        The Tamron T-mount 90mm f2.8 can still be had new from keh, BH for around $200. This is a great compct 1:1 lens.

        The sigma 150mm f2.8 fits snowflake’s needs and has AF if you get the 4/3rds version. My was $600 new back 2009.

  • Archer

    BTW, a manual focus Tessar isn’t that interesting. 28/2.8’s are a dime a dozen.

    • snowflake

      David and Archer,

      Thanks for the input.

  • I suppose the main advantages of this lens is (presumably) a small size and lightness. If so, it makes some sense when compared with a similar legacy lens, which, including the adapter, is most certainly going to be larger.

  • ”This should be a milkshake the first party lenses out.“ Woohoo, thank you Google Translate!

    • shutterwill

      I guess milkshake is the nickname they give to the NEX system

      • Luke

        You’re exactly right!

  • mochapaulo

    I was surprised that the discuss of this lens is hotter in m4/3 then in Sony NEX. This lens is also made for NEX version but just responding number is just as half (before me). 28mm to NEX is more useful with equivalent 42mm focal length. A semi standard lens for snap shot!

  • snowflake

    Difficulty in making a Macro lens

    Archer pointed out that one of the reasons Macro lenses are expensive is that they are difficult to make.

    Another advantage of a smaller sensor is that those difficulties are diminished. So if someone makes a lens for a smaller sensor, that should also be another cost reduction.

    To see why macro lenses are hard to make envision an object reflecting light in a spherical manner.

    Our lens catches a small circular patch of this light to focus on the sensor.

    If we are far from the object, the circular patch our lens captures enters the lens as essentially a flat plane, the spherical nature is not really that much of an issue, The radius distance to a point on the object is essentially the same at the center of the lens and the edge.

    However, as we get closer to the object, the different path radius the light takes to reach the lens now does make a difference in focus and image rectification.

    Compounding the problem is that the spherical distribution of light used works fine for looking at a small object in a large field of view, but in reality a larger flatter surface is being looked at, all of which must resolve on the sensor. Objects observed at the edge of the field of view are further away than the center of the lens, which requires a different focal distance, or an adjustment to the lens to correct for the different focal distance.

    All of these corrections to the light path the lenses must make all change with the focal distance to the object, which really makes for a complicated lens design.

    Reducing the range for adjusting the focus simplifies those problems, which is why I recommended limiting the range of focus. Just make more macro lenses with different focal lengths and focal distances, i.e. two 85mm lenses with different inherent focal distances is one solution.

    Reducing the size of the lens to allow an f4 also simplifies the manufacture of the lens. All those compound curvature lenses take on a less radical shape as they become smaller.

    The full format macro sigma 150mm f2.8 lens David mentions is an amazing lens. But to achieve that performance, 16 elements in 12 groups are needed. I think the cost is stil around on the street for $600. (They have a new even more amazing lens selling for $1600).

    I would think by sacrificing focal range, reducing f stop, and a smaller lens for a smaller sensor, no af, no i.s. would allow a manufacture to make an excellent macro lens with half or even 1/3 the elements, which is a lot easier design process. Such a lens could be priced at perhaps 1/4 to 1/2 the cost of a “mainstream” macro lens, with good image resolution.

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