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What's the appeal of new mirrorless cameras?
Old 11-14-2018   #1
nightfly
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What's the appeal of new mirrorless cameras?

Something that's been baffling me a bit lately is the appeal of the new mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon.

I had thought that the appeal of mirrorless cameras was that they could be made smaller and lighter than SLRs and loose the big prism bump. Also that you could make smaller and lighter lenses.

However the new Canon and Nikons don't seem to be any less large and bulky than a traditional DSLR and the lenses are simarly larger.

So what are the advantages of it, from a consumer standpoint? I can't imagine that mirror blackout is that big of any issue for anybody really.
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Old 11-14-2018   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
So what are the advantages of it, from a consumer standpoint? I can't imagine that mirror blackout is that big of any issue for anybody really.
Well, the lenses are huuuuuuge — particularly if the male buyer has tiny hands, it's some sort of Porsche, BWDIK?
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Old 11-14-2018   #3
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No mirror slap. There are currently events, like the PGA, that limit when photographs may be taken because of the noise generated by the cameras. Much of it is generated by the flipping up and down of the mirror on an slr. If the companies can reduce the noise, it gives the photographers more opportunities to capture images during the event.
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Old 11-14-2018   #4
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Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
No mirror slap. There are currently events, like the PGA, that limit when photographs may be taken because of the noise generated by the cameras. Much of it is generated by the flipping up and down of the mirror on an slr. If the companies can reduce the noise, it gives the photographers more opportunities to capture images during the event.
Seriously? Professional Chess players aren't easily irritable, but Golfers are?
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Old 11-14-2018   #5
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I would say that the biggest appeal of full frame mirrorless cameras is the fact that you can use adapters and fit on a whole slew of lenses that most of us have to varying degrees, from LTM and M lenses to M42 mount lenses to Rokkor SLR lenses and OM Zuikos and Canon FD lenses etc.

These would work fairly well, but some wide angle lenses of various brands would preform poorly on these cameras but at least we get full bokeh impact with a full frame sensor.
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Old 11-14-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
I would say that the biggest appeal of full frame mirrorless cameras is the fact that you can use adapters and fit on a whole slew of lenses that most of us have to varying degrees, from LTM and M lenses to M42 mount lenses to Rokkor SLR lenses and OM Zuikos and Canon FD lenses etc.

These would work fairly well, but some wide angle lenses of various brands would preform poorly on these cameras but at least we get full bokeh impact with a full frame sensor.
This, and: Live view doesn't only allow focusing all these adapted lenses at working apertures, also in low light, it also allows for live histogram, which is very very helpful. For those who use AF lenses and auto everything, I see no big advantage.
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Old 11-14-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
Something that's been baffling me a bit lately is the appeal of the new mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon.

I had thought that the appeal of mirrorless cameras was that they could be made smaller and lighter than SLRs and loose the big prism bump. Also that you could make smaller and lighter lenses.

However the new Canon and Nikons don't seem to be any less large and bulky than a traditional DSLR and the lenses are simarly larger.

So what are the advantages of it, from a consumer standpoint? I can't imagine that mirror blackout is that big of any issue for anybody really.
I am not the typical consumer of such things, so I am not the target audience. In other words, I probably can't answer your question correctly. I can only say that I am hoping to be able to purchase a Sony full frame mirrorless camera at some point when the price drops enough so that I can use my old Canon FD and FL mount lenses. That's pretty much it.

Yes, I know I can use a metabones or other type of adapter on a m4/3 or other non-full-frame mirrorless, but I really don't want to do that. So I'm waiting for the full frame prices to drop enough to make me willing to splash out for one.
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Old 11-14-2018   #8
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The bodies are
smaller and the lenses are smaller in most cases.
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Old 11-14-2018   #9
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I saw and got to use both canon and Nikon mirror-less cameras at PDN. They are significantly smaller than DSLRs and lighter. No mirrorslap. bc they have no mirrorbox the mount can be better designed so the subsequent lenses would be better matched to higher rez sensors. You are in the very small minority that cares about a mirrorbump. The majority of people don't care.
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Old 11-14-2018   #10
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I don't have a horse in the race. I don't care about the mirror bump per se. Was just wondering about it.

I've only seen them in photos and without any scale they look like the size of DSLRs, if they are smaller and lighter and have other features that people are looking for, that makes sense.

They aren't aimed at me, was just curious what things about them would endear them to their target market.
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Old 11-14-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
No mirror slap. There are currently events, like the PGA, that limit when photographs may be taken because of the noise generated by the cameras. Much of it is generated by the flipping up and down of the mirror on an slr. If the companies can reduce the noise, it gives the photographers more opportunities to capture images during the event.
This is the only reason I am getting a Nikon Z6, quiet operation and easy use of the silent mode for the same reason via the electronic VF. I tried a friend's Z7 on a job and the mechanical shutter was quieter than my M10 by quite a bit.

Even though the body is smaller and lighter, when you put on a large-ish S type lens or an F lens via the adapter there really is no size benefit and if anything there is a bit of an ergonomic loss with it to be honest.

I am giving it a try, but no way will it ever replace my DSLRS / Leica M bodies.
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Old 11-14-2018   #12
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Cameras can be too small. My Olympus OMD-EM10mk2 is so tiny I had to add the optional grip to make it more comfortable to use. But the lenses are very small, so it remains balanced.
I find my D850 much more comfortable to use than my Z7, because it is bigger. I have medium sized hands and it just fits perfectly. The Z7, and all it's competitors, are really only comfortable when you add a grip. Which makes it larger.. Z7 does not have a grip at the moment.

Ultimately the deal is they use the same size sensor as the equivalent DSLR, so the lenses will be the same size. Upside for me vs my D850, is that I can use any lens on it with adapters (so it may replace my Leica depending on how well it works with wides), the single point AF absolutely nails focus 100% of the time at 1.4 with my Sigma Art lenses (D850 is about 80%), the incredible EVF (best I've used) which makes manual focus crazy easy even w/o aids, and the ability to see the actual exposure real time is perfect.
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Old 11-14-2018   #13
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I've given up using optical viewfinders and also SLRs and now use only a mirrorless digital camera - a Sony A7R II. For me, the advantages are massive:

Getting exactly what I see. No more disappointments - what I see in the viewfinder is the image I get: exposure, colour, contrast, and any problems such as flare and aberrations. The current electronic viewfinders are also clearer and brighter than many optical viewfinders!

Seeing in the dark. I usually have the viewfinder set to show the brightness of the scene according to the exposure (see above) - but a press of a button overrides this. Night or dark scenes impossible to see in an optical viewfinder are as bright as day!

In-body image stabilisation (IS). Most camera manufacturers (e.g Canon and Nikon) build this into their lenses. Great, unless like me you only use manual lenses without IS! Most mirrorless cameras have IS in the body, allowing me to handhold at 1/20 s!

Wide lens choice and flexibility. I now have a massive choice of lenses. For example, I can use tilt-shift with a huge range of focal lengths (and I do!), and if I want a small camera, rather than use my Nikon SLR lenses, I select my rangefinder lenses - I can fit the camera in a (albeit large) coat pocket.

I can't see myself ever using a camera with an optical viewfinder again...
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Old 11-14-2018   #14
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Add to Rich's list:

Magnified focus: zoom into a small area for critical focus.

Focus peaking: areas that are in focus are shown in a bright highlighted color such as yellow, makes fast focusing very easy.

Video focus: you view through the EVF rather than using the rear LCD.
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Old 11-14-2018   #15
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Technically the latest and also that bigger means better, possibly that describes the biggest segment of potential buyers
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Old 11-14-2018   #16
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+ One less mechanism to break. Less noise.
+ Short flange distance; I can fool around with lots of lenses on my Sony
+ Precise framing (For the first time in the history of photography?)
+ Crop sensor cameras are a lot smaller; FX cameras are slightly smaller, lighter.
+ For macro, much easier to focus, especially with focus-Mag and focus-Highlighting

- EVF sometimes doesn't follow moving scene quickly enough
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Old 11-14-2018   #17
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The appeal is full frame. And smaller size/lighter weight for bodies and (some) lenses. And no mirror slap. And quieter operation. And EVFs. And lens adaptability. And....

Is that enough?
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Old 11-14-2018   #18
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What's the appeal?

It's the appeal of the new. I recall the Seinfeld schtick below about how men hunt and women nest. Its true. Same applies to camera gear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d3diodXKPU
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Old 11-14-2018   #19
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Understand the differentiators, thanks.

I wasn't getting what the hype was about but at least I'm clear now.

Appreciate the education.
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Old 11-14-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
Something that's been baffling me a bit lately is the appeal of the new mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon.-snip-

So what are the advantages of it, from a consumer standpoint? I can't imagine that mirror blackout is that big of any issue for anybody really.
No advantages for the buyer that I can see. The manufacturer's motivation is clear to me. They are cheaper to produce than cameras with mirror boxes, thus rendering a higher profit. And DSLRs were getting so good, not enough people were buying new ones.
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Old 11-14-2018   #21
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Adapters, and the defeat the demon of focus shift.
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Old 11-14-2018   #22
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No advantages for the buyer that I can see. The manufacturer's motivation is clear to me. They are cheaper to produce than cameras with mirror boxes, thus rendering a higher profit. And DSLRs were getting so good, not enough people were buying new ones.
I am not even sure that this is the real motive, it is even more fundamental than that.

The simple equation is that manufacturers must keep those production lines rolling to keep money coming in the door otherwise those whole thing stops. You cannot do that by recycling essentially the same products. Just as we have to keep breathing every moment of every day they have to have money flowing in constantly or the whole system falters and dies.

And its the overhead costs too - keeping those big organisations alive costs billions each year in marketing, R and D, compliance with local regulations, lawyers, accountants, you name it. And without that infrastructure in place and funded the wheels fall off too.

The market gets saturated quickly and when it does people stop buying so that means that every one of the firms in this market have to keep innovating and convincing people that they MUST have the new gadget. So they keep inventing them.

Are there advantages for the user. Kind of - certainly over longer time periods. One might question the benefits of specific innovations in the short term but put it this way - over longer time periods, without this system and the competition that drives it, we would all be still using fully mechanical film cameras with a 50mm lens. Lots of folks here at RFF might be happy with that (I even think I kind of would be) but then I would be doing a lot less photography (certainly a lot less photographic experimentation given I never had a darkroom) just as I was back in the film days.
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Old 11-14-2018   #23
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None of this is new. It is the same as when they were making film cameras.
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Old 11-14-2018   #24
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Live histogram and ability to see lens flare is what draws me to mirror-less over a rangefinder on many occasions.

But it’s not just Canon and Nikon suffering from full frame bloat; look at the size of the Leica SL and it’s lenses.

The Leica CL and TL2 seem to have the right balance :
Work very well with M lenses and the native AF lenses are a lot smaller than full frame equivalents. APS-C crop is not such a hang up as I thought.
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Old 11-14-2018   #25
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I'm good with 5DMKII and few L lenses for now.

With 24-105 f4 L:


Those lenses works on compact and on advanced EOS film bodies, and on digital Rebel I also have.
And I have Canon RF. And I have Canon 16MP tiny P&S with optical VF!.

R...



https://www.apotelyt.com/compare-cam...-6d-vs-canon-r



No significant difference in size and weight. No significant difference in lenses size and weight. No IBIS at both.
I don't care for manual focus lenses. Sorry, but it is kind of looser thing, to use non af lenses on af bodies.
Couldn't care less about EVF.
Battery capacity is terrible as usual for this EVF things.

If I ever get something else from Canon it is going to be 6D instead of MKII.
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Old 11-14-2018   #26
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Quote:
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Something that's been baffling me a bit lately is the appeal of the new mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon.

Because they are "new".
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Old 11-14-2018   #27
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For Nikon it's the start of the next great line of camera and lenses.

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Old 11-14-2018   #28
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because they are better. DSLRs are too big, too heavy, too noisy and lenses are proprietary.
You may prefer DSLR, you may prefer a pinhole, you may not care ... but new cameras are shooting at extremely low light w/ less bulk, less noise and that´s remarkable. DEny all you want but time moved on.
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Old 11-14-2018   #29
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The appeal of mirrorless cameras has nothing to do with size, at least for me.

The appeal is less mechanical complication, quieter and hopefully more reliable operation operation for some purposes, a better viewfinder for many purposes, and more versatile lens options ... both in what you can use on them via adaptation in way of existing lenses, and in what new lens designs can be conceived for digital sensor cameras without a swinging mirror in the optical path and with a very short mount registration.

There's way too much hoopla associated with the "light and compact" notions, IMO. They're really beside the point as far as I'm concerned. I like light and compact but only to a useful point. I have largish hands and need something that offers a good bit of gripping surface and places to rest my fingers...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
Something that's been baffling me a bit lately is the appeal of the new mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon.

I had thought that the appeal of mirrorless cameras was that they could be made smaller and lighter than SLRs and loose the big prism bump. Also that you could make smaller and lighter lenses.

However the new Canon and Nikons don't seem to be any less large and bulky than a traditional DSLR and the lenses are simarly larger.

So what are the advantages of it, from a consumer standpoint? I can't imagine that mirror blackout is that big of any issue for anybody really.
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Old 11-14-2018   #30
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It's interesting to read the comments from some claiming it is just a marketing gimmick, and buyers are essentially sheep.
With my mirrorless camera I do not have to worry about focus shift, focus optimization, if my rf has drifted, or if my mirror or focus screen is slightly out of plane.

These are all very real things. Things that are immediately noticeable in a final image.

Or you can keep pretending nothing has actually changed since 1952.
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Old 11-14-2018   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colker View Post
because they are better. DSLRs are too big, too heavy, too noisy and lenses are proprietary.
You may prefer DSLR, you may prefer a pinhole, you may not care ... but new cameras are shooting at extremely low light w/ less bulk, less noise and that´s remarkable. DEny all you want but time moved on.
How nice of you to just barf your limited opinion upon everyone and claim in broad terms that “Time moved on” after buying a Leica M3.
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Old 11-14-2018   #32
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It's all about that big throat size and the laws of physics and the clinical like results modern lens design seems to favor. At the least it is something new I guess. Real Estate shooters would probably love that distortion free fast wa I guess
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Old 11-14-2018   #33
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I'm looking forward to a very long and reliable shutter life from my Sony A7S. I have used the silent electronic shutter since October 2014 and not the mechanical shutter. So, unless the electrons get fatigued and start moving at different speeds, it should not ever need adjusting...
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Old 11-14-2018   #34
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Quote:
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I had thought that the appeal of mirrorless cameras was that they could be made smaller and lighter than SLRs and loose the big prism bump. Also that you could make smaller and lighter lenses.
One of the potential benefits of mirrorless is that it can be made smaller and/or lighter, particularly the lenses, but this isn't the only benefit, and mirrorless doesn't necessarily need to be smaller to still have value.

At a basic design level, the benefit of mirrorless is that it allows camera designers to remove a large and complex mechanical component (and it's associated design limitations). That's not to say I don't see a place for optical finders (I shoot a lot of my work on a Pentax MX and Leica M2), but removing that mechanism opens up a lot of oppotunities.

In practice, I shoot a lot of low-level macro, and the ability to use an articulated rear screen and focus magnification (on a camera designed from the group up for live view) is a godsend.
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Old 11-14-2018   #35
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Though it has been said in other words already, no mirror box means no or reduced need for retrofocus lens designs. This really opens up potential for optical technology.


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Old 11-14-2018   #36
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Bugger all if you don't have any money!
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Old 11-14-2018   #37
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Though it has been said in other words already, no mirror box means no or reduced need for retrofocus lens designs. This really opens up potential for optical technology.
No, dear Murray,
exactly the opposite is true! Have a look how much more complicated the most recent 1.8/50mm lens formulas for the new full-frame MILCs are —— they're Retrofocus! Hence the increased size, weight and bulk.
And since the most recent Nikon and Canon full-frame MILC bodies are so extremely shallow, each and every lens has additional bulk!
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Old 11-14-2018   #38
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Have a look how much more complicated the most recent 1.8/50mm lens formulas for the new full-frame MILCs are...
Have a look at how much more complicated all the new 50mm lens formulas are (both mirrorless and dslr)...
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Old 11-14-2018   #39
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I have always wondered why Canon never implemented a digital version of the EOS 1nRS with that pellicle mirror. That was one of the most amazing cameras I've ever owned and that the world has ever seen. A viewing system which would be perfect for digital. Anyway, I digress.
I got to play with a new mirrorless NIkon and it was surprisingly light and almost small. I liken the feeling as similar to being used to a new pro series Nikon DSLR like the D3 then going and handling an F4s. The F4 used to seem big but it is pretty svelte compared to one of the pro DSLRs.

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Old 11-14-2018   #40
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Quote:
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No, dear Murray,
exactly the opposite is true! Have a look how much more complicated the most recent 1.8/50mm lens formulas for the new full-frame MILCs are —— they're Retrofocus! Hence the increased size, weight and bulk.
And since the most recent Nikon and Canon full-frame MILC bodies are so extremely shallow, each and every lens has additional bulk!

I don't think this is true.


Recent complex lens designs by Sigma Art, Canon, and such seem to follow the path of the super-complex, super-corrected Zeiss Otus lenses, which were designed for SLRs.


Early superwide/wide angle lenses for SLRs extended into the mirror box and required the mirror to be locked up. It took retrofocus designs to move the whole lens further from the shutter. This hadn't been an issue with RF cameras, with their shorter shutter-to-flange distance. As another example, I read than Minolta made the normal lens for their original SR-T 101 in the 58mm focal length (rather than 50mm) because they could clear the mirror without resorting to a retrofocus formulation.


I've read elsewhere that the shorter shutter-to-flange distance in mirrorless cameras allows lens designers to produce lenses better matched to the performance characteristics of digital sensors. I would be curious to know more about this, myself.


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