The L mount alliance is a funny thing. On one corner of the triangle, you’ve got Panasonic, traditionally known in the digital world for making pretty outstanding and fairly small, Micro Four Thirds cameras. When it comes to their full-frame mirrorless, though, they seem to be about as big as DSLRs, with lenses to match.
But in another corner, Sigma seems to have taken over the reins of small cameras with their Sigma fp. It still has that “big lens” problem, though. Now it looks like Sigma is planning to do something about it, according to an interview with Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki by Gizmodo Japan, and is working on some smaller lenses to use with the fp.
Mr Yamaki was asked how satisfied he is with the Sigma fp as a system, which he rated at “50” (out of 100).
The camera itself is good, but the rest is a lens. The world view cannot be established unless the number of compact lenses suitable for SIGMA fp is increased. After all, standard, wide-angle, and telephoto are necessary, and if they are put together, it will be close to 100 points as a system. It fits in many situations, and above all, I find it fun to use.
You may recognize that there will eventually be something that matches SIGMA fp. I would like to develop the camera itself.
– Kazuto Yamaki, Sigma CEO
The Sigma fp is the smallest full-frame camera on the market, and it likely will be for some time. But to really take advantage of the camera’s small size, small lenses are required. If you have to go with a big lens, you might as well go with a bigger camera to help give better balance and ease your wrists.
I’ve tried using the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR on a tiny little Nikon D3000 series body and it’s not fun! I’ve also held the Sigma fp with the monster Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art lens on it. That’s also pretty front heavy. There’s a noticeable difference in feel and balance between using that lens on the Sigma fp vs the Panasonic S1.
I don’t think we’ll see bright, wide, f/1.4 primes like the 105 in a smaller form factor, but perhaps a 50mm f/1.8, some variable aperture zooms. Something for walking about with and doing street photography, travel photography and other things when you don’t want to be carting around a huge heavy camera setup.
And, who knows? Maybe Panasonic will also decide to start making smaller cameras again, but L mount with full-frame sensors. Such small lenses would be equally as useful for those.
There’s no news on exactly when we’ll see some of these new small L mount lenses or how much we can expect them to cost.
[Gizmodo Japan via Digicame-info]