“Sigma just patented two new Micro Four Thirds lenses: 14mm f/1.2 and 35mm f/1.2. Now you will wonder…what has this to do with Panasonic? Because Sigma is known to sell those lens designs to Panasonic. The Leica 12mm f/1.4 for example is designed by Sigma…
That’s why there is a high chance the 14mm and 35mm f/1.2 prime lenses will be released by Panasonic (maybe using Leica brand)….”
Or maybe there is an even higher chance that Sigma is planning on selling these two new f/1.2 prime lens designs to Olympus for its top-tier M.Zuiko Pro lens collection to go with its current 17mm, 25mm and 45mm f/1.2 primes?
Sigma Corporation, like Cosina and several other mostly Japanese companies, is an OEM manufacturer of lenses for other brands and apparently has already sold lens designs to Olympus, such as the 150mm-equivalent M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8, considered to be one of the optically finest Micro Four Thirds lenses available.
Sigma apparently was known for some years as a budget lens maker but its Art range of premium lenses proved that it belongs in the ranks of professional-quality lens makers now.
Sigma’s recently released Ciné prime and zoom lens collection cements the company’s reputation firmly in place as does, on the adapted lens front, the company’s much-lauded Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art, often first choice in combo with Metabones Speed Boosters for M43 video camera users working in available darkness.
Two documentary movie and photography favourites, 28mm and 75mm
That choice is often thwarted, though, by their equivalents’ unavailability as native lenses in some mirrorless camera systems or, in the case of Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R, an ageing lens’ quirky mechanical qualities making it next to useless for a high speed approach necessitated by the nature of my subjects and their circumstances.
28mm equivalent prime lenses by Fujifilm, Leica and Panasonic
Panasonic’s pancake prime, the Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 II, had vanished from most retailers after I tried a review loaner out and although I made some great photographs with it, its performance was suboptimal for everything I wanted to do with it, not least due to its lack of a focussing ring.
I and many other Fujifilm camera users are still waiting for the company to issue its long-rumoured 18mm update perhaps in the form of a Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R WR “Fujicron”, especially suitable for documentary photography with the X-Pro2 rangefinder camera, the X-E3 rangefinder-style camera and Fujifilm’s smaller DSLR-style cameras.
75mm equivalent prime lenses by Fujifilm, Leica and Veydra
Prime lenses in the 35mm sensor equivalent 75mm focal length are as hard to find in the Micro Four Thirds world as their 28mm equivalent siblings, and that relative rarity is not assisted by Sigma’s patent for a 35mm and not 37.5mm focal length lens.
I have used Panasonic’s Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens in its previous version I form but found its 35mm long end limited for documentary work and portraiture so opted for Olympus’ stellar M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro instead.
Even so there are times I miss the 90mm focal length equivalent so have Olympus’ M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro high on my M43 lens wishlist, also due to the manual clutch focus featured in all M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses making them invaluable for professional moviemaking and photography work.
Given a choice between a manual focus or manual clutch focus lens and a fly-by-wire autofocus or autofocus/manual lens, I will choose the manual or manual clutch focus lens same as I will choose a pair of fast primes over a zoom lens that includes both focal lengths.
There is no denying, though, that some projects demanding stealth, speed and small camera bag transportation can benefit from carrying just one top-quality zoom lens like the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro or the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro.
Designed by Sigma for Olympus or Panasonic?
It is too early to tell whether the 43 Rumors folks are correct about Sigma’s 14mm and 35mm f/1.2 lens design patents being intended for Panasonic.
I am hoping upon hope that the eventual destination will be Olympus and its M.Zuiko Pro lens collection.
Panasonic seems disinclined to replace its lenses’ linear and non-linear fly-by-wire mechanisms with the far more capable manual clutch focus mechanism used in Olympus’ M.Zuiko primes and zooms, and Fujifilm’s 14mm, 16mm and 23mm wider aperture trio for that matter.
Panasonic insiders have told me they constantly receive requests from professional users for manual clutch focus lenses but the company seems set on its current path if its apparently Sigma-designed 12mm, 15mm, 25mm and 42.5mm wide aperture Leica-branded lenses are any indication.
I wish to see Olympus adding to its M.Zuiko Pro collection with 14mm and 37.5mm focal length lenses as well as 10.5mm and 12mm focal length prime lenses.
Sigma’s 70mm-equivalent 35mm f/1.2 lens is not quite my preferred focal length but at least it fills the gap between the current 25mm and 45mm M.Zuiko Pro lenses.
Now let’s see Olympus fill the other gaps in its M.Zuiko Pro collection.
- 43 Rumors – Panasonic going to launch new f/1.2 prime lenses? Here are the patents…
- 43 Rumors – Spectacular lens patent: Olympus designs a 12mm (and 14mm) f/1.0 MFT lens!
- 43 Rumors – Strange: Did Sigma design the Olympus 8mm f/1.8 PRO lens?
- 43 Rumors – The Panasonic-Leica 12mm f/1.4 has been actually designed by Sigma
- Cosyspeed – The OLYMPUS 25/1.2 Street-Review – hands-on review by Thomas Ludwig
- DPReview – Did Sigma design the Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8?
- Imaging Resource – Sigma patent shows Micro Four Thirds 25mm f/1.2 lens; could we see it some day from Olympus?
- Olympus Global – M.Zuiko Pro
- Sigma Global Vision
Header image concept and quick hack by Carmel D. Morris.
I wish to see all lens makers emulate Cooke’s example with sets of manual or manual clutch focussing prime lenses in evenly spaced focal lengths.
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- Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 R Ultra Wide-Angle Lens – B&H
- Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR Lens – B&H
- Fujifilm 18mm f/2.0 XF R Lens – B&H
- Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R Lens – B&H
- Leica APO-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 ASPH. Lens – B&H
- Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 ASPH. Lens – B&H
- Metabones Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds Smart Adapters and Speed Boosters – B&H
- Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens – B&H
- Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO Lens – B&H
- Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO Lens – B&H
- Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO Lens – B&H
- Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO Lens – B&H
- Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 Lens – B&H
- Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH. Lens – B&H
- Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens – B&H
- Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH. Lens – B&H
- Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens – B&H
- Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens – B&H
- Sigma Art lenses – B&H
- Veydra Mini Prime lenses for APS-C and M43 sensor formats – B&H