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Author Topic: Lens Quality in prosumerdigital cameras  (Read 1803 times)

BJL

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Lens Quality in prosumerdigital cameras
« on: January 19, 2005, 11:39:40 AM »

For one thing, the lenses in compact digicams are far smaller than 35mm format ones and so use far less high quality optical glass and other materials than Leica 35mm format lenses. They also sell in vastly higher volumes than those traditional Leica lenses, adding great advantages of economies of scale: a ten million dollar lens design effort might add less than $1 to the unit cost of a high volume digicam, but many hundreds of dollars to the unit cost of a low volume Leica lens.

So it is quite feasable that Leica and such can make good quality digicam lenses for a price that fits into the budget of a $250 camera.


These digicam lenses are probably only designed, not made, by Leica, Zeiss and such, but that really tells me nothing about quality these days.
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isabela_57

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Lens Quality in prosumerdigital cameras
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2005, 06:12:37 PM »

When I am shopping for lens or digicam, I always look at the print. When I was shopping for a p&s digital camera, I bring with me a CF card as most stores do not put memory cards in their digital camera. I then take pictures with the camera I am interested (ie. C-8080, Minolta A-2) and bring this chip home and make a print. From these prints, I make my evaluation as which camera I could buy.

The Leica lens on the Panasonic Digicam could very well be very good (do not have first hand experience), but I always believe that each person has their own personal taste as to sharpness, color fidelity, contrast etc. So I think, if you have a chance, take a memory card with you, shoot a few pictures of cameras you are interested, then make prints. From your personal evaluation, you shoul be able to judge which one is right for you.
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peterdlederer

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Lens Quality in prosumerdigital cameras
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2005, 09:45:22 AM »

Several of the major manufacturers use famous lens names for their offerings (Kodak's Schneider-Kreuznach, Panasonic's Leica, Sony's Zeiss, etc.). Since these are fixed lenses, they are obviously not tested seperately, but as part of the "package".

So how does one tell if one lens is "better" than another? What does the lens contribute? The chip? The manufacturing quality?

And -- is the "branding" just a marketing ploy? For example, last summer the 35mm camera I was carrying on a trip broke, and I stopped into a Ritz Camera store for a "cheapie" replacement. Found a Panasonic Lumix LC40 camera on sale for $249.95, a decent if less than perfect camera. BUT its lens is a f2.0-2.5 Leica 3x Vario Summicron. And isn't that basically the same lens found on the Leica Digilux 2? I have paid multiples of what I paid for this lens (camera thrown in) for the Leitz lenses I bought years ago.

What gives??
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howard smith

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Lens Quality in prosumerdigital cameras
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2005, 12:16:00 PM »

Because the final image is less tahn either the lens or sensor, seperating the two makes little sense.  An excellant lens on a mediocre sensor and vice versa might produce about the same image.

The scale of size that BJL mentioned is very important.  A design chnage that saves a few cents per car at GM, for instance, is a huge change to the bottom line but nothing per car.
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