Feb 082012

Just Announced! The Sony NEX “E” Mount Lens Roadmap 2012 and into 2013 – 8 new lenses!

Just received this roadmap from Sony today which shows the new lenses coming down the pike for their NEX system.

Looks like we have a High Performance G Standard Zoom, a new High Magnification Zoom, a normal standard zoom and wide-angle zoom for 2012. In the prime department we will be seeing a Large aperture standard lens in 2012 as well as a middle tele prime and pancake lens. Looks like Sony is invested in this system and will be delivering what many NEX users have been asking for. MORE LENSES. The G zoom and large aperture standard lens seems the most intriguing to me along with the new pancake. Seems like 2012 is shaping up to be one of the most release filled years ever for photography gear.


  49 Responses to “Just Announced! The Sony NEX “E” Mount Lens Roadmap – 8 new lenses!”

  1. Sad to see how these csc makers seem to keep dropping the ball by wasting time mucking around or not doing things right in the first place. Sony seemed to have made a grave mistake by making their bodies pancake thin but their lenses leave something to be desired, in compact size and in quality. Samsunfg seems to have a nice collection of worthwhile and well thoght out lenses but their cameras are lagging behind in function and feautures and looks. Olympus has doen everything but make a rangefinder styled body with a built in evf eventhough they have had a big big headstart, same with panny.Nikon 1 is hampered by their price and users dislike of their sensor chip size. Canon must be learning from the others mistakes and if they should relase a csc, im sure it will be more well rounded and thought out than the rest. The other guys better high-tail it before the 900 pound gorilla gets going.

  2. I’m mainly a travel photografer
    I have a Zeiss 24mm F1.8 and Nex-7 on order. For travelling around, I believe that a moderate use of digital-zoom (max. 2.5x, thus 36mm-to-90mm zoom film-equivalent) can offer a good quality/weight compromise (24 Mpixel/6 is still a reasonable 4 Mpixel picture), suitable for 90% of cases. With the same philosophy, I would like to see in the Sony roadmap a fast and light Zeiss 200mm telephoto (to be “stretched” up to 2.5x with the digital zoom ) to be kept in the rucksackt for occasional use – e.g. widle life photos).
    Is this approach reasonable (Vs. quality/wheight) compared with carrying around a heavy SEL 18-200mm Sony zoom?

  3. Having just completed shooting in 18 counties for travel magazines with the NEX-7 I must say that it offers a wonderful combination of image quality (with the Zeiss lenses and Zeiss Pancake lens) and construction qualtty. The demands of shooting in almost inaccessible locations narrowed the choice to the NEX-7 as my prime system of 5D Mk2,s with Zeiss lenses would have impossible due to the weight and size. I’m due to get the second (Zeiss) Pancake lens in a weeks time and I will follow up with a report from a user’s perspective (no MTF charts here).
    Sony has outdone themselves with the NEX-7. The standard Sony lenses are acceptable but the G-series offers much better performance with Zeiss on top.

  4. So what about the Sigma 30mm 2.8? It’s only one inch long, fast enough, and if it has decent character, it will truly make the NEX-7 pocket size. I still have the Zeiss 24 1.8 in my other jacket pocket.

  5. A good photographer will make do with what he has. 30 years ago I started with a Nikon FM1 and pics of my kids I kept were excellent till now. Now I have the 5n with the 18-55 and the 24mm 1.8 and that’s all I need. Looks like everyone wants the lenses to do all the work for them. Nonsense

  6. Steve, I know most professional photographers want NEX series to have prime lens, wide-angle lens, Fast lens. But there is very huge group of hobbyist and enthusiast who want to take very pictures but don’t want to take the headache of carrying too-many things or look for too-many gears. ( including professionals who are off duty or professionals like Steve who loves small cameras)
    They are looking for compact, light weight system with wide-angle,moderate Telephoto, Fast lens which can do very good in low light.( 18-180mm, f 1.6-2.8 ) This can cover them in most of the situations. I thought this was the Selling point of NEX series. They did a very good job of shrinking DSRL’s to size of NEX with better quality pictures then most dslr’s. Now I think they have to shrink the zoom lens to make them small and light to match the body of nex and also keep up with the selling point. You can carry them anywhere anytime and get a DSLR picture quality.
    Zoom lens is definitely all purpose. One lens they have to make is wide- angle, short telephoto, Fast lens ( 18-180mm, f 1.6-2.8 ) which should not be more than the weight and size of present 18-55mm . That is a dream lens for most Enthusiast and Professionals as well.

    • That’s impossible.

    • The Canon XF100 already has your dream lens, a 4.25-42.5mm/f1.8-2.8 zoom lens with 58mm filter thread (equiv. 30-300mm for 24-36mm film).

      “Your” 18-180mm/f1.6 for Sony Nex then would have 240mm filter thread, and perhaps a sleak 25kg.

  7. What I find interesting is that around a couple of blogs, not so much here, is that people are dismissing the lens lineup without even knowing what they are, not even to mention how they would perform. People say that the lens roadmap has affirmed they feel better about committing to m4/3, which confuses me since more lens can’t be worse than fewer lens.

    I’m starting to get the impression that those who comment on DPreview are either ignorant snobs, or unintelligent beings. The community here is much nicer and smarter

    • As a NEX user I’m really disappointed by Sony’s roadmap, so I definitely understand why others would feel better about committing to m4/3 now that the 2013 horizon is set for E lenses.

      Sony said they would release many lenses very soon, and it appears that they’ll be only three in 2012. Including the not-so-interesting lenses from Sigma, that’s five… when the mFT consortium already announced eight lenses and four converters since January. So the “many” isn’t so many after all, even for the next two years; a good reason to feel better committing to mFT that already has a good lens line-up and where things move forward faster.

      Furthermore, it’s already February and Sony’s lenses aren’t clearly defined yet. Given the delay between announcement and street availability, the very few 2012 lenses will be “real” and tested at the earliest in fall, more probably Nov.-Dec. … when the mFT consortium is already showing prototypes with focal length and aperture, and maybe already producing some of them. When you plan vacation, it’s nice to know that you have a very good chance to get the lens you need in time, and that’s another convincing point for mFT.

      Finally it’s clear from the roadmap that emphasize is on the zoom side, and that no more pancake will be available before 2013. The not-pancake “large aperture standard” (2012) and “middle telephoto” (2013) will likely be larger than the already existing 30/3.5 and 50/1.8, which are slower and/or much larger than their mFT counterparts, so all the people looking for small and fast primes have every reason to feel better committing to mFT : they now know that this is not the road NEX is taking within the next two years.

      I trusted Sony when they said that many new lenses were coming, and I was stupid to think that they would go the primes road given the mFT success with that. Now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t sell my NEX-5n and go for Olympus.

      • You can’t really compare the output of the NEX system against the m43, which had 2 manufacturer’s pumping out lenses. If you really want to make this comparison, you should look at the m43 system at the same stage of it’s life that the NEX system is now at.

        • When one needs to choose between systems today, who cares about being fair between manufacturers? The point is to choose according to the info available, i.e.: what are my needs, what is available now, and what is available soon or in the near-future. Here we’re looking at the lens line-up, not distributing points on efforts and good faith.

          The fact is, with this roadmap:
          — Sony shows that the system won’t catch up with the mFT lens line-up within the next two years.
          — If you were hoping the big gaps would be filled before summer vacation, you should reconsider or be ready to take a big risk on availability.
          — If you were hoping several small primes would be on the road, you should reconsider.
          Depending on your needs, these are three strong points to decide against the system and/or feeling better committing to mFT.

    • Agree with you. It was amazing watching those posts yesterday. Before any real details are known, it was enough to decide against the system! I guess talk on the internet is cheap.

  8. The chart shows the 50/1.8 as available from January 2012. But there haven’t even been review samples available. So I wonder whether the chart is realistic at all.

    It is weird to see at what rate Leica (which has been semi-bancrupt during the past 40 years) cranks out new lenses, but industrial giant Sony cannot (and Sigma neither). But facts of life tell that the majority of APS-C DSLR buyers hardly buy any additional lens, apart from the kit zoom. And even for APS-C DSLRs which have been arround for several years the choice of dedicted prime lenses is very limited (Nikon 35/1.8 and Sigma 30/1.4).

  9. The NEX system is not for me. NEX7 body and Samsung NX pancakes would be another story.

  10. It is a shame that the camera manufacturers have cut out the local camera stores and are only dealing with a dozen or so big stores, big box stores and Amazon. It makes it hard to check out a camera without going to a big city or buying and sending back a “tryout” camera. And they wonder where a significant bit of their business went.

  11. “I never have the NEX and the more I look at it, the more I am convinced that the system has crippled itself by committing to such a short flange focal distance. ”
    Explain me the physics behind this argument, because there’s not any. If needed, one just needs to extend the lens barrel a few mm and there you go, you have the same flange distance as a Leica M or Samsung NX. Having a short flange gives the lens designer a lot of flexibility.

    Looking forward to some nice zooms – I love primes, but the G normal range zoom and a wide zoom will give lots of options.

    • I’d agree on the ‘science’ bit – there is nothing wrong with a short flange distance per se …. but I wonder how hard it impacts lens sales when users can grab a cheap adaptor and use legacy lenses.

      I’ve been using my existing Nikon & Contax SLR lenses on my Nex models for ages – I’m getting superb quality for nil cost – I don’t need to buy expensive Sony lenses.

      A true, extreme wide-angle prime is another issue though – Sony should be addressing gaps in lens market NOW – not in a year or two, when other newer users will have latched onto third party lenses too!

  12. I never have the NEX and the more I look at it, the more I am convinced that the system has crippled itself by committing to such a short flange focal distance. I will be interested to see the size difference between a Sony’s 35mm F1.4-F2.0 to the Fuji’s 35mm, or Samsung’s 30mm.

    • sony nex flange-to-sensor distance = 18mm
      fuji xpro1 flange-to-sensor distance = 17.7mm

      • Sssh, don’t obscure the trolling with facts.

      • There is more to it than flange distance. Fuji has the advantage of no AA filter so it would not have as many issues as the Sony lenses. That is why fuji can use shorter lenses.

        Until Sony comes up with a similar solution then they are stuck with longer lenses. Also, it may be difficult to do midstream as existing and planned e-mount lenses are designed for a sensor with AA filter and the associated issue. A new sensor would require lens redesigns.

        Fuji had good timing introducing their new sensor and mount at the same time. It is no wonder they focused on primes first as zooms and longer primes won’t have as great of an advantage.

        • I’m not following. Why couldn’t they just remove the AA filter without causing an effect to the existing line of lenses? Canon and Nikon DSLRS use lenses that were designed for their film cameras with no problem. As far as I know, film cameras never had a AA filter – yet lenses that were designed cameras without the filter have no problem working with their current cameras that do have the filter..

    • You understand that, compared to Samsung NX mount, Sony only has to make their lenses 7mm longer when using the same design, right? Not that big a deal.

      • Then where are those 7mm longer lenses? The only one they have is the soft 16mm that’s compact. The Zeiss 35 is longer than the kit zoom! Cant blame sony for everything, after all, the ship sinkers at Minolta I’m sure had a big part in it. Look at the new cropping mode found on their SLT cameras….only from the mind of Minolta.

        Minsony- ” Come buy our stuff because we know what you dont want..and we make it.”

    • Oh please!

  13. This fills me with some hope…
    However why such a focus on zooms?
    What we really need is more primes, more ‘real’ wide angles!
    I love Nex system, I love Sony for it, but I really want more primes and wide angles…failing this, just gimmie IBIS Sony, then all my classic glass will become that much more usable for video and in low-light action band photography…I still have hope. :)

    • I wonder if Sony understand the need of photography ,.. Sure they have quality in electronic and also manufacturing sensor for Sony imaging , Nikon and Pentax, . I mean ,. Just comparison see what Fuji Made X100 , X10 and now XPRO 1 ,. They surely understand and listened to photographer ,. That why they comes up wiith Prime Lens in their Mirrorless debut not ZOOM Lens. ,. Hope Sony will understand the need of photography or they’re just An Electronic Giant

      • although I prefer primes on my Mirrorless methinks Sony will sell alot more zooms than they will primes. The Fuji’s are niche products – I better Nikon will sell more 1’s and Canon G1X’s and I suspect LOTS more. The people on Steve’s site don’t represent the majority of camera buyers. How often do I read “no Viewfinder no sale” and yet I bet most camera buyers don’t care!

        Fuji will get lots of people on forums and sites rave about there cameras but will that convert into lots of sales? methinks not.

        And Steve first time commenter, frequent visitor nice site even if I don’t get your love for the E-P3 just because it looks retro!

        • Thanks! BTW, I love the E-P3 for everything it offers – style, design, feel, usability, super fast and accurate AF, image quality, color, built in IS, the lenses, etc…it IS a great camera all the way around, only really lacking in a couple areas. No EVF and high ISO not the best. If you shot with one along with the 12, or 45 you would probably think differently about it.

          • just kidding Steve.

            I’ll stick with the GF1 and 14/20 (it was the 20 kit that took me down the panny path). if e-m5 can do BIF my dSLR might get the elbow! and I’ll pick up the 100-300

            when I’m walking around London the GF1 is in one pocket and the V1 in the other with the 30-110. so many options about in the last few years

  14. Seems like Sony won’t be producing full frame NEX in short time =D

    • Not sure they’d call it NEX even if they did. That would just cause confusion. The size of the NEX sensor is fixed, just like that of m43 because of the lens designs. If you went FF, they’d both need to have new lenses. All in all, very unlikely.

  15. Just amazing what’s coming down the road in product announcements and advancements. I just have to remember what I have works just fine and I have yet to even begin to master my existing kit!

    • Duane,
      That is the best, most common sense statement made on this blog! Be happy with what you have. Learn to use it at capacity. We tend to always look to what we do not have. How soon we forget the magic a D700, can produce, when a D800 is announced.

      Well said Duane!

  16. it’s about time they give us some hope! what’s a system without lenses? although i’ve been enjoying old lenses on my nex :)

  17. Only one pancake and that’s not till 2013. Very disappointing.

      • +3. The lack of a good pancake is the biggest drawback for me (as a NEX-5N owner). Why such a long wait?!

        Hopefully a 3rd party steps up and puts out a quality E-mount pancake or retractable zoom soon!

        I love the NEX, but I want to take advantage of its small size!!!

      • +3. The lack of a good pancake is the biggest drawback for me (as a NEX-5N owner). Why such a long wait?!

        Hopefully a 3rd party steps up and puts out a quality E-mount pancake or retractable compact zoom soon!

        I love the NEX, but I want to take advantage of its small size!!!

      • Pancake primes – particularly extreme wides desperately needed.

        MF is fine if that’s what it takes – how hard can it be to make a small, manually focused, lens for any NEX?

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