Is the RX-1 lens lens any good? Find out.

Discussion in 'Sony RX1 Forum' started by Hikari, Feb 22, 2013.

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  1. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
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  2. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    Pretty dang sharp, too bad its a single focal length.
     
  3. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    Folks, why is this not something? DxO mark puts this lens at number three and only grouped with 85mm lenses.

    DxOMark - Camera Lens Ratings

    The fact this is put on a (serious) compact is pretty amazing. I was suspecting Sony would put a nice lens on this camera, but not this nice. BTW, a Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron is about $3,200 and you don't get the camera with that.
     
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  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    It surely test well. And the shots I've seen here only continue to bear that out. I haven't had a chance to check it out in person, so I can't say how it works as a camera, but I've seen your shots...and obviously it works for you.

    What I think I would feel though is that despite it's great performance, for the money I would want more than a lens that tests great. I know from your posts that you are a logical thinker and my opinion is not logical. Why wouldn't you just buy the best lens out there?

    Of course your decision is the right one.....as long as everything else falls into line. Does the UI make sense? Do the controls fall naturally to your hand? Does the company have a history of making great products? And standing behind them? If the buyer doesn't bond with it, what will the resale value be in 6 months? Or in 3 years? Does it bring you joy? pride in ownership? does it engage you....beg to be taken out?

    Granted, a lot of these are a little touchy-feelie (and possibly overstated for effect) and I reckon someone in your profession definitely sees those things differently. For a hobbyist (like myself), I want to be excited about my camera. Because I will never get a truly great shot, maybe it's even more important to me. I assure you if I won the lottery and bought a mid-life crisis car, it certainly wouldn't be the car that put up the most impressive numbers on a series of test. It wouldn't be the fastest or the best at getting through turns. It would be the one that looked good doing it. Or the one that had a different feel at the steering wheel. Or engaged me in a different way than all the others out there. It would be the one I looked forward to hand washing on the weekend instead of taking through the car wash.

    I'm not saying that the RX1 isn't that to you. It might even be that one for me (though I don't think so). I'm just throwing it out there for some consideration. There's many more ways to view what makes a lens great....and the camera it attaches to is definitely one of them.
     
  5. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    Well, as far as DxO mark goes, this camera has one hell of a sensor too. The camera is well built and the operation is a pleasure.

    More to the point was that lenses of this quality are showing up on compacts. There is some precedence for high-end fixed-focus cameras and even from Konica and Minolta which was bought by Sony--this camera does give me the feel of my Konica Hexar AF which also had a great 35mm f/2 lens.

    As far as testing, they happen to use the same light as we do, so it is very much real world. I think people just have problem seeing what it means. What this testing is showing is fairly clear--Sony did not cut corners on this (and they certainly could have gotten by with something a little less). I don't think anyone expected this lens to perform so well wide open--I certainly didn't. If the RX-1 is a success, and I hope it is, it will give more chances to high-end compacts being produced. The X-Pro 1 is a very interesting camera, but the size was too big for me, but I seriously considered it. That is until the RX-1 came along. But Fuji are doing some interesting things with their system giving some really nice lenses.

    Not much of a "pride of ownership" guy. But I agree the camera should on some level click with the photographer. I think whatever the level of photography you do, there is an excitement to a new tool. The tool may be perceived very differently--the RX-1 is certainly not for everybody. (Unfortunately, the general internet hate towards this camera certainly took the edge off my excitement.)

    What I think is exciting for serious compacts, if the RX-1 does well, is that there are folks looking for really excellent products. Even if Sony goes to APS to bring the price down. And APS compact with this quality of lens would be fabulous.
     
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  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Well I hope you're right. I hope it sells like hotcakes (3 at a time and covered in syrup). I think the primary backlash is pricepoint-oriented. Because for a fixed lens "compact" it's nearly twice what we have ever seen (after you add a viewfinder). And it has the name Sony attached (people associate the name Sony with consumer goods....frankly they don't know what the name Zeiss means).

    Everyone who likes innovation in small cameras should wish for this camera to do well. I'm just a little worried that it a hair ahead of the demand, but then that bodes well for Sony. If all of this is just so they can put an APS version of this camera for a more affordable price, then everyone wins.

    I'm just glad I'm not an early adopter footing the bill. I'm a bit green when I see images from these cameras....they really are lovely.....even more than test shots and measurements would let on. But I can't take the kind of depreciation hit that will come with these cams. I need to stay in a shallower end of the pool. I feel cheated when I buy something for $300 and I see it for $250 the next month.
     
  7. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    LOL. What is the going rate for a used RX-1?

    You are right, I am logical.

    First, cameras are not investment instruments. Stocks and bonds are better. A price drop is just bad timing. But it is also a different point of view. If I had waited until the price of the Pentax 645D to drop, I would have not had the 10,000 images I shot with it nor the book that was published with those images--I am not a camera collector. Before the 645D, I was using medium-format film cameras. The savings in film and processing costs paid for the camera. Naturally, your situation is different. But I don't mind also paying for the pleasure I am getting from owning this camera now. (BTW, this was not an easy purchase for me, I literally sold 200lbs of stuff over ebay to pay for this.)

    Second, there is no Sony brand bias. Who here would not buy a Nex 7 because it is a Sony? There may be a few, but there are more that want the camera. The rarer the camera, that more interest. I don't have to sell the camera to find a buyer--the buyers will know the value. Would you buy something from the Pannon Camera Company? Probably you never heard of them, but there are a lot of folks that want a Widelux. I have always bought unusual cameras and have found I can get a good price for them, much more so than a low-end model that was made in larger quantities--which worked out well when I had to fund my camera purchases.

    But why do I have to sell this camera? It makes amazing pictures and will continue to do so. I feel no need to "upgrade" with each new model. When I can make 5 foot prints, what advantage do I get with an RX2 or RX3?

    Yes, I saw the price backlash. Show me a 35mm sensor camera with a 35mm f/2 at this quality that is significantly cheaper. Now show me one this size. The next closest in size is a Leica M with a 35mm f/2 Summicron. That would be more than $10,000. A DSLR is going to be somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 dollars and a lens like this is $900 to $1,300. So why is the price so outrageous?

    But the backlash is coming from a different group than the folks buying this camera. That is not the target group. Most of the cameras I have bought over my career would leave folks nonplussed over the price. I have found that the photographers that have inspired me tend not to use equipment you can find at Best Buy. Is there a correlation?
     
  8. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Sorry, I got off topic.
     
  9. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    Thats OK. The RX-1 seems to engender these topics. Apparently, the topic of the thread has very little interest.
     
  10. fotodude432

    fotodude432 New to SC

    6
    Mar 10, 2013
    I too am amazed by the price backlash. The RX1 should only be compared to compact fixed focal length FF cameras and that i think is only Leica. I dont even think sony targeted this camera for everyone. Maybe more like ff shooters who want a compact solution. Comparing this camera to Leicas, i feel like i almost stole it from Sony - I guess it all comes down to perspective. I sometimes wonder if people get pissed off by the price mainly because its out of the price range and yet they would love one? I know i always think those porcshe owners are knobs but its only because i will never likely own one. I never realized how much people (guys) need to justify their gear purchases! Its just crazy, illogical and a waste of time and energy for them when they could be out shooting.

    At the end of the day - the fotos are the important thing not the gear. People are taking great shots with iphones (mind boggling). There is so much good gear out there from so many manufactures.

    Maybe its time we all started post our fotos without exif data and post in none brand related threads. Wouldnt it be awesome if no one even knew what each of us was shooting with. Let the fotos speak for themselves.

    This post reminds me of tom cruise doing his mission statement in Jerry Macquire!

    Sorry if this sound like a rant (well i guess it is). And i am a newbie to. I will likely get booted for this (lmao)
     
  11. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    I think it's reasonably priced when you consider it's a first-of-its kind camera with a great lens and sensor and that it's priced at about the same point as the least expensive full frame DSLRs are priced when sold with excellent lenses (eg Canon 6D and 35/2 IS). The devil's advocate position is that the Fuji X100S is about $1300 while an RX1 plus EVF is $3250.
     
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  12. fotodude432

    fotodude432 New to SC

    6
    Mar 10, 2013
    But again it isnt even a fair comparison unless the fuji x100s had a fullframe sensor. Only then would it be a fair comparison. Logically speaking, the RX1 can only be compared to Leica on: 1) Compact 2) Full Frame 3) Fixed lens.

    In other words, name me one full frame compact camera with a fixed lens that is cheaper than the RX1.
     
  13. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    And then I point out that I can buy a DRSL at half the price of an X100 and it has a tilting screen, reflex finder, and interchangeable lenses. They we say for the price of an RX-1 and EVF you can buy a Leica 35mm f/2 lens and you still the $7,000 body so you can use it.

    Guess what folks, reasoning with incomplete data and based on completely different products is called speculation and random speculation. The camera companies are in a very competitive field. They really understand pricing. For years, amateurs have been going on about wanting a FF compact. Well, Sony did and this is the reality of the cost. Now, the question is for the people who wanted that camera, are you going to step up to the plate and support Sony for the risk they took?

    The RX-1 has been one of my least enjoyable purchases. The hate toward this camera has made every thread about it really tiresome (and this is not a comment toward your post, Amin).
     
  14. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    FWIW, the main reason I will not buy the RX-1 is that I already own a Leica and a 35mm lens, which I find to be compact enough. Otherwise, I would be all over it. I find the price to be reasonable in light of what you get in terms of IQ and build quality. I hope it sells in spades, so that it does not remain as one of a kind.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    No, that's just your personal take. There is no objective standard for what is a "fair" or "logical" camera comparison. Someone else could say that cameras are only comparable when they have the same type of viewfinder, fit in the same type of pocket, etc. If a lot of people are choosing between two cameras and considering both of them seriously, then to those people, those cameras are comparable (literally being compared to see which is a better match for the photographer's needs), and there is nothing "unfair" about it.

    Btw, Leica has no fixed-lens, full frame, small camera, so I don't know why you keep bringing up Leica.

    By those standards, a new medium format, fixed lens camera could cost $28 billion dollars and not be overpriced because there isn't a cheaper one other there. It is reasonable to think of full frame vs APS-C as adding a certain amount of value. How much added value depends on the buyer's point of view.

    That was my point - that there are a lot of different ways to look at this, and whether they are valid for a given individual depends on that person's point of view. For me, the RX1 doesn't seem overpriced, especially considering the excellence of the lens (getting back to the thread topic here), but I realize that my point of view doesn't constitute some sort of standard for what is fair or logical.

    Companies make pricing mistakes very often. I'm not saying this is one of them, but there's no reason to think that whatever the companies pick as a price is the right one. These days a lot of companies also charge a great deal more for the price that early adopters pay and then drop the price a great deal after as little as 2-3 months. I don't know if that's an "early adopter tax" or a reaction to poor sales, but either a person can conclude that the introductory price for those products was too high from a certain point of view.
     
  16. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    Amin, we are both playing devils advocate. You can slice and dice the reasoning many different ways.

    The price is not random. It really reflects the cost and the probability of making a profit. The profits are very small in this industry which is why the companies are so focused on market share. It is complicate process as your competitors are releasing stuff too--I think Nikon blind sided Canon in the DSLR market. A price drop is usually related to a reflection of planned sales vs. actual. The companies also have to deal with the collapse of the compact camera market to cell phones hence the move to high-end compacts like the RX series and Nikon A.
     
  17. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    But we need a better subject if we are really going to take this thread off-topic. Let talk about knitting. Or maybe just the costs involved.
     
  18. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I think maybe the topic should just be closed. The thread topic was really almost a flamebait to begin with. The initial post is a link to test measurements and then the question posed is "what do you think?".

    What CAN anyone think? The test shows that that the lens is great. End of story. At that point every other post becomes superfluous (or off-topic).
     
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