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Dear Santa

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Dear Santa,

I don’t really need anything for Christmas this year. But I would appreciate if you would bring some gifts to my favorite photography manufacturers.

Canon: An 0.18 µm CMOS fabrication plant is what they really need, Santa. If that won’t fit in the sleigh, then maybe you could bring them a few million Sony sensors. Something around 36 megapixels would be nice.

Oh, and maybe some 200-400 f/4 IS lenses. They seem to have lost theirs. You know, the ones they announced in 2009?

Nikon: I’m asking for a lot here, Santa, but ‘tis the season to help those in need.

First, if you could fit a quality control department in the sleigh that would be lovely.

Also, could you bring Nikon USA a reasonable Factory Service Center, too? If that’s not possible, then I’ll go ahead and ask you to bring them some customers in 2014 or so, because they’ll be needing new customers about then.

And Santa, if you’re feeling really generous, then maybe you could give Nikon the secret of electronic aperture control? Mechanical levers are sooooo 1960. It’s not like leaving out aperture control motor is making the lenses less expensive.

Sigma: Santa, Sigma’s been very, very good this year, pricing that new 35mm f/1.4 lens like they did; improving their service department; and giving us complete control over the lens autofocus system next year. Luckily, I've thought of the perfect gift for them.

Give them an interchangeable mount, Santa. Put the lens in one section, the camera-specific mount and electronics in another that connects to the back of the lens. That way, when their customers want to change camera brands they won’t need to buy a whole new lens, just a new mounting section.

You know, Santa, they could then include a mount adapter or two with that Foveon camera that used to cost a gazillion dollars. I bet more people would try it then, since they wouldn’t have to buy a whole new set of lenses.

Speaking of cameras, though, if there’s any room left on their list, could you maybe give them some image processing chips and to speed those cameras up a bit? That would be nice.

Sony: This one I’m sure you’ve already got figured out, Santa. Lenses. They just need some good lenses. They’ve got 13 NEX cameras now. If you look at the B&H web page you’ll see that there are 9 NEX lenses, but 42 adapters that let people to use other lenses on NEX cameras. (Seriously, I'm not exaggerating, Santa. Check for yourself.)

What? OK, I guess since you already gave them Olympus that should cover the lens thing in a year or two.

Olympus: A real telephoto lens in micro 4/3 mount would be perfect. Something around 150mm and f/2.8, perhaps, or 250mm and f/4?

Fuji: Just a raw converter, Santa. That was easy, now wasn’t it? It may not be all they need, but it’s certainly what they need most.

Tamron: Like Sigma, Tamron has been very, very good this year releasing some awesome, reasonably priced lenses and providing perhaps the best factory service in the industry, so they should get something especially nice.

But I’m not sure what they want. I know they could use a more accurate focal-length calculator, but I doubt they really want it.

Maybe you should give them that interchangeable mount idea too? Wait, they’re the ones who started that, way back in the day. Maybe you should just remind them about the Adaptall, then.

Wait, I’ve got it, just the thing for Tamron this season. A 200-500mm with Vibration Control. Now that would be something they’d like! It would be like Leica, reviving a classic.

Leica: Speaking of Leica, just bring them some good LCDs to put on their new cameras. It’s kind of sad that the PanLeica V-Lux 4 EFV had about 10 times the resolution of the M9’s LCD.

They’ve got everything else. If you don’t believe me, just ask them. They’ll tell you.

So let’s give them another gift by subtraction. If you could, Santa, while you’re delivering their presents, could you maybe remove the words “brilliant” and “sheer joy” from their marketing department? I know that’s not your usual thing, but I think this might be the nicest gift of all.

Sincerely,

Roger Cicala, Lensrentals.com

December, 2012

PS: I almost forgot. Please bring Samsung a marketing department. Nobody remembers they've got some good cameras and lenses, too.

40 Responses to “Dear Santa”

Arturo said:

@Graham, because of EOS?

Manuela said:

I don't need more Sony lenses, I am perfectly happy with my converter+Leica-R lenses. I need a FF-NEX :-)

Eric said:

Bless you Roger, for giving joy and good tidings to all.
I hope you will write many a column in years to come....

Graham Cifra said:

Regarding the universal mount thing: why exactly did Adaptall go away?

Joe said:

That 4/3 ED 150/2 tele is a bit rich at $2,500 plus the cost of a 4/3 to M43 adapter. How about a 120/2.5 or a 150/2.8 in the $800 to $1,000 range? That would even fit under the tree.

A said:

Dear Santa,

I have but one belated request for 2012: Please can you clone Roger, so we can enjoy even more of his articles?

Happy New Year, and I hope 2013 is a great year for everyone!

Fritz said:

@Sigma: A while back they produced the Kodak FF DSLR with a Canon mount. If they'd do the same for their present Foveon DSLR, they might get a lot of business from unhappy Canon owners who have too much L lass to switch to Nikon.

Kai said:

@Esa: A 22nm process will only help the digital circuitry; it won't help much for analogue circuitry like the A/D converters on the sensor.

Esa Tuunanen said:

0.18 microns... Only six generations behind process used by Intel. 22nm would fit lot more functionality into pixel level circuitry on sensor. And I remember reading Sony using 65nm process.
But then again what with Canon's lack of innovation that's fittingly old tech for them.
Though I suspect there's lack of available 18 micron fabs unless someone turned one into museum.

Olympus needs hybrid AF, and working one like Nikon 1's, not like Canon's it's hybrid AF but operates no different from CDAF.
CDAF not knowing how much and to which direction focus is amiss is also reason for bad AF compatibility with 4/3 lenses.
With some additional lower end consumer lenses to fill line with high end teles from 4/3 they would have good line up. Actual focus tracking capability is needed anyway.
Another thing would be Pentax astrotracer like feature to make more use out of new IBIS.
And their designers could use book about ergonomics of human hand, they seem to have lost their copy and replaced it with Carl Bark's Lost in the Andes!

Which is what Panasonic has gotten exactly right in GH3 unlike other mirrorless makers.
Annoying, clumsy and ineffective to use even in good conditions fashion gimmicks and P&S menu surfing aren't worth a shit in cold... like in exposed fingers cooling in second and freezing in five if there's slightest wind cold.
Puts fun back to photography when camera has ergonomical grip and actual enthusiast level controls working reasonably well also with gloves.
Now if Panasonic would just get IBIS of Olympus to improve hand held low light capability with fast primes (which never have In Lens IS) and any possible lens you can attach.

Sony again has lenses disproportionate enough to NEX bodies so before even bigger lenses they need ergonomical body or otherwise they need to integrate controls and grip to lens so that camera is just rear cap of the lens which is carried on shoulder like M72 LAW.

Dr Croubie said:

If we want Santa to bring a present for Pentax, how about some actual customers? They've got great cameras using great Sony sensors with the K5 (ii), the only weather-sealed APS-C kit lens of anyone (that I know of), the AF might not be up to 7D standards but the IQ beats it to hell, and it's priced like a 60D.
If they need some big superteles to help them get customers, Santa can bring them some of those too.

Speaking of which, can Santa give Canon (or Nikon, or even Sigma/Tamron), some Weather Sealed APS-C kit lenses? Just tell Canon it won't really cannibalise their L lens sales if that's all that they're afraid of (nobody's going to buy a 7D with only a 24-105 main lens, or even if they are then a Weather Sealed 10-22 would be nice).

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