Panasonic interview with Lensvid

Lensvid posted their video Interview with Panasonic. That one curious tidbit is that the 70-200mm lens displayed at Photokina was just a 3D printed mockup with no lens inside. Just look at the image on top :)

Panasonic interview: “Leica will decide if other companies can join the L-mount”

Personal View interviewed Panasonic at Photokina and here is the part related to their new L-mount venture:

PV: Talking about new L-mount alliance among Leica, Panasonic and Sigma. There is one company I was expected to see and surprised to not see, Olympus. I know that Olympus and Panasonic, although these are two quite different teams with two different visions, have a long established alliance within the MFT system. Do you think in the future Olympus might come to join the L-mount? The partnership with Olympus may perhaps also benefit the L-mount system as it did with the MFT.

Mr. Uematsu: About the MFT standard. The standard means that we have fixed about the interface between a lens and camera body, and also the optical image circle and flange back. However, we never make any discussion with Olympus about the products itself. For the MFT we only have an agreement about the lens mount, without discussing specifics of our products. This could possibly lead to competition between our products. Therefore you may find almost the same specs lenses made by Panasonic and Olympus. If we can make any good discussion, we can make very good balance among products of two companies. But it is strictly prohibited by antitrust law. For the L-mount alliance, the licenser is Leica, Panasonic and also Sigma are just licensee.

Ms. Fujiwara: We have no information which other companies will get the license for L-mount as Leica owns the license. This will be the Leica’s decision to which other companies to offer the license for the L-mount.

PV: It would be interesting to know in this respect your opinion on the future of sensor technology. As you mentioned there was a large progress in digital image sensors in the last 10 years. How do you see the future in this field? For example, do you think we have reached the limits of the CMOS sensors and we really need something else? For example, I have seen the publications about the collaboration between Panasonic’s sensor division and FujiFilm developing organic sensors. I am certain there are other efforts.

Mr. Uematsu: As you know, since its initial announcement in 2016, there is a continuous cooperation between Panasonic and FujiFilm in development of the organic sensor technology. The recent results are very promising. The mass production of this kind of sensor, however, will take a little bit more time, and today I cannot say when we can use this kind of a sensor.

PV: Will Panasonic continue with development of sensors?

Mr. Uematsu: Yes of course. But even with the silicon photodiode, we still have some margin to be improved. The reason is for this is when more than 10 years ago in compact camera category many people said that pixels of a 3 micron in size is near the limits and any smaller sensor pixel would produce images of very bad quality, but nowadays the sensor pixels are 1.5 microns or less and we can get good picture quality, and this means that even with the silicon sensors we still have margins to be improved.

PV: However, wouldn’t the further decrease of pixel size bring us to the physical limit when the pixel size will be close to the wavelength of visible light? I am aware about the different kind of ideas, but I hope you perhaps could tell us your personal view on the possible future with sensor technology?

Mr. Uematsu: Of course, we do not want to reduce the sensor pixel size infinitely. However, each sensor pixel consists partially of a photodiode, a substrate and also of a transistor. If we can increase the relative ratio of the photodiode relative to two other parts, this will make sensor more efficient and also result in the better image quality. The reason why an organic photoconductive film makes better efficiency is because this allows to maximize the light reception area and more angle of the incident light. The organic sensor has less deflection. This means that the organic sensor can get more efficiency/sensitivity. This theoretically could make the organic film sensor better.

Sigma says first L-mount lenses will be released in mid 2019

Dpreview interviewed Sigma CEO Yamaki. Here are some key info about the L-mount strategy:

  • Curiously enough Sigma had developed their own new mount which was about the same as the L-mount in terms of flange distance and diameter. This before they decided to join the L-mount
  • He said too big diamater is bad for the design of slower lenses (they would look ugly as they would be smaller).
  • First Sigma L-mount lenses will be released in mid 2019. They will release both: L-mount version of their current 14 ART FF lenses. And special L-mount designed lenses
  • Within three or four years he expects Sigma mirrorless mount lens sales to be much bigger than for DSLR. Maybe 70% to 30%.

CVP store lists the new Panasonic L-mount lenses is the first store listing the new Panasonic L-mount lenses. Still no price info yet :(

You can join the new L Full Frame Facebook group if you plan to buy this camera. There you can discuss all features and tests once it’s released!

To readers: While I am working to get some early specs I kindly invite you to stay tuned on L-rumors by subscribing here:
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Interview with Stephan Schulz from Leica: “L-mount alliance is a closed partnership”

Stephan Schulz from Leica shared some interetsing details in an interview with Reddotforum:

1) L-mount was not designed for APS-C only. From the start Leica had both APS-C and Full Frame in mind.

2) Mr. Schulz says that there is a big difference with Sony E-mount:

That’s a big difference with the L-mount versus the Sony E mount. They started the mount with the NEX, which was APS, but Sony didn’t have full frame in mind at that time. So, they had some challenges in making the lenses work for full frame. The Leica L-mount is much bigger which gives us more flexibility.

3) This is how the L-mount alliance started:

Panasonic approached us, inquiring whether they could use the L-mount we developed for their planned full frame mirrorless system camera. We started a discussion on how this might work and how it would influence our SL business. Ultimately, we decided to move forward.

4) L-mount alliance is not like the Micro Four Thirds alliance:

It’s different because the L-mount alliance is a closed alliance, with Leica Camera AG as the licensor. Future additional members are possible if the current alliance members agree that the alliance as a whole could benefit from adding more members.

5) Possibly issues with currently existing Leica L adapters:

The adapter isn’t part of the current specification which means lens data may not be recognized and used by the camera.

It doesn’t sounds like we can expect new L-mount members to join any time soon. And I am surprised how direct Mr. Schulz talked about the E-mount flaw!

You can join the new L Full Frame Facebook group if you plan to buy this camera. There you can discuss all features and tests once it’s released!

To readers: While I am working to get some early specs I kindly invite you to stay tuned on L-rumors by subscribing here:
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