Lens physics


Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
In my seemingly never-ending quest for "The One Camera to Rule Them All", I have bought, sold, traded, rented, and researched a lot of different cameras. Some of you have been producing some very nice images from the RX100 line of cameras, but I'm convinced those cameras would be much too small for me. I considered the LX100 II, but the reviews for it seem to be all over the place, and the Mk I version I rented a couple of years ago was nice but not enough for me to purchase.

The one thing the RX100(s), LX100(s), and Fuji X30 have are small, sharp, fast lenses. I realize the X30 lens is covering a smaller sensor, but its tiny manual zoom lens was brilliant. The LX100(s) have that 24-70mm lens that tops out at f2.8. If you look at camerasize.com, you can see that the built-in lens on the LX100 is about the same size as the much slower Panasonic 12-32 f3.5-5.6. Likewise, the more premium Panasonic 12-35mm 2.8 gives the same FOV as the LX100 lens, but is much larger: Compact Camera Meter

I am not an engineer, but I'm surmising that the LX100, RX100, and X30 lenses can be small and fast because the designers did not have to take into account a lens mount and the mechanisms to go with it. I guess physics precludes engineers from designing a small, fast, sharp ILC zoom lens. If it could be done, I imagine it would be quite expensive. Any engineers in the crowd want to weigh in with your thoughts?

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