Sony Says They Could Make f/1.0 Lenses, but Won't, Because There's No Market Demand

Sony Says They Could Make f/1.0 Lenses, but Won't, Because There's No Market Demand

Last month, a Leica executive claimed that Sony's E mount is essentially too small to support more extreme optical designs. Sony has fired back, saying they could create an f/1.0 lens if they wanted to, but that there simply isn't the demand for one.

Kenji Tanaka, Senior General Manager of Sony's Digital Imaging Business group, mentioned his thoughts in an interview with Amateur Photographer, in which he directly addressed the lens mount issue, first noting:

Honestly speaking, it is very difficult to create a small size mount. But the quality of our new 400mm f/2.8 is better than the competitors. That means the diameter of the mount is not critical for our foremost lenses.

In following up with this, Tanaka said the company could technically produce an f/1.0 lens, but there's no demand in the market and it would not make sense business-wise. Personally, I have to agree with Sony. While f/1.0 is another full stop past the more standard f/1.4 and the sort of thing photographers drool over, high ISOs have gotten so good and depth of field is already so narrow at that point that I think most photographers would have a very hard time justifying what would surely be a stratospheric cost for any lens of half-decent quality with autofocus at that aperture. I know I'd much rather see Sony put that time and money into continuing to develop and release more standard lenses for the full frame E mount system. 

What are your thoughts?

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33 Comments

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Domenico Dentice's picture

Sony listens to and watches the market. It is what people demand and this is the reason why Sony is where it is !

Don’t most photographers judge lenses based on aperture?
Primes: 1.2/1.4 = pro; 1.8 or higher = consumer
Zooms: 2/2.8 = pro; 4 or higher = kit lens

Ryan Stone's picture

The issue with the small Sony mount is in relation to wide angle/wide aperture lenses. Exactly why the Sony talking head references the 400mm 2.8 in this article.