The problem of Chinese Optics Camera Lens
Recently many Chinese lens company began to make their own brand of lens. Overall I think this is a good news, because it can become the push factors for sinking camera industries and offer more choice for photographers.
Some of the brands like TTArtisan, Laowa Venus Optics and Zhang Yi Optics actually doing very well these years, thanks for the mirrorless camera which allow manual focus lens cannot easily adopt to different camera system, it provide market opportunity for these chinese optics company.
In additional, due to the lack for AF functions, electric contacts , exif functions exchange , In lens VC system and also no need to apply licence to use the camera, most of the Chinese made optics should be significant cheaper than the lens from camera maker.
So, overall these Chinese made optics provide more choice to photographer , for example much wider focal-lane, like Laowa just broke the welcome to provide a 9mm F5.6 ultra wide angle lens to Full Frame camera.
But what is the current challenge of a Chinese optics company at this camera industry?
Below is some of the point I figure out when I try to observe the industries:
1.Strength its optic designs
For those who may not know , a lot of Japanese brands optics , like Sony , Canon, Fujifilm ,Nikon , Tamron , Sigma , Tokina use third party grass for their lens , for example Hoya. Although the lens may be assembly in Japan, but they may have. Chance to use third party glass which built to order from China glass makers.
Because this glass maker accumulate manufacturing experience and also reference the lens design from German and Japan. The past five years they begin to develop their own lens.
From simple optics structure at the first moment , to wider and larger aperture prime lens.
For example, TTartisan just release a bright-red version M-mount 50mm F0.95 to celebrates the years of Ox.
It featuring eleven elements in eight groups including one double-sided aspherical element, one ultra-low dispersion element and five high-refractive elements.
Aperture range is F0.95 to F16 offers a minimum focusing distance of 70cm (28"), uses a 14-blade aperture diaphragm and has a 67mm front filter thread.
The lens measures 89mm (3.5") long, 72mm diameter and weighs 687g (1.5lbs).
And the most wonderful things is , the lens just cost 1/6 of the price of original Leica 50mm M-mount 50mm F0.95.
At this moment , Chinese optics manufacturer seem to pick up the niche market segment of lens, especially super large aperture, super wide angle, super macro etc. It attract a lot of photographer to buy, but because the lens lack AF functions, lack Exif exchange functions (it will affect the white balance value of the image), so after trial, usually the user experience was not very good, finally it will affect the next purchasing decision of chinese made optics.
So , strength its optic designs now become the next target these company need to solve.
2.Small details need improve
When you see the small details of Chinese optics, you will discover those Chinese lens still have a lot of small things need to improve.
For example, the typeface of the lens is not very good. It still need to tune up to suit all types of photographer from the world in different regions.
Besides, most Chinese optics still not very good to resist Flare and soft at the edge. Also you may find that the lens , when wide open, if have a lot of dark corner and strangle color tune.
3.Still no AF and Zoom functions
A lot of Chinese made optics now still a manual focus lens , no built-in Auto Focus function and there is still a very limited choices for Zoom lens.
Also you can see Chinese optics still limited choices on tele lens. Because tele lens is usually good quality from Japanese manufacturer. Chinese optics still cannot complete with those lens.
4. Chinese lens are not valuable in long terms.
Sell and resell price of Chinese optics still not very good as compare to Japanese optics.
This is also the problem for those company need to be faced.