I posted a copy of yesterday’s blog post on the Sony alpha 7x forum on dpr. There were a couple of comments that I found interesting. The first related to the effect of in-lens electronics and software lens correction on the useful life of lenses.
I admit to not considering that aspect when I made yesterday’s post, although I’ve dealt with electronics and camera life in the past. In this post, I said:
With mechanical equipment, you can still get things repaired if you are willing to have the broken part made, or salvaged from other equipment. Now that much modern equipment relies on electronics, the situation gets worse: if an integrated circuit fails and is no longer made, it would cost millions of dollars to fabricate a replacement; the only hope is salvage.
I didn’t address the compatibility issues associated with electronics in lenses. With future cameras, auto focus and image stabilization in present lenses may not work. Lenses designed to be used with digital lens correction in post (a la H-series Hasselblad lenses) may be difficult or impossible to use as they were intended. All of this will serve to limit the life of lenses, even if the basic characteristics of the lens design are desirable at some future date.