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Big & heavy lenses - is that a thing now?


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#1 Klaus

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:45 PM

Lately we have seen lots of lenses that may have pushed the optical performance yet it all came at the cost of increased size and weight - Nikkor 105mm f/1.4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 (and all the other new ARTs), the Otuses, the late Ls, also the Sony GM lenses.

 

Is that really what you want ?

 

For my personal photography projects, I wouldn't even touch a lens beyond 1Kg.


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#2 Brightcolours

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:54 PM

No, I do not want 1kg + per lens in my bag. One or two exceptions I would consider, but I am not after optical flawlessness like that.



#3 Rover

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 11:20 PM

The quality lenses are getting bigger, no getting away from that - the megapixel war is pushing the demands up (the Sigma Art 85 is a great example... it's huge but it's the first lens that could tame the 50MP sensor well). However, If you needed a 70-200/2.8 or 100-400/4.5-5.6 lens... there was never any other way. However, next to the 70-200/2.8 I have a small and compact 24-85/3.5-4.5 lens (yes... I got one again). I like it but it probably doesn't cut it at all on the new sensors.

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#4 JoJu

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:21 AM

Basically I, especially my spine strongly agrees to "less weight, please!"

 

But.

 

Once tasted the flavour of really decent optical performance, it is hard to know, at home there's just the lens for this situation which would let you return with something outstanding on your memory card. I developed some strategies to deal with:

 

Mobile objects in relative darkness, say dancers just need quick AF, not last 2% of sharpness because either I go the ISO highway or the "blurred by movement"-path. MTFs are ridiculously low at these situations.

 

I enjoy lightweight as good as it gets. If I need high resolution, a stitched pano can do the trick. in an otherwise not very much moving landscape.

 

I can reduce weight by taking only two instead of 4 lenses. Knowing that some pictures will not be possible, but others in best possible resolution - it's not so bad to reduce options... And of course, on my "usual photo grounds" I can learn a lot by just reducing to one lens and try to get some good pictures. I don't need to bring home 100 pictures with the full variety. If something is photographically impossible, because the lens resides in it's drawer, then there's still the joy of the moment  :) I DON'T have to get results...

 

Go mirrorless and µ 4/3 Doesn't save money, but a lot of weight and space.

 

Mo mirrorless and 44 × 33, baby-MF. Does burn a lot money, lenses stay below 1 kg and body - compared to DSLR - is lightweight  :D

 

Yes, a lens around 1 kg is a heavy thing - but one or two DSLR bodies at 1.1 kg don't improve matters.



#5 thxbb12

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:06 AM

I used to be super obsessed with lens quality, sharpness, etc.

 

Now, I'm very pragmatic. I realized that I very seldom print big and when I do, what matters the most is the subject, framing, lighting, etc. sharpness is never an issue (meaning: sharpness from the lens is good enough).

In my living room I have a 90x70cm print shot with a lowly Panasonic G3 (16MP). There is quite a bit of grain (ISO 800) and sharpness is good enough (shot with the $100 Oly 40-150 f4-5.6). Guess what: the gear wasn't a limitation. The quality is really good enough, despite the size at which it was printed! At normal viewing distance, I'm sure most people wouldn't see a difference between this and the same picture taken with a Phase One 100MP. It doesn't matter to me that at 10cm distance you see some noise and not perfect sharpness.

 

With our computers we can see many flaws when pixel peeping, but I think that for 90% of lenses out there, their flaws don't matter. They will pretty much never be visible under normal viewing conditions. Most lenses are good enough.

 

Nowadays, I value compactness over ultimate IQ. I used to be bothered by the sharpness of my Fujinon 18mm f2. When I think about how I use the results from it, it actually doesn't matter. I tend to mostly print photo books these days. The largest size would be A4. Pretty much all lenses released today are objectively more than good enough. The same is true with cameras, regardless of sensor size (even 1'' is probably more than enough - except for DOF control and super high ISO).

 

To the point that I recently bought a used Pany GM5 which features a super crappy EVF. However, I can put it in a jacket pocket with a 12-32 mounted and carry another fast lens in the other pocket (say a 45 f1.8 or 20 f1.7). I'm finding myself using it quite a lot just out of sheer convenience.

 

Heavy lenses? Definitely not for me, regardless of the IQ they provide. Regular lenses are more than adequate, really.

 

I think most of us here are just unreasonably obsessed gear heads beyond reason ;-)


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#6 stoppingdown

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:44 AM

It's fun that they advertised mirrorless as a way to reduce weight, and we're seeing a constant increase of weight in lenses.

 

I agree, that I wouldn't like to use those heavy beasts - the only exception that I make is the 150-600mm, for obvious reasons.


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#7 dave's clichés

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:50 AM

   I'm interested in the shot!  that means heavier lenses!

  

 At shorter focal lengths I'm happy with lighter lenses, as in  50mm at F4 tack sharp, no shortage of lenses in that department, most do the job, at wider FLs things get more complicated, but there's no shortage of glass that can do the job......... (Samyang 14mm F2.8) or whatever?

 

   Add serious FL and things get much more complicated and of course much more expensive......you want long focal, you need an increase of weight, no dodging this one. You want long FL with largish F numbers.... ring your bank manager, your going to need it!!

 

 

 

Like.... the AF-S 500mm ED F4D weighs 4.2 Kgs all up, I suppose I could pay an extra £3-4,000 to save 1/2 a Kilo...............the super expensive lighter version...

 

    or buy the Tamron 150-600mm G2 and save yourself 2 Kgs and $1500....

 

  Ought is for nought!

 

 

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#8 obican

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 08:34 AM

Just about every hobbyist, every blogger, every reviewer, every rumor site, every fanboy wants the sharpest, the best, the fastest these days. Also most hobbyists are willing to pay a lot more than what hobbyists used to pay 10-15 year ago, so there is also an increased market for more expensive lenses. So companies just make them bigger and better.

 

Right now there are only two lenses heavier than 1kg that I use occasionally (aka when I'm working) and those are the Canon 11-24/4L and 85/1.2L II. I own neither of those lenses and neither would I like to own anything heavier than 1kg, except for a 70-400 or similar focal length lens.



#9 JoJu

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 09:46 AM

I don't know about you, but I cannot imagine weight in my hands before I actually hold it. Most lenses I ordered without actually have it in my hands or on a camera before. And weight is hurting my back, yes, but in my hands 1 kg can feel just right ind the right proportion or very odd. It can be in a good balance-  like the "heavier than 1 kg" 150-600 G2 is, it's really very well balanced. Or totally off balance, like the 150-600 Sports version is fully extended.

 

Heavier stuff always implies a more decent quality. Lighter lenses like the 300/4 PF E have a harder time to convince me about their quality - and if I'm honest, that lens will never reach the level of trust other lenses got right from the beginning. Stupid, I know.


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#10 thxbb12

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 10:50 AM

It's fun that they advertised mirrorless as a way to reduce weight, and we're seeing a constant increase of weight in lenses.

 

I agree, that I wouldn't like to use those heavy beasts - the only exception that I make is the 150-600mm, for obvious reasons.

 

Since there is no mirror box, a mirrorless camera can always be made smaller than a traditionnal DSLR.

Now, manufacturers may decide not to do it for whatever reason they might chose.

 

Take a Panasonic GM5 for instance. It's tiny and it even features an EVF. You can mount some very small lenses on it: Pany 14 f2.5, Pany 20 f1.7, Oly 12 f2, Oly 45 f1.8, etc. This couldn't be achieved with a DSLR (regardless of sensor size).

 

This being said, it puzzles me that manufacturers are not releasing more pancakes lenses. I'm sure they would sell like hot cakes. Something in the vein of the Canon 22 f2. A nice collection of f2 pancake lenses would be awesome, yet nobody does it.

Panasonic did it with the 14 f2.5 and 20 f1.7 (great). Why not more?

Olympus didn't release any single pancake lens for MFT (actually they did the 17 f2.8 which is crap)!

Fuji did the 18 f2 and 27 f2.8 (too slow). Too bad their new f2 line is not pancakes.

Pentax did the 21 f3.2 (too slow), 40 f2.8 (too slow), 43 f1.9, 70 f2.4 (great).

Canon did the 22 f2 (great) for the M.

Sony did the 16 f2.8 (crap).

Samsung did the 16 f2.4, 20 f2.8, 30 f2 (great) 

 

 

We need more of these!


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#11 JoJu

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 10:56 AM

Don't think so.

 

If I want to have a formfactor like an APS-C or smaller mirrorless, then there are plenty of options around like Fuji XF100, 70 or whatever. Why compromising IQ just for a pancake, when a fiully integrated camera is still smaller because it doesn't need the mount, the electrical contacts and whatever is possible to be placed inside the camera. It also would not need a protection glass to keep the sensor dust free.



#12 Njom

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 11:10 AM

Lately we have seen lots of lenses that may have pushed the optical performance yet it all came at the cost of increased size and weight - Nikkor 105mm f/1.4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 (and all the other new ARTs), the Otuses, the late Ls, also the Sony GM lenses.
 
Is that really what you want ?
 
For my personal photography projects, I wouldn't even touch a lens beyond 1Kg.

Hi Guys,
You are right Klaus that is why the M4/3 it is a very intresting alternative.
I have both systems olympus pen f and sony A7R II, when I compare:
A7RII + FE90 vs Olympus Pen F + Olympus 60mm macro
A7RII + FE85 GM vs Olympus Pen F + Panasonic 42.5
I realize that buying the A7RII which it's a mirrorless camera was a mistake for me.
But again I am not professional.

#13 obican

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 11:45 AM

I don't know about you, but I cannot imagine weight in my hands before I actually hold it. Most lenses I ordered without actually have it in my hands or on a camera before. And weight is hurting my back, yes, but in my hands 1 kg can feel just right ind the right proportion or very odd. It can be in a good balance-  like the "heavier than 1 kg" 150-600 G2 is, it's really very well balanced. Or totally off balance, like the 150-600 Sports version is fully extended.

 

Heavier stuff always implies a more decent quality. Lighter lenses like the 300/4 PF E have a harder time to convince me about their quality - and if I'm honest, that lens will never reach the level of trust other lenses got right from the beginning. Stupid, I know.

 

I try to handle the lenses and cameras before buying. Luckily, it's not hard at all where I live since there are multiple stores which let you do that.

 

You are absolutely right on how the balance makes a difference and sometimes it's better in hand than on your back.



#14 Klaus

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:02 PM

Of course, there have always been big lenses. Everything from 400mm was and is big. And in this case I accepted this as a fact of life. That's a physical limitation.

The first time that I actually "realized" the increased weight in a non-long tele lens was with the 11-24mm f/4L. It's not even an overly fast lens. Carrying it around was a PAIN. And it felt the same with the Sigma 85mm Art.

Combined with the Canon EOS 5Ds R we are talking about 2kg total here. For one 85mm lens with a camera. This is when all the fun is gone and only work remains really. I was genuinely happy when the field trip was over.

I am not so sure whether this is right method to rescue the photographic industry from its demise.

But maybe I'm just getting old.


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#15 JoJu

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:25 PM

Put some wheels under a monopod.  B)

 

The 5Ds R and all other >36MP bodies are a reason for this development, optically and mechanically. Sigma 20/1.4? This dimensions used to be MF class. We can try to simulate that IQ in FF, but it's surrogate.

 

Florent, i also do mostly photobooks, but when I spend some time with it, I want to have it bigger than A4 - so normal size is 30 × 30 cm, Sometimes even 40 × 30. 60 cm double page means - for 300 dpi - having 7000 pixels horizontally. I do see when IQ is not so perfect - and it's great to dive into the details if there are some worth a dive.



#16 dave's clichés

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:30 PM

   Whilst we are talking about the ever increasing size of lenses.......

 

   Pentax "sort of announces" a new 50mm F1.4 lens, it's bigger, better and no doubt will have a bigger and better price tag!

 

  Why they started with another 50mm is a bit of a surprise as they have quite a few at around that focal length already, the 55mm F1.4 hasn't been that long for this world.  It will be no doubt very welcome to K1 shooters who are discovering the benefits of Pentax's pixel shift technology.......

 

   Keep them coming Pentax!

 

http://news.ricoh-im...222_014597.html



#17 JoJu

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:35 PM

And they also have a tiny tiny 50/1.8 "nearly pancake" (fiftyoneeight goes well with panceight  :D )

 

Well dave, Pentax knows how to do niftyfifties. Maybe better than anything else they know  :lol: But it's funny, I just saw the same. In pentax-land, it's a colossus. Even the dwarves go Gulliver.



#18 thxbb12

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:32 PM

Don't think so.

 

If I want to have a formfactor like an APS-C or smaller mirrorless, then there are plenty of options around like Fuji XF100, 70 or whatever. Why compromising IQ just for a pancake, when a fiully integrated camera is still smaller because it doesn't need the mount, the electrical contacts and whatever is possible to be placed inside the camera. It also would not need a protection glass to keeo the sensor dust free.

 

Yes, but having a non interchangeable camera is too restrictive. I'd like to be able to change lenses while keeping a small form factor.

Also, pancake doesn't necessarily mean compromised quality. Many of the ones I listed above are actually good optically. To name a few:

  • Panasonic 20 f1.7
  • Pentax 40 f2.8 and 70 f2.4
  • Canon 22 f2
  • Samsung 30 f2

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#19 JoJu

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:47 PM

 

Yes, but having a non interchangeable camera is too restrictive. ...

 

 Well, that's curse and freedom at the same time. At least sometimes. I do have a set of Sigma Merills because the three together were cheaper than one (decent) body with three lenses. And I was and still am amazed of the quality of these outdated things. And if I have time and immobile subjects, want high quality on par or better than D810 and still travel light, I fill two or three of them in a bag, add half a dozen batteries and am still lighter than a D810 with 24-105.

 

For certain occasions I was using two DSLR-bodies. Wether they are interchangeable or not, I was not interchanging lenses, just taking the tele- or wideangle body, as changing lenses costs time and distracts focus (of my mind).

 

I can understand your point, I just see also the advantages of a fixed lense which keeps dust out of the body. At least in theory.



#20 toni-a

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 08:39 PM

Well I was very enthusiast for Tokina 16-28f2.8 it seemed just the perfect ultrawide, and after trying it was very happy with optical results. And now guess what? When was the last time I used it ? Six months ago...
When you compare size and weight of 5D plus Tokina 16-28 to 750D plus 10-18 especially with tokina's big protruding front element it's obvious which one to carry.
I own tokina 24-200 that was considered a damn heavy lens, it us lighter than many of my lenses like 24-105f4L!!! Which is not even considered heavy by today's standards




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