October 25, 2014, 12:09:11 PM

Author Topic: What about those lens weights?  (Read 2966 times)

scottburgess

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What about those lens weights?
« on: May 08, 2014, 09:24:33 PM »
Are you doing curls with your lenses lately?  Is your photo pack dragging you down hills?  Or is all the fuss about the weight of today's lenses just for wusses?  After a discussion of gear weight elsewhere, I saw Bryan's review of the Sigma Art where he cleverly provided the build data for many 50mm lenses, along with dates of manufacture.  Dropping them into a scatter plot yielded the attached chart.

At least this confirms what we would suspect.  None of the lenses in his review built prior to the year 2000 weigh more than 400 grams, while 6/10 of those after do.  There are a few notable lenses missing, and this only covers 50mm, but the data here was handy so I nabbed it.

So what do folks think?  Is smaller and lighter better for you?  Or do you prefer higher quality and damn the pounds?  Have you swapped down to a mirrorless ILC, or would you own and use both ILCs and SLRs?

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What about those lens weights?
« on: May 08, 2014, 09:24:33 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 10:41:04 PM »
It depends very much on the lens, and on who built it, as well as its intended end user. 
 
The comparison should be done with the equivalent lens from the same manufacturer to be of any use.
 
Compare the 400mm f/2.8 IS 1 vs 400mm f/2.8 IS II, same for the 300mm, 500mm, and 600mm.
 
I think that the 70-200mm f/2.8 MK II might be slightly heaver than the MK I, but not enough so to be weighing down my bag.
 
Canon has also produced numerous versions of the 50mm f/1.8.  How does the weight compare.  I've had the Japan version, the Chinese Version, I think I had a Malaysian version, and at least two US versions.  I did not notice any weight creep, in fact, they are getting lighter, if anything.
 
The point is that you can manufacturer statistics by picking and choosing something that shows what you want to prove.

dolina

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 10:48:19 PM »
If you may have noticed the 50mm's IQ has improved through the years as well. Perhaps that has an influence on the weight.

As Mt Spokane mentioned there are times when newer lens means lighter as well. I honestly would not have bought a 400/2.8 IS in its Series 1 form and waited for the Series 2. I also wouldnt buy a 600/4 IS in its Series 1 form and waited for the Series 2.
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Random Orbits

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 11:08:21 PM »
I usually opt for quality over size/weight, but it does start to get heavy fast after the 3rd or 4th lens (especially when one of them is something like the 70-200L II).  What bothers me more is how much larger in diameter the newer lenses are, which make it harder to arrange efficiently in camera bags esp. with the hoods on/reversed.  Which means I have to get a larger camera bag, but then feel foolish that it's not completely full so it ends up being heavier than it needs to be.

More than 95% of my shots are with a FF DSLR, but the M has its place.  There is no way that I'd bring the DLSR and a bag of lenses when on a business trip (usually cameras aren't allowed and I'm not comfortable leaving it in the hotel room), but the M with a couple EOS-M lenses easily fit in a shoulder bag or in a coat (and is a lot less costly to replace).  Even though the M system takes nice pictures, I often wish I was using the DSLR when in the act of taking pictures.  There may be reasons why I used the M over the DSLR, but the ergonomics and the photographic experience of a FF DSLR are so much better than with a MILC.

scottburgess

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2014, 08:07:40 PM »
It depends very much on the lens, and on who built it, as well as its intended end user. 
 
The comparison should be done with the equivalent lens from the same manufacturer to be of any use.
 
...
The point is that you can manufacturer statistics by picking and choosing something that shows what you want to prove.

Actually, the point was to survey folks about their opinions since the data desired is proprietary.

Ideally, one would look at lens sales percentages multiplied by lens weight within classes of lenses if one were doing a dissertation on the topic.  I doubt CIPA members will ever provide such data.  Given that most folks recognize that available lens weights and filter sizes have risen, the chart was intended as merely a conversation starter. 


scottburgess

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 08:11:33 PM »
If you may have noticed the 50mm's IQ has improved through the years as well. Perhaps that has an influence on the weight.

In some cases, we know the answer is yes.  The recent 50mm Sigma ART lens, for example, supposedly achieves better images via a larger image circle.  Zeiss Otus as well.

But the question is whether you would sacrifice quality to lower weight, or carry more for the sake of incrementally better images?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 08:20:51 PM by scottburgess »

ajfotofilmagem

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2014, 09:06:54 PM »
In general, I do not care about the weight of a lens, since it is below 1 kilogram. When it comes to necessarily large and heavy lenses, I could pay more for a model that is 20% lighter, and all other characteristics remain the same.

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2014, 09:06:54 PM »

Mr_Canuck

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 01:19:20 AM »
Depends 1000% on why you take pictures.

I get why some people want a 70-200/2.8 or 600mm beast.

I'm always looking for the smallest kit with the largest sensor and viewfinder; a challenge. I guess Sony a7 is that but I'm not at all interested in evfs. So I have a 6D (as light as a full frame dslr has ever come). And I have a Voigtlander 20 and 40STM and a 70-200 f4 is. All hand-holdable very easily. Weight and size were significant considerations. Portability for travel, hiking and because I'm usually combining photography with another activity. I don't want the gear to get in the way.
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Menace

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2014, 07:15:23 AM »

Compare the 400mm f/2.8 IS 1 vs 400mm f/2.8 IS II
 


There is a huge difference in weight between the 400 I & II - IQ of the I was great whilst the II is simply stunning and its much lighter to carry around :)
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Maximilian

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 07:42:57 AM »
So what do folks think?  Is smaller and lighter better for you?  Or do you prefer higher quality and damn the pounds?
It always depends on what IQ you need - or think you need.
I am willing to carry more weight, if build quality and IQ are at a higher level. But I prefer a good compromise.
Still, everything must stay handholdable for me, which is subjective.
And If I want to travel light, I would choose the proper equipment.

Quote
Have you swapped down to a mirrorless ILC, or would you own and use both ILCs and SLRs?
Be cautious! ILC, MFT or else are giving you lighter and smaller lenses in terms of reach.
If you want to achieve same thin DOF then you need bigger apertures. And then there is no weight and space saving. Not even cost saving.
For example compare an 70-200 f2.8 to this one here:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/404517-REG/Olympus_261012_35_100mm_f_2_0_ED_Zuiko.html
sometimes you have to close your eyes to see properly.

Zv

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2014, 10:51:04 AM »
It depends what I'm doing and where I'm going. On vacation I take most of my gear but for small trips and just day to day stuff I'm finding the EOS M is handier. There is something refreshing about being at a party and shooting casually with the EOS M and 22/2 lens. It leaves space in a small bag for other things like a flash and some radio triggers!

I have no issues with the weight of my FF lenses though, I actually like them to be a bit sturdy and meaty! All my L lenses seem to be a good size and fit comfortably in the hand. I wouldn't want anything heavier than about 800g though as the combined weight of all the lenses would be annoying when traveling. So yeah I'd say there is a balance between getting good image quality and how big and heavy I'm willing to go.
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mackguyver

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2014, 11:44:43 AM »
Weight doesn't bother me, but size does - I love the 300 f/2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 IS II, but they are beasts and take up a lot of room in my bag. 

dancook

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2014, 06:02:50 AM »
I walk around the street with about 4kg in my hands, supplements my gym sessions nicely !

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2014, 06:02:50 AM »

Menace

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2014, 07:02:01 AM »
Weight doesn't bother me, but size does - I love the 300 f/2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 IS II, but they are beasts and take up a lot of room in my bag.

Same here - Weight is ok but size can be an issue.

I'm only 5'6" but happy to carry my 1DX with 400 2.8 II on a mono pod whilst 5DIII with 70-200 2.8 on a BR around my neck.

Works well for me.
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sdsr

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2014, 11:39:08 AM »

So what do folks think?  Is smaller and lighter better for you?  Or do you prefer higher quality and damn the pounds?  Have you swapped down to a mirrorless ILC, or would you own and use both ILCs and SLRs?

I used not to worry about weight (though after spending a full day walking around with several pounds of ff equipment I would sometimes wish I hadn't) until I tried some M43 equipment a year or so ago and was pleasantly enough surprised to buy some.  After extensive periods of time using it, switching back to FF Canon dslrs was rather a jolt.  I've since added a Sony A7r (465grams) along with the Sony/Zeiss 35mm 2.8 (120g!) and 55 1.8 (281g), all of which together weigh only 50g more than the new Sigma 50 1.4 by itself.  The image quality is fantastic, so there's no trade-off at all in that regard (unless you need a faster aperture, of course, or need to photograph herons-catching-fish).  For now I'm keeping all three (plus a SL1), but I'm not sure how long that will be the case.  (For some uses there's still no substitute for a dslr, but they tend not to apply to me, so....)

(As for lens weight increasing over time in general, during the last couple of weeks I've been playing around with some old manual lenses on my mirrorless cameras; and while they're often quite a bit smaller than their modern counterparts, they're surprisingly heavy for their size if you've become used to modern mostly-plastic primes - great to use, and much less bulky, but not necessarily much of a weight savings.)

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Re: What about those lens weights?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2014, 11:39:08 AM »