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Author Topic: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?  (Read 4861 times)

fussy

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Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« on: December 19, 2011, 04:35:02 AM »
Hi,

For most of my landscape and wildlife work, I prefer fullframe. In the latter case because of the ability to crop action-scenes (loose framing).

However I have come to like operating with more lightweight APS-C-Cameras and lenses when doing documentary photography or dealing with secretive and shy animals, when I need maximum Tele-effect rather than cropping abilities.

Yet operating with an APS-C-body to me is useless when I attach a fullframe lens to it because all I ACHIEVE is a crop by FORSAKING cropping options and carrying useless extraweight with a lens that could be smaller than it is. 

I am sure many enthusiast photographers like me suffer from the lack of APS-C-Teles with a long range. Note that out there, there are many for whom Image-Quality of current Telezooms won't do, especially not at the long end!

So I beg Canon or any other company to produce such L-Quality-Tele-lenses. I would find it reasonable to produce three different ones which are well differentiated in the following manner:

EF-S 280/5.6 L IS USM, minimum focus at about 130cm
target: lightweight hobby-birding, safari, landscape detail, Tele-MACRO-work

EF-S 250/2.8 L IS USM
target: lightweight professional sports- and wildlife-action, excellent tracking capacity

EF-S 500/5.6 L IS USM
target: lightweight, when magnification is everything: hardcore birding, recording species, long-range amateur AND professional wildlife photography.

For example for professional wildlifephotographers who need to save weight and volume (e.g. in airplanes) a 300/2.8 L IS II on a EOS 1Dx (including extenders) could perfectly be complemented buy a EF-S 500/5.6 on a professional APS-C-body, if the 500/5.6 delivers better IQ at what equals 800mm.

I know many birders who are not satisfied with the IQ of their Zooms at long range, including the EF 100-400 L. They all are using APS-C exclusively. To them, the 400/5.6 is missing the stabilizer while the 300/4.0 has an outdated one and oftenly to short of a range. Both generate unneccasary weight because they are designed for fullframe.

These birders all envy magnification and IQ of 300/2.8 or 500/4.0 but not only are unwilling to pay this kind of money - more importantly these lens-designs are to heavy for them to take them into the field. So they are stuck with Sigma Tele-Zooms. And I believe this holds true not only for the huge market that the birding scene offers to camera-lens-manufacturers, but for many other outdoor-photographers.

However I can see that from this list Canon wouldn't want to built a 250/2.8: If IQ is to good, sportphotographers might switch to APS-C, spending less money. But I cannot see any reason for the other two lenses not to become absolute money-makers to whoever builds them first.

What is YOUR opinion???
   
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 04:38:19 AM by fussy »

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Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« on: December 19, 2011, 04:35:02 AM »

torger

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 07:30:04 AM »
EF-S super-teles would be interesting indeed. Bird photography and other applications which needs super teles is today insanely expensive, especially with the version II of the 500/4. A typical "entry level" bird photo combination has been APS-C + 1.4 TC + 500/4, that is 700/5.6 on APS-C, giving a 1120mm field of view(!).

I'd like to have a super tele, but it is not one of my main photo interests so I cannot justify the cost. Today I use a 2x III TC on the 70-200 II to get a half-decent 400/5.6 IS. An EF-S 500/5.6 IS would probably not be that interesting due to that it is not long enough by itself and cannot take a TC and keep autofocus. An EF-S 600/5.6 IS or EF-S 400/4 IS (640/5.6 with 1.4 TC) would be more interesting I think.

I wonder how much smaller you can make those super-teles by only having an EF-S image circle. To keep down cost (and weight) a considerably smaller diameter of the lens is necessary. I guess the volume of large diameter glass is what makes the super teles super expensive. Looking at the cheap long EF-S zooms they are indeed really small, but they suck too of course :-).

One could also make EF-S-specific teleconverters, not sure though if those devices can be made considerably sharper and/or cheaper by having the smaller image circle.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 07:39:34 AM by torger »

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 07:46:08 AM »
The saving you get by making a super-tele EF-S at the same aperture and focal length is insignificant, as the size and weight is dominated by the front end which would need to be the same size still. So you might as well just make the full frame version only.

The only way I could see the weight going down much is by making optical and physical compromises e.g. fewer elements of cheaper glass, less build quality. But then everyone would complain about that too...
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 07:55:35 AM »
Yet operating with an APS-C-body to me is useless when I attach a fullframe lens to it because all I ACHIEVE is a crop by FORSAKING cropping options and carrying useless extraweight with a lens that could be smaller than it is. 

I am sure many enthusiast photographers like me suffer from the lack of APS-C-Teles with a long range. But I cannot see any reason for the other two lenses not to become absolute money-makers to whoever builds them first.

First off, until Canon releases professional bodies in the APS-C format, it's very unlikely we'll see an EF-S L lens, since that would be a professional lens that would not work on Canon's professional bodies. 

Beyond that, the simple fact is that there is really no significant savings to be had, either for Canon or for the customer, with an EF-S telephoto lens. 

Consider your suggestions in terms of the iris diaphragm (physical aperture, i.e. focal length / max f-number) size required:

EF-S 280/5.6 L IS USM - 50mm
EF-S 250/2.8 L IS USM - 89mm
EF-S 500/5.6 L IS USM - 89mm

The elements in front of the diaphragm must be large enough to fill it with light and avoid significant vignetting, i.e. a bit larger than the diaphragm itself.  Consider the design of a telephoto lens, e.g. the 300mm f/2.8L IS:



Most of the weight is from the elements in front of the iris diaphragm, and the very costly UD and fluorite elements (the latter can take a year to grow the crystals) are also in front and therefore need to be the size they are.  Making the elements behind it which are already relatively small, even smaller so they are sufficient to fill an EF-S image circle instead of an EF image circle, would amount to only a minimal reduction in weight. 

Fast L-series telephoto lenses use a lot of glass, and therefore are expensive.  Canon will not spend the R&D money on such lenses, which would have to be priced only slightly less than EF versions, but would be an inertial barrier to owners of such lenses for upgrading to FF.

So, my opinion is that while people would like to see EF-S telephoto lenses, for the presumed weight saving and/or cost savings, those savings are not practically feasible, and we'll never see such lenses. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 07:57:09 AM by neuroanatomist »
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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 08:15:02 AM »
I just can't see it.  Pretty much the only "Pro" APS-C is the 7D. 

Most of the EF-S lenses I see tend to be towards the Ultra-Wide side of things and more of a necessity because of the way a FF on a crop loses its wideness.  Yes I know there are a bunch of Standard and Tele-Zooms, but I look at the EF-S 10-22 as a specific example of Canon needing a lens to give Wide-Angle on the Crop Body.  Similarly a lot of the standard and Tele-Zooms are needed because when you look at the EF like 24-105, that is already almost at 40 with the crop factor.

I think between all the R&D, an EF lens offers a greater audience than an EF-S lens which has a smaller demand, especially if you start producing more expensive and specialized lenses that start eclipsing the $1000 price point. 

smirkypants

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 08:25:26 AM »
The only real pro-ish piece of glass made specifically for the AP-C mount is the 17-55mm 2.8, and it is not light by any means. It actually weighs more than the 16-40L, and in the hand doesn't feel all that much different than the 24-70. I think you're implying from your post that a certain amount of the glass elements are "wasted" and can be made smaller for the AP-C, which is a controversial one to say the least.

torger

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 08:30:19 AM »
EF-S 280/5.6 L IS USM - 50mm
EF-S 250/2.8 L IS USM - 89mm
EF-S 500/5.6 L IS USM - 89mm

I guess the 300/4 has one of the tightest gap between max aperture and lens diameter, 75 vs 77, but typically it seems like the front element is ~108% wider than the max aperture. So after 300/4 and 400/5.6 things get wide and thus expensive. Perhaps one could make a strange lens like 600/8 (75mm aperture), but then one can use 2x on a 300/4 instead.

But with the version II lens of 500/4, price went up *a lot*, a cheaper alternative full-frame or not would be nice.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 08:32:26 AM by torger »

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 08:30:19 AM »

fussy

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 08:53:40 AM »

But with the version II lens of 500/4, price went up *a lot*, a cheaper alternative full-frame or not would be nice.

Having considered the helpful objections against my preassumptions concerning possible weight-savings, I maintain that there is a gap in the Canon line-up as far as optically excellent tele-lenses are concerned which are neither super-heavy or superfast. There seems to be a consensus on this.

So why not built a EF 280/5.6 L IS USM (or a fixed 300/5.6 that would surely be lighter than the 75-300 L) and a EF 500/5.6 L IS USM instead of the mentioned above EF-S versions?

If weigt and price were no different, these lenses would have the extra benefit of being useful on FF while they'd still be able to reach out to the mentioned above targets/customers. One option to make these lenses extra cheap and light would be the use of modern plastics.

I am not worrying about filter sizes for now. We can leave that to the engineers I guess. I would certainly welcome to be able to use a polarizer in the front of the lens rather than in the back.

 

fussy

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 09:01:00 AM »
One option to make these lenses extra cheap and light would be the use of modern plastics.


Then of course it cannot be labelled "L", just like the EF-S 17-55 carries no special indication of its quality-glass in the nomenclatura. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 09:03:57 AM by fussy »

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 09:06:25 AM »
im with canon here... i see no sense in that.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 09:13:57 AM »
82mm filters are readily available, so in theory Canon could make a 460mm f/5.6 lens. I doubt we'll see one, though.

Likewise, I doubt we'd see a 300/5.6L, because there's already a 300/4L that's relatively inexpensive.  A 500/5.6L is halfway to a 300/2.8 in terms of element size, so it would likely cost close to $4K or even more.  Not sure what the market would be for such a lens - too expensive for the prosumer range (where the 300/4 and 400/5.6 sit), but slow relative to what a pro would need.

What does seem likely (at least, I hope), is a 400mm f/5.6L with IS.
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fussy

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2011, 09:36:51 AM »
82mm filters are readily available, so in theory Canon could make a 460mm f/5.6 lens. I doubt we'll see one, though.

What does seem likely (at least, I hope), is a 400mm f/5.6L with IS.

Yes, the 400/5.6 L seems like a must for Canon and I agree that it would likely close the gap for birders with APS-C.

But they might actually prefer the mentioned above 460/5.6. In addition this sounds like an extremely interesting lens for FF-users on a tight budget. Just imagine such a lens from Nikon in combination with the Nikon D700 in terms of AF- and ISO-capacity, price and weight as compared to a EOS 1Dx with 500/4.0 ;-)

For my personal use I would still be missing a lens complementing a 300/2.8 around and above 600mm, perhaps something never meant to be used with extender, like a 600/8.0 which would need to be significantly better than the 300/2.8 L IS II with 2x Extender, or perhaps even more usefull: An EF 750/8.0 L IS (it saves weight by itself as compared to the 800/5.6, so let's maintain it being an "L" instead of plastics.

After all, AF often does not need to be ultra responsive at a long range. Fats and ultra-responsive is more oftenly required between 200mm and 500mm. Considering this in combination with the hope for a Canon-body that delivers excellent high ISO-capacity, an EF 750/8.0 L IS might become everybody's darling in wildlife-photography. I assume 95mm filters would do?

Please (everyone) feel free (or urged) to comment on the 450mm L IS, the hereby "introduced" 750mm L IS as well as a 300/5.6 L IS so to give this discussion a direction towards a wider consensus.

Many thanks for your enlightning comments so far!

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2011, 09:42:06 AM »
Right off, I suspect you can forget about any of the f/8 suggestions. EF means electro-focus, and an f/5.6 or wider max aperture is required for AF (previous 1-series bodies could AF with the center point only at f/8, but the new 1D X cannot).  Canon will not release a supertele lens that cannot AF on their bodies, period.
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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2011, 09:42:06 AM »

fussy

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2011, 09:54:28 AM »
Right off, I suspect you can forget about any of the f/8 suggestions. EF means electro-focus, and an f/5.6 or wider max aperture is required for AF (previous 1-series bodies could AF with the center point only at f/8, but the new 1D X cannot).  Canon will not release a supertele lens that cannot AF on their bodies, period.

Well, so many are already complaining about the 1Dx's inability to focus at maximum aperture f8 that there may be hopes that not all bodies will behave in the same way. Especially owners of the 800/5.6 are pretty p....d
As technology always advances, one would expect that going from f8 to f5.6 is just as much an interim solution as going from 21Megapixels to 18. I believe these decisions are about compromises and short-term benefits (benefits hopefully on the part of the customer rather than of the company).

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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2011, 10:38:51 AM »
Well, there is  200 2.8 which is usually pretty cheap, and, as mentioned above, the 300 f4 IS is also really cheap...

A 500 5.6 would be great, but Canon will likely never make one. Perhaps sigma could hook us up? Actually, I think they sell a 500 F4.5, but I think it doesn't have OS, sooo........

Would I love EF-S 600 F4? Indeed. Will we e'er see one? Never. However, a 600 f8 which lies to the camera and says it is only 2.8 so you can still use a 2x TC in broad daylight would be really nice...
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Re: Why no fixed Super-Tele-Lenses for APS-C?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2011, 10:38:51 AM »