Letter to Canon

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Deleted member 383276

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Dear Canon,

You continue to make great gear, but while I've been enjoying to use Canon cameras and lenses for years, there's something I do not understand:
Do we all need (and want) big fat heavy fast lenses?
Do we all need (and prefer) to shoot wide open?
What about the many landscape photographers and travellers - don't we earn the same attention, wouldn't we appreciate and enjoy small and lightweight L-primes as well as our portrait, wedding and astro photographer friends do with their big primes?

''We have first class zooms'', you may say, ''which offer many focals lenghts in one lens and maybe even less weight than with a couple of prime lenses.''
Right... but you know better than me the advantages of primes over zooms – or why does anyone make and use primes at all? Do you want to tell me that I can only choose between zooms and older EF non-L primes, if I don't want to carry bricks in my backpack?

''But then we can make these lenses not faster than f4 or even f5.6''
, you may say, and maybe you're right again.
Well... does this really matter to landscape photographers who more than often stop down to f8 anyway?
You can taylor lenses to perform best at f1.4 or so. Can't you taylor small primes for optimum performace at f11 or even f16? Ok, optimize them for f8 and give us sensor based focus stacking instead. With IBIS, we even wouldn't need in-lens IS, and the majority of landscape photographers that I know and meet use tripods anyway.

Hey Canon, you make ''Look-what-we-can-do'' lenses with incredible performance and we are really deeply impressed.
I know, physics are limiting things now and then, and I'm not an expert in this regard, but do ''Look-what-we-can-do'' lenses automatically need to be big and heavy?
Well, you're in good company with other lens makers in this regard, but show us what YOU can do by giving us a series of small L quality primes, from 12mm to 135mm or so.
Make them small, make them light, make them L, make them perfect.

I think you will make more money, because you will have more custumers: those who don't want to carry or who can't afford the heavy beasts.

Last but not least, don't tell me this would be impossible. 50 years ago, men flew to the moon.

Continue to be the best, and don't forget the rest!

Very truly yours,
A Friend


1. I'm not new to photography (30 years of medium and large format behind me, Canon shooter for five years now), but I'm new to this forum.
2. English is not my native language, so forgive me some bumps here and there.
3. I'd like to know what you photographer friends out there think...
 
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neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
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Sorry, Canon has never lived here. No forwarding address is available. Might want to check the Japanese directory, or at least the white pages for Melville, NY.
 
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Deleted member 383276

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This ''letter'' was meant to hear your opinions, folks.
I know where Canon lives.
 

YuengLinger

EOR R
Dec 20, 2012
2,358
382
Southeastern USA
In what universe does Canon not make many light, slow lenses? Here on Earth One, we can buy them online and even in big box stores.

Have you ever tried, and here is just one example from a large library, the ef-s 35mm f/2.8 IS Macro? It's a tiny gem.

Full frame? Pancake lenses? 16-35mm f/4L? 24-70mm f/4 IS?

That's my opinion. Canon has all the light, slowish and very slow lenses any photographer needs. None of them, however, has a unicorn horn, so they might need a little more creativity.

If you need tiny lenses like spies use, full frame might not be the right sensor format for you. Maybe a smartphone?
 
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unfocused

EOS 5D SR
This ''letter'' was meant to hear your opinions, folks.
I know where Canon lives.
I'm not sure I understand your post.

Canon primes that are light and relatively low cost:

24 mm f2.8 EF IS
24 mm f2.8 EF-S Pancake
28 mm f2.8 EF IS
35 mm f2.0 EF IS
40 mm f2.8 EF pancake
50 mm f2.8 EF STM
85 mm f1.8 EF
100 mm f2.8 IS USM Macro
135 mm f2.0 EF
200 mm f2.8 EF

Many of these lenses are underrated, but still very good. Keep in mind that "L" is a marketing tool. It has no clear definition and simply means whatever Canon wants it to. Some of the lenses I've listed are "L." Some are not. I own or have owned the 24mm f2.8 IS, the 24 mm EF-S pancake, the 85mm f1.8, the 100 mm f2.8 IS Macro and the 200 mm f2.8. They are all very good lenses. I happen to prefer zooms for the convenience, but I would have no hesitation using or recommending any of these lenses.

If you are suggesting that Canon should make, for example, a 24mm f4 "L" lens, I'm not sure why. I doubt it would be any sharper or lighter than the 24 mm f2.8 EF IS that they already make. And, I'm pretty sure they would sell a lot fewer of them, so the price is likely to be much higher for no gain in quality.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that only "L" lenses are high quality. If you really want an "L" lens in some of these focal lengths, just buy yourself some red paint and masking tape. It will save you a lot of money.
 
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Deleted member 383276

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Here on Earth One and Only, my dear sarcastic YuengLinger, I have - thanks to your information - indeed noticed a difference in smartphone and full frame sensors, but I haven't heard or read of small, full frame, L quality, native R-mount lenses from Canon so far. Have you on Earth Two?

Unfocused, you want to tell me that painting a red ring around my 35mm/f2 IS USM or 50mm/f1.8 STM will seal them against moisture and dust... cool.
I will inform Canon that they don't need to make any L lenses anymore, because there is no difference between L and non L lenses. They will be more than happy to learn that they just need some red paint and masking tape and can save a lot of money.

I don't care if Canon calls their lenses L or D or Harry... I was talking about landscape photography, which involves rain and sand and dropping lenses... things like that tend to happen on Earth One. And I was talking about Canon putting out (almost) only big/heavy lenses for R mount, so far.

Some say the new big/fast R-lenses are needed to match the upcoming high res sensors (not smartphone sensors of course, YuengLinger).
Okay, now I'm trying to understand that the existing fast EF L-primes (and zooms) do not match the future high res sensors, but the existing small non-L EF primes do?
Hm... (scratch head)

Stupid me, I was thinking about a couple of highest (optical and built) quality, small and lightweight lenses, for highest quality small and lightweight R-mount cameras.
Here on Earth One, by the way.

I didn't expect that thought to be so otherworldly.
 
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unfocused

EOS 5D SR
...3. I'd like to know what you photographer friends out there think...
Apparently you don't really want to know what others think. Because, when I told you what I think, you decided to argue with me, instead of accepting it.

So, here is a little more of what I think. I think I would rather carry a since zoom lens in the range that I want, instead of several small, slow primes. I think that if I am worried about weather sealing, it is much better to carry a single zoom lens than change multiple primes in the field. I think that the quality of zoom lenses today is equal to most prime lenses, so the main advantage of primes is usually their speed, not their sharpness. I think that generally speaking prime lenses do not sell nearly as well as zooms and the relative costs of primes are higher than more popular zoom lenses. And, finally, I think Canon does market research and analysis and has a pretty good idea of what the market demand is and makes lenses to fit that demand, so if Canon does not make slow, weather-sealed prime lenses, it is probably because there is not sufficient demand to justify making them.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,364
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Its true that lenses can be made somewhat smaller and lighter by reducing aperture sizes, by eliminating heavy glass corrective elements, and by using light weight and less durable construction.

Canon has let third party manufacturers fill the needs for such low end lenses with a few exceptions, like the kit lenses for APS-C DSLR's. Those are reasonably sharp, but sacrifice durability.

More than any other element, the lens controls the sharpness of the image, so most enthusiast users want the best glass they can afford.

One way to get smaller and lighter but still high quality lenses is to purchase cameras with smaller sensors. You give up light gathering ability, but as long as you have good lighting, they work very well.

We are all stuck with the laws of physics, and would like to get the impossible, but until someone comes up with a different paradigm, we are stuck.
 
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Pape

EOS RP
Dec 31, 2018
350
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Canon makes first lenses for peoples who needs lenses for work ,sport photographers and model photographers and product photographers.
Lanscape photographers and wild life lenses comes when they got time ,if they never get time nowadays . competition is hard.
They middle of mirrorless shutttterless revolution and megapixel war.
Takes years when they can consetrate again for hobby photographers needs more better .
 
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Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,101
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I'd like to know what you photographer friends out there think...
I think that Canon needs to paint a red ring around a G9X II lens, and that will probably make you happy.

Also I think that Canon should not waste its time and money on what modern smartphones with computational photography can do better.
 

Besisika

How can you stand out, if you do like evrybdy else
Mar 25, 2014
637
25
Montreal
Dear Canon,

''We have first class zooms'', you may say, ''which offer many focal lenghts in one lens and maybe even less weight than with a couple of prime lenses.''
Right... but you know better than me the advantages of primes over zooms – or why does anyone make and use primes at all? Do you want to tell me that I can only choose between zooms and older EF non-L primes, if I don't want to carry bricks in my backpack?
I see your pain in your sentences, but I don't feel it. That is, maybe, because we do not shoot the same thing. If you want people to fee it, find a way to put them in your shoes. Examples maybe!

The 200mm 2.8 is a fantastic prime lens and I use it relatively often. Still, I prefer the zoom 70-200mm II any time because it is better in many, many ways. I use only the prime when I am practicing and forcing myself to use a specific focal length. I bought the prime first but I realized very quickly that the lack of zoom caused a lot more trouble than the weight.

That is an example of what I feel, making me not feel your pain at all.

Let me put it this way; if I feel that way, then there is a chance that Canon decision makers feel the same.
Again, find a way to put people in your shoes, even for a minute, you might increase your chance for them to share your path.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,377
1,724
Make them small, make them light, make them L, make them perfect.

I think you will make more money, because you will have more custumers: those who don't want to carry or who can't afford the heavy beasts.
Canon has dominated the ILC market for 16 years. That suggests they’re pretty good at designing and making the products most photographers want to buy.

You may think they’d make more money if they make a particular lens you want, Canon has millions of data points on who buys what lenses, they periodically survey thousands of customers, and thus they probably have a better idea of what most people would buy than you or me.

Incidentally, ‘perfect’ lenses are practically impossible. Very high quality is possible, but requires more optical correction, which means more elements, which means bigger and heavier.
 

YuengLinger

EOR R
Dec 20, 2012
2,358
382
Southeastern USA
So which company is making the "right" lenses for landscape? You need to tell all those struggling photographers using Canon in OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER magazine. Imagine what they could do with the "right" gear!

By the way the 135 mm f2 is pretty small, lightweight, and very sharp at f11. Plus it has the added bonus of being fast. What more would you want? And it's very cheap! Same could even be said for the 85mm 1.8.

This is silly.
 
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Deleted member 383276

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Dear Unfocused, I surely don't want to argue with anyone on earth, but I felt I didn't earn "hints" like painting red color on my lenses to get L quality feeling, or considering smartphones...
Some may not see my point, some may disagree, some may see my point but not share it... whatever.
You all are free to think and express what you like and the way you like, but so am I, too. I'm just a bit kind of allergic to sarcasm.

As for the topic, interesting answers in many ways, thank you and go on.
 
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Deleted member 383276

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I see your pain in your sentences, but I don't feel it.
I feel no pain.
I was just asking myself, what would be wrong with a series of small/light landscape optimized lenses to pick from, just about the same as sport, model and product photographers pick big Canon glass optimized for their needs.

I see the point with zooms, I use some on my 5DS R (16-35/2.8 III, 70-200/4 II), as well as some primes (24/2.8 IS, 35/2 IS, 50/1.8 STM, 85/1.8, 135/2).
I shoot mostly at f8, sometimes f11. Whatever focal lenght I use with my zooms, to me the (non L!) primes are sharper (exeption 24mm, where I see no difference between the prime and the zoom).

As a landscaper, I will always try to find the sharpest camera/lens combination, which (for me) excludes smaller sensors.
With upcoming R-mount cameras and high resolution sensors, existing EF zooms and lightweight primes might not match these sensors. Sure, Canon makes new and fantastic R-mount zooms to catch up with these sensors, but here we are again, they are big and heavy...

That was my point.
 
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Deleted member 383276

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Did my initial "letter" offend anyone of you?
I'm quite surprised by the mood in some replies.

And sorry YuengLinger, suggesting lenses for spies or smartphones here on Earth One was off topic, impolite and not too smart.
Try to spell the name of your camera correctly instead.