There is no magical size/weight advantage

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Re: There is no magical size/weight advantage
In reply to IVN, Mar 5, 2014

IVN wrote:

Because I've read a number of times in various threads, that people are expecting Nikon to make smaller lenses for N1, than those with same focal lengths and apertures for DX/FX, I feel that I have to reiterate in order to protect beginners from misinformation:

Smaller formats have no magical size or weight advantage!

It's all physics! A lens for N1 and a lens for full frame with the same focal length and aperture will have very similar size and weight. You can only hope for moderate weight savings, which can be achieved by using smaller rear elements. Larger FX elements are not needed in order to illuminate the smaller 1" image circle. The front elements have to be the same size to achieve equal aperture and the length of the lens also very similar to achieve same focal length. Only if the larger version has been "overdesigned" to ensure exceptional IQ (like for example Zeiss Otuss, which is HUGE for a 50ish mm lens), can you expect a significant size and weight reduction. However, since Nikon is trying to make every N1 lens at least good if not excellent IQ wise, chances are they are designing each part of a lens "on the safe side", which in turn adds size and weight.

What you can't expect is for the rumored Nikon 1 70-300mm to somehow be radically smaller and lighter without compromising image quality than the already available version for FX. Since the patent states that there are more ED (6) and fluorite elements (3) than in any other 70-300 lens (which equals to more ambitious design and greater IQ), chances are the N1 70-300 will be even larger than the FX version.

Same goes for any other lens. Were Nikon to introduce a 50/1.4 for Nikon 1, I bet it would be almost identical in size and weight to the FX lens. Were it to be considerably smaller, I would ask myself where did Nikon cut corners and sacrifice IQ to make it smaller.

Thank you for reading. Hope that helps folks who are new to photography and were made to believe that magic is possible.

Well, yes and no. A 70-300 would indeed be smaller if made for the N1 because of the flange back distance, as well as the size of the rear elements. It that is significant or not is a different thing. Personally I'd not be interested in that lens because I already have the FX version of it, and if I only had the V1 I'd still not buy it because the focal length is to long for my needs.

Generally I agree with you, there are many misunderstandings regarding small sensor systems and equivalence has often raised heated discussions, not only here, but also on the other forums. Many people don't know the relationship between focal length and sensor size and aperture and believe that it is possible to make small lenses with the same speed, not aware of the simple fact that the front element is the main size driving factor and that the size of the front element is not related to sensor size, only to the aperture. The rear elements can be smaller, like you say, and also the total length, due to the shorter flange back distance.

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