There is no magical size/weight advantage

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Re: you are not allowed to say that
In reply to samfan, Mar 5, 2014

samfan wrote:

While it's true that focal length and lens aperture/speed are limiting, significant size advantages can still be achieved. The best examples would be collapsible lenses. Realistically, what matters most when we talk about lens size is its length when not in use and you can indeed collapse a lens to a very small size.

That is right, but Nikon is doing the same thing with DSLR lenses.

The small distance between the lens mount and sensor also helps lenses be much more compact. That used to be the largest difference between SLR and rangefinder lenses and it appears to be the same today.

It was mostly Leica vs SLR, not rangefinder vs SLR. My 45/2 for Contax G wasn't that much smaller than my 50/1.8 Nikkor.

But sure, many people say that flange distance is a factor, I'm just not sure whether it's what I would call significant.

The next issue is weight and here, the small sensors have an advantage because except the front element, the lens can be engineered in a way that the other elements can be smaller.

That is not enough, IIRC. All the front elements need to be larger, not just the first.

Another thing are the mechanical and electronic components. Lenses for small sensors can use smaller elements, therefore they don't require such powerful AF motors, which can therefore be smaller and lighter.

Not really, unless it's a retrofocus design. Remember, front elements have to be similar in size and weight.

And if the system is designed like this from ground up, you also get more size/weight savings - such as electronic aperture in N1.

Yes, the potential is there, but it hasn't materialized yet, because technology is not yet ready. The e-shutter you mentioned for example does not make a mechanical shutter obsolete.

And if the manufacturer wants to go really creative, they can use tricks like diffractive optics, mirror lenses etc.

Those can be used on any format and regardless of whether it's a lens for DSLRs or mirrorless.

Look at some of the CCTV lenses. 1" 35/1.7 that I have is much smaller than any 35/1.8 I've seen, even when comparing to manual film lenses.

It also doesn't offer nearly as good IQ, as any 35/1.8 I have ever tried. So no comparison.

I also don't think the 70-300 will be much smaller because Nikon is dumb but if they'd want they could surely make it really compact when collapsed and also light.

It will most likely be collapsible, like any other N1 zoom.

IVN wrote:


Sigma 50-150 f2.8 OS is a DX lens made to offer DX shooters the same "framing" the 70-200 f2.8 offer to FX shooters. Although it has a 1 stop lower effective aperture, it is almost as large as any 70-200 f2.8.

I have the old non-OS version of the DX 50-150/2.8 and it's much much smaller than any FX 70-200/2.8 and weights half as much. The new version is not the greatest example.

And I'm guessing the 70-200 you've compared it with has VR?

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