There is no magical size/weight advantage

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
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It depends on many factors actually
In reply to IVN, Mar 5, 2014

How well the lens is built and, mainly, the AF and stabilization systems. Take these 105 f/2.8 Micro Nikkors:

The first one is the AI-S (1983), the second is the D (1993) version and the third is the current one (AF-S VR). Size and weight:

AI-S: 66 x 84mm, 515g

D: 75x105mm, 562g

AFS VR: 83x116mm, 720g

I have the newest of the bunch, what a heavy and bulky lens, very unbalanced on the D80 or the D7000, hard to use handheld, despite the VR tool.

Leica lenses cover a full 135 format sensor (also called FF), and are much smaller than Nikkors or Canon lenses, since they don't carry AF engines and other features. But are extremely well-built.

But your point is correct, except that for the usual range, one needs relatively lower FL values, meaning that the diameter of elements will also be smaller. For example, a fast 10-30mm f/2 zoom would need at most a 15mm effective diamater. The FF equivalent would be 27-81mm, thus requiring, for same f/2 aperture (lighting equivalent, but not DoF equivalent), a lens with effective diameter of 40mm. Actually, there are no FF midrange zooms at f/2. There is one f/1.8, for APS-C, the sigma 18-35 f/1.8, a very good lens actually.

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