Buying an emount f/2.8 zoom?

Started Jul 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Dave Lively Senior Member • Posts: 1,805
Re: No on both, but give me a 2x TC and I'm in...

oklaphotog wrote:

I think a 300/4 can be done though, especially since an aps version wouldn't be as fat. The NEX-7 is pretty much the same size as an OMD, minus the OMD's hump. Since a lens that size lays in your hand, it should handle pretty good. I think the goal of under 2lbs would be easy. The FD 300/5.6 is under 700 grams and I would suspect an aps 300/4 would be about the same. I highly doubt it would be under $1000 though.

I think we would see an E mount version of the 70-300G before we saw a 300/5.6 prime though as it's not that big of a lens and if you wanted to make a prime, you might as well take advantage of the fact primes are smaller in general and go ahead and open it up a stop. If I had the choice between a 70-300 G @ 5.6 vs a 300/4 at about the same size/weight... I'd take the 300/4, especially if it had a well matched 1.4x TC.

Here's a pic of an OMD + adapter + FD 300/4. It looks very manageable. A modern 300/4 with smaller image circle would be even easier to deal with. As someone who has owned 300/2.8's and bigger, I could easily deal with a NEX-7 + 300/4, as the whole setup is MUCH smaller. I think that most people who think a 300/4 is too big would think differently about it if they ever lugged around and shot a truly big tele lens (300/2.8 or bigger). Even though a DSLR is bigger, these lenses are so massive that the handling is just as poor if not worse than a NEX-7 + modern 300/4 would be. Let alone the real topic of the discussion (55-150/2.8)

I don't have a NEX-7 but I can show you what a 300mm f4 looks like on a NEX-5N with a 55-210 in the background.  While this looks awkward it actually handles pretty well.  With a lens this big you end up holding the lens even if it is attached to a SLR.

With long lenses an APS version would not be that much smaller.  If Sony really is going to introduce a FF NEX I would be really surprised if they make a 300mm+ lens that is not FF.

It sounds like you want a lens for wildlife photography and I want a lens for pictures of wildlife I see while I am on long hikes I would be going on even if I had no camera.  For your purposes f4 would be much better but not for mine.

While I really like the 300 I have never taken it on a real hike.  It is just too big to fit in my pack with the usual hiking stuff and is 3 times heavier than the 55-210.  I use the Canon when I am attempting to take bird and wildlife pictures near my house or when I am within a couple of miles from my car but on any hike of 10 miles or more it is just too much of a bother to carry.  For me 2 pounds is the limit, not the target.  The Canon 300mm f5.6 you mentioned weighs 1.4 pounds and that is back when lenses were made with metal.  With modern materials I think a 300mm f5.6-6.3 that weighs closer to 1 pound is possible.  Panasonic has a 100-300 f5.6 zoom that weighs 18 ounces (but only covers a m43 sensor).  I would really like a lens I would take hiking.  The slower aperture would also keep the cost down.

I agree that a zoom would be much more likely than a prime of any aperture.  While I would like a very lightweight prime that is a very, very narrow niche market and a zoom would have much wider appeal.  Since Sony has never said anything about a longer lens for E-mount this is all just wishful thinking anyways.

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