Making a superzoom for a compact is easy, but for a DSLR, it's hard?

Started Oct 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
John1940 Senior Member • Posts: 2,727
Re: Making a superzoom for a compact is easy, but for a DSLR, it's hard?

Leandros S wrote:

brianj wrote:

Leandros S wrote:

People say that interchangeable superzoom ("travel") lenses can't manage good sharpness, yet superzoom compacts do just fine in terms of sharpness. Why is that?

I still have a film SLR camera tamron 28-300mm zoom that is huge but it worked ok when I used to use it. Are we saying the same cannot be easily done for digital, or are we saying 300mm is not a superzoom?


I don't know. One hypothesis I had was that people have been getting obsessed with lenses having to start at 18mm. 18-250/270mm should be more challenging to design and build than 28-300mm, I would imagine. Fourteen-fold zoom vs. eleven-fold. I guess it's possible that 18-200mm lenses are significantly better than 18-250. I have my doubts though. In any case, 18 seems to be some kind of magical number, presumably b/c consumers tend to buy their ILC with an 18-55 or equivalent lens and want to upgrade to something that seems on the face of it to require no compromise. 18-270 does that whereas 22-300 might not (numbers for illustration only). Consumer psychology?

I have a Sigma 18-200 for Canon APS-C that I have used for 10 years and a cheap Canon 55-200 mm FF EOS lens.  At 200 mm the 55-200 is sharper and I only paid $100 for it many years ago. Neither is anywhere as sharp over the 70-200 zoom range compared to any L lens.

It isn't just a question of difficulty of design. It's a question of zoom range, aperture, sensor size, cost target, sharpness, wight, sealing, constant versus variable length, image stabilization or not, and designing for those parameters. What is the marketing target of the design? My cheap 55-200 (a FF lens) has a plastic body and no IS and sold for $100. Oh, it's also light and small. It's got decent optics for the price. The current 70-200 f/2.8 is Canon's best offering but costs 25 times as much, and is a FF pro lens. The 18-200 Sigma is useful for travel and is small. The new one is even better.

So, which is or was the most difficult to design?


 John1940's gear list:John1940's gear list
Sigma DP3 Merrill
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow