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

Started Oct 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,128
Why are you asking, if you know all the answers?

Perhaps it is just your style, but you seem to be arguing and rejecting every single good answer anyone has given you.

The fact is.... the optical glass used for lenses is very expensive, especially once you start using exotic compounds. And the reject rates go up as size increases. So the material cost of a large lens is quite a bit more than the cost for a small lens.

Plus, you need to understand how the laws of physics work. Upscaling a 24-600mm Panasonic FZ200 lens for an APS-C sensor wouldn't make the lens twice as big, or four times as big... it would make it ten times larger and heavier. Perhaps even more.

A Superzoom compact like the FZ200 will give you 600mm of effective reach at a constant f/2.8 aperture. And the entire camera.... lens and all... only weighs 1.3 pounds, and costs around $500. This is possible due to the very tiny image circle needed. (Smaller image circle means less class, less size, less weight, less cost.)

A 600mm lens for a large sensored camera (like the Nikon 600mm f/4.0) will weigh OVER 11 pounds and will cost around $10,000! And this is just for for a prime lens. A zoom lens that went from 24mm to 600mm and had a constant aperture of anything under f/8.0 would weigh and cost a whole lot more for this sensor size.

Please note... high quality optical glass can cost several hundred dollars per pound. Some exotic optical glass can cost thousands of dollars a pound. So the cost of building lenses that weighs "pounds" is a lot higher than building lenses that weight "ounces."

When we speak about miniaturization, we are talking about electronics. Making circuit boards and other electronic parts smaller. There is no practical way to make an image circle smaller. It must be large enough to cover the sensor size.

But there's another big reason.

Who would want such a monstrosity?

People who buy DSLRs buy them because they want the ability to change lenses so they can use the best lens they can for each focal length or for each focal length range. These people are NOT looking for one lens solutions. These are NOT convenient cameras to use, so they don't select their lenses for convenience. They generally select them for quality and speed.

It is true that there are some superzoom lenses sold for DSLRs, but these are primarily used for taking snapshots when travelling, and are not one lens solutions for anyone. None of these lenses ever tests really well, and many DSLR owners will shun them completely.

Their image quality varies from mediocre to pretty good, because there is not such thing as an outstanding superzoom lens for a DSLR. Size, weight and cost force compromises here. It just isn't possible. And these are generally 10X - 17X lenses, and not the 30X, 40X or 50X variety you see on superzoom cameras.

In a nutshell, we don't have big zoom range lenses for DSLRs because while YOU COULD scale them up, the result would be very large, very heavy, and very costly. And very few people would buy them.

OK, now you can tell me why I'm wrong.

 Marty4650's gear list:Marty4650's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +11 more
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