New R lenses: huge and heavy

Started 2 weeks ago | Discussions thread
jwilliams Veteran Member • Posts: 4,487
All the lenses ...

firefox23508 wrote:

I’m so tired of people stating ‘physics’ as the reason lenses are so big. Please, if you aren’t a physicist, stop using theories you aren’t qualified to quote. If lenses to span a full frame sensor have to be huge to be ‘halo,’ please explain Leica lenses or any of the well respected nifty fifties’ of years back. Pentax had a series of pancake lenses for full frame (film era) that are tremendously well respected—so much so that they were their ‘halo’ lenses when Pentax moved to digital. Leica lenses have a very short sensor to flange distance like the Nikon, Sony, and Canon full frame mirrorless cameras, and there’s not a single huge lens in their lineup. Good lenses CAN be small, they are just choosing not to make them.

All the lenses you are referencing are primes.  The trend, for Canon at least, is to make fast zoom lenses.  Both the 'fast' and the 'zoom' part of that statement mean big.  Add them together and yet get huge.

FF lenses can indeed be small but they need to be primes and the slower they are the smaller you can make them.

Digital camera do have one disadvantage compared to film cameras and that is they do not do well with the lens rear elements real  close to the sensor.   Because of this it is hard to make some of the small wide angle type  designs that worked on film.

It seems the current camera market makes the manufacturers think that small moderately fast primes or even moderately slow zooms aren't a way to make money.  FF mirrorless has become the medium format of the film area where mainly pros and deep pocketed amateurs play.

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Jonathan

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