Is it possible to make a little slow cheap 300mm?

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Jeeter001 Contributing Member • Posts: 580
Is it possible to make a little slow cheap 300mm?
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When I go light, I apply the "200 rule".  I notice that all the m43 lenses approx. 200 grams and less are the ones I can fit in my little Pentax packs (see picture below), and they are also the lenses sized appropriately for the GM1/5.  The lenses at 200-210g are about max size for those little bodies (I know some folks put larger lenses on the GMs, YMMV, these are my prefs).

The question is, is it physics or the market, the reason we don't have a little version of a super telephoto, in particular 300mm (600mm equiv)?

It is interesting that we go from the 45-175 at 210g to the 45-200 at 370g - almost doubling the size for just 25mm more reach.  The 100-300 is 520g, or 2.5x more massive than the 45-175.  I'm discounting the Tokina 300mm mirror at 298g and adding TCs like the Oly C-180 to get to 300mm.

Is it possible to have a 200-300g 300mm?  How small and cheap could it be if:

  • It is super slow (f6.3 or even f8) - sunny days or long shutter speeds only
  • It has optics that are 'good enough' - think surprising IQ for cheap lens like the 12-32, the oly 45-150, the pan 45-175 ... that level of quality
  • It is either a short zoom like 200-300 or just 300mm prime
  • Must have AF, and MAYBE OIS
  • Plastic everything
  • No extra controls except a manual focus ring

The market for this is (1) impulse buyers who see a cheap super telephoto (2) kit bundles (3) people who prefer a light kit and (4) travelers who take on a trip just in case they need the reach because it's so small and light why non?  (unlike the pan 100-300 which is kind of a commitment in your bag).  It's not a lens marketed to someone seriously into birding, sports, etc... unless it's all they can afford.

Is it wishful thinking or physically impossible?  Would you buy it if it were $250-$400 new (and thus $100-$200 used)?

 Jeeter001's gear list:Jeeter001's gear list
Panasonic LX10 Panasonic FZ80/FZ82 Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 +50 more
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