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01-20-2019, 06:39 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Lenses getting heavier?

Ran across this article which argues that lenses may be heavier than ever after getting lighter in the 2000s. Canon Nikon and Pentax are all individually featured.

Not Long Ago, Lenses Were Much Lighter - Photography Life

Lots of data and some interesting conclusions.

01-20-2019, 07:12 PM   #2
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Interesting. Look at the current average weight of the 4/3 lenses.

Last edited by normhead; 01-20-2019 at 07:18 PM.
01-20-2019, 07:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting. PhotographyLife is one of the sites I read frequently, but hadn't seen that article yet.

I imagine that more than one PF member is thinking "Gotta love the Limiteds."
01-20-2019, 07:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Interesting. Look at the current average weight of the 4/3 cameras.
Yes thatís really interesting. There is also a sharp transition in the Pentax trend line. Might be linked to full frame lenses.

---------- Post added 01-20-19 at 09:16 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
Thanks for posting. PhotographyLife is one of the sites I read frequently, but hadn't seen that article yet.

I imagine that more than one PF member is thinking "Gotta love the Limiteds."
Yep. We have the choice of small!

01-20-2019, 07:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Syntax Quote
Yes thatís really interesting. There is also a sharp transition in the Pentax trend line. Might be linked to full frame lenses.

---------- Post added 01-20-19 at 09:16 PM ----------



Yep. We have the choice of small!
Ya , still unmatched.
01-20-2019, 07:34 PM   #6
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Very interesting. The Sigma data is interesting in particular.
01-20-2019, 07:43 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Are they hoping people will look for the best deal per pound?
01-20-2019, 08:23 PM - 6 Likes   #8
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Yes, anyone who has bought into Pentax FF knows all about this. I really miss the old days with my K5 or K3 and all my lenses (mostly DA Limited) fitting in a medium-sized sling bag. No need to plan what to take for a particular shoot. Luxury.

But since the K1 has come on the scene, the pain has been ramping up. I have to admit to encouraging the bastards. I have bought the DFA 28-105 (not too heavy), and four monsters DFA 15-30, DFA 150-450, DFA* 70-200 and DFA* 50. The Earth's crust in my neighbourhood has subsided by several metres. The trouble is these lenses are SO DAMNED GOOD that I couldn't resist. Mea culpa.

If Ricoh/Pentax had refreshed and extended the FF Limiteds first, I may well have gone that route and been happy forever. They didn't give us that choice, perhaps for a reason. The best-resolution-ever wars have taken over from the pixel-number wars. Did we need either?

Honestly, does it make sense that in this day and age, a good camera/lens combo is several times the weight of what it was in the 1960s? What ever happened to miniaturisation? (Don't mention your phone.)


Last edited by Paul the Sunman; 01-23-2019 at 05:28 PM.
01-20-2019, 08:31 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
What ever happened to miniaturisation?
Pentax tried, bless 'em, with the Q system,
but even Pentaxians couldn't think their way past the "Japanese schoolgirl" thing
and recognize the 21-st century Leica when it was offered to them.
01-20-2019, 08:47 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Pentax tried, bless 'em, with the Q system,
Ultimately, physics will have its way. The sensor size of the Q made it hard to argue that it was much better than a good phone.

I guess I should be embracing mirrorless.
01-20-2019, 09:00 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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There is a lot more glass in many recent lenses. There is an expectation of edge to edge sharpness and low CA. A basic Zeiss Tessar 50/f2.8 is sharp and shows good contrast in the right conditions. But it has only 4 elements in 3 groups design and weighs about 112 grams. The Pentax FA 50/f1.4 is much more modern lens with 7 elements in 6 groups, and weighs 220 grams. The latest D FA* 50.f1.4 has 15 elements in 9 groups and weighs 910 grams. It may well be the sharpest and most highly corrected 50mm currently on offer (Zeiss Otus aside) but it is very big and bulky. Glass is heavy and there seems to be a tendency in modern lenses to use more glass in an effort to get higher levels of correction.
01-20-2019, 09:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
There is a lot more glass in many recent lenses. There is an expectation of edge to edge sharpness and low CA. A basic Zeiss Tessar 50/f2.8 is sharp and shows good contrast in the right conditions. But it has only 4 elements in 3 groups design and weighs about 112 grams. The Pentax FA 50/f1.4 is much more modern lens with 7 elements in 6 groups, and weighs 220 grams. The latest D FA* 50.f1.4 has 15 elements in 9 groups and weighs 910 grams. It may well be the sharpest and most highly corrected 50mm currently on offer (Zeiss Otus aside) but it is very big and bulky. Glass is heavy and there seems to be a tendency in modern lenses to use more glass in an effort to get higher levels of correction.
Exactly! But who says it has to be that way?
01-20-2019, 09:09 PM - 1 Like   #13
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This is not surprising, I think all of the manufacturers have tried to increase quality in the last several years. Some of those 90s lenses seemed to be constructed of the cheapest plastic possible, as were some of the film cameras.
01-20-2019, 10:52 PM   #14
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I love light weight primes. If it is a sharp zoom I can justify the weight. Having options is a great thing.
01-21-2019, 01:53 AM   #15
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I agree with much of the above, particularly comments by Paul the Sunman, PJ1, and ramseybuckeye. I first noticed in the mid 70s into the 80s that although there was an overall move to more compact common focal lengths of prime lenses, more complicated optics like zooms were possible and used more elements while still being mostly metal and heavy materials. Then into the 90s plastic and other lighter materials were often used
and many of the ever more prevalent zooms seemed to be simpler with smaller max apertures, making them lighter and smaller yet. Probably acceptable as snapshooters used faster and faster film. This kind of build seemed to continue early in the digital era using sensors of limited capabilities while the AF was still screw driven. The last few years of sophisticated sensors and enhanced processors plus FF models had users demanding higher quality optics with faster, built in AF motors. We got exactly what was asked for - better quality optics with larger max apertures and quieter, faster, AF - THEREFORE MORE WEIGHT. Now...complaints? Go figure.
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