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12-21-2019, 08:21 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The DA*50/1.4 is a category killing lens and the 70-200 isnít far off the very best. That comes at a price in cost and weight so they are as heavy as necessary.
But where does it end? If you can build a lens that is 5% better, is it worth a 10% increase in weight?

12-21-2019, 08:26 PM - 1 Like   #17
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E.g., it may not make sense to "complain" in absolute terms, but noting that the identically spec'd Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM is 325g less heavy than the Pentax DFA*, does. The Pentax comes with optical advantages in return, but it is a trade-off that's fair to be called out.
12-21-2019, 08:35 PM   #18
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I was surprised at the weight of my 16mm Rokinon. And I guess to an extent my 300mm.

Working out will probably help, weights and calisthenics to improve core and muscle stamina. Weights mostly but some cardio for hikes and improved circulation.
12-21-2019, 08:49 PM - 1 Like   #19
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Can't have your cake and eat it too. This is why the big lenses come with a mount for a tripod and/or monopod.

12-21-2019, 09:52 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The DA*50/1.4 is a category killing lens and the 70-200 isnít far off the very best. That comes at a price in cost and weight so they are as heavy as necessary.
A problem with this thread from the start is use of the word "complain" - I word prefer words like "comment".

Today lenses are expected to be perfect, with corner-to-corner sharpness. I, personally do not need that. Even if I had a K-1 or a K-1ii, I would seldom have use for exactly 50mm. I would probably carry some other 50mm f/1.4 lens in my bag, but I doubt if I would have either the financial resources or space in the bag to lug the DFA* 50mm around with me in the possibility that I needed precisely that length.
12-21-2019, 09:53 PM - 1 Like   #21
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I though my lenses were big and bulky until I used the new 15-30 2.8
12-21-2019, 09:54 PM - 2 Likes   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
I'm getting older (62+) and carting around my 600/4, 300/2.8, 300/4.5, 80-200/2.8, 200/4 macro, etc... is getting harder. However, I knew what I was getting into when I bought these. I knew what they could do for me, and my research told me what they weighed ... and I bought them regardless and have been using them for years. Big, quality glass cannot be made as light as a crappy kit lens, even if you make the barrels out of carbon fiber. That might save a few ounces, but would increase costs dramatically and reduce robustness.

So, given that intro, why do so many folk complain about the weight of their best lenses? Did the weight really come as a surprise to them? I see in many of the reviews that weight is listed as a con. I mean, how can you hold it against a thing just because it has to be a certain way? Do folks really expect a 300/4 to weight 1/2 a pound?

It just seems so silly to me that someone would buy a 600/4 and whine that it weighs a lot. It is what it is, and if that is too much, then pass it on to someone that can appreciate that it's qualities come with a price.

Or am I totally off base here?

Happy Holidays!!!!
Happy Holidays to you as well!

It's been my observation that not too many APS-C and FF users complain directly about the weight of long telephoto lenses. Usually what I see is an acknowledgement that a specific lens - like a 300/2.8 - is too large and heavy for comfort, so the user acquires a 300/4 instead. I don't see that as "complaining" as much as realizing a smaller & lighter alternative is preferable.

As far as lens construction goes, there are optical design considerations that can be made in order to create a lighter lens that does not suffer optically.

Example 1:

Back in the 1980's, Tamron released the Tamron SP 200-500mm F/5.6 Model 31A, still a well-regarded lens considering its age. It weighs 2.7 kg and is 36cm long.
Currently, Nikon has the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, which covers the same range and has AF and Vibration Reduction built into it. It weighs 2.3 kg and is 27 cm long. Nikon's use of Extra Low Dispersion elements allows the lens to be sharper, with fewer aberrations and more features than the Tamron while also being lighter and smaller.

Example 2:

The HD PENTAX-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW DC is 3kg and 52cm long. The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR weighs 1.5 kg and is 24cm long - the Nikon is half the weight and half the length of the Pentax equivalent! Nikon used a Fresnel optical design (like what is found in lighthouses) to accomplish this feat. Canon is also using Fresnel optics. So there really is an alternative to lenses that have traditionally been very large and heavy.
12-21-2019, 09:55 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
Did the weight really come as a surprise to them?
I can only assume this is indeed the case. For some it is perhaps a lack of understanding into the physics of optical design.
Given a 70-200/3.5-5.6 is rather light, a 70-200/2.8 shouldn't be much different, right?

12-21-2019, 09:56 PM - 1 Like   #24
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Age does catch up with you. I think that is the main issue.

Last edited by swip; 12-22-2019 at 08:27 PM.
12-21-2019, 09:57 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
A top lens should be as heavy as necessary, but not more so.
The quality is not just in the lenses. Solid construction also adds weight and is necessary for a high quality lens that will withstand heavy use.
12-21-2019, 10:08 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
Yes, all very well, but the DFA* 50, DFA* 70-200, and DFA 15-30 are considerably heavier than very good Canon and Nikon equivalents, despite not having SR/VR onboard. A top lens should be as heavy as necessary, but not more so.
From 1995-2015 I was a Canon user, primarily because of their EF lens system. I had several lenses that good Pentaxians would sneer at, including several with a 'plastic' mount. I am not a heavy user - your mileage may differ. I did lose a lens once out in the woods, but I never had a lens of theirs fail me, not even one with a 'plastic' mount.
12-21-2019, 10:51 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Happy Holidays to you as well!

It's been my observation that not too many APS-C and FF users complain directly about the weight of long telephoto lenses. Usually what I see is an acknowledgement that a specific lens - like a 300/2.8 - is too large and heavy for comfort, so the user acquires a 300/4 instead. I don't see that as "complaining" as much as realizing a smaller & lighter alternative is preferable.

As far as lens construction goes, there are optical design considerations that can be made in order to create a lighter lens that does not suffer optically.

Example 1:

Back in the 1980's, Tamron released the Tamron SP 200-500mm F/5.6 Model 31A, still a well-regarded lens considering its age. It weighs 2.7 kg and is 36cm long.
Currently, Nikon has the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, which covers the same range and has AF and Vibration Reduction built into it. It weighs 2.3 kg and is 27 cm long. Nikon's use of Extra Low Dispersion elements allows the lens to be sharper, with fewer aberrations and more features than the Tamron while also being lighter and smaller.

Example 2:

The HD PENTAX-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW DC is 3kg and 52cm long. The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR weighs 1.5 kg and is 24cm long - the Nikon is half the weight and half the length of the Pentax equivalent! Nikon used a Fresnel optical design (like what is found in lighthouses) to accomplish this feat. Canon is also using Fresnel optics. So there really is an alternative to lenses that have traditionally been very large and heavy.
Expanding on this, the new Sony 600mm f4 is just 3kg. The Pentax FA 600mm f4 is over 6.8kg. I'd love to see some modern long prime glass from Pentax, though I admit I'd never be able to afford it. I just recently picked up an A 300/2.8, it's a gem and I have no complaints about the weight
12-21-2019, 11:10 PM - 2 Likes   #28
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Heavy lenses are great when you're a young man. Not so much thereafter. The days of suffering over one's artistic expression is long over.

Merry Christmas.

Last edited by amstel78; 12-21-2019 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Don't want to offend the snowflakes
12-21-2019, 11:29 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
But where does it end? If you can build a lens that is 5% better, is it worth a 10% increase in weight?
Of course it is because the cause of the added weight is necessary to get the marginal IQ increase.

Everything is a choice. No one has to buy anything. Pentax I guess canít offer enough choices to satisfy everyone.
12-22-2019, 12:09 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
Why complain about weight?
Complaining about the weight of long lenses is basically a sign a incompetence. No experienced wildlife or sport photographer carries a 600 f4 and 300 f2.8 for handheld shooting, those are on tripod or gimbal , in a hide for wildlife.

---------- Post added 22-12-19 at 08:11 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
is it worth a 10% increase in weight?
yes because the wide aperture makes AF faster and more accurate.
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