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03-11-2009, 08:42 PM   #1
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Where are the 14-125mm superzooms?

So, I was thinking. I have the DA 18-250 superzoom, which is a 13.5x range in terms of focal length. If you set the long end at 125mm, and keep the 13.5x range, then the short end is at 9mm. Now I know there's some non-linearity going on, so a short end of 9mm is not realistic... but why aren't there any superzooms that go below 18mm? For that matter, the only wide-to-normal zoom that I can think of that crosses the 18mm line is the DA 16-45 (all the others are wide to wide).

Why aren't there more zooms that cross this part of the range? Technical or marketing reasons? Is there an optical "hump" at about 18mm that's hard to design a zoom to go through?

Inquiring minds want to know. I'd really dig a lens that went from (say) 12-14mm to something north of 100mm.

03-11-2009, 08:47 PM   #2
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a lens like that would have barrels of distortion and corner smearing the likes of which we have never seen before..
03-11-2009, 09:13 PM   #3
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A lot of film-era zooms started at 28mm. It might be simply that lens designers are starting at the same equivalent point for mass-marketing reasons. I think an Olympus zoom starts at 14 but that's a 2x crop, so they are doing the same thing.
03-11-2009, 10:25 PM   #4
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There are the 16-50 and 17-70, though not "superzooms".

03-11-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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Nikon has 16-85, 18-105, and 18-135 zooms. The closest thing in Pentax mount is the Sigma 18-125 zoom.
03-12-2009, 09:19 AM   #6
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Didn't Tamron make a 18-250mm? And Pentax also released the same lens re-branded? Or did I dream that?

QuoteOriginally posted by wasupdoc Quote
Nikon has 16-85, 18-105, and 18-135 zooms. The closest thing in Pentax mount is the Sigma 18-125 zoom.
I solved the "Ultra-wide superzoom problem" by buying a second body and keeping the 10-20 on one and my 100-400 on the other body. Now I have 40x zoom!
03-12-2009, 12:21 PM   #7
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16mm is 24mm-equiv. and 18mm is 28mm-equiv. I have heard from certain sources close to certain lens manufacturers that if you break the rules of film lenses and stray from the sacred 20, 24, 28, 35, 50, etc. mm values then you could cause a rip in the space-time continuum that would destroy Earth. At the very least you would disturb the Force, which could bring some negative consequences to the lens company. This is the reason why Pentax signed its death sentence when they created the 43mm Ltd. That was a big no no...
03-12-2009, 03:56 PM   #8
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The Tamron/Pentax 18-250 is commonly regarded as an OK travel zoom. Is there any reason they could not make a fine zoom with half the range and a bit wider at the wide end? Such as a 16-111 or a 17-118?

Regards
//Johan

03-19-2009, 10:48 AM   #9
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Thanks for the responses. Based on this, it seems like it's due to marketing reasons rather than technical ones?

It occurred to me that perhaps it was due to wide-angle lenses needing a retrofocus design, but doesn't the retrofocus issue come into play well above 18mm? So the 18-250 and other superzooms already cross that boundary.
03-20-2009, 04:21 AM   #10
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I believe Tokina has a 16-135mm in the works, but most likely only for Canikon. It would be f/5.6 at the long end.
03-20-2009, 04:23 AM   #11
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/54553-tokina-x-16-5-135-dx.html
03-20-2009, 10:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpriedhorsky Quote
Thanks for the responses. Based on this, it seems like it's due to marketing reasons rather than technical ones?
I don't think anyone here has enough technical expertise in the area to really say if there would be technical issues as well.

QuoteQuote:
It occurred to me that perhaps it was due to wide-angle lenses needing a retrofocus design, but doesn't the retrofocus issue come into play well above 18mm?
I believe so. But I could easily imagine the issue getting worse and worse as you went wider if you tried to design that into a superzoom. That is, the *further* you cross the line, the *bigger* the effect this could have on the lens design (and the compromises that might result in terms of distortion, vignetting, and corner softness).

But I'm also in that category of people who don't actually have the expertise to know anything for sure. I'm just guessing.
03-20-2009, 10:37 AM   #13
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I think super zooms fill two roles basically:

- being marketed to not so savvy photographers who gasp in awe of the zoom range
- for most photographers as a convenient walk-around lens when not carrying anything else

A 14-125 zoom would fail in both counts. It wouldn't appear to beginners who want the maximum long end reach. And would cost atronomically to have good quality across the range OR compromise quality severely and not appeal to most photographers.

My $0.02

Edit - just saw the tokina posted above. Might prove me wrong, but let's see how much it'll cost. Also, there's a BIG difference between 14 and 16.5mm
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