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05-29-2020, 11:57 AM   #1
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Bigger cameras or smaller lenses?

I've just stumbled on this: We don?t want smaller cameras, we want SMALLER LENSES (or even bigger cameras) | Digital Camera World

Interesting observation that would suggest a DSLR might be better than a 'smaller' mirrorless or that lenses have become so big as to not balance properly.


Last edited by johnha; 05-29-2020 at 12:02 PM.
05-29-2020, 12:33 PM - 1 Like   #2
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What a steaming heap of buffalo offal. You don't have to buy the f/2.8 versions, and if I were buying now (nope, furloughed) the biggest, heaviest versions wouldn't be on my list. I want gear fit to carry for miles, not yards.
05-29-2020, 12:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
I've just stumbled on this: We don?t want smaller cameras, we want SMALLER LENSES (or even bigger cameras) | Digital Camera World

Interesting observation that would suggest a DSLR might be better than a 'smaller' mirrorless or that lenses have become so big as to not balance properly.
I guess they did not mention Ricoh/Pentax because they did not fall for the mirrorless trap... I am the proud owner of a yellow K-01. Works lovely with small sized primes, but never with any zoom, except the for 18-55, because it is lightweight. My experience is that a zoom requires a body with some weight for smooth focusing. And zooming works best with a camera that you hold close to your body, so a DSLR. The only mirrorless to contradict this is the Samsung NX100, which works lousy with the 50-200 zoom, but works easy with the 18-200.
I conclude that on the basis of this article that Ricoh/Pentax is of a different class.
05-29-2020, 12:43 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I agree with the premise that a large, robust camera body can be preferable and smaller lenses would be welcome.

There is certainly some cherry-picking done by the author when it comes to comparing lens sizes. And in general, I think the size savings in MILC lenses is mainly for the wider angles; once you go telephoto, the registration differences are minimized.

I don't know if I'm outside the normal or what, but I don't think of MILC as being advantageous (for me) because it is smaller than DSLR, I think the advantage of MILC lies in not having a mirror. The mirror is a kludge and I dislike mirror-slap, but so far I've not found an EVF truly to my liking.

05-29-2020, 12:46 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
What a steaming heap of buffalo offal. You don't have to buy the f/2.8 versions, and if I were buying now (nope, furloughed) the biggest, heaviest versions wouldn't be on my list. I want gear fit to carry for miles, not yards.
I remember that a while ago I went on a biking trip. I saw a mother with her baby and she was carrying a huge C...n camera with a lens about an elephants trunk (this is exaggerated, but it made me think of an elephant) and she took pictures of her baby all the time and not of the animals that were the subject of this trip. I said to my wife that I hoped that the baby would become traumatised for further life getting such a huge thing in its little face all the time. These huge lenses that they describe are not photographical use but simply for showing off. And of course such huge lenses emphasize how small a mirrorless camera looks...

Last edited by Unregistered User; 05-29-2020 at 02:16 PM. Reason: oops! two typo's
05-29-2020, 12:55 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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Sometimes an actual "stack of primes" can be both more compact and sharper than a big honking "stack-of-primes" f/2.8 zoom. Pentax has many high-quality vintage primes that are compact, sharp, and use small filters. It's easy to carry a stack of them in pockets or small bags.

Zooms have their place -- I've always bought a super-zoom to go with ever system I ever owned -- but primes can often offer more bang-per-kilo or unit of volume.

Finally, some venues prohibit "pro photographers" by prohibiting lenses longer than say 5". A compact prime makes the camera look a lot more casual.
05-29-2020, 01:08 PM   #7
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I've come to really enjoy hefty bodies with tiny lenses but I guess that comes with the Pentax territory. Handling wise though the apsc bodies (k5/k3ii) are a better size than the K-1, the K-1 is just to thick.
05-29-2020, 03:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
These huge lenses that they describe are not photographical use but simply for showing off.
What if no one actually sees that lens? I say that half joking as I do own one of the f/2.8 monsters and it is a monster and do use it alone out in the dark. I do however like light lenses and even then the lens that I own that the most people have seen is probably my worst one a tamron 28-300 that I use as a scouting event lens because not having to change lenses does make a huge difference between getting a less than perfect shot and not getting it at all.

05-29-2020, 04:50 PM   #9
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I' don't see myself moving to mirror less any time soon because my K5 II is not much bigger than they are. With my Limited lenses I can pack 3 lenses + camera into one single and compact Travel/Walk-about Package without breaking a sweat.
05-29-2020, 05:02 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
I said to my wife that I hoped that the baby would become traumatised for further life getting such a huge thing in its little face all the time.
really? Why would you hope for that. A mom taking a picture of her kid with a lens you don't approve of and you hope the baby is traumatised?
05-29-2020, 05:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sidney Porter Quote
really? Why would you hope for that. A mom taking a picture of her kid with a lens you don't approve of and you hope the baby is traumatised?
I assumed he meant ďwouldnítĒ and was an autocorrect victim.
05-29-2020, 07:50 PM   #12
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The problem with generalizing in regard to physical aspects of camera gear is that there are too many exceptions to justify broad rules. I was shooting today with a friend and the friend had her Panasonic S1 in hand. She is very pleased with the camera and I am pleased for her. I had heard that the Lumix S-series are a little on the chunky side, but was surprised that my K-3 appeared somewhat more svelte in the hand. I know...I know...not fair to compare FF with APS- and the S-1 does have a nice tilt screen, but it turns out that the S1 is both larger and heavier than the K-1 as well...go figure. One might also put a Sony A7-series into the mix as a representative of the smaller and lighter variety FF MILC, but that still does not make a firm generalization. Instead, it is the exception.


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05-29-2020, 11:09 PM   #13
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A 70-200mm f/2.8 is versatile and convenient, but it is not all things to all people. On the long end it is up there with the best. A 200mm f/2.8 prime is good to have. On the short end things are not quite so wonderful. A 70mm f/2.8 prime? Nobody would buy something like that, although it would be very compact. An 85mm f/1.4? Now we are cooking with gas! Two extra stops of bokeh and low light ability, what's not to like? it's big, heavy and tricky to focus wide open, even with automation. Oh dear, let's take another look at the zoom. But it is even bigger and heavier. You make your choice and you pay your money.

I do not have a 70-200mm f/2.8 but I do have a 50-150mm f/2.8. It is very nice and useful on crop frame but it will never replace an 85mm f/1.4, and vice versa. The best answer is to have both, which is what I went with.
05-30-2020, 12:08 AM   #14
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Itís almost as if large professional cameras, like the D6 and D810, were designed around large professional lenses, while the smaller consumer oriented cameras were designed to feel good with the included kit lenses and consumer level zooms... Hmm...

My WAG as to why new lenses are so damn big: theyíre actually medium format lenses by design, but with 35mm mounts. That way theyíre projecting a larger image circle with all of that extra glass so that the frame corners arenít near the edge of projection; instead your using the best part of the image circle.

MILCís havenít reached their design maturity yet, but arenít many of the ďproĒ level MFT bodies nearly the size of a flagship DSLR, minus the mirror box? Interchangeable lens cameras can only get so small as human hands are still roughly the same range of sizes theyíve always been. Past a certain point smaller is too small to be functional, but something too large will be left home or in the studio unless required for the paying job or the photographer likes the effort.

My KP is great with a 20-40 Limited, itís less so with the 55-300 racked out and would be unwieldy, imo, with a larger heavier zoom. I wish I had gotten the grip for mine now.
05-30-2020, 02:05 AM   #15
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Tamron presented a line of newly designed f/1.8 lenses. Now they go for f/1.4. This is what people buy and expect ever since Sigma started the art series with large aspherical lens elements. This quality was not possible before.
My K1 outresolves my 6x6 Rollei by a good margin. The new DFA 85 is light compared to a 2.8/180 in Rollei mount - with 2 stops more light. My Rollei just got inexpensive, small, light, ... my Nikon 2.8/80-200 (1990s) was light compared to the current Pentax 2.8/70-200. Optically the current Pentax is in a different league (although still heavier than a recent Nikon version).
Yes my sensor still has the same dice since 1986, but image quality increased. No need to look for 6x6, 6x8, 6x9 anymore. Yep, itís getting heavier, but it works for me and is lighter than medium format gear. APS-C is a good solution for size and weight. Pentax has many lens offerings here - the 55 being the only recent AF prime lens. The FA limited are a possible solution also for apsc users, but only the upcoming 21 will be a newly designed prime. It fits as a full wide ultra wide angle as well as a moderate wide angle on apsc. Pentax can not do much more to make all of us happy with three new lenses, but this is very smart product development.
From product management perspective you need to filter claims about customer wishes very well - often better ignore them - to actually surprise the customer. Homer Simpsonís dream car was a disaster for the company.

Btw, the smaller your pixel pitch, the wider should be your aperture to avoid refraction effect. This is limiting all of us slightly from f/8 onwards. N some cases from f/5.6. Olympus is hard at the limit offering f/4 glass with dedicated TCS.

Last edited by zapp; 05-30-2020 at 04:01 AM.
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