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Archive 2013 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout
  
 
alundeb
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


philip_pj wrote:
Slow zooms are really trading off wide aperture performance against weight/cost/bulk.


The question is why do 70-300 f/5.6 lenses have worse wide open performance than 70-200 f/4 lenses in the same weight class? And that is not even at 300 mm, where 70-300 lenses tend to be softest. It seems that Canon had to add 300 g to the weight to get good performance in a 70-300 f/5.6 lens, but it is also very sturdy built. On the other hand, on APS-C the Sony E 55-210 f/6.3 is also sharper than the Sony 70-300 wide open, albeit with more haze. And that lens is really a lot smaller and lighter. Yes it is 1/3 stop slower, only goes to 210 and is only APS-C, but we are talking about a tele lens here, and it is 345g vs 760 g. I did throw the E lens into the shootout.

http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn242/Overflate/Comp180smallWO_zpsb089e5fa.jpg



Aug 18, 2013 at 09:48 AM
philip_pj
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


The 70-300G is regarded as over-priced by Sony users, and I agree. This is Canon's area of expertise. Economies of scale, filter down optical experience from making pro zooms lenses over decades now..many versions. It all helps.

The smaller APS-C lens is good. Why? A few things probably - much smaller image circle, made for the mount, other? I have no direct experience of E mount.



Aug 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


I like my contax N 70-200 lens as it is much lighter than my 70-200/2.8L mk1 and has nice zeiss colors and microconrast which I prefer to the Canon colors. I think it is sharper than contax 100-300.


Aug 18, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


The Canon 70-300L IS lens is really excellent. Also good wide open. And I don't mind it being nearly 300 gr more heavy than the 70-200/4 IS lens. It's a lot shorter and more easy to pack in a bag/backpack. For me size is more important than weight.


Aug 18, 2013 at 06:36 PM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


If that's 100% I think there would be little difference in actual prints. Maybe the 28-300 would show some difference, but good performance. Lighting and composition, as usual, more important.

My 672d Tamron did well against my 180 Tamron. f/5.6 and 5. Wonder how they'd do.



Aug 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM
sebboh
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


thanks theSuede, alundeb, and Lars! does the 70-300L drop off in resolution noticeably at 300mm like most of such zooms seem to? i'm mostly looking for a compact (size matters but weight doesnt) way to get a good 300mm. i'm trying to decide whether a high quality 180/2.8 + 1.4x or high grade 70-300mm would solve that problem better.




Aug 19, 2013 at 12:21 AM
theSuede
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


The main difference with the Canon 70-300L is that it DOESN'T drop off the cliff as hard at 240-260mm as most other (cheaper) 70-300 incarnations do. It also handles LoCA and fringes a lot better than all other 70-300's I've tried, and this means a lot higher medium-frequency detail contrast (stuff maybe 3px wide on a 5Dmk2).

All in all it might not be as bitingly sharp as say a 300/4L at F5.6 (WO for the 70-300L), but at least it retains very high overall contrast all the way up to maybe just under the 5Dmk2 resolution. This means it will give extremely sharp 10MP images from a 5Dmk2. Not bad for a 4.3x zoom.

Wide open at F5.0 at 200mm it was as sharp as the 70-200F4L. And that's plenty sharp - if you look at the images in this thread, they're from a 24MP APS camera with 1.55x crop - so that's like the center part of a 24*1.55^2 = 58MP FF camera. You're looking at those lenses' results with a pretty strong magnifying glass.



Aug 19, 2013 at 12:47 AM
sebboh
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


theSuede wrote:
The main difference with the Canon 70-300L is that it DOESN'T drop off the cliff as hard at 240-260mm as most other (cheaper) 70-300 incarnations do. It also handles LoCA and fringes a lot better than all other 70-300's I've tried, and this means a lot higher medium-frequency detail contrast (stuff maybe 3px wide on a 5Dmk2).

All in all it might not be as bitingly sharp as say a 300/4L at F5.6 (WO for the 70-300L), but at least it retains very high overall contrast all the way up to maybe just under the 5Dmk2 resolution. This means it will
...Show more

yeah, but it's the same magnifying glass i would be using the lens on, so it's particularly relevant.

300mm + is one of those areas where a crop camera makes a lot more sense to me than FF. i guess that means i care a lot more about central performance than corners. good to know about the long end performance.




Aug 19, 2013 at 01:07 AM
 

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theSuede
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


alundeb wrote:
The question is why do 70-300 f/5.6 lenses have worse wide open performance than 70-200 f/4 lenses in the same weight class? And that is not even at 300 mm, where 70-300 lenses tend to be softest. It seems that Canon had to add 300 g to the weight to get good performance in a 70-300 f/5.6 lens, but it is also very sturdy built. On the other hand, on APS-C the Sony E 55-210 f/6.3 is also sharper than the Sony 70-300 wide open, albeit with more haze. And that lens is really a lot smaller and lighter. Yes
...Show more

"Constant" zooms are of a really fixed type of base recipe. You have a fixed position frontmost positive group that concentrates light, behind that you have a negative group that is almost perfectly the inverse of the front, so that by moving that negative group up close to the front you get low magnification - or you move it back to allow the cone to get smaller before you intercept, and get high magnification.

This front part of two groups is almost afocal, that means that it doesn't really have a focal length. It just takes a parallel bundle of rays, concentrates it to a tighter bundle, and then bends it back to parallel rays again. Like a binocular.

The parts behind this is actually the main lens. You have a floating front part just in front of the aperture that moves in a path according to the first zoom group, to set the focal length and "float" the correction. Then you have the aperture, and the main lens.

Focus can be either built into the front group, or you can do it in the rear section (the main lens).

Anyhow, you have at least four, often five internally moving groups (including VR/IS then) in a constant zoom. Seven in the 200-400VR...
This gives ample room for built-in aberration compensation, and the genreal recipe is very well balanced for both SA and LoCA correction - but it makes the lens mechanically expensive. Not necessarily expensive in glass, vari-zooms can be just as glass-intensive as constants - they just have fewer moving parts...

And BTW, lenses like the different 300/2.8 versions are all like this too - they consist of a small rear main lens of about 100-130mm focal length, and then a whopping large front teleconverter (afocal condenser) that makes up most of the bulk of the lens.

Many moving parts, at least one float (two in the rear-focusing lenses like the Canon 70-200/2.8IS2 - plenty of options for corrections, but extreme demands on mounting precision and mechanical stability. Very low zoom-ranges, often less than 3x. More is almost impossible.
...............

Vari-zooms are often "just" three moving parts, no floats. Zoom is done by moving the ENTIRE lens assembly forwards (look at the back of a 70-300 lens as you zoom in, and the entire rear sectio disappears into the lens body...). Keeping focus at least in the ballpark while zooming is done with one zoom correction group, focus is done with one group, IS is one rear group. Nice and simple, cheaper to produce, but a lot fewer points of correction possible.

That's why the 70-300L is relatively expensive, to get that kind of correction with that working principle you actually have to work HARDER on the drawing board and get SMALLER mounting errors than in a constant zoom. But you DO get a 4.5x zoom range - and relativly low weight, and relatively compact barrels (when at the shortest zoom setting, trnsport mode).



Aug 19, 2013 at 05:04 AM
alundeb
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


sebboh wrote:
i'm mostly looking for a compact (size matters but weight doesnt) way to get a good 300mm. i'm trying to decide whether a high quality 180/2.8 + 1.4x or high grade 70-300mm would solve that problem better.



That is one of my cases too, just that I have plenty of space but am not as strong at forcing heights as you

Regarding teleconverters, I have used them quite a bit, and there are few things to say.

- The only game in town now is the Canon mk III teleconverters. Older versions and other brands just loose out and some severely, very visible at the NEX 7 pixel density. This means that if I want to use a TC, I am stuck with Canon mount lenses.

- When using a Canon mk III teleconverter, don't use it wide open, but stop down 1/3 stop. The improvement in image quality is remarkable just at this first 1/3 stop. You can check some examples of this at the-digital-picture.com.

- To get competitive results vs an excellent longer lens, that is something like the Canon 70-300 L class, you have to start with a lens as outstanding as the 70-200 2.8 IS II or the 300 2.8 IS II. Even lenses like the Sigma 150 APO macro both OS and non OS as 210 mm f/4 lenses are not up to that. I am not sure about the Sigma 180 APO 2.8 macro OS and Leica 180 APO 2.8.

- If starting with a lesser lens, that has to be justified by needing the fast aperture of that lens. Like If I need f/4 at 200 mm I would take the Canon 70-200 f/4 IS and a teleconverter. That is still good compared to a non-L 70-300. The "G" of the Sony 70-300 is nothing near the same as the "L" of the Canon in this particular case.



Aug 19, 2013 at 06:23 AM
sebboh
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


alundeb wrote:
That is one of my cases too, just that I have plenty of space but am not as strong at forcing heights as you

Regarding teleconverters, I have used them quite a bit, and there are few things to say.

- The only game in town now is the Canon mk III teleconverters. Older versions and other brands just loose out and some severely, very visible at the NEX 7 pixel density. This means that if I want to use a TC, I am stuck with Canon mount lenses.

- When using a Canon mk III teleconverter, don't use it wide
...Show more

thanks for the info! the 180/2.8s i was considering are not up to standard of the leica apo or sigma. with addition of IS the 70-300L sounds like it is probably the winner for me.

it might be nice to have a fast 180mm though maybe...




Aug 19, 2013 at 08:37 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


My Leica 180/2.8 APO is very sharp wide open, near max sharpness, and only improves a litle more stopped down a stop or two. This makes it great to use with the Leica 2x TC APO to get a nice 360mm f5.6 lens. Lighter, less bulky and better performing than my 70-200/2.8L mk1 and Canon 2x TC mk2. Of course the 180/2.8 APO by itself is better than 70-200/2.8L mk1 and probably better than mk2 version. I wanted to take the 180/2.8 APO so badly on my recent Alaska trip but because of rainy weather decided smartly to take 70-200L and my 500L.My gear and I got a good rainy weather test.


Aug 19, 2013 at 10:23 AM
alundeb
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


Good to hear that you get such good results with the APO-Elmarit, Wayne. I suppose you use the non-IS 70-200 that is a bit sharper than the IS mk I?

I would love to see a direct comparison between the Leica 180/2.8 APO + Leica 2x TC APO and the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II + 2X TC III.



Aug 19, 2013 at 10:59 AM
AhamB
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


wayne seltzer wrote:
I like my contax N 70-200 lens [...] I think it is sharper than contax 100-300.


Wide open, the Contax 100-300 is a bit sharper, but stopped down the N 70-200 wins out by a little bit according to the data sheets. This is true for all focal lengths under 300mm. I get the feeling that the Contax 100-300 is the better lens overall: better WO sharpness across the frame, the tangential MTF drops less, a bit less distortion and vignetting.

The URL changed again, btw: http://lenses.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/en_de/service/download_center.html


Edited on Aug 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM · View previous versions



Aug 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


alundeb wrote:
Good to hear that you get such good results with the APO-Elmarit, Wayne. I suppose you use the non-IS 70-200 that is a bit sharper than the IS mk I?

I would love to see a direct comparison between the Leica 180/2.8 APO + Leica 2x TC APO and the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II + 2X TC III.

I have 70-200/2.8L mk1 2x TC mk2.
I would like to see that comparison too but I also prefer the leica colors and micro contrast better than the muddier canon colors.



Aug 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Zooms at 180, a small shootout


AhamB wrote:
Wide open, the Contax 100-300 is a bit sharper, but stopped down the N 70-200 wins out according to the data sheets. The URL changed again, btw: http://lenses.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/en_de/service/download_center.html


Yeah, I mostly use it at f5.6 or f8 for landscape.



Aug 19, 2013 at 11:11 AM
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