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Why not a consumer plastic lens?

  
 
grandmas
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


Is it not possible to make an all plastic lens in a 500mm or 600mm that is cheap and lightweight? Would be consumer plastic (not glass) and light enough an old lady like me could handhold it.

I have plastic lenses in my glasses and just got to thinking.



May 24, 2023 at 02:26 PM
TeamSpeed
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


Your glasses don't have to resolve the level of detail that a lens might have to, and your lens is that, just one lens.

If you add groups of plastic lenses all together to create a lens capable of recording an image to a sensor, it would be like looking through a wavy pane of glass.

That being said, many smartphones use plastic lens elements, but again, they likely don't have all the different groups and # of elements.

Article to read: https://www.thephoblographer.com/2022/07/25/will-we-ever-see-a-professional-lens-made-entirely-from-plastic/

Also, it seems some lenses might have some plastic elements attached to glass, etc too?



May 24, 2023 at 02:50 PM
Mike_5D
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


The RF 600/11 is already under 2 lb. From the diagrams I can find online, the elements themselves are a small fraction of the total lens. How much weight are you going to save replacing them with plastic?


May 24, 2023 at 03:02 PM
lighthound
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


Another vote for the RF 600 or 800. For wildlife shooting on a budget it doesn't get any better. And from what I've seen, those lenses can produce amazing results if used properly.


May 24, 2023 at 03:26 PM
DailyShooter
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


Someone on this forum claimed that the RF 35mm f1.8 has plastic lenses...I've not been able to confirm this...anyone?


May 24, 2023 at 03:28 PM
grandmas
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


lighthound wrote:
Another vote for the RF 600 or 800. For wildlife shooting on a budget it doesn't get any better. And from what I've seen, those lenses can produce amazing results if used properly.


Now I am thinking! I just want something I can handhold. The 600mm might be my next buy. I am going to see what I can do with 400mm at F/11.




May 24, 2023 at 03:47 PM
G Lavaty
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


The RF 600mm f/11 is nice and light with beautiful image quality and it's also very reasonably priced. I rented one for a week before buying the RF 800mm f/11 and was impressed.

I imagine we will be seeing more and more plastic in future lenses including some of the elements.



May 24, 2023 at 03:57 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


I did the math, IS is supposed to be really good on the 800/11. 1/30 or so looks possible, not particularly difficult.

That's a little better than I get on the lens I'm using now. Plus on a ff body could bump up iso a stop.



May 24, 2023 at 04:56 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


grandmas wrote:
Is it not possible to make an all plastic lens in a 500mm or 600mm that is cheap and lightweight? Would be consumer plastic (not glass) and light enough an old lady like me could handhold it.

I have plastic lenses in my glasses and just got to thinking.


They need some metal for motors and contacts.
In the old days if you wanted a crappy lens with a long focal length (400/8 or 500/8) and very low resolution you bought a Spiratone.
The Canon RFs mentioned multiple times are probably as good as you will find for light weight and usable IQ.

EBH



May 24, 2023 at 05:28 PM
grandmas
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


I am thinking very seriously about the 600mm. What shutter speed would I need to hand hold the lens?

Another thing I am wondering about is being able to locate a small bird to focus on. I have trouble finding small birds looking through the viewfinder with 400mm.



May 24, 2023 at 07:46 PM
 


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Gochugogi
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


Canon has used molded lens elements in the past in its lower priced zooms. The called it a "replica aspherical element" or something like that. I think the not well regarded or beloved EF 28-80 3.5-5.6 USM had a molded replica aspherical element.


May 24, 2023 at 07:55 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


The OP asked about ALL plastic lenses. The Canon 600 & 800 f11 lenses are NOT ALL plastic.

If anyone knows of any plastic lens elements that can produce comparable results to those from glass elements for photographic lenses tell me all about it.



May 24, 2023 at 07:58 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


grandmas wrote:
I am thinking very seriously about the 600mm. What shutter speed would I need to hand hold the lens?

Another thing I am wondering about is being able to locate a small bird to focus on. I have trouble finding small birds looking through the viewfinder with 400mm.


If you have to ask those questions you need to take a photography course. If you have trouble locating a bird with a 400mm lens, of course it will be harder with a 600mm lens.

Sounds like you should get a zoom point & shoot camera.



May 24, 2023 at 08:06 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


grandmas wrote:
I am thinking very seriously about the 600mm. What shutter speed would I need to hand hold the lens?

Another thing I am wondering about is being able to locate a small bird to focus on. I have trouble finding small birds looking through the viewfinder with 400mm.


Get a tripod and gimbal head, seriously.

EBH



May 24, 2023 at 08:09 PM
G Lavaty
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


grandmas wrote:
I am thinking very seriously about the 600mm. What shutter speed would I need to hand hold the lens?

Another thing I am wondering about is being able to locate a small bird to focus on. I have trouble finding small birds looking through the viewfinder with 400mm.


It's worth considering but it definitely will have a learning curve if you aren't used to using very long focal length lenses. It takes practice to efficiently find the subject and you will likely want to use similar technique to binoculars (keep your eye on the subject as you raise your camera to your eye...). Shutter speed will also depend on your abilities and will go down with practice. I'd suggest starting with faster shutter speeds (like 1/500s) and then work your way slower else you might get discouraged and stop using the lens. You could try using a tripod/gimbal... but really this lens begs to be used hand-held and adding all the weight of the tripod... sort of defeats the whole point of a light-weight lens.



May 24, 2023 at 08:21 PM
Mike_5D
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?




Imagemaster wrote:
If you have to ask those questions you need to take a photography course. If you have trouble locating a bird with a 400mm lens, of course it will be harder with a 600mm lens.

Sounds like you should get a zoom point & shoot camera.


Wow



May 24, 2023 at 08:23 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


Here's a link to a Canon article about their aspherical lens technologies.

Excerpt:

The journey to mass-produce aspherical lens elements involved the incorporation of advanced technologies developed for the space exploration program, culminating in the development of the ALG-Z ultra-high-precision aspherical lens grinder and the ALM ultra-high-precision measuring machine. The use of a laser interferometer ensured fine control over equipment grinding, which made possible surface grinding precision down to units of 100nm for shaping and 50nm for processing. Combined with the uniform grinding and polishing techniques that Canon had developed based on its own theories, these technologies made it possible to mass produce more than 1,000 pieces of ground and polished aspherical lenses per month.

Later, Canon also succeeded in developing plastic-molded (PMo) aspherical lenses, which can be mass produced in larger quantities at a lower cost, and large-diameter glass-molded (GMo) aspherical lenses, which are molded in a machine that incorporates a high-precision aspherical metal mold*.

* 1982: Release of the Canon Snappy 50, the world’s first camera lens to incorporate a PMo aspherical lens element.
1985: Release of the New FD35-105mm f/3.5-4.5, the world’s first interchangeable lens for 35mm full-frame cameras to incorporate a GMo aspherical lens element.

In 1990, Canon developed a fourth aspherical lens production technology that produces replica aspherical lenses by using ultraviolet-light-hardening resin to form an aspherical lens surface layer on a spherical lens element.




May 24, 2023 at 08:29 PM
grandmas
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


EB-1 wrote:
Get a tripod and gimbal head, seriously.

EBH


I have both a tripod and a monopod. I would like to handhold if possible.



May 24, 2023 at 08:35 PM
grandmas
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


Imagemaster wrote:
If you have to ask those questions you need to take a photography course. If you have trouble locating a bird with a 400mm lens, of course it will be harder with a 600mm lens.

Sounds like you should get a zoom point & shoot camera.


I "choose to be nice."

It was mentioned by another poster in this thread that it might be possible to handhold the 800mm with a shutter speed of 1/30. Granted this will not be the same for every person. This is different information than what I use for other lenses and the reason I asked.




May 24, 2023 at 08:47 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Why not a consumer plastic lens?


grandmas wrote:
It was mentioned by another poster in this thread that it might be possible to handhold the 800mm with a shutter speed of 1/30. Granted this will not be the same for every person. This is different information than what I use for other lenses and the reason I asked.


That would be in ideal conditions with good technique and a stationary subject. If you're after birds in flight, then you will want to use as fast a shutter speed an f/11 lens will afford you in the light conditions you work in. It's going to be a tradeoff of increasing the ISO, noisier/grainier images robbing some subject detail relative to shutter speeds fast enough to minimize motion blur.

There's another thread in which the poster stated shooting birds in flight with the 800/11 was like finding your target through a straw. More so if using an APS-C sensor-based camera, which will have a field of view equivalent to 1280mm.

The 600/11 might be a better starting point to hone your long lens technique.



May 24, 2023 at 08:52 PM
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