Showing posts with label long lenses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label long lenses. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

LONG LENS MYSTERIES

Long Lenses are critical if you are a bird or wildlife photographer.  There is no using a point and shoot with a 140 mm equivalent zoom lens.  A minimum 400-500 mm is required.  OK.  However, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Check out the current lineup of Focal length by manufacturer and their prices.  What is wrong with this picture?






























The prices are from B&H today but the exact pricing is not important.  The BIG RED HOLE above is the gap that is the elephant in the room and NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT.


What this says, is that if you want a 600 or 800 mm 5.6 lens, you must spend over $8000!


I am using a Canon 70-200 2.8 L with a 2x extender.  The resulting 400mm 5.6 beats my 170-500 Sigma hands down, never mind the image stabilization.  I pushed the extremes and equipped the Sigma 5.6 with a Sigma 2X converter and have a rarely used 1000mm f/11 manual focus dreadful, unsharp compromise.  Autofocus requires f/5.6 or better.

Now, why must we spend $8000 for a decent 600 mm?  Do market forces dictate so little demand for the lenses and the expense of manufacturing so high, dictate that nothing decent can be had for say $2500?

Here is a challenge for long lens manufacturers, Canon, Nikon, Sigma, and Tamron to come up with a single focal length 600 mm  IS 5.6 lens that does not break the bank.

Here is my T-Shirt design shot with my Canon telephoto from a safe distance.



See my bear gallery shot with various long lenses.


COMMENT FROM GREG SMITH:


Funny you should post on this. Just yesterday, I noted with some dismay that the Canon 500/4 now costs more than $9k. Not so long ago, the previous version (the $9k is for a "II" model) was less than $5k.

The dollar has depreciated against the yen. Many costs are up. But few of us who actually try to make a living with such glass have been flourishing.

After years of limping with a Canon 300/4 IS and Canon teleconverters, I found a great, open-box deal last year on one of the few well-built, off-brand 300/2.8s remaining on the market. It's surprisingly good, even with the Canon 1.4x. And the 2X combo is fairly practical.

Certainly, I would like to have the white 500/4, 400/2.8 or even the 400/4 DO. But I simply don't see a business plan to support owning any of them - let alone a 600/4. I guess Canon figures safari-addicted doctors and lawyers will pay for the arm candy. Perhaps they figure that if the price is higher it will draw more conspicuous consumers.

Certainly there's more profit in such folks than in pros struggling to make more for less in the digital age.

-- greg smith
http://www.facebook.com/l/52a31uZ5mT6YTopWMUKa6QFeGsg;imediasmith.com

COMMENT FROM DAVID HAAS


I don't think any manufacturer is going make a fixed f5.6 400mm, 500mm, etc. at a lower than $3K price.

Reason being they don't NEED to......

Between SI (Sports Illustrated) type photogs and the remaining news services (plus the well heeled customer "Hobbyist" shooters) they will sell whatever limited numbers they produce. At a decent profit I'm sure, too.

Lens rental places will buy them and make oodles of money for the "one safari of a lifetime" folks who need that lens on a once in a lifetime type trip.

I haven't bought a lens over 300mm EVER.........Especially only owning 1.6X crop type dSLR bodies.

It's similar to the tiny world of UW shooter lamenting about new EVIL cameras with APS-C sensors and interchangeable lenses in smaller bodies. It would be GREAT if these took off meaning a lighter smaller housing to travel with.

But a conversation I had with a photo industry friend the other day spells it out...........

I cried "Why isn't my beloved Canon announced one yet?"  

If you read the rumors sites neither Canon nor Nikon are rushing to bring one out and compete with Sony NEX-5 or other models like the Olympus E-PL2, a few other Panasonic and the like...

The MAIN reason, they don't HAVE to.

They're already tooled up to produce a few hundred thousand (close to a million?) each of lower end dSLR cameras (such as the newest Canon Rebel T3i) the Nikon D3100 and other various priced models. They also can then sell you lenses, flashes, accessory grips, etc.

Right now look how cheap a dSLR is that take astounding pics at higher ISOs than1-2 generations ago. So "fast" lenses aren't needed as much for 99% of dSLR owners.

YES, for isolation you need to vary your technique but it isn't that hard with even a moderate zoom variable aperture lens like a f4-5.6.

I routinely shoot my Canon 60D at ISO 400 - 800 and higher.

Awhile ago I thought the low priced dSLR would die soon.

Now I'm not so sure.....

    David Haas

    www.haasimages.com



ADDITIONAL JA COMMENT

DATA POINT:  Unfortunately,  major lens rental places IN NYC don't seem to have 600mm or above for rent AT ALL last time I looked Anyone please prove me wrong, there may be a business opportunity here to rent 600mms in NYC.



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