Do you factor size and weight much into which lens you purchase?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by tdigi, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. As you get into the pro grade equipment ( 24-70, 70-200 etc ) it starts to get large. For pro work I don't see this as an issue but when
    casual shooters purchase gear do you put much thought into this? When suggesting lenses does anyone mind the extra weight?

    This is more out of curiosity. For example the Canon 17-55 to the Tamron 17-50. both are good but the Canon is probably a little better ( I
    never did a side by side but I have looked at comparisons on line.) Anyway, I would think for the average person the Tamron would be
    more then enough and when you compare the size, the Canon is much larger. Does anyone want to carry a larger lens when traveling or
    just taking casual shots? Unless the lens is something huge like a 70-200 2.8 do you factor size into your choice much?

    Again just interested in peoples take on this.

  2. I would say I am an average intermediate photographer. When I buy lenses, I factor in two major considerations. Is it
    for artistic pursuits or is it for casual shots/walkaround. The former, expense, weight and size fall way behind IQ.
    They are almost not considered. For casual shots, as long as the IQ is moderate, size, and weight would sway me
    from one unit to another.

    I hope I made sense. /bing
  3. There is no doubt that the longer "L" lenses are heavy. I would say that weight does not factor into the choice unless one is physically challenged to either hand hold or carry around a big lens. Often times you can use a mono or tri, but the lens still has to be brought to location.
    It would be nice to have a light lens to perform the equivalent of the long zooms, but so far this substitute has not been available.
    I have no such physical problem and do not mind the size/weight.
  4. Life is really too short to worry too much about weight with lenses of focal lengths 200mm and smaller. For an XXD camera, like the 40D, I cannot think of a better walk-around lens than the 16-35 2.8L, version I or II. That lens will outlast any camera you hook it up with.

    DSLRs are just fancy imaging computers that get pretty long-in-the-tooth around the 3-4 year mark; lenses only get "better" and retain their value through out You already know that as you ask 1,000 lens questions here! ;-)
  5. very funny Ken, Now I am not sure if I feel like a geek or a pest...... or both :-} haha. all my questions have helped me put
    together a very good set of lenses. anyway this one is strictly curiosity. I read many of the other questions posted by
    others and I notice many don't discuss the size, weight.
  6. The additional one or two stops of a pro lens is often seen as valuable for situations involving low light or requiring
    high shutter speeds. Additionally, a pro lens is likely to be built more sturdily and to have better sealing against rain
    or snow. Of less obvious value, though I've been told by pro sports photographers that it is commonly demanded, is
    the dramatically decreased depth of field when using, for example, the 400/2.8 wide open, beast that it is. My 70-
    200/2.8, bought on Ebay years ago, has proved to be a great lens, but this lens will definitely test your arms and
    wrists when you've been handholding it all day. As digital cameras achieve higher quality with high ISO settings,
    some of the pro lens advantages diminish. What it really comes down to is whether X amount of increase in quality
    and capability is worth Y amount of aggravation and Z amount of extra expense. Each person's variables will differ.
  7. The only time I worry about the weight is when I load them all into my backpack and put it on. ;-)

    More seriously, I did consider the size of my backpack given the lenses I intended to buy, and made sure it would have the room I needed.

    In terms of the lenses themselves, no.
  8. I do consider weight and dimensions. The smaller/lighter lens is more likely to be taken along, easier to handle, more discreet, etc. Sure it's a factor.
  9. zml


    1 body + 1 L lens 300 mm or shorter = no problem. 10 lenses + 2 1D/Ds series bodies + assorted junk (and especially the assorted junk) = big problem. So, yes, weight is a factor but since good glass is almost always heavy there is no way around it. Make 'em light and small(er) - plastic lenses and bakelite bodies would be great :)))
  10. I do hike in the mountains and weight is absolutely an issue there, and I want to take all with me. As I am on a budget, I consider three things, weight, quality and in the end price....
  11. For casual use I like the lighter lenses, but I feel more comfortable with a lens that has a little heft to it like the 28-105 F4. Some lenses like the 50mm 1.8 are so light, they are fragile. For professional and critical work I would switch to a heavier better lens in a minute. After all, that is why I bought it in the first place. Another problem with the heavier and more expensive lenses is that they are easily identifiable in case you happen to be in dubious surroundings.
  12. For what I'm doing weight is very important. I would consider myself an above average photographer, I contribute pics to 2 auto racing websites, sold many pics, and have had some pics published. At the racetrack walking around with a ton of glass can be exhausting. I used a 70-200 F4 as a staple lens for a long time but recently was tempted to buy a 2.8 version. I lugged that thing around along with a 400 5.6 L for 4 days in Georgia last month. When I got back I processed about 1000 shots and compared them to the F4 and found no difference. I didn't use the 2.8 setting in the bright sunny conditions at all and felt I never would so I sold the 2.8 and bought another F4! By the way, I chose the Tamron 17-50 over the Canon 17-55 strickly by cash.......the images weren't twice as good for twice the money, 500.00 is better in my pocket then the lens dealer! My one wish from Canon would be a 70-300 L the same size as the DO lens....would solve my backache problems!
  13. I absolutely consider weight and size, along with the typical IQ and feature requirements. I recently bought a 450D and a Tamron 17-50 just for those reasons, and I'm a relatively big young guy. My favorite camera is my little 35mm rangefinder, so even the 450D and Tamron feel big to me. I wanted this camera to use for (among other things) shooting landscapes on multi-day backpacking trips in the mountains. The size of the camera / lens dictates the size of the tripod, and that is the single biggest component of my kit. With this little camera / lens I can (with much care) get away with using a 2 lb Slik Sprint Pro tripod. That just wouldn't work with the Canon 17-55, and no, IS is not a substitute for a tripod.

    One of my biggest complaints about digital cameras has been the lack of diversity. With film, there are many styles of cameras; RFs, medium format folders, small SLRs, big SLRs, view cameras, TLRs. etc., all of which can produce top notch results. But to get top notch results from digital? Big honking DSLR. I'm really excited to see where this micro 4/3rds thing goes, and I keep hoping for a better, more affordable, digital RF too.
  14. I'm a keen traveller / hiker / backcountry skier. Every gram counts.

    I shoot XTi with T 17-50/2.8. Very high performance for the weight, produces great looking 13"x19" prints. Other
    advantages of small gear: doesn't scream Steal Me as much (big concern when travelling). Cheaper. Smaller front
    element is not as intimidating to some subjects. Besides being lighter than metal, plastic is nicer to use in very cold
    temps, doesn't stick to the fingers like metal.

    If I were a studio shooter I think I'd prefer a bigger camera. They are a bit easier to operate - larger grips, zoom and
    focus rings and such.
  15. No. No. Depends. No.
  16. I tend to select on quality, size and handling. I prefer the 70-200 4 versus the 2.8 because I don't really need the speed. I'll probably buy the 17-40L in the future, not buying the 17-55/2.8 because that's bigger, weighs more and handles less smoothly.

    (I also have a handy but not too good 18-200 and the pretty breakable 50/1.8 both practicale choices and very affordable.)
  17. No. No. Depends. No.
  18. stp


    When it comes to Canon digital equipment, weight is not a consideration. However, the total weight of Canon was a
    consideration in my purchase of a Mamiya 7II system for those times that I wanted to take an extended hike with high
    quality equipment but didn't want a lot of weight. [Also, there are times when I just prefer to use film, and again the
    Mamiya does the job.]
  19. I haven't really thought much about it until lately. My 24-105 seemed huge when I first got it and now it's kinda normal.
    But a lighter option is sure nice since sometimes its nice to travel light or if I am going on a trip thats not really a big
    photo destination I still want a camera. I like a 28 1.8 on my 40D, no external flash so its fairly compact. I agree with
    above about a set up screaming steal me. Sometimes its nice to keep it small and simple.

    I am not a big fan of point and clicks but I tried out a G10 and its pretty nifty. Has a nice feel and I like that you can
    attach a flash to it too but the big stuff sure spoils you on quality. I am not sure I can go back.
  20. I did weddings and sports with heavy lenses. On my last wedding, a large one, I was carrying an ETRSi and two Canon
    bodies while going in between the ceremony and the reception when I dropped my three pound 70-200 on the sidewalk
    while trying to change it. Was all that weight too much? You bet it was. I was too greedy to hire an assistant. If I
    could get performance out of something smaller I would. The 70-200 survived as it bounced about two feet off a very
    strong lens hood, It is now 13 years old and so is the hood. I have one other three pound lens. I was using it
    handheld this afternoon. If I could get 400mm with less weight I would. I have a 28-105 one pounder as a walkaround
    as well as a 17-40L.. After thirteen years of weddings, sports, PJ etc.' I am ready for some genius to invent a
    lightweight long lenses. I am tired of carrying three pounds plus camera around. My advice is get a monopod not for the image but for
    arms. Much easier to get through a football game with one.
  21. When I'm doing a short job I'll use my Nikon 28-70. I used to use it for weddings, but now I use the inferior but MUCH lighter Tamron 17-50. There was only so much Tylenol I could swallow. Yeah. It matters.
  22. I do consider size and weight quite heavily and consider myself a casual shooter.

    As a side note, I find it interesting reading people's opinions of lenses and cameras. Weight and size often come
    up. A lens is either enormous and hefty with great build quality or dinky and plastic and crumbles at a glance.
    Weight and size and build quality all seem tied together. It seems as though there aren't as many classes of
    lenses as there are cameras, and that may be why people generally hold on to lenses for a much longer period of
    time than a body. You may have consumer gear and aren't willing or don't need to take that giant leap (in size,
    weight, and mostly cost) to that pro level (aka- Me) In bodies there will be entry level and consumer models,
    then mid grade and prosumer models, and then professional models. There is one for everybody and a seemingly
    linear progression towards "better" gear. When it comes to lenses there are usually cheaply made consumer zooms
    or a solid pro zoom counterpart with a great disparity between the two.

    This isn't a complaint, just something I find interesting and have been thinking about.
  23. I don't factor size or weight versus image quality. I have found that discretion is somewhat of an issue when using a 70-200 f4 L. in public. You may as well carry a blinking neon sign with a siren! Everyone will notice you, good and bad.
    Cheers! and great shooting!
  24. Since I do a lot of photography while on the trail (sometimes for as long as two week and often including trailless passes at
    12,000' and higher... and I'm getting older!) I do consider the weight against the utility of the heavier lenses. This is, for
    example, one reason that I have the f/4 version of the 70-200mm lens.

    I would likely _not_ compromise image quality for weight savings.

  25. As a climber/back-country skier I factor lens and camera weight/size "heavily". Speed = safety on many of the climbs I do and my partners are often younger and in better shape than I am, so I need every advantage I can get! I also carry the camera on a bag on the hip belt of my pack for easy access (speed again), so a big camera/lens combo is too bulky. When I really have to move it I just bring the G9.

    If I had enough $ to buy a second camera I'd get a 5D II with a set of L series lenses for casual hiking and civilized shooting.
  26. Size and weight matters, and not just for lens. Talking Nikon stuff, whilst I'd love to get (and thank God can
    afford ;~) ) a D700 full-frame, the cam plus (heavy) pro-lens setup isin't worth humping around when I travel or
    even take
    for a day, or indeed when at a party for a few hours, or whatever.

    Too heavy, and sometimes too intrusive.

    Thats why I am looking at the 1.5 crop-sensor sensor cams and lens... even tho' I know both that glass matters
    and is "for life" and that full-frame is better at high ISOs. To me, getting 90% IQ is better than sore shoulders
    and arms ! I'd rather be enjoying taking the photos, than complaining about the weight and the pain.

    Just my tuppence worth, hope it makes sense ..
  27. The heavier the lens, the better. Metal is good. I do not use zoom lenses.
  28. Interesting but I wonder if anyone takes another user into account auch as partner, wife. Because I share my biz with the wife I have to factor weight and size, eg: I like the 24 70L but as its too heavy for her bought her the sigma. Generally she works nightly carries her rig 6~8 hours, the 40d + tamron 17 50 ideal for her with good IQ, I recently bought for me a 5d + 24 105 4 L + batt pack. but wow her rig seems so light now, could not have imagined the difference. and I`m quitw used to hassy. She wants to use the 5d so maybe shed the batt pack may help, gotta make a compromise occassionally :(
  29. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    > Do you factor size and weight much into which lens you purchase? <


    But overall weight and size, when deciding the most efficient Canon DSLR kit, was factored slightly more.

    You should know my basic thinking on that.

  30. The 100-400MM L IS is heavy and strong. If in a jam, you could defend yourself with it. However, the weight was not a factor in my choice.

    All day at an air show, with the weight of camera and heavy zoom pulling down on a neck strap, can be a pain in the neck.

    The image quality of this large L zoom, outweighs the lens itself.
  31. One thing I hadn't considered was being 86'ed out of some venues or denied entry because of a large "professional
    looking" camera & lens. I have a Canon 40D with the kit 18-135mm lens. I didn't think it was extra odinary, but the
    security wouldn't let me in to the Ringling Bros. Circus. I went & got my Canon S3-IS ( I should have put on my 50
    f/1.8 and smuggled in the bigger lens). We do try to keep situational awareness when we are in dodgy areas. No
    point in having the "Mug me" sign attached. We just got a Tamron 28-300XR Di f/3.5-6.3 lens with stabilization. It
    compacts pretty well at the 28 end and is pretty light. I certainly looks friendly when extended to the 300mm end of
    the spectrum. It is noisier than the Canon lens, but I wanted more reach for the sports fields. the IQ will not be up
    to "L" standards, but it is in our price range. My wife got me an early Christmas present at the Photo Expo in San
  32. When lugging around that 4/300 Zeiss Sonnar, I wish I did... I haven't considered a lighter-weight alternative, but I will say, the lens's size and weight do sometimes compel me to leave it home even when I feel it might serve some moderate purpose in the field.
  33. I don't mind packing the Canon 17-55, but anything larger gets judged on how bad I want it, versus how much weight I will put up with. I still occasionally think about the 70-200 f/2.8, but so far have resisted the temptation, largely based on weight. I don't need a fast long lens often enough to justify this.

    But going the other direction, I recently bought a Tamron 18-270 for times when I only want one lens to carry. And I also use a point & shoot superzoom for times when that is too much. So call me a wimp. :)
  34. Yes, But not prior to this past Saturday. Over the past weekend I began consideration of a 70-200 f2.8 L IS or the f4
    IS version thinking size and weight did not matter to me but I began to have memories of a 85-300 f4.5 FD that I
    once had. This lens was about the size of a good fireplace log and about the same weight……well, I may be
    exaggerating a little or a lot but it really did weigh more than the lens under consideration. I then borrowed a friend’s
    100-400 L which is very close in size and weight to the 70-200 2.8 and about the size of a good fireplace log, to get
    an idea of what I would be handling. I really wanted the 2.8 and all of the good about 2.8 but in the end I decided I
    would get more use and more keepers with the 4.0 IS. The 2.8 and the 100-400 were just hard for me to hold steady
    for more than 30 seconds or so although I’m average build and around 50, I mean 49. I really did want that 2.8 glass

    Short Story- The 100-400 was on his 20D with the 1.4x. I took the lens off and attached it to my 30D and shot a few
    for IQ check then put the 1.4x on. Oh crap….what’s wrong? I was alarmed when it would not auto focus, what had I
    done to his lens or t/c? The lens was OK but not with the 1.4x. When I returned it the next day, I began groveling to
    him about what had happened. He began to laugh but I didn’t think anything was funny until he told me that a 100-
    400 will not auto focus with a t/c on a 20D or 30D. (only works on 45 point AF cameras) Relief……….

    Maybe the 70-200 f4 will be less noticeable than the 2.8 (small flower pot on a stub of 3 inch PVC pipe).

    I have the 24-105 f4 L IS based on opinions here. It is not big or heavy to me but after 4 or 5 hours on a 30D with a
    plain 1” strap it begins to feel right heavy on my neck. I don’t use the wide CANON DIGITAL strap that came with
    the 30D because of the of the (loud) massive letter size. It still seems like a normal lens to me and I love it. I might
    just put this strap on my 1974 vintage FTb and see what happens. “What kind of digital camera ya got there
    buddy?”…. Oh, It’s the old fashioned kind!
  35. No. But then I am in the minority, I don't understand why anybody would.

    Take care, Scott.
  36. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    > I don't understand why anybody would. . . .

    The whole point is, from another angle:

    F1.4 at the short and F2.8 at the long - are F1.4 and F2.8.

    To some, that is the beginning, and the end.

    I`m with ya Scott

  37. Hi William,


  38. I am a climber , Skier etc... and live by Banff Alberta. I never consider size and weight when I buy lenses but do when i use them! I will often carry an MF camera - Mamiya 645 ProTL or even my Fuji GX680 Mark II. Since the Fuji weighs almost 10lbs without a lens and needs a tripod an SLR is always a lighter option. I often carry the 70-200F2.8 and have been known to carry a 300mm F2.8 (both the old FD and the new IS EOS). For certain routes I will use a Contax G2 which is fairly light (approx 1lbs plus lenses). This is especially important for Multi day or technical routes. I have however been known to take the Fuji up 6000 feet of vertical ascent in a day. I buy lenses for their quality so I always end up with heavy glass unless i take the Contax rangefinder. my main issue with the L series lenses is the reaction they cause from other people. it is almost impossible to take candid photos with any of the F2.8 L series zooms unless you are a long way from the subject due to the obvious reaction to the camera and lens. interestingly using an old Canon FD camera (T90 or NewF1) with a lens like the 85mm F1.2 or 135mm F2 is much easier as the lens is black and smaller. These old FD lenses are not actually light - just much less obvious. the Contax G2 is best for candids as you can use the AF and shoot from the waist. So to answer the question a quality lens is worth the effort despite it's weight. If weight / bulk is a real issue then I will carry a rangefinder. While others may complain about hiking or climbing with heavy camera gear I just feel it is another burden. When compared to ice climbing camera gear is much lighter so if you carry ice gear in winter a big lens in summer is a lot less effort.
  39. Paid shoot means I am paid to carry the weight too, so there's no problem. But for stuff like street, I'll take the D40 with a 14mm DX 2.8 AF-s any time.
  40. Weight and size are a big deal for me. And image stabilization end up being more important to some of my photography than I expected. Enough so that about 18 months ago I added a Pentax system to make use of their very compact high quality limited series prime lenses with body based sensor stabilization. It turned out to be a better fit for my needs than my Canon gear was and I ultimately ended up selling my xti, 30d and about five lenses and switching systems completely. Weight, size of the full frame lenses with IS and cost of the better L glass were the deciding factors for my making the jump.
  41. Would never be an issue, wouldn't even think about how much a lens weighs at the time of purchase, why would you?, it
    only limits you with what you can shoot correctly. No No No, Never....
  42. I have to make this decision every year for our annual trip to the State fair. Hot. Lots of standing. Fairly crowded. One hand shoving a corn dog in my face, the other pushing a stroller or holding a hand. I've made several choices - small P&S film and digicams, an E-500 one year, a Canon EOS Elan 7NE once, and a Minolta X-700 this year. What really helps is to mount one camera with a chest harness such as the one I use from Op/Tech. You can carry one extra lens in a waist pouch without looking too dorky. The ideal range lenses are the plastic 28-80/90/105 varieties, but quality suffers. If you can carry a 50mm lens, then maybe a 70-200 in the waist pouch, you get the best of all worlds. For a crop DSLR use a 30 or 35mm lens.
  43. Yes, yes, no, yes.

    There's a reason I have the Canon 55-250mm IS lens- it's tiny and light compared to the alternatives, even if it's not as good a lens. My main lens is a Tamron 17-50- I was willing to put up with some extra weight for the quality. How much it weighs has a direct bearing on how often it gets used and whether it gets packed for trips.
  44. Size yes (sometimes), weight no (almost never). It's about what fits well in whatever bag I'm taking, and the trade-off I'm willing to make based on what I'm shooting. 5D + 24-70mm f/2.8L is usually my choice over Rebel XT + 17-40mm f/4L, but the latter travels much more easily (and is very light weight -- a bonus, not a primary consideration).

    I use the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS much less than I ever would have imagined before I got it. 200mm f/2.8L prime is much smaller and inconspicuous -- and soooo sharp!
  45. The only way i'll go over 2.8 as my max app is on my Hassy Zeiss lenses, but that is a different style of shooting. Small format is all about speed, and i'll agree with Scott and William, 2.8 is as high as i'd go with 35mm.

    PS. I might make an exception if someone gave me a 500mm F4 ;)
  46. "2.8 is as high as i'd go with 35mm."

    I rarely remove my EF 50 1.2L USM from my 5D: it's light as a feather, sharp and works in almost any light. probably
    should just glue it on...
  47. "Some lenses like the 50mm 1.8 are so light, they are fragile." - Harry Joseph
    <br>I've dropped my 50 f/1.8 twice, while running, on two separate occasions. Once on tarmac, once on concrete.
    No cracks or indeed any visible damage, no degradation to image quality. When I shot film, I once dropped my
    28-105 USM (with lens hood reversed) I broke the UV filter (lens glass was intact) but got a minute crack in the
    barrel :-/ Sometimes light weight can be advantageous, as the lens develops less momentum...
    <p>As for the original post, weight is only a minor factor for me in lens purchases, but of course if I'm going
    hiking, then yes, lens weight does come in. Usually it ends up being my 17-40 on 400D or the 24-105 on my
    film EOS 500N, with the 'fragile' 50 f/1.8 ;-)
  48. One gets, if one can afford, the best equipment possible. That means that some of those lens will be big and heavy, for fun I use the Tamron 28-75 often, for pay or serious photography I go with the 24-70 L. The weight I don't mind as much as the color, I really do not like the attention the white lens bring to one.
  49. For me it's a balance between what I want and what I can afford. Weight, size or color don't matter much as long as it does the job. Once in a while I'll go out with only the tamron 17-50 for the fun of carrying light gear but my main lens is the 100-400 and I don't mind carrying that all day with my other lenses in the backpack just in case. Not having the right lens when a great shot presents itself, that bothers me much more than weight.
  50. When I was doing weddings I actually did an entire, very acceptable wedding with an ETRSi and a 75mm lens (equivilent of
    a 50mm lens on a 1.0 crop digital camera). The lens is not heavy. The camera is heavier, however. I just walked back
    and forth instead of zooming. I think you can be very creative with a very light 50 mm lens. Says me who was bitching
    above about carrying three cameras and lenses at a wedding including a three pound 28-70 2.8L.
  51. I wouldn't mind heavy lens like 70-200 f/2.8, I like things that feel solid in my hands, that applies to tools, drink glasses and of course lenses. If it wasn't for my budget (I would like to stay married as long as possible) I'd buy70-200 f2.8 or 17-55 f/2.8, instead I had to sattle down for Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and Sigma 70-300 APO DG. Maybe my thinking is wrong but heavy sturdy lenses look and feel right.
    Just my .02
  52. Yes. I feel fine with size and weight of 30/1.4 and 50/1.4. They are quite light and small, quite cheap and I really need large apertures often, when shooting dslr. For most of my shooting A650 is a better tool, but my next lens is perhaps 20/2.8 (oh I wish they updated it to 20/2.0!) or 85/1.8. I can live without zoom...
  53. Congratulations on posting a question that has elicited so many responses! You've obviously struck an area of interest.

    The one time equipment weight was an issue for me was when I experimented with a Pro-RL flash bracket.

    Gee whiz, was that thing enormous! Pretty much fumbled every shot I tried to take with it attached, and only came away with a few keepers after I sheepishly put it away.

    On the other hand, I recently read a post by a professional who seems to like it.
  54. Yes! See the leica and rangefinder forum -- one of the main attractions of the rangefinder is it's size and the size of the lenses (small).
  55. I would like to have lighter smaller yet 24-70 f2.8 with same or better quality. As technology advances, it could be possible. Some ppl think the bigger it is, the better. To me, smaller/lighter the better providing IQ the same of better. WHen I am working on a paid customer, IQ outweights size/weight of the equipment. Casual shots, not really coz I am not going to do much editing.
  56. Tommy, do you work in Canon sales department ?
  57. >>> For example the Canon 17-55 to the Tamron 17-50. both are good but the Canon is probably a little better

    Maybe for people who worry about lens sharpness and shoot eye vision charts and newspapers tacked on walls. But for people
    that actually make photographs, it makes little difference.

    I'll take much less weight and far less $$$ any day - and I compared both lenses over the counter.

    The canon would not make me a better photographer.
  58. Tal, why do you say that? I am not promoting Canon. In the example I gave I was trying to say that most people who are
    using a camera for walk around or travel would probably be happier with a smaller lighter lens over an L or high end big
    lens. Most people are so quick to suggest a 17-55 or 24-70 or a 70-200 all of which are a lot to carry on a trip.

    While I like the high end stuff overall quality I am starting to lean toward a lighter solution for travel and casual use.
  59. Just to be clear I am not promoting or ripping Canon. The reason this size issue even occurred to me was because I got a
    tenba messenger bag to use for travel and I realize most of my gear and lenses ( 40D, 24-105, 70-200 2.8, 100 macro 50
    1.4 ) wont all fit with flashes and accessories. I can probably get in 2 lenses and a flash.

    So I am considering a hyperzoom or a G10 or some other option for when I travel.

    Again if your working its different I am really just talking about the casual, street or vacation shooter
  60. ( 40D, 24-105, 70-200 2.8, 100 macro 50 1.4 ) wont all fit with flashes and accessories. I can probably get in 2 lenses and a flash.

    or get a one lens solution XSI+18-200 IS? XSI has built in flash as well. Depends on how or where you want to take pics, for extreme conditions, you need extreme gears like in candle light , u need fast lens like f1.2 or 1.0 There is no one body, one lens can do it all : - ) law of physics applies.
  61. I didn't use to think much about the weight of my gear at all...but as I get older it gets more and more important!

    I recently traded some f2.8 L lenses for their f4 cousins, mainly because of weight (I hike a lot). I should add that a deciding factor in this was that I almost never shot at f2.8 so I figured why carry that weight around in the bigger glass if I'm not using it. If I was using the 2.8, then I probably would have just put up with the extra weight.
  62. You buy a lens because it does the job, not because of weight and size.
  63. For me I originally bought the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. It was smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8. I do rave photography and am running around in crowds of tens of thousands of people for 8 hours at a time shooting 1,000+ photos/night. There was NO way I was gonna drag that huuuuge nikon lens.

    HOWEVER, the Tamron lens could not stand up. I am on my second one and this one is falling apart. Those lenses are smaller, lighter, and cheaper for a reason...they are no professional quality - they are consumer-grade equipment. By no means am I a professional, but I sure do put my equipment to work.

    So tomorrow I will be waiting by the door patiently for the FedEx truck to drop off my Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8. I dont want to crazy that huge lens around because it will be a workout....but I have too...I need the nikon build.

    So here is an example of how I let size and price select the lens over quality and I ended up paying the price
  64. Andre McNichols mentioned colour, which I think is very interesting, for me at least. I would really like to know why Canon doesn't make their 70-200Ls in black as well as white. In some parts of the world (mine included), you don't just whip out a white lens, it draws way too much attention, often of the wrong kind. This is actually a key reason why I plan to get a 70-300IS in lieu of a 70-200s. I am willing to trade off on optical quality for my own safety & security. Plus I get an extra 100mm of zoom with decent IQ to boot. I read that the white barrel has something to do with reflecting away light and therefore keeping the lens elements cooler. I'm not entirely convinced of that. If that's the case, why not make the focus and zoom rings white texturized rubber as well? Is (anyone from) Canon "listening"?
  65. Mark, AFAIK the flourite is suscepticle to heat, Maybe needs a lil sunhat attachment :)
  66. Well, I'm a snapshooter - not selling any picture, I just want to keep memories of my family and my days in the mountain.

    Long time ago, I decided that my target was enjoying my routes, not carrying big stuff through beatiful landscapes. So what works for me is: keep it light and simple, whatever it is my camera or my skis. For sure, a minimum of quality is required - nothing is heavier than a useless piece of equipement. Although I use digital P&S for my hardest routes, I still prefer a DSLR as my main camera, but I strongly disagree with the modern trend high quality=big bulk. Not so long ago, in the film days, a set of 2-3 primes (e.g. 20, 50 and 135) delivered unsurpassed quality and were much more compact than the monster 2.8 zooms.

    By the way, price is also an important factor - otherwise, I'd be shooting Leica rangefinders :)
  67. My rule is, if it does not fit in a Domke 803 or "little bit smaller bag" then I don't need it. I'm too old and weak to carry around
    20lbs of gear. I adjust what I shoot to the stuff I have.
  68. Weight factors into my camera body choice a lot more than my lens choice. I used a borrowed Hassy for a few
    hours in a studio class, and I decided right then and there it was not the MF camera for me. My hands ached
    using it and I was afraid I'd fumble it. I had my old Rollei TLR cleaned and repaired instead, and was happier
    for it. I can carry that camera anywhere. Sometimes airport security gives me a hard time about the Rollei and
    the MF film. Some of those folks have never seen an old TLR and they think it's a bomb decoy. I guess that's a
    "shape" issue instead of size or weight.

    As for the size of the lens, the "steal me" and discretion factors figure into it for me with my 35mm. The
    weight hasn't been a factor for me with lenses, but I haven't bought one > 150mm. A large lens hood or a big eye
    on the end of the lens is conspicuous. Sometimes being inconspicuous matters, especially in street photography
    or just as a tourist. It's hard to get the shot if you are more worried about your pocket being picked during
    focusing, or if the locals misunderstand your motives. I think the camera bag choice is also important if you
    want to be discrete. I have been known to disassemble my SLR and carry it with 2 lenses in my purse. There's
    almost no room for anything else that way, but it is handy when you have to walk through a ratty part of town,
    say, in Marrakech. The little Domke bag is the only camera bag I've seen that allows the same discretion.
  69. Absolutely do not care! I have some of the largest lenses available like a 200/2 and a 400/2.8. Whatever lens does what I want it to do, size is no issue.
  70. Mark Anthony,

    The colour of the lens makes a big difference to its temperature when used in the sun. Just put one on a tripod
    with a body and feel them both after 20 minutes in the sun, you would be convinced.

    I have been a bit dismissive of a few comments on recently and the white lens complaint is another one
    that always makes me laugh. I have used the 70-200 f2.8 in some pretty rough places and never had any real
    concerns, maybe it is the way I do it but I never feel intimidated or intimidating. But why would you be using a
    big white lens in close quarter situations? 70-200, the shortest white lens, is not the most appropriate for this
    kind of work anyway. Besides it is very easy to get covers for them or to cover them up on the cheap, one friend
    always tapes his new lenses up so he can take the tape off when he sells them in like new condition. It is such a
    non-consideration it is funny.

    Jennifer, I have walked through the ratty parts of Marrakesh with a 1VHS and 16-35 f2.8, nobody even looked at
    me, I don't carry a bag or have stuff in my pockets, I carry the camera in my hand with the strap wrapped around
    my wrist and have done for years, all around the world, nobody has ever tried to take it. I once had a guy eye up
    a companions bag in the rattiest part of the Dominican Republic, so I took a photo of him, he ran off. I can
    shoot from the hip, waist and over my head, I don't need to look through the viewfinder for street photography
    but I almost always do, I am no photo guru but do think people worry about way too much and also situations they
    will almost certainly never encounter. If you feel nervous you look it, nervous people become prey in ratty
    places, few people take their cameras to truly ratty places.

    Take care, Scott.
  71. Scott, different people have different defenses in different prey/predator situations. As a 5-foot tall woman
    alone, it is possible I might need a different set of urban survival skills than you. Same is true with our
    poster with the white lens who seems to be from Kenya. For me, blending into the environment has been a good
    starting defense. I lived in a bad neighborhood for years, and I have traveled off the beaten path in many
    countries - in general I agree with your assessment that it's best to be confident. But I think you have to make
    allowances that your philosophy might not be enough for someone who is not you, physically. Not making myself a
    target in any obvious way is one of my defenses. Camera gear that sticks out too much can be a problem. It is a
    consideration when I am purchasing.

    I was stalked by young teens for probably a quarter mile in that particular Marrakech situation, who kept eying
    me and my purse, even trying to run past and bump me. I turned and gave them a firm "can I help you with
    something?" in French, and a "hello" in Arabic, but they kept up the same treatment. I don't know if they were
    only curious, but I got a thief vibe - they never spoke or made eye contact, but continued slinking, skirting and
    reappearing. I never had any other trouble in Morocco. I am glad you didn't have any trouble.
  72. The only people I know who really talk about size and weight issues are a few men on I once
    thought "how wimpy" until I compared how my neck felt after carrying a range-finder camera all day compared to a dslr with
    a zoom lens.
  73. mwr


    Size and weight have always been an issue for me, and I'm not small or weak. My film SLR was an Olympus OM-1, and my DSLR is a Canon XSi. I love the combination of image quality and small and light, and didn't even consider one of the larger/heavier models. I also have small and/or light lenses, with the heaviest being the Canon 10-22mm (which to me doesn't really qualify and small or light, but it's worth it).
  74. No.

    Happy shooting,
  75. No.

    Happy shooting,
  76. Ah Ha! Double post? Well, that's just to emphasize my point.... :)

    Happy shooting,
  77. Yes, weight is a big downside to pro "1D", "1DS", many L zooms. The equipment works great, but is quite large and heavy.

    I prefer the L prime lenses. They are smaller, lighter, and most often sharper. I also prefer cameras without the battery grip for the same reason.

    Large heavy camera equipment takes the fun out of hiking, or carrying around for a days outing.

    To each their own.
  78. I definatively have considered weight and dimensions in purchasing decisions.
    Maybe I should just do some weight lifting training!
  79. Yes, as I like hauling my stuff for long days of hiking (17-40 L, 50 f/1.8, 70-300 DO)...
    So, when choosing my lenses I look in decreasing order at:
    • size and weight,
    • usability (USM, FTM, IS, aperture),
    • image quality,
    • price...
    • I would already have bought the 50 f/1.2 if it was not so large and heavy! So I am still hesitating to change my nifty 50...
  80. nrb


    I don't like carrying around a long heavy lens, it is esthetically unpleasant, almost obscene.
  81. I try to go light whenever possible, for weight of course, but also because I like to shoot quickly, and usually with one hand. Thusly, I favor small primes, although lately I've added a zoom. My travel (everyday for that matter) kit would be Sigma 18-50 macro, Sigma 30 and Canon 100/2. I always take along a SD850 and/or G9 for quickie shots. Never underestimate the power and stealth of a decent P&S!
  82. I do a lot of travel and weight is definitely a factor for me despite being a big guy. Carrying any shoulder bag for 14 hours a day is not pleasant and that is one of the reasons I use an 450D instead of a 40D or 50D.

    Canon's lenses do seem a little larger and heavier than their comepetitors, like for like. I guess it is due to the larger lens mount.
  83. Ultimately quality is top rank and somtimes its empowering to have a big gun in your hand as well.

    As far as the Tamron 17-50 vs. Canon 17-55, thats a subject I would like to see a good post about. The only comments I have seen against the Tam are slower focusing and poorer build. Those 2 things aside it seems as though the Tamron is right there side by side with the canon... almost for lack of I.S. and half the price.

    Anyways it would be great for real world users and abusers to come forward and beat the hell out of that subject for a while!

  84. Ryan I am pretty sure that has been talked about many times on here. Do a search and see what you come up with. I think
    the buzzy auto focus is really the biggest downside of the Tamron. It will hunt a bit more often in lower light but its not bad
    at all. The build is pretty close. I own neither but I have used both and I would take the Tamron over the Canon because of
    price 1 and size/weight 2. Photo quality is very close and because neither work on a full frame body I would not spend the
    $1000 for the Canon.
  85. Here is a pretty good comparison.
  86. Good review Tommy, the Canons price is pretty heavy and the fact that its useless on a full frame are hard to swallow but on the other hand it is the most hand holdable lens out there with killer optics! There is not a doubt in my mind that Canon has not built a lens of the times here... very very usable and very very tempting!
  87. I think charging an extra 50 for the hood did me in. I could not do it so I went for the 24-105. I also prefer more reach and
    when I want wide I picked up a 10-22 used ( that seemed over priced as well to buy new ) when I want really fast I use a

    But the 17-55 makes a fine midrange zoom. If you get it I am sure you will be happy with it.
  88. To quote Ansell Adams when asked what type of camera he uses; "the heaviest one I can carry".

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