White/black finish of Canon telephoto lenses

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by istvan_sandor, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. Hi,
    I would be curious to know how many of you would welcome if the currently white
    Canon lenses were available in black.
    Do you think it would be a good idea if they were available in both colors ?
    My guess is that many would welcome this and it would not mean a serious extra
    costs (production, logistics) for Canon.
    Do you think that the white finish has any technical advantage (protection from
    overheating under direct sunlight?) or it just serves pure marketing purposes.
    Yes, it is undoubtedly impressive to see the huge amount of white lenses at
    sports and other kind of events (advantage for Canon only) but I personally
    still strongly dislike the white color and it is - I think - also a disadvantage
    at both candids and in nature. OK, you can always put black stockings on the
    white lenses (as I do) but it looks a little stupid on these precious equipment.
    (however, for me it is still better than leaving it white).
    Also, for those who also not in favour of the white color, how do you go around it?
     
  2. When I feel like being particularly fashionable I just put on a pair of red socks or a nice Hawaiian shirt. As far as lens color goes, I couldn't care less. It has absolutely zero impact on my lens purchasing decisions.
     
  3. My guess is that you'll eventually reach a point at which you don't care that other people are looking at your lens and you won't be impressed by "huge amount of white lenses at sports...". I must admit the black finish goes better with my black camera but nowadays I worry about good glass rather than the lens finish. Has a white lens ever scared wildlife more than the photographer in nature? Maybe but I think animals sense us way before they see us pull out the lens and its our body movements more so than white metal that scares them. I guess I used to feel the same about using a tripod in public as you do about white lenses. I got over it.
     
  4. Please don't misread me in my post.
    I've never had any sleepless night because of the white color (and probably I never will).
    I just think it is like if the Ferraris were be available only in "orange". They at least offer 3 colors to chose from.
     
  5. I guess my response would be that people that could afford and want such a car would buy an orange Ferrari over a cherry red Camry. The choice isn't about the color of the lens but what's on the inside. I don't disagree that many might prefer a lens that wasn't blazing white but it's a non-issue. I'm sure people have been bugging Canon about this since the days of white manual FD lenses. And, they haven't changed it so we don't concentrate on something that is futile. The flip side would be that most users of Canon L glass haven't complained that much to Canon about white lenses.
     
  6. The white color according to Canon is to offer some heat protection from the sunlight. Who cares about the white color, but it does looks cool, the lens are great. Some of Konica-Minolta's (now Sony) telephoto lenses are white.

    Your best bet to get around it is to spray paint it black with Krylon or Rust Oleum; or you could use several boxes of sharpie pens.
     
  7. Better question would be :
    who would like the option between a black or white camera body!

    ....but then the would have to make their short/medium L zooms also white.
     
  8. You could always try these:

    http://www.wildlifewatchingsupplies.co.uk/lens.htm
     
  9. If I were sitting at a sporting event all day in the summer sun I would definitely want a white lens to reduce heat build up. As it is I don't do that and mostly do travel phootgraphy and would prefer to be inconspicous. I doubt the 70-200 f4 L needs to be white, and I might have considered buying it if it were available in stealth black. .
     
  10. First of all, let me clear out one important thing: Ferraris should always be RED.

    Now that we have this out of the way (ha ha) the white L color is something like the Ferrari red. Perhaps the long telephoto lenses would benefit by the white color during whole day summer sessions in the open (the field), however the L white color became a status symbol, so it was used on other "large" L lenses. For them, it is a marketing thing.

    Thank god, some of the smaller L lenses remain black.

    Now, on to the color black issue. If you go to Canon telling them: I don't like white L Lenses, it is like going to Ferrari telling them, I like your cars, but why don't they come in Green or White?

    It is true that Ferrari has produced different colors, but in Europe, Ferraris are Red and Lamborginis are yellow. Period...
     
  11. I guess my response would be that people that could afford and want such a car would buy an orange Ferrari over a cherry red Camry.
    Would they buy an orange Ferrari with hot pink doors?
     
  12. If Canon changed from white to black for their telephoto L's it would be like buying a BMW without the badges.

    Cheers, Bob
     
  13. Surely white lens looks sexy- sth feminine. and most men like chicks.

    but its not just consmetic.white serves a purpose. it prevents the lens from heating in the sun. black lenses get really hot in the sun!

    but white is flashy if you plan on being discrete. its not anywhere near ideal if you shoot candids and nature (esp. birds).

    if i were canon, i would paint all my lenses in Green Camouflage colors. or maybe 18% gray! that would be useful. Not black which absorbs heat, but not flashy white as well.
    i believe most photographers who dont like to be flashy would like "military colours" on their lenses.

    just my humble opinion. :)

    Ujwal
    www.ujwal.com.np
     
  14. Canon's original reason for painting the lenses white was to reduce expansion of the fluorite element and keep the focus point from changing too much.

    Then along came the 400 2.8L, which had no fluorite element but was painted white anyway. I think that the 400mm is probably the point at which the white paint went from being functional to marketing.
     
  15. Back to the original poster, I think it takes a little getting used to being the object of attention with these white lenses. As for the color itself, white or black doesn't bother most of us.


    Maybe someone knows the answer to why did Canon switch the color from black on the Canon 80-200mm f/2.8L to white on the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L? Someone mentioned the fluorite elements but I'll have to look up both of these lenses to see if they share the same optical design.
     
  16. I doubt the 70-200 f4 L needs to be white
    As one of the later responses points out, the original reason for the "white" lenses was because fluorite is more sensitive to heat than traditional optical glasses are. Both 70-200/4 lenses use fluorite, so they do need to be white.
    To answer another question, neither of the 70-200/2.8 lenses use fluorite. They're "white" for the same reason some of the other big L lenses are "white": marketing. I wasn't following this stuff back when Canon first started making "white" lenses but I'd imagine that Canon liked how their lenses stood out from the crowd and decided to make more of their big lenses stand out the same way.
    Big lenses would still attract attention if they were black. Heck, the 100-300/4.5-5.6 USM I used to own attracted attention, and it's smaller than my 70-200/2.8L IS USM.
    Imagine if Canon only used the "white" finish on lenses with fluorite elements. Instead of people asking this question every few weeks, people would instead be asking "Why are lenses A, B, and C white but lenses X, Y, and Z are black?" every few weeks.
     
  17. The reason why people are looking at you is not to do with your using large white Canon lenses but because you've got pantyhose on them :)
     
  18. I 's love a natural metal finish on my lenses: magesium, brushed aluminum or satin stainless
    steel. In fact, I'd prefer a natural metal body as well. The black goth look is really tired and
    difficult to find in the dark.
     
  19. I love the white lenses and I am disappointed that my 24-70 f2.8L is black as well as my 17-40 f4L. You buy all these "L" lenses and you would think they would match.:), Bill
     
  20. "I doubt the 70-200 f4 L needs to be white"

    The flourite is one issue, bit the real issue is whether you are out in the sun all day enough for it to heat up. The 70-200 f4, while using flourite, does not seem to me to be the type of lens that would sit all day on a tripod in the hot sun at a sporting event. It is more of a carry around lens and as such I can't imagine it getting very hot.
     
  21. To add to what I said earlier, there were a few exceptions to the fluorite lens and white barrel rule.

    Canon's first fluorite lens was the 300mm 2.8 SSC Fluorite. It had a black barrel with a green stripe around the front to designate it as a fluorite lens. It was also not internal focusing, which made it a bit unwieldy to use. Canon's experience with lens may have been what lead them to paint most of their later fluorite element lenses white.

    Also, the FD 80-200 f4L had a fluorite element and was painted black. I'm not quite sure why Canon elected to paint this one black, as it came along well after all of the older great white L teles.
     
  22. Not sure the validity of the white need. I would much rather black. White stands out too much. I'd probably sell my 70-200IS and 100-400IS and buy new black ones if I could. I don't like the white enough to eat a couple hundred bucks to get black.

    M
     
  23. So which ones give have bokeh and "glow?"
     
  24. >> I would be curious to know how many of you would welcome if the currently white Canon lenses were available in black.


    I'd love to have a black option.

    >> Do you think that the white finish has any technical advantage (protection from overheating under direct sunlight?) or it just serves pure marketing purposes.

    I think that the main reason for the colour is for marketing purposes. It is easy to think so when you see Canon's adds.


    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  25. The only white lenses that sometimes bother me are the 1.4x and 2x extenders, when mounted in conjunction with a 135/2, 180 or 200/2.8 prime lens. The black/white/black combination (or black/white/silver with some bodies!) is just so gauche.
     
  26. "When I feel like being particularly fashionable I just put on a pair of red socks or a nice Hawaiian shirt. As far as lens color goes, I couldn't care less. It has absolutely zero impact on my lens purchasing decisions."

    Oops !

    Hi Istvan, a few weeks ago I put up a post regarding the
    off-wWhite color that canon uses on its "L" series lenses, which I'm not too crazy about either. Since I'm thinking about purchasing the 70-200mm F2.8, I visted a couple of websites of large photographic distributors such as B&H and Adorama located in NYC.

    They display these very expenses lenses as pure white on their website. The pure white color really turned me off, because I shoot allot of nature shots. I could imagine some Bird saying to himself "what the hell is that glimering white object sticking out of that bush. Let's get out of here !" Not only that, I think pure-white looks cheap. Just take a look at all the "Canon" imitation lenses on eBay and you will have to agree with me.

    I got allot of replies/rbuttals on this Forum from people who actually own the lens and they told me it is actually off-white. The off-white I can live with, although I dont think I'll be taking it to "less affluent" areas. I mean that tele-photo lens stick out like 1000+ lens because of it's color.

    The thing is I swear I can see some pure-white Canon lenses when I see a group of Professional photographers at a Sports event on TV. I'm not sure if it's the lights or my eyes playing tricks on me.

    Tell you the truth, before I plunk my money down, I will call the salesman and ask him to confirm that I'm getting an off-white lens and not a pure white one.

    Nothing Personal folks
     
  27. The only reason I haven't bought a 70-200 2.8L IS is the white colour which will draw far too much attention in my street and concert photography. Making do with a 85mm 1.8 instead, as well as some nice Leicas and Olympus glass.
     
  28. Black please!!! And I'm pretty sure it is all marketing....Unless "thermal" issues ONLY effect Canon products....I have a 80-200mm f/2.8 magic drainpipe...and it works just fine in the heat....
     

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