Dreaming of EF-S 600mm f/4 IS:
This is my first post on this forum. I am an amateur photographer/enthusiast with interest in all kinds of photography, wildlife photography in particular.
I would like to learn what other people think of the idea of EF-S super tele.
So far the EF-S lens mini-series covers the wider focal lengths. It seems like Canon focus is mostly on solving the limitations of 1.6 crop factor dSLRs in wide-angle photography. On each photography forum on the web, I see foresights of full frame censors eventually replacing APS-C and the claims that everyone will want to upgrade to full frame as soon as the price is right.
In my dream the opposite happens: Canon designs a new EF-S lens in the lens category where the 1.6 crop has a clear advantage. EF-S 600mm would clearly change the future outlook of smaller sensor size dSLRs.
It is clear that the extreme 12lbs weight and 7K$ cost of EF 600 f/4L results largely from the physical limitations of f/4 and 36mm wide film/sensor.
So how much lighter and cheaper would the imaginary EF-S 600mm f/4 be?
WEIGHT: Well, who knows, but a 1.6 diameter reduction of 600mm monster should yield quadratic (2.56x) reduction or event cubic (4x) reduction of some lens elements (some lens elements will become thinner as well). Lighter glass should allow less sturdy housing. So we can hope for somewhere around 4lbs! Think handholding 12lbs vs 4 lbs!!!
COST: Canon prices for big gun primes seem to be strongly depended on their weight (I think of their pricing as paying per pound of quality optics).
A 4lb lens should be closer in price range to the 3lb lenses such as 400mm f/5.6 or 300 f/4 IS as and we can hope to be not much more than 2K!
One more point: when most people are happy about 1.6 magnification factor on the tele lenses, I view the magnification as cropping and think of how much of the lens is simply wasted. I am not using roughly 60% of a big lens that I have paid for, as about 60% the lens works to pass the light outside of my small sensor.
GUESS about the FUTURE:
Super tele lenses made for APS-C coverage is exactly what is missing to provide lasting value for smaller sensor dSLRs.
I believe that many wildlife photographers would want to buy a smaller senor camera to take advantage of much lighter and cheaper super-tele lenses (if such are manufactured).
This would probably increase long term dSLR camera sales (many of us would probably save up to buy 1 full frame for landscape, portraits, etc, and one APS-C for super-tele photography.)
On one hand, Canon may (and justly so) be afraid that producing EF-S 600mm would jeopardize sales of their current big guns.
But, on the other hand:
- there are many people like me, who will never spend 7K for a 12lb lens, because it is too expensive AND too heavy; but would buy lighter and somewhat less expensive EF-S.
- there are those who will still buy EF 600mm because
(1) it is an L and excellent piece of glass,
(2) full frame will always yield better picture quality.
- there is always the competition, it is better for Canon to sell cheaper EF-S 600mm and not lose the customer to Sigma, Nikon, or somebody else.
Today’s amateur photographer interested in wildlife has a choice of
- high quality accompanied by HEAVY weight, huge size and very hefty price tag.
- convenience provided by PS zoom accompanied by teleconverter lens (think of Powershot S2 IS with Raynox 2.2x – 950mm equivalent that almost fits into a large pocket!)
There is clearly a good market for something in-between as far as price, weight, size and quality and someone may want to grab that market.
So what does the future hold? I HOPE we will see super-tele EF-S.
And … maybe Canon lens designers will look at this thread and a year from now my dream will be reality… After all this is my dream.
I would love to learn what do YOU think.