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Missing in the APS-C lens lineup. Short and Medium Tele prime lenses.


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I am hoping that Sony or Sigma would make a short or medium F.2.8 Tele prime lens made for the APS-C bodies, in the 135 to 180mm range. Perhaps a 150mm which would have the equivalent field of view of a 225mm on a full frame. Small and compact because it would only have to cover a crop sensor. Perhaps a new matching 1.4 Tele extender keeping autofocus for an equivalent field of view of 315mm at F4.0. This is currently missing in the lineup and would be a dream for me.
 
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Sigma do the 56mm f/1.4 contemporary - which is equivalent to 85mm - the traditional short tele length for portraits.

They then do the 60mm f/2.8 and the 65mm f/2 contemporary.

But you are right, the medium to long tele primes have not yet been developed for lightweight, compact, systems.

Some lens manufacturers are beginning to work towards more compact lenses by relying on in-camera or post production software to correct distortion - so I guess they will soon be available.

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You don't specify what camera(s) you are using, but in the 135-180mm range of PRIME lenses, there are about 1/2 dozen A-mount and about 1/2 dozen E-mount lenses to choose from.  They are all 135mm with apertures from f1.8 to f2.8.  They are all full-frame, so they are not going to be small.  The early Minolta 138 f2.8 might be the smallest.

You could go for a shorter focal length with a 1.4X or 2X converter, but I don't know how much that would save you in weight, size, cost, quality, etc.

Another possible option is the Minolta 100-200mm full-frame in A-mount.

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I guess your best compact option in E-mount is the Tamron 70-180 F/2.8 at the moment. This lens likely wouldn't be much more compact if designed for APS-C.

On 5/6/2022 at 2:28 PM, ASA32 said:
Perhaps a 150mm which would have the equivalent field of view of a 225mm on a full frame. ... Perhaps a new matching 1.4 Tele extender keeping autofocus for an equivalent field of view of 315mm at F4.0.

A 150mm F/2.8 with 1.4× teleconverter on APS-C would give you a FF-equivalent field of view and depth of field of 320mm F/6.0. There's really nothing to be gained here in terms of size and weight by using an APS-C setup.

16 hours ago, XKAES said:

You could go for a shorter focal length with a 1.4X or 2X converter

Teleconverters don't just fit on any lens. In E-mount, the selection of lenses taking teleconverters is pretty limited and they're all pro-oriented long focal length lenses. The odds of Sony making an APS-C prime lens in the 100-200 mm range which takes teleconverters is pretty much zero: way too niche of a product.

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I have that Sigma 56mm F1.4 for APS-C and love it. Mine is super sharp, has great bokha and size wise fits the Sony 6xxx cameras nicely. I also have their 19mm F2.8 which is also very sharp, super small and lightweight. This is why I would like to see Sigma make a short to medium tele for APS-C. Depending on the manufacturer and the focal length, sometimes the weight reduction can be halved between a lens that has to cover full frame vs a crop sensor. For instance, take for example the Rokinon 12mm lens which I also have. For APS-C it is F2.0 and weighs 8.64 oz / 245 g. The same lens for full frame is one stop slower at F2.8 and weighs 18.52 oz / 525.04 g. The APS-C version being less than half the weight. This is just one example of many you can find. The facts are, a lens that only needs to cover a smaller sensor, can and are being designed to be much smaller than a lens for full frame.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, ASA32 said:

Depending on the manufacturer and the focal length, sometimes the weight reduction can be halved between a lens that has to cover full frame vs a crop sensor.

While there are some specific comparisons where your point is valid, when you compare current gen lenses with equivalent focal length and depth of field, the size/weight difference is actually really small if you look for it. I guess you compared the Samyang 12 mm F/2 against the old Batis 18 mm F/2.8. If you compare it to the new Samyang, it's a whole different story:

Samyang 12 mm F/2.0 (18 mm F3.0 FF equiv): 59 mm long, 230 grams <> Samyang 18 mm F/2.8: 61 mm long, 145 grams. The FF-option is a whole lot lighter!

Some other comparisons:

Tamron 11-20 F/2.8 (16.5-30 F/4.2 FF equiv): 86 mm long, 335 grams <> Sony 16-35 F4 PZ: 88 mm long, 353 grams.

Tamron 17-70 F/2.8 (26-105 mm F/4.2 FF equiv): 119 mm long, 525 grams <> Sony 24-105 F/4: 113 mm long, 663 grams.

Sony 16-55 F/2.8 (24-83 mm F/4.2 FF equiv): 100 mm long, 494 grams. <> Sony Zeiss 24-70 F/4: 95 mm long, 426 grams.

Even for the great and tiny Sigma 56 mm there is a small FF alternative: Sigma 56 mm F/1.4 (85 mm F/2.1 FF equiv): 60 mm long, 280 grams <> Samyang 75 mm F/1.8: 69 mm long, 230 grams.

Even though I'm a dedicated APS-C user, I stopped thinking there's a real size/weight advantage if you compare equivalent focal length plus depth of field vs fullframe. The main difference to me is in the size of the camera (though the A7c negated some of that advantage), cheaper glass and the small long range options like the 70-350 F/4.5-6.3. There just doesn't exist a small 400mm+ FF lens. It would likely have to be an F/9 lens to be close to the APS-C option in size.

Edited by Pieter
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1 hour ago, Pieter said:

I guess you compared the Samyang 12 mm F/2 against the old Batis 18 mm F/2.8. If you compare it to the new Samyang, it's a whole different story:

No, I was comparing Rokinon to Rokinon at the same focal length, 12mm.
 
This APS-C lens
 
 
vs this full frame lens
 
 
Or you could also compare it to the Laowa 12mm full frame lens. In both comparisons the APS-C lens is less than half the weight.
 
 
I'm comparing 2 lenses at the same focal length, the one that only has to cover a smaller sensor is a smaller and lighter.
 
With a smaller sensor there will always be increased depth of field when comparing the same field of view. For landscapes this is usually a benefit. So if you are comparing lenses with the equivalent field of view, A 28-70mm zoom for full frame vs a 18-50 zoom for APS-C both from Sigma and both f2.8 you will see a weight and size difference of :
 
Dimensions (ø x L) 2.8 x 4" / 72.2 x 101.5 mm
   
Weight 16.6 oz / 470 g
 
vs
 
Dimensions (ø x L) 2.5 x 2.9" / 64.5 x 74.5 mm
Weight 10.2 oz / 290 g
 
 
 
And the APS-C would have an equivalent of an extra 5mm at the long end.
 
The original point being, a lens that only needs to cover a smaller sensor, can be made smaller and lighter then that of a full frame lens, simple physics. That is why I am hoping we will see a short to med prime tele lens for APS-C soon.
 
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Posted (edited)

Ok this discussion is going nowhere. It's the end result that counts. Just comparing same focal length and/or F-stop on different sensor sizes really has no practical meaning.

Fullframe sensors have an advantage of about one stop of ISO-performance over APS-C, so for all practical purposes comparing end results, you should compare equivalent focal length AND aperture. Using a 12 mm F/2 lens on APS-C gives identical end results (in terms of field of view, depth of field, shutter speed and noise) as an 18 mm F/3 lens on a fullframe camera. The only thing different in this comparison is the aperture and ISO (the fullframe setup being 1 stop slower, compensated for by higher ISO).

Edited by Pieter
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Pieter,
 
I don't understand why you can't comprehend this rudimentary fact that a lens designed and built for a crop sensor camera is smaller and lighter than a lens of the same focal length and same f stop made for a camera with a full frame sensor. Its the simple law of physics. A larger sensor requires a larger lens to cover that sensor. I have taken the time to show you this with facts and specs. Why do you attempt to try and change the narrative and confuse the issue by comparing lenses with the equivalent field of view? Even when I entertained your example, I proved that your theory was wrong there as well in my last post by showing you two zooms in E mount from Sigma that are both F2.8 and have very close to the same equivalent field of view. Again, the lens made for the crop sensor is proportionately smaller and lighter.
 
When it comes to prime lenses, the specs show even further weight savings.  One more example I outline below: Comparing 35mm f1.4 lenses. The Fuji lens built for a APS-C sensor is less than half the weight to the Sony GM and less then a third of the weight of the other three 35mm f1.4 examples below. This is a huge savings in spite of your claim there would be little differences building new lenses for crop sensors.
 
Besides your error when comparing lenses with equivalent field of view, you have further tried to cloud the facts and my central point by comparing depth of field and asa / iso sensitivity between sensors into the mix. None of that is part of this discussion and is irrelevant to the facts presented.  I am comparing apples to apples. In my first example with the Ronikon 12mm, if both of these lenses are put on a Sony a6xxx camera, they will have the same field of view yet the one designed strictly for APS-C is one stop brighter, has increased depth of field and is less than half the weight!
 
Again, missing in the Sony lens lineup is a short to medium prime tele lens built just for the crop sensor. These lenses would have a huge weight savings compared to the current full frame offerings and I'm sure would be a valuable addition for many people who use the a6xxx cameras. Currently, Sony's crop sensor tele offerings of the old 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS and the Sony E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS lenses, both leave a lot to be desired in light gathering, sharpness, bokha, AF speed as well as size and weight. If what I am suggesting is something you don't want or need, then please stop posting your misleading and confused information here.

FUJIFILM XF 35mm f/1.4 R Lens

Dimensions (ø x L)2.56 x 2.16" / 65 x 54.9 mmWeight6.6 oz / 187 g

Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM Lens

Dimensions (ø x L)3 x 3.8" / 76 x 96 mmWeight1.2 lb / 524 g

Rokinon AF 35mm f/1.4 FE Lens for Sony E

Dimensions (ø x L)2.99 x 4.53" / 75.9 x 115 mmWeight1.42 lb / 645 g

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens for Sony

Dimensions (ø x L)3 x 4.4" / 75.5 x 111.5 mmWeight22.6 oz / 640 g

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens

Dimensions (ø x L)3.09 x 4.41" / 78.5 x 112 mmWeight1.39 lb / 630 g
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As I alluded to before, there just does not seem to by many (any?) APS-C e-mount PRIME lenses in the 135 - 180mm range.  Maybe there are some that I don't know about.  Even if you expand to 100mm and 200mm, they all seem to be FULL-FRAME.  I don't quite understand that myself, but I'm not an e-mount kind of guy.

Samyang makes an 85mm f1.8 in APS-C e-mount.

And apparently my suggestion of an ~85mm with a tele-converter is a "non-starter".

Edited by XKAES
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4 hours ago, ASA32 said:
I don't understand why you can't comprehend this rudimentary fact that a lens designed and built for a crop sensor camera is smaller and lighter than a lens of the same focal length and same f stop made for a camera with a full frame sensor.

I never said that this wasn't the case so your entire post was not needed. From a purely technical standpoint you are totally correct, I need not be convinced about this. But I am a photographer. All I care about is the resulting image. A 12 mm lens on an APS-C camera produces an entirely different result than a 12 mm lens on a fullframe camera. So what is your point in comparing these? Lens specs are meaningless if you don't consider the system as a whole, lens+camera. That's where the whole equivalency principle comes in. If you take equivalency into account (which you don't), you'll find there's hardly any size/weight benefit in APS-C over Fullframe.

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Was just thinking: our misunderstanding might be caused by different starting points.

Your reasoning: given the fact that I have an a6XXX camera, I want to achieve result X. What lens do I need?

My reasoning: given the fact that I want result X, what camera system do I need?

From your standpoint (correct me if I'm wrong), it makes total sense to get a lens designed specifically for APS-C. From my standpoint however, it hardly makes sense to get an APS-C system just to save size and weight. To illustrate this, let's proceed on your 35mm(ish) APS-C lens: let's take the Sigma 30mm F/1.4 DC DN. To get exactly the same end result on a fullframe camera, you only need a 45mm F/2 lens, such as the Samyang 45mm F/1.8. Again, these setups create exactly the same image I'm after. As a photographer, the final images are the apples I'm comparing. I don't care about any other apples.

Edited by Pieter
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On 5/14/2022 at 9:13 AM, Pieter said:

I guess your best compact option in E-mount is the Tamron 70-180 F/2.8 at the moment. This lens likely wouldn't be much more compact if designed for APS-C.

18 hours ago, Pieter said:

A 12 mm lens on an APS-C camera produces an entirely different result than a 12 mm lens on a fullframe camera. So what is your point in comparing these?

The point of comparing these 12mm lenses was in response to your claim that lenses made for crop sensors didn't save much weight like in your comment above. Further, my central point is when shooting with a crop sensor camera, using glass made for full frame is carrying needless size and weight and that is why I would like to see more prime lenses made specifically for APS-C in the short to med tele range. Most FE mount primes lenses are way too big and heavy and are out of balance to be used with the smaller APS-C bodies.

18 hours ago, Pieter said:

Lens specs are meaningless if you don't consider the system as a whole, lens+camera. That's where the whole equivalency principle comes in. If you take equivalency into account (which you don't), you'll find there's hardly any size/weight benefit in APS-C over Fullframe.

 
Of course I take the whole system into account and I own several other camera systems and formats besides the Sony a6xxx. I did entertain your argument of equivalency and that is why I showed you before the weight and size comparison of the two Sigma zooms, both of similar design with the same field of view and both f2.8 lenses. Remember?  Even though field of view is the same, the characteristics between formats are different. Full frame equivalent lenses have a different look from a crop sensor, more compression at a given field of view. It also has less depth of field at the same f stop. That could be a good thing and in many instances is a bad thing, depending on what the photographer is going for.
 
17 hours ago, Pieter said:

let's take the Sigma 30mm F/1.4 DC DN. To get exactly the same end result on a fullframe camera, you only need a 45mm F/2 lens, such as the Samyang 45mm F/1.8. Again, these setups create exactly the same image I'm after. As a photographer, the final images are the apples I'm comparing. I don't care about any other apples.

You must have searched hard to find an example where the weight savings is in the full frame lens. Generally this is not the case. If you compare apples to apples and compare lenses that are of the similar design and from the same manufacturer, you will continue to see crop sensor lenses are smaller and lighter even taking into account field of view. A better example would be to compare the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN at 280 grams with a filter size of 55mm compared to the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN at 625 grams and a filter size of 77mm which is more than double the weight and double the price!. Taking into account your argument of full frame being faster, you could also compare it to the compact Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens at 371 grams with a filter size of 67mm. The crop sensor lens is still proportionality smaller and lighter.

We are all photographers here. Some of us have more experience but we all want to fulfill our own needs. For me, I don't really need better ISO sensitivity. I have shot a lot film in my day and I still marvel at and am thankful for current digital cameras of today that have super high ISO and tremendous dynamic range and exposure leeway in raw files. Taking that into account, a larger system for an extra f stop does not mean a lot to me. Add to that post plugins of de-noising, sharpening and AI image resizer and stitching software. We are lucky for these innovations.
 
Good news today on sonyalpharumors announcing 2 new primes for APS-C. Perhaps I will get my wish very soon.
 
 
 
 
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I guess the part of equivalent aperture didn't really stick. That's what makes the whole difference in this discussion.

4 hours ago, ASA32 said:

Full frame equivalent lenses have a different look from a crop sensor, more compression at a given field of view. It also has less depth of field at the same f stop.

Not if you take equivalent aperture into account, which is what I am doing when speaking of getting exactly the same image across systems.

5 hours ago, ASA32 said:

You must have searched hard to find an example where the weight savings is in the full frame lens.

Not at all: my second post in this thread showed you 5 other options with equivalent focal length and aperture, showing size/weight savings is negligible between the two systems.

The only relevance of comparing same aperture lenses between systems is to determine correct exposure at similar settings. For all other things related to the final image, you should compare equivalent aperture. Any loss of light in the fullframe system compared to APS-C can be compensated for by raising ISO, negating the improved dynamic range / noise performance of the fullframe system over APS-C but resulting in exactly the same image.

5 hours ago, ASA32 said:

Good news today on sonyalpharumors announcing 2 new primes for APS-C. Perhaps I will get my wish very soon.

I hope so too. As said, I am a dedicated APS-C shooter myself and am welcoming any new product related to the system.

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One thing to keep in mind in this ZOOM world that we live in, photographers who want PRIME lenses want them for better results and better features than what zooms offer.  That usually mean special glass, faster apertures, more features, greater size, greater weight and higher prices.  The manufacturers are happy to offer these lenses, of course, but they tend to be offered in only certain focal lengths.

What you're looking for might not be available because there is not enough demand for it.  People are attracted to the APS format because they think the cameras & lenses are smaller and lighter -- and the prices are lower.  This has an effect on what the manufacturers manufacture and market.

What you want may not be available.  You might need to compromise to get what meets your needs -- like a larger full-frame zoom. And you would not be the first AF photographer who opted for a manual-focusing lens because what they wanted was not available in an AF lens.

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11 hours ago, XKAES said:

One thing to keep in mind in this ZOOM world that we live in, photographers who want PRIME lenses want them for better results and better features than what zooms offer.  That usually mean special glass, faster apertures, more features, greater size, greater weight and higher prices.  The manufacturers are happy to offer these lenses, of course, but they tend to be offered in only certain focal lengths.

Some Zoom lenses are great. I have them for other systems. But for Sony APS-C, because there was a lack of quality zooms early on, I've built a nice collection of primes that I like a lot for their individual small size, speed and bokeh. So right now I'm using the zoom built into my legs. You know, zoom in, walk closer, zoom out, move back . :)

11 hours ago, XKAES said:

People are attracted to the APS format because they think the cameras & lenses are smaller and lighter -- and the prices are lower.  This has an effect on what the manufacturers manufacture and market.

It is smaller, lighter and cheaper!

11 hours ago, XKAES said:

What you want may not be available.  You might need to compromise to get what meets your needs -- like a larger full-frame zoom. And you would not be the first AF photographer who opted for a manual-focusing lens because what they wanted was not available in an AF lens.

I have been compromising for a long time and when I need a longer lens I adapt my Nikon glass to my Sony. It's manual focus and out of balance size and weight wise but in a pinch, the results are very nice. 

I was sorry to hear the rumors that the 3 new APS-C lenses Sony will coming out with next are 2 wide primes and a wide zoom, none of which I need. But I'm very glad to see they are still making new lenses for the system and I will continue to keep my fingers crossed to someday get what I'm looking for.

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5 hours ago, ASA32 said:

It is smaller, lighter and cheaper!

This is most certainly true if you stick to F/4 zooms and F/2.8 primes or slower on APS-C. If you go faster, the only real advantage is in price of the camera: the A6600 and A7C are almost identical in size, weight and specs (except sensor size) but the A7C is about €/$ 600 more expensive. As to size, weight and cost of lenses: I appreciate you refuse to be educated by some random annoying internet smart-ass like me. Instead, I suggest you have a very interesting read here. Might help you in properly comparing your apples:

https://photographylife.com/equivalence-also-includes-aperture-and-iso/amp

5 hours ago, ASA32 said:

I was sorry to hear the rumors that the 3 new APS-C lenses Sony will coming out with next are 2 wide primes and a wide zoom, none of which I need. But I'm very glad to see they are still making new lenses for the system and I will continue to keep my fingers crossed to someday get what I'm looking for.

Yes, disappointing. I was hoping for a 50-140 F/2.8 zoom to complement the 16-55 F/2.8. But happy nonetheless that Sony keeps supporting the APS-C system.

Edited by Pieter
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5 hours ago, Pieter said:

But happy nonetheless that Sony keeps supporting the APS-C system.

I don't follow the APS market, but I'm curious.  Since the APS cameras aren't really that much smaller than the full-frame cameras, do you think that Sony will continue with the APS format?  Apparently other camera makers are sticking with smaller sensors, but Sony seems to be headed toward the 24x36mm sensor size and e-mount only.  Am I wrong?

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Both Canon and Nikon first and foremost focussed on fullframe format in their transition to mirrorless (R and Z mount, respectively)*. They both released an enthusiast model APS-C camera with the same mount, along with some entry level lenses, a couple years later. Sony on the other hand started E-mount with just APS-C cameras and started producing fullframe models a couple years later. Sony is surely putting their focus on fullframe now as the market for smaller format cameras is being eaten by smartphones. Same with Canon and Nikon: primary focus is on fullframe. All these brands realize though that they need APS-C to draw starters and enthusiasts into their system. Once people are invested in a certain mount system, they tend to stick with it and sometimes follow the upgrade path to fullframe.

*Canon also had the M-mount mirrorless system alongside EF-mount DSLRs. This system was entirely focussed on APS-C and, while succesful among starters, didn't provide an upgrade path to fullframe. This system was therefore doomed to be abandoned as soon as Canon released the fullframe R-mount.

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