Lens designs

zulfur666

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Being a huge fan of technology improvement, hence I like mu43 cameras and lenses designed from the ground up not just a mere re-design. Wouldn't it be time to use Carbon fibre for lens body instead of metal or plastic? yes it would make the lens more expensive but for premium lenses such as Panasonic's 35-100 f/2.8 or Oly 12-40 2.8 etc it would greatly reduce weight even further.
Any thoughts?
 

OzRay

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The production costs for carbon fibre would far outweigh any potential benefits (if there were any) and carbon fibre isn't the magical product for all things.
 

T N Args

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Carbon fibre's real advantage is where you need strength in combination with weight. A lens body is not an environment that demands a high-strength material. So, you won't save much weight because CF is not super-light in itself, only in comparison to strength.
 

LowriderS10

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While I'm a huge fan of CF, it's simply not a smart way for lens makers to spend their money (or, more likely, increase the cost of the final product). The cost-benefit ratio on this one is severely tilted towards the "cost" side of things. ;)
 

Replytoken

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You might think twice aboout a CF body on a lens if it is accidentially dropped. CF can shatter upon impact. I'll stick with metal or plastic.

--Ken
 

dhazeghi

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Being a huge fan of technology improvement, hence I like mu43 cameras and lenses designed from the ground up not just a mere re-design. Wouldn't it be time to use Carbon fibre for lens body instead of metal or plastic? yes it would make the lens more expensive but for premium lenses such as Panasonic's 35-100 f/2.8 or Oly 12-40 2.8 etc it would greatly reduce weight even further.
Any thoughts?

Canon and now Nikon have been working on making their exotic telephotos (400/2.8, 600/4) lighter, but they haven't used CF at all. If it doesn't make sense for a 4kg $8k lens, I really doubt it's going to help with a 0.5kg $1k one.
 

speedandstyle

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I think a composite fiber used to reinforce the plastic used in the lens body would be a good idea, especially at certain stress points. It may be they are used in this way in some lenses, it is not uncommon in high end plastic products. The fibers don't have to be expensive carbon however to work well, glass, nylon or even polyester fibers can add extra strength. The fibers are molded in with the plastic itself and not layered as they are with carbon fiber{as it is commonly thought of}.

Carbon fiber would look killer on a lens however! :cool:
 

Ian.

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Yes agree. We use glass fibres in plastic designs and you wouldn't know it. It is injection moulded ready to assemble. If the carbon fibre was used, as vehicles and planes are, in layers, it would be expensive for a lens body. You'd need to machine them before assembly.

Now coat a plastic body with a "Carbon fibre look" skin, and people will "feel" it's lighter.
 

Ned

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My lenses don't need to be lighter, they just need to be more durable. Stop using plastic, and go back to more metal is all I ask. Compact metal lenses are no issue for me. I loved the rangefinder ones.
 

Ned

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Funny thing, I was up on the rooftop with some of my photographer friends over the weekend and I accidentally dropped one of my all-metal SLR lenses on the gravel from about chest high. Everybody's jaw dropped, but I didn't even flinch as I just picked it up and and put it back on the camera without even bothering to look at it. This lens also had a metal hood on. There's nothing a little drop like that could do, lol. XD
 

dhazeghi

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Funny thing, I was up on the rooftop with some of my photographer friends over the weekend and I accidentally dropped one of my all-metal SLR lenses on the gravel from about chest high. Everybody's jaw dropped, but I didn't even flinch as I just picked it up and and put it back on the camera without even bothering to look at it. This lens also had a metal hood on. There's nothing a little drop like that could do, lol. XD

Odd. I've had more trouble with dropping metal objects than high quality polycarbonate ones. In several cases, the metal has deformed, whereas the polycarbonate does an excellent job absorbing and dispersing the energy of the fall.
 

Ned

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Odd. I've had more trouble with dropping metal objects than high quality polycarbonate ones. In several cases, the metal has deformed, whereas the polycarbonate does an excellent job absorbing and dispersing the energy of the fall.

Well, there is a big dent in this particular metal lens hood, which has been there since before I got it. ;)
 

Ian.

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Aluminium is very light. And on the short focal length big aperture lenses half of the weight is the glass lenses. But aluminium is susceptible to denting. I dropped and dented an aluminium 500mm mirror lens once, writing it off. Ouch!
Plastic is not inherently a bad material. It gets used in more and more things that we consider high quality.
 

Ned

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Yeah, the older lenses tended to use aluminum but I think the most common metal for newer metal lenses is Magnesium Alloy. Your heavier pro-grade lenses all use a lot of metal (not all metal), and are durable as hell.
 

dhazeghi

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Yeah, the older lenses tended to use aluminum but I think the most common metal for newer metal lenses is Magnesium Alloy. Your heavier pro-grade lenses all use a lot of metal (not all metal), and are durable as hell.

I'm not sure where you'd classify the 12-40/2.8, but it's a combination of plastics and aluminum. The aluminum scratches surprisingly easily.
 

pdk42

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I wonder what the weight proportions between glass/electronics and barrel are in the higher-end lenses? At a guess, I'd guess the barrel isn't the major weight element. Personally, I'm not convinced that metal is any more durable, but it looks prettier.
 

CiaranCReilly

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Carbon fibre would be nice for looks and marketing reasons, would be cool to see some manufacturer using it as a structural element of a lens, if only just 'cos they can!
 
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