The "heavy price" one pays for full frame

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Dennis Mook compares his Nikon FF kit to his Olympus kit. A heavy burden indeed. It's illustrative that companies have managed to shrink the size of full-frame bodies to almost the size of M43 bodies, but you can't phool physics when it comes to the lenses. They're still big and heavy.

Yeah, I know I'm preaching to the choir, but another voice is OK. :)
https://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2021/03/the-heavy-price-of-full-frame-gear.html

BTW, here's the Nikon Z7 w/200-500 vs the EM1 III w/Oly 100-400 (eFOV 200-800). Despite going to an eFOV that is 300 mm longer, the Olympus is still a more compact and lighter package.
https://camerasize.com/compact/#840.917,794.970.4,ha,t
 
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doady

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Of course smaller lenses is one of main advantages of m4/3, especially for telephoto, but I am not sure it is entirely fair to compare the size of a zoom SLR lens to a prime mirrorless lens, or a constant F5.6 SLR lens to a variable F5.0-6.3 mirrorless lens.

I noticed significant dynamic range improvement when I switched from a 1/1.8" sensor camera to m4/3 over a year ago, so I wouldn't be surprised if FF offers a noticeable advantage over m4/3 as well. m4/3 strikes the right balance for me, but it might not be the right balance for everyone.
 

Cederic

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Cederic

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I noticed significant dynamic range improvement when I switched from a 1/1.8" sensor camera to m4/3 over a year ago, so I wouldn't be surprised if FF offers a noticeable advantage over m4/3 as well.

For any given sensor generation FF is likely to give slightly better image quality than M43, and/or more pixels per photograph.

For any sensor generation m43 will give smaller lighter lenses than FF, which is kind of the point of the article and this thread. The marginal improvements in sensor can't offset having something as small, light and capable as the Panny 100-300mm in your bag on another continent 40 miles from the nearest town.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I liken M43 to that of a roadster like the Miata--small and light, not the most powerful, requires driver involvement and a little work to squeeze the most out of it. You don't take such a car out to race Ferraris, yet it is still a fun and rewarding experience.
 

Robstar1963

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Comparison of ‘roughly’ equivalent 70-200mm f2.8 lenses
Panasonic G9 + 35-100 f2.8, Fuji XT4 + 50-140 f2.8, Nikon Z6/7 + Z 70-200 f2.8 - to note that the Nikon is probably the largest example of FF lenses in this range
72FBCC73-881A-425A-93AA-60E63F53EFBC.jpeg
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exakta

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It's pretty amazing how much larger the lenses have gotten since the film days. The motors and the higher element counts, especially for fast lenses, have made them ridiculously large and heavy, not to mention expensive.

Take a look at this OM-1 with 50/1.8 against an E-M5 with 25/1.8. The cameras are close to the same size but that 50/1.8 is smaller than the 25. You won't see a modern AF 50mm prime for FF that small.

I'm probably more biased against FF because of my film experiences. If I was younger and had never known about film cameras, I'd probably have a much different attitude.

P2180015.jpg
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doady

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I think something that is often overlooked in comparisons of lens sizes is quality, and maybe there are other features like AF as mentioned above. Like, I chose 12-100 knowing that it is bigger than most other m4/3 lenses, but I am not sure how much I am willing to sacrifice the 8x zoom range, constant aperture, AF, OIS, image quality for something smaller. Maybe the zoom range means I don't have buy and carry around a second lens, and maybe the constant aperture and sync IS helps me to leave the tripod at home, so maybe a bigger lens means I am actually carrying less weight around.
 

PakkyT

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I chose 12-100 knowing that it is bigger than most other m4/3 lenses, but I am not sure how much I am willing to sacrifice the 8x zoom range, constant aperture, AF, OIS, image quality for something smaller.

Yes I am in the same boat as you. I sold off my Panny 12-35/2.8, giving up a smaller lens with a stop faster aperture in order to get PRO level optics in a super zoom and the Sync IS is fantastic. I don't mind the bigger heavier lens and I even carry my E-M1.1 with a Peak Design Leash which many may cringe at such a heavy setup on such a thin strap. I still love my f1.8 primes for when I want to go lighter or will be out in lower light and want the 2+ stop faster aperture. But the 12-100 PRO gives me mostly what I used to need two lenses to accomplish (although to be fair the two lens combo would give me more reach to either 150 or 200 but often being able to go out to 100 satisfies me).

Previous super zooms didn't appeal to me because they were all compromises of image quality for focal length range. As you point out, the 12-100 is a Pro quality lens and as such you really can not find an equivalent lens on any system that matches it for image quality for such a zoom range and for how relatively compact it is for what you get.
 

fortwodriver

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It's pretty amazing how much larger the lenses have gotten since the film days. The motors and the higher element counts, especially for fast lenses, have made them ridiculously large and heavy, not to mention expensive.

Take a look at this OM-1 with 50/1.8 against an E-M5 with 25/1.8. The cameras are close to the same size but that 50/1.8 is smaller than the 25. You won't see a modern AF 50mm prime for FF that small.


View attachment 878921

Oh there was MUCH gnashing of teeth in the 80s and 90s about AF lens-bloat. Herbert Keppler used to talk about it constantly in various photo magazines. He praised Minolta for managing to keep their lenses relatively small for so long. He also wished Olympus found a way to "AF'itize" their OM-lenses rather than that weird first attempt. Oh well...

A lot depended on how AF lenses worked. Canon's lens sizes seemed to grow far faster when they decided to use in-lens focus motors, but some models actually grew and then shrank as they deployed miniature USM motors.

I do like the small m43 lenses. Even my relatively large 70-300 Oly lens feels balanced and stable to me. I liked the feel of their engineering plastics better than Nikon's.
 
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I think something that is often overlooked in comparisons of lens sizes is quality, and maybe there are other features like AF as mentioned above. Like, I chose 12-100 knowing that it is bigger than most other m4/3 lenses, but I am not sure how much I am willing to sacrifice the 8x zoom range, constant aperture, AF, OIS, image quality for something smaller. Maybe the zoom range means I don't have buy and carry around a second lens, and maybe the constant aperture and sync IS helps me to leave the tripod at home, so maybe a bigger lens means I am actually carrying less weight around.

That was my observation too. When I compared carrying the 12-100 (561g) vs the 12-40 Pro (382g) + 40-150 R (190g), my previous travel kit, the 12-100 came out lighter overall. Sure, it means the body+lens combo at any one time will be heavier, but it means not changing lenses and maintaining weather-sealing in messy conditions, which I've often had traveling.

One could sub the 12-45 f4 Pro (254g) for the 12-40 f2.8 Pro to get a lighter standard zoom. However, to maintain weather-sealing with a tele-zoom, I'd have to go with a 40-150 f2.8 Pro or a Pana 35-100 f2.8 X II. The 12-100 covers such a wide range that I figured a separate tele-zoom wasn't really necessary.

And, it'd still be lighter than an FF body and a similar lens. Here's the closest comparison I could find. The Nikon lens is short of the 12-100's range and the Canon lens is shorter yet. There is no equivalent to the Oly 12-100 in any of their line-ups.
https://camerasize.com/compact/#794.699.4,840.613,851.788,ha,t
 
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dwkdnvr

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And, it'd still be lighter than an FF body and a similar lens. Here's the closest comparison I could find. The Nikon lens is short of the 12-100's range and the Canon lens is shorter yet. There is no equivalent to the Oly 12-100 in any of their line-ups.
https://camerasize.com/compact/#794.699.4,840.613,851.788,ha,t

Well, there are options that match the 12-100, but only if you're willing to accept lower tier/consumer lenses in the FF lineup. Canon has an RF 24-240 f/4-6.3, and Sony has a 24-240 f/3.5-6.3. Both are under $1k USD and so are cheaper than the 12-100, but only the Sony claims any type of environmental sealing (dust and moisture). I think it would be a very interesting comparison to see whether these cheaper lenses can come close to equaling the 12-100 output in absolute terms when paired with a 20-24MP FF sensor.

https://camerasize.com/compact/#840.613,851.842,777.755,ha,t

I think these lenses illustrate the flexibility that FF systems are starting to make available. If you're willing to compromise on absolute image quality and 'give back' some of the resolution and 2-stop advantage that FF theoretically offers over M43, you can come up with something that is pretty comparable in size. So, if you can identify one or 2 use-cases where you're willing to pay the price in both $$$ and size to get good FF glass and take full advantage of the system, I think you're getting close to being able to round out the rest of the system with things like these consumer zooms and f/2.8 (or even slower) primes for the 'rest of the time' when size/weight matter more than absolute IQ. If you 'need' 2.8 zooms though, you're just never going to get there.

My 'problem' is that having looked at the overall landscape, the Panny S5 was the body that appealed the most but the L-mount lens lineup just isn't complete enough to offer a compelling full system setup yet. Panny still hasn't come out with their 2.8 primes, and the Sigma offerings are a bit scattershot. Plus L-mount is yet to really prove that it's a viable system in the long run. Canon seems to offer the most flexibility in building a system given the ability to adapt a wide variety of EF glass, but I just can't get as excited about the R6 - $500 more than the S5, and only available in a kit with the two 24-105 choices, not the 24-240.

So, I'm committed to getting back into shooting with my M43 kit and seeing how the market shakes out over the next year. Or at least that's the plan.
 

ac12

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Comparison of ‘roughly’ equivalent 70-200mm f2.8 lenses
Panasonic G9 + 35-100 f2.8, Fuji XT4 + 50-140 f2.8, Nikon Z6/7 + Z 70-200 f2.8 - to note that the Nikon is probably the largest example of FF lenses in this range
View attachment 878918

One note about sizes of FF 70-200/2.8.

The Canon R 70-200/2.8 is an extending zoom.
1) So it packs small, but in use, it extends OUT. This is why you cannot compare the collapsed size of an extending zoom to an internal zoom. The size is only valid for packing/transport.
2) On most extending zooms that I have run into, the zoom ring is stiffer than internal zooms. Sometimes MUCH stiffer. This is because it has to move more mass in/out. This is simple leverage. The more mass you have to move over a longer distance, with only a quarter turn (or less) of the zoom ring, the more force you have to apply to turn the zoom ring.
I have not handled the Canon R 70-200/2.8, so I don't know how easy or stiff the zoom ring on that lens is.​
 

Darmok N Jalad

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One note about sizes of FF 70-200/2.8.

The Canon R 70-200/2.8 is an extending zoom.
1) So it packs small, but in use, it extends OUT. This is why you cannot compare the collapsed size of an extending zoom to an internal zoom. The size is only valid for packing/transport.
2) On most extending zooms that I have run into, the zoom ring is stiffer than internal zooms. Sometimes MUCH stiffer. This is because it has to move more mass in/out. This is simple leverage. The more mass you have to move over a longer distance, with only a quarter turn (or less) of the zoom ring, the more force you have to apply to turn the zoom ring.
I have not handled the Canon R 70-200/2.8, so I don't know how easy or stiff the zoom ring on that lens is.​
The collapsing part for transport is certainly handy though, and even when walking, it's nice to collapse the lens to reduce the chances of incidental damage from banging into something. I suspect the stiffer zoom is also to help reduce lens creep, but even with a stiffer action, my PL100-400 will still do it, so the lock is a nice touch.
 

dwkdnvr

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Following up my previous post, I spend a few minutes putting together a Canon system 'broadly comparable' to my 'main' M43 kit: E-M5II, Oly 12-100, PL15, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 56/1.4. It's not quite identical since my M43 focal lengths are skewed, but close-ish. Canon EOS RP, RF 24-240, RF 35/1.8, RF 50/1.8, RF 85/2. This is basically the definition of "entry level Canon R series system" - no weather/dust sealing and using the cheapest consumer grade lenses, although the the lenses do actually seem to be pretty good based on user feedback. System weight is 1725g for the M43 gear and 2200g for the Canon system. The body + zoom setup is closer - 1235g vs 1075g, so maybe not a huge difference in practice if you're only looking to drive down the weight of the 'one lens solution' aspect of the kit. Interestingly, the Canon system is ~$350 cheaper than the M43 system if buying new (subbing in the E-M5III for my MkII to stick with gear that is currently available new, and not using any kit discounts) - $3443 vs $3095.

So, almost 500g additional weight for the FF system despite being about as small and light as possible, whereas my M43 system was selected largely for image quality and utility.
 

ac12

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The collapsing part for transport is certainly handy though, and even when walking, it's nice to collapse the lens to reduce the chances of incidental damage from banging into something. I suspect the stiffer zoom is also to help reduce lens creep, but even with a stiffer action, my PL100-400 will still do it, so the lock is a nice touch.

The thing about "lens creep" is that it can be simply fixed to a large degree.
Change the cam angle of the zoom. That is like a lever or gear ratios.
A short 60-90 degree turn of the zoom ring, pushing the extending zoom out a few/several inches means a steep cam angle, where you have to apply more force on the zoom ring to turn it. This is the short side of the lever.
Flip it around, and point the lens down. The the steep cam angle allows the weight of the extending zoom to cause the lens to "self extend." This is the long side of the lever.

If you increase the throw of the zoom ring to 120-180 degrees, you can make the cam angle shallower, thus making it easier to turn, and also harder for the lens to "self extend" when pointed down.
 

John King

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Following up my previous post, I spend a few minutes putting together a Canon system 'broadly comparable' to my 'main' M43 kit: E-M5II, Oly 12-100, PL15, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 56/1.4. It's not quite identical since my M43 focal lengths are skewed, but close-ish. Canon EOS RP, RF 24-240, RF 35/1.8, RF 50/1.8, RF 85/2. This is basically the definition of "entry level Canon R series system" - no weather/dust sealing and using the cheapest consumer grade lenses, although the the lenses do actually seem to be pretty good based on user feedback. System weight is 1725g for the M43 gear and 2200g for the Canon system. The body + zoom setup is closer - 1235g vs 1075g, so maybe not a huge difference in practice if you're only looking to drive down the weight of the 'one lens solution' aspect of the kit. Interestingly, the Canon system is ~$350 cheaper than the M43 system if buying new (subbing in the E-M5III for my MkII to stick with gear that is currently available new, and not using any kit discounts) - $3443 vs $3095.

So, almost 500g additional weight for the FF system despite being about as small and light as possible, whereas my M43 system was selected largely for image quality and utility.
And everything else stripped back to minimum, not just the headline features you mention.

Shutter rating, shutter speed, IBIS, frames/second, build quality, to name but a few things.

And the 24-240 is hardly comparable to the 12-100 ...
More like the 14-140 class of lens, without the weather/dust sealing ...

I'm comparing with the E-M1 MkII, which is still available new AFAIK.

Comparing like with like is always useful, IMHO.

You have to go a long way up the tree in 135 format land before you get to even the E-M5 MkIII level of overall functionality. And that costs, in both size and weight, let alone dollars!
 
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