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Short tele lens challenge 1.0

dirk

LMF-Founder
Administrator
Some members asked for photos of and with the different short tele lenses I own, to be able to compare them for your individual needs. Camera stores seldom have everything in the shop at the same time, if there is at all a camera shop in your neighborhood.

The weather here is really bad to take good Images. It is raining since a week and it is overcloud all the time. This will not change over the next days. I decided to start this thread nevertheless with product images already. This will help already some members as an indication whether a lens is too big or not for them.

Size and weight is for me always a big deciding factor.

I will upload more and more images over the time. I will do comparison shots outdoors (nothing scientific) with the following 5 lenses:

  • Lumix 70-300
  • Lumix 85/1.8
  • Sigma 85/1.4 DG DN
  • Sigma 90/2.8
  • Pentax HD FA 77/1.8 limited edition (with adapter)

Since I sell my last Nikon Z system lenses I will post also product photos to compare the size and lens mount with the L-Mount lenses. I sold already last year all my Nikon Z cameras, so I can not compare directly the image quality anymore.

Obviously I did not find a quality difference in favor of the Nikon Z lenses, otherwise I would not have switched from Nikon Z to L-Mount ;)
 
Last edited:
I start with an overview. Also with adapted lenses (Pentax limited edition via cheap China adapter. manual focus then)

PXL_20240315_090244009.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/1000000 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 302

It is impressive to see how small the new Sigma 85/1.4 DG DN became (second from the left), compared to the Lumix 85/1.8 next to it. Winner in size is the Sigma 90/2.8 DG DN i-series. Both, the Sigma 85/1.4 and the 90/2.8 have aperture rings and a lot of metal. Leica / Zeiss / Contax feeling.

But to be honest, the winner of all in size and weight is the Pentax 77/1.8 FA HD limited edition (without adapter, 3rd from the right). Next to it is the Pentax 43/1.9 FA HD limited edition (2nd from the right). I put the Sigma 45/2.8 next to it to show the smallest L-Mount lens currently available.


PXL_20240315_090401555.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/1000000 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 420


Top view with lens cap sizes: 77mm, 77mm, 67mm, 55mm, 49mm (yes, the Pentax 77 has only 49mm filtersize)
 
Last edited:
Now let's look closer to the FFL short tele options. Sigma 90/2.8 in front, vs. Lumix 85/1.8 in the middle and Sigma 85/1.4 in the background:

PXL_20240315_090526890.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/1000000 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 381




Again, the frustration come if you put the smallest short tele in that group side by side with the "old" Pentax lenses for fullframe (without adapter):

PXL_20240315_090753814.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 95



But as we know, there is "no free lunch". The adapter is the problem. Big and heavy (around 100g):

PXL_20240315_090912786.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 116

The adapter has almost the same size as the Pentax lens itself :(

PXL_20240315_090950978.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 116


PXL_20240315_091045938.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 167


With adapter, this size advantage is lost and you only have manual focus. But the Pentax 77mm has a special look I like a lot.
 
Another size comparison with the Lumix 20-60 kit zoom, which many of our members probably have.

PXL_20240315_091213363.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 138


PXL_20240315_091246152.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 164

Again 90/2.8 vs. 85/1.4 vs. 85/1.8
 
Now let's compare with other systems. Nikon Z mount.

PXL_20240315_091524868.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 171

Nikkor 85/1.8 Z vs. Lumix 85/1.8


PXL_20240315_091612074.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 162

Nikkor 85/1.8 Z vs. Lumix 85/1.8. It is difficult to show the difference in lens mount size. But it is significant, if you hold the lens, especially with smaller FL.


PXL_20240315_092029023.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 141

Sigma 35/2.0 DG DN (metal, aperture ring) vs Nikkor 40/2.0 Z. Plastic. vs Sigma 45/2.8 DG DN (metal, aperture ring)


PXL_20240315_092141124.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 100

Lens barrel. Although the Nikkor 40/2.0 does not need the width of the lens barrel, the lens became very "thick" because of the duties of the Z-Mount. Ther will never be a thin Z-lens because of the size of the Z-Mount, which is bigger than the L-Mount.


PXL_20240315_092301857.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 55


You will feel the difference above all with Nikon bodies like Zfc and Zf, because they do not have a grip and then you have not enough space for your right hand to hold it comfortably.
 
Nice post Dirk. It's interesting to see how the different manufacturers approach the design and packaging of their lenses. I still think the Sigma i-Series takes some beating. I don't use primes a lot, but I do have the Sigma 35/2 and absolutely love it. I also have the Lumix 50/1.8, which is a great performer optically, but it lacks the look and feel of the Sigma. I'd like to replace it with the Sigma 50/2 or the 65/2, but given the little use it gets, I doubt I will.
 
Thank you Dirk for all the pictures shown as a comparison.

The not "that" big difference in size (although weight) of the Lumix 85mm/1.8 -versus- Sigma 85mm/1.4
I own the Lumix 85mm/1.8 as well. But maybe tempted to extend it by the Sigma 1.4 version.
(Like the look and feel of those high quality finish - having also a Sigma 50mm/1.4 and 35mm/2.0 ).
 
It's interesting to see how the different manufacturers approach the design and packaging of their lenses

I agree. These comparisons show you also how future lenses will look like/ how big and heavy they will be. 2018 was a cut in the photo industry. Nikon, Canon and Panasonic/Sigma entered the fullframe mirrorless market. Additionally from 2018 on forward, sensor resolution of 40MP became more and more mainstream. This changed the way of the old traditionional thinking "maller sensor euals smaller photo bag".

Nowadays you really have to look very close and compare your individual preferred focal lenght/ zoom range, think about whether you really need more than 24 MP and then analyse, how big the system will become if you invest in it with the best optical performance.

The most dramatic change you will see nowadays with APS-C sensor size systems, like Fuji X or Nikon APS-C (Z-Mount). For Nikon this means there will never be a really small/thin APS-C lens for the Nikon Z-system anymore. These days are over because of the huge size of the Z-mount. Nikon can use plastic to push the weight down, but they are still prisoner of the new Z lens-mount. Nion knows this and this is why they do not offer a good choice for APS-C. Bigger lens mount is not always better ;)

For Fuji X it became very difficult as soon as they moved up to a 40MP sensor. Most lenses can not really deliver on a 40MP sensor. This is why Fuji designed new lenses over the last 2-3 years to replace the old ones with the ame FL. The new 33/1.4, 23/1.4, 18/1.4 are all very big and heavy for an APS-C sized lens. The difference in size and weight fades away between Fuji X and i.e. L-Mount with Sigma i-series lenses with same aperture (converted to FF aperture 1,4->2.0 etc.)

Of course you can use the F2-0 version of teh Fuji X lenses instead, but then you do not need the 40MP sensor anymore and then you have to compare to fullframelenses with F2.8 ;)
 
I am not yet finished :eek:

So let's look into Fuji X vs. L-Mount and vs. MFT...


PXL_20240315_111724880~2.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 109

MFT 42,5/1.7 vs. MFT Leica 42,5/1.2 vs. Lumix 85/1.8 vs. Fuji 56/1.2 (the old one) vs. Sigma 90/2.8. As you can see, the Fuji 56/1.2 and the MFT-Leica are almost as big as the Lumix 85/1.8. The winner is clearly the MFT Lumix 42,/1.7. (optical performance is great too)


PXL_20240315_111751789.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 186



PXL_20240315_111923231~2.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 129


Let's talk more about Fuji X...


PXL_20240315_112328118~2.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 62


Left the new Fuji XF 23/1.4 WR. Developed for the 40MP sensor. vs. Sigma 35/2.0 DG DN i-series. I do not have a 40MP L-Mount camera, but wnat I heard is that the Sigma lens is optically better than the new Fuji and the Sigma is even smaller and has an aperture ring too.

PXL_20240315_112357621.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/50 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 222


Now look at the bodies...

PXL_20240315_112523174.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/33 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 153

Which one is APS-C and which one fullframe?

PXL_20240315_112532469.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 147


PXL_20240315_112549004.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 94


We are now at a point, where fullframe cameras and lenses are as small or even smaller than comparable APS-C cameras, if you pick the same kind of lens and body. Bear in m ind, that the Lumix S5ii is not really a small camera ;)



PXL_20240315_112933979~2.jpg
  • Google - Pixel 8 Pro
  • Pixel 8 Pro back camera 6.9mm f/1.68
  • 6.9 mm
  • ƒ/1.68
  • 1/25 sec
  • Center-Weighted Average
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 67


Of course you can use tricks, by taking a Fuji X lens with a different aperture, like the XF 35/2.0 here in the middle. On the left Sigma 50/2.0 i-series and on the right the Sigma 45/2.8 i-series. But these older XF designs are optical inferior and you just do not have the same DOF.

No YouTube reviewer shows this or talks about this. It will not be easy for Fuji to proove a competive edge vs fullframe. This is why I am not sure anymore whether I will kepp my Fuji X system in the long run.

MFT is in a different league. It is so much smaller than fullframe, that this is a meaningful difference as long as you do not go crazy with F1.2 lenses as shown above. It was very smart of Panasonic to skip APS-C. MFT and L-Mount is the perfect match and a significant step in both directions to make it worth for the customers, depending on their needs.
 
Last edited:
I also have the Lumix 50/1.8, which is a great performer optically, but it lacks the look and feel of the Sigma.

Yes, the i-series is from the "feeling" like Leica/Zeiss vs. the "normal" material of the rest of the photo industry. Sigma did this by purpose. Each i-series is out of metal, has an aperture ring and has even 2 different lens caps (magentic and normal). For mey photography, it is the best compromise in size, image quality and haptic. It reminds me a lot at my old Zeiss lenses for the Contax manual focus system.

I'd like to replace it with the Sigma 50/2 or the 65/2, but given the little use it gets, I doubt I will.

I have both and they are great. But the 65/2.0 is heavy. Not on paper but from the impression. I much more prefer the 50 and the 90.
 
I am not yet finished :eek:

So let's look into Fuji X vs. L-Mount and vs. MFT...


View attachment 2914
MFT 42,5/1.7 vs. MFT Leica 42,5/1.2 vs. Lumix 85/1.8 vs. Fuji 56/1.2 (the old one) vs. Sigma 90/2.8. As you can see, the Fuji 56/1.2 and the MFT-Leica are almost as big as the Lumix 85/1.8. The winner is clearly the MFT Lumix 42,/1.7. (optical performance is great too)


View attachment 2915


View attachment 2916

Let's talk more about Fuji X...


View attachment 2917

Left the new Fuji XF 23/1.4 WR. Developed for the 40MP sensor. vs. Sigma 35/2.0 DG DN i-series. I do not have a 40MP L-Mount camera, but wnat I heard is that the Sigma lens is optically better than the new Fuji and the Sigma is even smaller and has an aperture ring too.

View attachment 2918

Now look at the bodies...

View attachment 2919
Which one is APS-C and which one fullframe?

View attachment 2920

View attachment 2921

We are now at a point, where fullframe cameras and lenses are as small or even smaller than comparable APS-C cameras, if you pick the same kind of lens and body.



View attachment 2922

Of course you can use tricks, buy taking a Fuji X lens with a different aperture, like the XF 35/2.0 here in the middle. On the left Sigma 50/2.0 i-series and on the right the Sigma 45/2.8 i-series. But these older XF designs are optical inferior and you just do not have the same DOF.

No youtube reviewer shows this or talk about this. It will not be easy for Fuji to proove a competive edge vs fullframe. This is why I am not sure anymore whether I will kepp my Fuji X system in the long run.

MFT is in a different league. It is so much smaller than fullframe, that this is a meaningful difference as long as you do not go crazy with F1.2 lenses as shown above. It was very smart of Panasonic to skip APS-C. MFT and L-Mount is the perfect match and a significant step in both directions to make it worth for the customers, depending on their needs.
A really nice comparison and analysis Dirk. The problem with sensor format comparisons is that it's easy to cherry pick a combination of body/lens to prove whatever point it is that you're trying to make. Put an E-M1x plus Oly 45/1.2 next to an S5 with the Lumix 85/1.8 and you have an FF system that will deliver a larger equiv max aperture, lower noise, and better tonality in a smaller and lighter package. Do the same with a G100 (or even more extreme, a GM5) and the 42/1.7 compared to the S1 with the Sigma 90/2.8 and you'll get a much smaller & lighter MFT system that's only 1 stop down in equivalent aperture.

I think it's important to look at one's own use-case and decide accordingly. For me, I don't use long lenses and I'm happy to pay the relatively small size/weight penalty for FF compared to MFT. If I were into long lens work, then I'd almost certainly stick with MFT.

As regards APSC, and Fuji in particular, I confess to being somewhat biased against it. For all except Fuji, the APSC systems on offer are too limited in terms of the lenses available (both quality and range). And for Fuji, I really could never get X-Trans files to work for me. I also never gelled with their bodies - I don't like the aperture ring/shutter speed dial approach (I much prefer the PASM design), and at least the early bodies like the XT1 had a sort of hollow/cheap feel to them. And in the main, the IQ difference between m43 and APSC isn't huge.
 
Last edited:
The problem with sensor format comparisons is that it's easy to cherry pick a combination of body/lens to prove whatever point it is that you're trying to make.

This is why I choose the XF 23/1.4 WR vs. the Sigma 35/2.0. Same DOF, same FL.

But if someone only use 24MP sensor on Fuji X and does not need shallow DOF and does not expect the greatest image quality, the much smaller Fuji XF 35/2.0 is totally fine and makes it a lot smaller. Same counts for MFT. as long as you use an interchangeable lens mount, you can customize as much as you want to.

I was only disappointed with the new Fuji X100VI. The lens is the same as in the X100V and was already there not great. To use it now on a 40MP sensor is not a good move for the customer.
 
This is why I choose the XF 23/1.4 WR vs. the Sigma 35/2.0. Same DOF, same FL.
Yes, I realise that. I wasn't accusing you of cherry picking :) !

But if someone only use 24MP sensor on Fuji X and does not need shallow DOF and does not expect the greatest image quality, the much smaller Fuji XF 35/2.0 is totally fine and makes it a lot smaller. Same counts for MFT. as long as you use an interchangeable lens mount, you can customize as much as you want to.
You make a good point about the need for bigger and heavier lenses to make best use of the higher MP sensors. But then again, Leica managed to make some really high quality and small lenses for the M rangefinders.
I was only disappointed with the new Fuji X100VI. The lens is the same as in the X100V and was already there not great. To use it now on a 40MP sensor is not a good move for the customer.
I've played with the X100 several times over its evolutionary life and never liked it!
 
But then again, Leica managed to make some really high quality and small lenses for the M rangefinders.

They only achieved this for the digital M-bodies with the microprism on the sensor. The same M-lenses on a non-M or non SL body do not deliver the same image quality.
 
Also the lens on the Q3 seems to be outstanding. But that's, of cause, is a fixed lens camera.

However, this thread reminds me to use my 35/2 I-Series more often. Such a great lens.
 
Also the lens on the Q3 seems to be outstanding. But that's, of cause, is a fixed lens camera.

As soon as Sigma will bring out a 28mm FFL, I will try to make comparison shots with a Leica Q3.

But we should try to focus in this thread on L-Mount. I just wanted to give other users the chance to compare the sizes also to different systems with real images and my experience with these lenses until I can go out and test shoot the L-Mount short tele lenses.
 
Very interesting post, thank you.

If size is what matters most;) then the Sigma FpL with the Sigma or Leica Aps-c lenses should not be ruled out. Still 26mps and as small as you like. Put the 18TL lens on the FpL you have a nice 27/28mm f/2.8 - oh so pocketable.
FpL 18 1.jpg
  • Panasonic - DC-S5M2
  • 65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020
  • 65.0 mm
  • ƒ/2
  • 1/200 sec
  • Pattern
  • Manual exposure
  • -0.7
  • ISO 160
FpL 18 2.jpg
  • Panasonic - DC-S5M2
  • 65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020
  • 65.0 mm
  • ƒ/2
  • 1/200 sec
  • Pattern
  • Manual exposure
  • -0.7
  • ISO 400
 
When I chose a short tele I went with the Sigma 90mm due to it's smaller size, closer focusing compared to the Lumix 85/1.8 and of course it's I-series attributes: beautiful metal build, aperture ring and silky-smooth manual focusing. Though I'd like to add the Lumix or a Sigma 85/1.4 at some point in the future, I don't regret my decision at all - it's an excellent lens with great sharpness and rendering.

Dirk, you're the only other person I've seen with the I-series 50/2, which I don't think is a popular lens. I haven't used mine since I got the replacement Lumix 50mm back from Panasonic so I think I'll pop it on for this weekend :)
 
I have the lumix 85 1.8
It replaced the sigma 85 1.4 because I found it to be as good
I now prefer the more convincing weatherproofing and sleek/brutalist aesthetic to the retro sigma style I previously favoured
The sigma 85 had itself replaced the 90 2.8 which was as you say lovely and small but at that point in time I wanted the wider aperture
Recently I’ve acquired the 100 macro and may in fact let the 85 go as it’s too close and 2.8 is fine in fact
 
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