Comparing Photographic Lens Weights
As part of a current project I have access to (mostly complete) metadata on over 200 lenses across a range of consumer vendors. As part of a test to visualise discrepencies in the collected data I managed to construct a few plots of basic metadata over focal length.
As a quick preview to a future longer analysis I’ve thrown in the initial plot of lens weight vs. minimum focal length below. Tamron has been omitted as their weight data is still pending.
A couple of quick points:
- Using minimum focal length on zoom lenses tends to avoid over-representation of mid-range zooms in the early telephoto range, though you can see the effects of clusters at 18mm and 70mm.
- The range of 50mm weights shows Sigma’s tendency to produce heavier lenses with larger apertures. Nikon and Canon have multiple smaller lenses in their f1.4-1.8 series.
- Sigma and Tokina tend to show higher weights across the board.
- Nikon appear to have the upper hand in the wide-angle categories, losing out increasingly past normal prime territory. Presumably Canon’s more extensive use of fluorite elements helps with at the longer telephoto end, where the difference at 800mm beats out pretty much everything from 200mm.
- Tokina’s obvious outlier at 300mm is from their discontinued f/6.3 reflex design. While it’s probably not compelling in the image quality department, there’s a noteworthy difference.