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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Zooms: Pros & Cons Of All-In-One


Having a single lens to cover everything from ultrawide to strong telephoto is incredibly appealing, but how well do these extreme zooms perform in a variety of situations? We’ll show you where the trade-offs are.

Labels: LensesGear
This Article Features Photo Zoom
CON: You Can't Expect A $500 Lens To Perform Like A Pair Of $1,500 Lenses
Higher-end lenses feature better materials and construction to obtain better optical and mechanical performance, and those cost money. You're not going to get the most exotic optical elements and rugged, weatherproof pro construction in a $500 superzoom.


9

10

11
9) Tamron 18-270mm Di II VC PZD; 10) Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 18-180mm ƒ/3.5-6.3; 11) Sony SEL 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3.

PRO: Save Money On Filters
If you have several lenses, each with a different diameter, you'll need a set of filters for each sized lens, or a series of adapter rings (which could cause vignetting when used with wide-angle settings). With a superzoom, one of each filter type covers all of your focal lengths. You just need one polarizer, neutral-density, grad, etc., instead of one for each lens you have. Besides the cost savings, using one superzoom in place of several prime lenses or shorter-range zooms means less stuff to keep track of like filters, lens caps and cases.

PRO: Fewer Lens Changes
A wide-range zoom means fewer lens changes in the field—and that means less dust on the camera's sensor assembly. This is even more important with mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, which don't have a DSLR's mirror to help deflect incoming dust particles from the sensor.

All-In-One Zooms
FOR FULL-FRAME
(also can be used on APS-C):
Elements/
Groups
MFD Max
Magnif.
Filter
Size
Size
(in.)
Weight
(oz.)
Est. Street
Price
Canon EF 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6L IS USM 22/16 27.6 in. 0.30x 77mm 3.6x7.2 58.9 $2,689
AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR 19/14 19.3 in. 0.32x 77mm 3.3x4.5 28.2 $949
Sigma 50-500mm F/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM 20/16 19.7 in 0.32x 95mm 4.1x8.6 69.5 $1,659
Tamron 28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 XR Di 15/14 19.3 in 0.25x 62mm 2.8x3.0 12.5 $299
Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di 12/9 19.3 in 0.34x 62mm 2.9x3.3 14.8 $419
Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD 12/9 19.3 in 0.33x 67mm 3.1x3.9 19.4 $629
FOR APS-C ONLY:
Canon EF-S 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS 16/12 17.6 in. 0.24x 72mm 3.1x4.0 20.1 $699
AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 16/12 19.2 in. 0.22x 72mm 3.0x3.8 19.8 $849
Sigma 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 DC 15/13 17.7 in. 0.23x 62mm 2.8x3.1 14.3 $279
Sigma 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM 18/13 17.7 in. 0.26x 72mm 3.1x3.9 21.5 $499
Sigma 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM 18/14 17.7 in. 0.29x 72mm 3.1x4.0 22.2 $479
Sony DT 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 15/13 19.2 in. 0.27x 62mm 2.9x3.4 14.0 $549
Sony DT 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 16/13 19.2 in. 0.29x 62mm 3.0x3.4 15.5 $649
Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD 15/13 17.7 in. 0.27x 62mm 2.9x3.3 14.0 $299
Tamron AF18-270mm Di II VC PZD 16/13 19.3 in. 0.26x 62mm 2.9x3.5 15.9 $649
Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 DX 15/9 19.7 in. 0.19x 77mm 3.5x3.1 21.5 $299
FOR FOUR THIRDS SYSTEM:
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 18-180mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 15/13 17.6 in. 0.23x 62mm 3.1x3.3 15.3 $499
FOR MICRO FOUR THIRDS SYSTEM:
Olympus M. Zuiko Digital 14-150mm ƒ/4.0-5.6 13/10 36.0 in. 0.16x 58mm 2.5x3.3 18.5 $299
Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm ƒ/4.0-5.8 17/13 19.7 in. 0.20x 62mm 2.8x3.3 16.2 $649
FOR SONY NEX:
Sony SEL 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 15/13 12.0 in 0.27x 67mm 3.0x4.0 18.5 $898
Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC 17/13 19.7 in. 0.27x 62mm 2.7x3.8 16.2 $739
Key:
MFD: Minimum focusing distance
Max. Magnif: Maximum magnification; 1.0x equals life-size, 0.25x equals ¼ life-size (at the image plane)
The chart above lists currently available all-in-one zooms (8x and greater) from the major camera brands.

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