How to lose weight as an EOS owner

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cmo, May 14, 2010.

  1. cmo

    cmo Member

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    My camera bag is always too heavy... well, not the bag itself...

    When I need to use an SLR instead of my beloved M6 I use this:

    - a Canon EOS 1v with a Powerbooster E2 (yes, I will sell off the PB)
    - 4/24-105 IS (the classic 3 lens combo in one lens, acceptable quality, but not really great), 670 gramm
    - 2.8/70-200 IS (good lens, but way too heavy, and covering 70-105mm twice is just nonsense), 1,470 gramm
    - 1.4x Extender (I find the results with the 70-200 barely acceptable), 220 gramm

    In fact, I like longer focal lenghts a lot, that's why I have two Novoflex follow-focus lenses.
    - One is the old one-grip version with a 280mm and 400mm head,
    - the other is a more modern two-grip version with a 400mm and 560mm Telyt head.

    I would use them much more often if these beasts wouldn't require a heavy tripod, adding to the overall weight. The lenses themselves are actually lighter than Canon's costly white lenses, but of course they have no stabilizer, which is a really nice feature for telephotos.

    There is a Canon 100-400 lens. It has approximately the same weight as my 70-200, it has a very useful range, and I could stop using the Novoflexes. If it would yield better results I would buy it, but I tried it and was not impressed. Using that one with an extender results in images that are not at the quality level I would accept. There is also an 80-400 Sigma lens with a stabilizer, but results are also not very impressive, it's even heavier, and people report about a very slow and noisy autofocus.

    So, I thought about primes... the 2.8/200 is not bad, but expensive and has no stabilizer. Using it with an extender is at the same level as my 70-200, e.g. only useful in emergency cases. The 4/70-200 is slightly better and much lighter, but with the extender... no way.
    Next idea: get rid of the 70-200 and go for a 4/300, the only of the white IS telephoto lenses that would not turn me into a poor man. It's reasonably sharp, even with a 1.4x extender, but it's an older lens - the IS is a 1st generation IS, AF is not very fast, and it leaves a big gap between 105 and 300mm. It weighs 1120 gramm.

    As you see, I trapped myself in some ideas about gear and how to get rid of some weight without sacrificing some focal lengths.

    What would you do except saying "get rid of all, get a 4x5" or "what is an EOS"?
     
  2. kauffman v36

    kauffman v36 Member

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    Being as a started as an EOS user before ever getting into film i feel your pain. i too have a 1v w/ pb-e2 and that body alone is heavier than my 1D mark 3 digital body.

    i would get rid of the 24-105/4, its not that great of a lens. the 70-200/2.8 IS is a great lens but veerryyy heavy. have you considered the SIgma 50-500 or 150-500 OS. the 50-500 is said to be better optically but lacks the stabilization that the 150-500 has. that would take care of your telephoto needs. then you can get either 2 small primes, one wide and one longer. personally, the only zoom i have left is my sigma 120-300 2.8 but its huuuuge. i also have the Canon 28 1.8 and 85 1.8, both are excellent lenses and very cheap used.

    i dont have an easy answer for you. im a sucker for lugging weight around but if you're trying to go light then the super telephoto zooms from sigma and a couple short primes might be the way to go for you.
     
  3. cmo

    cmo Member

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    Right, that's why the pb-e2 will be sold.

    The 24-105 is okay, not as good as 3 primes, but good enough. The problem is more with the telephoto lenses.

    The comparisons at the-digital-picture.com show quite well that these Sigmas as well as Sigmas 80-400 OS are a lot worse than Canon's mediocre 100-400 IS lens and weigh even more.
     
  4. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    Ditch the tripod. It's most likely one of the variable-weight kind: the farther you carry it the heavier it gets.:D

    With best regards.

    Stephen
     
  5. cmo

    cmo Member

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    Ditch the tripod when using a 6.3/560mm without stabilizer, using MLU? What's the trick? :smile:
     
  6. kauffman v36

    kauffman v36 Member

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    regardless of tests i can say ive seen soooo many photos from the sigma 50-500 that are simply amazing. used right, it will not dissapoint. in the telephoto section if you want really light the 70-300 IS USM is a great bang for your buck lens. i had it before and the images are good, but its a fairly slow lens with only 300mm on the far end.
     
  7. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    I've carried my "not to be mentioned camera" with a 70-200 f/4 and 100-400 f/4-5.6. It is a lot of weight.
    Not sure how it compares to my A-1 or my RB67 which I usually carry around 3 lenses with.
     
  8. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    Zoom lenses are the biggest weight problem.

    You can get superior, faster optics from primes at 1/3 of the weight.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd go with the idea of getting rid of the 70-200 and getting the 300/4L IS USM. I had the old FD 300/4L, and it was a fantastically sharp lens, even with the 1.4x-A or 2x-A extenders. Of course the newer version with all those motors is heavier.

    [​IMG]

    If you really want to lighten up and don't need autofocus, get an FD setup. You'll save enough weight to carry an extra lens or a sturdier tripod, if you want, and you can get the top FD lenses for a fraction of the cost of their EF counterparts.
     
  10. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow Member

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    You're one of the extremely small few that think the 24-105L is "not that great of a lens". It is in fact an excellent lens and one of Canon's best L zooms. I wonder if you're referrint to the non-L 28-105, which is a terrible lens.

    Those Sigma's you mentioned, especially the 150-500 are absolutely one of the worse lenses ever made. Complete dogs! Zoom lenses with such a wide focal range, and of any make and model are nearly all dogs....too heavily compromised in order to support such a wide focal range.

    As to the poster, I have the 1v with the booster too, and all the L zooms 16-35L up to 100-400L and I really don't see weight as a problem. Go to the gym and build upper body strength, seriously.

    I have many L zooms, but I prefert shooting with primes....I would suggest these: 35L, 85mm F1.8, 135L, 200L....these four are most excellent, and none of them weigh that much, nor are that big.
     
  11. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Get a 50/1.4 and use your feet.
     
  12. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I have tons (pounds?) of lenses for my SRT 201 but the one that stays on the camera the most is my 35/1.8 MC Rokkor. Darned sharp lens!
     
  13. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I had the same problem. I tossed the power booster and replaced it with the battery pack. I sold off the 70-200 2.8, and don't miss it. Both teleconverters are in their boxes, gathering dust on a shelf. I'm down to the 1V, 16-35, and 24-70. If I think I'm going to need a longer lens for something, I grab my T90 bag with the 80-200L, or the XD-11 bag with the 70-200. I have thought about adding the 300 f/4L; any gap I might notice between 70mm and 300mm can be covered by moving in closer if possible. I am much happier since I got out of the mindset of having every mm covered, and now simply make do with the gear I have on hand.
     
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  15. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Im currently carting around my -full size- tripod in tripod bag, with light stand jammed in there as well, 30D with a 50mm and 200mm primes (left the EOS film camera + 12-24 at home), RB67 PRoS, 65mm C, 180mm C, about 30 rolls of 120, 2 flashes, batteries, chargers etc jammed in my backpack.

    Needless to say I didnt bring clothes as they werent important :tongue: I bought some when I got up to where i was staying, and am now carryign my dirty clothes in a plastic shopping bag. and re-wearing Day 1's clothes after hand washing them in plain water :tongue:

    Ive carried my 4x5" on top of this once >.<

    Pays to be 24 :tongue:
     
  16. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Of course, the other option is to divide up all your gear into two bags and have your wife carry the heavy one.

    Can you tell I'm not married? :tongue:
     
  17. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    One of the main features of the Novoflex lenses is that they're designed *not* to need a tripod....
    Do you have the shoulder stock for them? If not, get one!
    (Yes, adds some weight, but far less than a decent tripod).

    A good 180 or 200mm f/4.0 are usually fantastic sharp and light lenses.

    Unless you really need the full range of your zooms, a few well-chosen primes will save you a lot of weight.
     
  18. kauffman v36

    kauffman v36 Member

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    without going off topic, im going to say that you need to decide how much quality you are willing to lose in the telephoto range in order to reduce weight. the 150-500 is def. not the best lens but the canon 100-400 is not LEAPS & BOUNDS ahead of it optically. any lens with that much magnification is going to suffer IQ wise. IQ or weight is the question, you cannot have the absolute best of both. id still sell the 24-105 f4, i had one for a couple of months and it just never saw any use, i already reached for primes instead.
     
  19. cmo

    cmo Member

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    I myself as an owner of the 24-105 can say it is acceptable, but it could be better. But my Leica M and lenses simply declass such a lens. Of course, they don't fit an EOS, of course, they lack AF and IS, and they are not a 3-in-1 lens.

    That's right. There is an amazing website where you can really compare sharpness of many lenses for the EOS system. Finding the dogs is easy, there is no escape, and that Sigma lens barks loud:

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/...p=249&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLI=3&API=0

    Apart from that, it's big and heavy, has a below-average AF and no stabilizer.

    It's not the strength or endurance. The problem is called backache, my MD says I pay the price for using shoulder bags with too much gear since decades. My "therapy": belt bag, back exercises, jettison some gear.

    These are great lenses. The 35L is much better than the 2/35, but weighs 580g alone. The 85 is wonderful, but it weighs another 425g, both together: 1kg. The 24-105 weighs 670g. So, that is not my strategy, but I envy you for these lenses :smile:

    Time for some maths:
    The 135 (750g)
    plus a 300mm f/4.0 IS (1190g)
    1.4x Extender (220g)
    = 2160g
    might be a nice and sharp replacement for my
    70-200/2.8 (1310g)
    1.4x Extender (220g)
    Novoflex 400/5.6 (1700g)
    = 3230g

    Not bad.
     
  20. ath

    ath Member

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    Weight belongs in a backpack.
    When I go on track with my EOS-System I carry:
    EOS 3 (or 2 EOS50 if I think I need a backup)
    Tamron 28-75/2.8
    EF 70-200/4L.
    Thats enough for my needs and sums up to 2240 grams. Sometimes less is more.
     
  21. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    If you don't need the wide apertures, the old-school 50/2.5 macro might actually be a better lens by some accounts. I've never sprung for the 50/1.4, but the 50/2.5 smokes the 50/1.8 (itself not a bad lens) like the proverbial cheap cigar for general use. Admittedly, the autofocus motor sounds like a rock crusher.

    Put me down as another believer in primes. Without getting into specific lens choices, I'd probably try walking around with a 50mm and something around 200mm, shoot a few rolls that way, and see if there's anything you feel you're missing---if so, fill in the gap with a third prime.

    Of course there are some terrific zoom lenses, but they're heavy, and by definition they involve spending some of your money on mechanics rather than optics. With a few exceptions like sports, my feeling is that primes work out better when all is said and done.

    -NT
     
  22. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I've got ton's of equipment too , but recently have just been carrying one body a Canon FD 28-85 f4 lens in a Lowepro Top loader Zoom case, and considering the miles I've carried loads of gear in the past and not used it, I wonder why I never did it before.
     
  23. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    One way to lose weight would be to carry a cheapo rebel camera body, such as a Ti or T2. I have never used a high end canon camera, and I understand that they are "better" in some ways. However, the lower end cameras have a rather complete feature set, and in most situations I doubt if the higher end camera would make much difference in the results.

    And, the rebels are much lighter.

    (Let the flame wars begin.)
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I think you know that the motor is dead weight and should be a no brainer to remove if reducing weight is your aim.

    I would also reconsider both of the zooms and switch to fixed-length lenses. Personally, I find that the disadvantages of zooms pretty heartily outweigh their benefits, unless I happen to be stuck in one location (an assigned location in a group of photographers, for instance). I generally prefer to have three bodies with primes to two bodies with zooms or even one body with a zoom. Lighter, faster, smaller, more simple, arguably better image quality, and definitely "nicer" image qualities to my eyes.

    Canon makes some very good and reasonably priced fixed-length lenses. 24mm 2.8, 28mm 1.8 and 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.0, 100mm macro, and on the pricier side of things, 135mm 2.0 L, 200mm 2.8 L, 300mm 4.0 L. There is also the 70-200 4.0 L, which IME is a good lens, is significantly smaller and lighter than the 2.8, and is very affordable.

    Personally, I like to always work with at least two bodies when I am "seriously" shooting. I might sell both zooms and get another body, a 70-200 4.0 L (IS or pre-IS), a 28, and a 50.
     
  25. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    My own take would be, is Canon EOS even the right system for you?
    What are your priorities? What is it you like/need about the EOS system?
    It's aimed at PJs (and wannabe PJs), with an emphasis on features and speed. Including fast lenses. No 200mm f/4.0 for example.

    Some examples from other systems:
    Nikon Fe2 + 20 +35 f/2.0 + 105 f/2.5 + 200 f/4.0 = 2.123 kg (1.846 if you drop the 20mm you seem to have no use for). All some of the best primes Nikkor has.
    Nikon Fe2 + 20 +35 + 105 + 180 f/2.8 ED = 2.392 kg (2.115 with no 20mm).
    Leica M6 + 15 + 21 + 35 f/2.0 + 90 f/2.8 = 1.274 kg. Probaly not for you as teles stop at 135mm.
    Rolleiflex SL35-E + 18 + 35 f/2.8 + 85 f/2.8 + 200 f/4.0 = 1,904 kg. (1.546 without the 18mm). The Zeiss lenses are superb (no comparison to zooms).

    So, do you need light and good, or is the "need for speed" more important?
     
  26. cmo

    cmo Member

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    Interesting idea. I do own a complete Leica M equipment, and I use it a lot, mainly for street photography, but the telephoto capabilities are somewhat limited. Unfortunately the Visoflexes were never developed to a level that made them the first choice for action photography: no TTL metering, even with an M7 in AE mode you have to guess a lot, not to mention AF. Myself and many other photographers could simply forget about SLRs if Leitz had developed better mirror boxes (or Nikon, Canon and others that made mirror boxes for their rangefinder cameras).

    I use the EOS for everything where AF or telephoto lenses are important, and in bad weather. What I really like about the EOS and it's "L" lenses is the very fast and reliable autofocus, the weather sealing and, for telephoto lenses, the stabilizer. What I dislike are weight, need for heavy batteries, and that it is not simple to focus manually. It has too many too small buttons, and using "Custom Functions" is something that everybody should try once in his life to see how stupid a camera manufacturer can be: open a latch at the side of the camera, press a button as small as a pinhead, look at the lcd display, rotate a wheel until it shows "CF-12" and "0", then press that small button again, the "0" changes to "1". Believe it or not, this is the procedure to engage (or disengage) mirror lockup :rolleyes:

    Nikons are much more logical. In the 80s - I was a full-time PJ - I owned a Nikon FM with the loudest motor money can buy, an F3 plus motor, 24, 50, 105 and 80-210 lenses, and I remember it felt heavy, too :smile: But going back to manual focus and non-stabilizer telephoto lenses...? I must say I am too lazy for that, and I would have to carry a tripod more often.