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Thread: Megazooms are useless? Discuss

  1. #1
    It's all about the Light!
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    Megazooms are useless? Discuss

    http://www.techradar.com/news/photog...seless-1263003

    Megazooms are completely useless
    Damien Demolder Why buy an SLR if you are going to restrict it with a lens that's as frustrating as the one on your compact?
    I agree in as much as a purpose lens will rock compared with a super zoom, but at the same time a super zoom can be convenient when taking happy snaps.
    Eg. My new 105/2.8 macro is wonderful and sharp.
    Yet my 18-250 is handy at other times
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



  2. #2
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    I feel that the tech radar article is wildly inflammatory, emotive and inaccurate.

    In a nutshell --- marketing hype vs expectations vs reality.

    The marketing portrays the "megazoom" as an all round solution to getting a massive variety of excellent images without changing lenses.
    The expectations of many purchasers of that style lens follow closely with the marketing hype where they expect brilliance from the lens + their camera but haven't invested enough time to master their gear properly yet.
    The reality is that many of those lenses are capable of producing excellent images within their limitations that are recognised by those photographers that have invested the time to learn what a particular combination of camera and lens can do in appropriate circumstances.
    Last edited by I @ M; 01-09-2014 at 5:35pm.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  3. #3
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Ta Kym...

    The "article" is hardly worth discussing!!!

    OK, why? (Aw, awl right, twist me arm!!)

    1. It starts with three begged questions.
    2. It descends into a tirade of assertions and suppositions and revocations of (un-)expected responses.
    3. It concludes with a nonsense masquerading as a panacea.

    Actually, the responses are more insightful than the article. I wonder if that's why he wrote er, scrawled it??
    Am(unimpressed).
    CC, Image editing OK.

  4. #4
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    I feel that the tech radar article is wildly inflammatory, emotive and inaccurate.

    .....
    I dunno about the inflammatory .. but on the whole I agree

    for example, some of the questionable comments made in this article:

    However, what they fail to notice – and which is rarely pointed out by the sales assistant – is that the widest aperture on offer at that setting is usually f/6.3.


    .... and?
    I'm not entirely sure I get the point being made.
    if you are sold an 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 lens .. any half brain dead non enthusiast will (or should!!) understand that the f/6.3 disclosure on the lens is all that's required as information to the prospective purchaser. Why is it up to the sales assistant to disclose this info?

    It's not all that uncommon to use an f/8 aperture at 300mm focal lengths anyhow.

    I don't get the point they're trying to make.

    then there's this:

    When the unsuspecting come to shoot motor racing at that 300mm focal length and look for their 1/1000sec shutter speed to keep things crisp, they realise with disbelief that an ISO setting of 1600 is required when working with an aperture of f/6.3 – even on a sunny day.


    Again, the tone of this comment is questionable and raises serious questions about the knowledge of the author of the article.
    When shooting motorsports, it's a very common situation to be shooting at shutter speeds below 1/100s(eg. to get that going fast panning rendering).
    1/1000s exposures in motor racing situations create a basic boring bland static look to the image.
    In my (albeit limited) experience shooting motor racing type situations(i.e. gokarts) the biggest issue is aperture and low enough ISO. In broad daylight, you're almost certain to be shooting shutter priority and 1/80s is not an outrageous shutter speed to be using .. low ISO and small aperture are what the camera will be selecting in most situations anyhow.

    Then there's the aside comment made about ISO1600!!
    I'm looking at the date of the article and can't help but think it was written in August of 1999 or something.
    Is this guy serious about ISO1600 on a modern DSLR!! Any DSLR camera model since about 2008 will provide more than acceptable IQ at ISO1600.
    Is he confusing(or comparing) ISO1600 on a modern DSLR with that capability on a superzoom P&S or something .. again, I'm missing the point of this section of text.

    I think the article is written, as Andrew describes .. emotive and inaccurate(to a degree).

    yes! .. your 18-300mm DSLR superzoom lens will have a maximum f/6.3 aperture at the longest end of the focal length range .. we should all know this because it's written on the lens!
    But is he suggesting we all go out and get 300mm f/2.8 .. or even 300mm f/1.7 lenses?

    One thing is for sure .. modern superzoom lenses have come a long way .. and at the rate they are being designed .. they are making serious inroads into the usability factor.
    Of course they will never compete against specialist and dedicated lenses of singular, or more limited focal length range lenses but with larger aperture values.
    That's not the point of such lenses.

    I don't think the topic needs much discussion other than to highlight the oversimplification that this particular article seems to be introducing into any debate on the topic.

    I'd rather have read a more detailed article discussing the relative merits of one lens brand/type vs another vs the better quality specialist lenses available fit for a purpose.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  5. #5
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    I can't be bothered reading the article. I get enough exaggeration, hyperbole, distortion, and argument for the sake of argument right here. But it would be remiss of me not to throw in my own little hand grenade.

    The thing that people misunderstand about superzooms is that they are NOT universal, do-everything lenses. They are every bit as specialised and limited as a 100mm macro or a 10-22 UWA or a 400mm prime. Contrary to the usual dismissive description of them as "do everything badly lenses" - and yes, I've been known to say that myself - they actually do some things pretty well. Granted, these are things we normally regard as undemanding, things we could do as well or better with the appropriate more specialised lens, but they are common, frequently needed things just the same.

    Think it through:

    A fast 85mm prime has brilliant image quality and is great for shallow depth of field and stopping action, but it can only do moderate telephoto shots. As a birding lens it's pointless. As a wide-angle landscape lens it's useless. No lens can do everything.

    A good 10-22/3.5-4.5 is fantastic for wide-angle work, small and light to carry, but no good in low light and obviously useless for anything requiring normal length or more. No lens can do everything.

    A nice 18-250 is great for traveling light and does most of the everyday stuff most people want very handily, but it's no good in low light and pretty hopeless at the long end. No lens can do everything.

    Three examples: all three have things they can do and things they can't do. So why all the fuss? Three reasons:

    (1) Sales droids pretend that superzooms can do everything, which they certainly can't. Some things they are great for, some they can't do at all, some things they just do rather badly.

    (2) People believe the droids. Too many people.

    (3) Most (not all) of the things a traditional specialised lens can't do, it simply can't do at all. A 100/2.8 macro simply does not take pictures at 28mm. A 16-35/4L simply doesn't do beautiful fuzzy-background portraits at sensible working distances. But many of the things a superzoom can't do it actually can do. Sort of. After a fashion. Trying to use a cheap 18-250 wide open in poor light at 250mm is every bit as pointless as trying to do close-up tennis action with a 15mm fisheye - but you do at least get a shot, even if it's a very bad one.

    My point here is that although superzooms are much the same as any other class of lenses - they have a set of possibilities and work quite well within those limits but cannot go outside them - we have different expectations. Because superzooms can take shots outside their limitations (albeit bad ones) we tend to blame the lens ("look at this shot - bloody lens is useless, isn't it!") instead of blaming ourselves ("look at this shot, it's lousy - if only I'd used the 50/1.4 instead!")

    Ahh, it's late and I'm ranting like Arthur already. Must be past time for bed.
    Tony

    Edit and critique at will. Tokina 10-17 fish, Canon 10-22, 24-105, 100-400, TS-E 24, 35/1.4, 60 macro, 100L macro, 500/4, Wimberley, MT-24EX, 580EX-II, 1D IV, 7D, 5D II, 50D.

  6. #6
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    ......

    Ahh, it's late and I'm ranting like Arthur already. Must be past time for bed.
    Completely agree



    ..... with your assessment of what a superzoom lens can be.

  7. #7
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Certainly, that article should be put to sleep, but I just realised at least my response didn't answer your thread postulate, Kym.

    EDIT: For "superzoom" read "megazoom", or use interchageably.

    Are superzooms useless?

    Superzoom (a possible description): a zoom lens with a fairly large zoom range, eg, f=28-200mm, f=50-500mm.
    Say, zoom ranges of about 6x or higher??

    Now, are they useless? - Ie, of no practical use?

    Hmm! Well, that would be hard to say, because one thing that it would depend on is the image quality the lens can produce over the zoom range.
    Since there are quite a few superzoom implementations - compact cameras as well as separate lenses - a general statement to cover them all
    could not be made.

    Therefore, to finalise a reply: I couldn't say, but neither could you say that they are useless.

    Am(pedantically).
    Last edited by ameerat42; 03-09-2014 at 9:15am.

  8. #8
    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    I had a chuckle at the line..

    the megazoom leaves the ambitious photographer imprisoned by the restrictions of its quality and its physics.


    I had visions of a once bright-eyed photographer curled up in a ball sobbing "Help me...I am ruined by my 50-500. It's sabotaged my photos "
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  9. #9
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, such boof-headery is rife, Matt.

  10. #10
    Member John Humpo's Avatar
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    Just to add a few words on Super zooms, I have just returned from a trip to Italy, Greece, Istanbul & around the Mediterranean (Lucky bugger) I wanted a lens to take that was convenient (never had to change lenses), not to heavy, had an adequate zoom range along with better than reasonable picture quality, the lens I chose (after a lot of Google work) was the latest Sigma 18-250mm whilst I realised it was never going to give me Prime lens sharpness I was surprised at how sharp it was across most of its range IMHO Impressive for the price, in the wash up its a "horses for courses" scenario especially if you don't want to continuously swap out lenses & miss a shot. just my 2 bobs worth.

  11. #11
    New Member channeL7's Avatar
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    Click bait and poor writing is what I read. The comments, as ameerat42 says, have more substance than the article.

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Member Morgo's Avatar
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    At the end of the day it is the same old truth.

    You get what you pay for.

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