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Thread: Camera and lens combo weight.

  1. #1
    Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Camera and lens combo weight.

    Hello,
    I have recently moved to a Canon 7D II and a Canon 100-400 mk2. The kit weighs about 2.5kg. Not a lot of weight in the scheme of things. My previous camera was a Canon 750D and a Tamron 18-400 lens.

    First time use of the camera, my ropey, 70y+ old spine extracted a payment from my body after a walk of only 3K. I tend to carry my camera in my right hand, secured with an over the left shoulder cross body sling. As a walk it is at the lower end of walking distance, I regularly cover 6 or 7K a day. It would seem this camera load may need reducing. There are some structural problems with my frame. A lot of good physio work went into repairs.

    I think the Canon combination is ideal for bird photography, however I need to manage my back in some way. My thoughts are running towards a Sony RX10 IV to replace the Canon system. I most assuredly don’t want to give up photography nor walking. Reading posts it would seem the camera/lens weight regularly comes up.

    Any RX10 experience or comments please?

    Thanks and kind regards,
    Journeyman

  2. #2
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I think the major consideration here is going to be : how much image quality are you willing to sacrifice for weight savings?

    I totally understand your plight JM.

    I have a knee disability which doesn't help with walking at all. I've figured out over the COVID lockdown that my maximum walking distance is about 3-5klm .. depending on ambient temp(hotter = less, cooler = more).

    Carrying loads doesn't bother me tho, unlike your spinal issue. Mine is simply knee swelling as I walk.

    So, do you do photography because you are out walking/exercising? Or do you go out for a walk because you enjoy photography as a hobby?

    ie. which is 'more important' to you.
    If IQ is of high priority, and you're currently shooting a lot at the 400mm end of the focal length range, then I'd forget about the RX10 type of hybrid/P&S/DSLR-ish camera.

    You will have two issues to deal with by way of comparison to what you have at the moment.

    1/. light issues. RX10 at the long end, while it looks like '400mm' like focal length, you should remember that it's a cropped image of what you currently have.
    That is: cropped sensor(relative to the 7D's APS-C).
    2/. because of the above, it's aperture is a 'relative' f/4 irrespective of what the actual numbers indicate that it is. ie. it's f/4 aperture is not the same as a 7D's f/4 aperture. The RX10's f/4 by comparison to the 7D is a smaller f/4 apertruere size, in actual physical millimeter sizing. the nett effect is lower light for the same situations you currently photograph under. So if you're currently shooting the 7D/100-400 at an average of ISO 3200 for many images, then expect that an RX10 in the same conditions will probably require at least ISO6400 .. maybe more.

    Smaller sensors and higher ISO always equate to lower overall IQ, for the same tech currency.


    I would recommend that you seriously consider a smaller/lighter lens as a primary method to lower the travel weight.
    Do you still have the Tammy 18-400, or did it go with the 750D? If it's gone, consider the slightly lighter Tamron and Sigma 100-400 mm lenses respectively.
    From memory they cost approx low $1K price range. IQ is relatively good, although they do have a max f/6.3 at the long end(hence why they are lighter than a Canon 100-400 lens).

    I think weight advantage is approx 1/2 kg ... will take the 7D + lens combo to 2kg. Do you think this is enough of a weight savings?

    If not, consider some of the 70-300mm lenses out there. Losing 100mm on those consumer type lenses could be worth the 1kg weight savings(ie. taking the combo to 1.5kg or so).
    Canon have a 70-300mm lens in their range. decent weight savings compared to the 100-400 lens too. would take your combo up to 1.6kg.
    Alternatively again, Sigma and Tamron have cheaper versions .. they all seem to have roughly similar specs in terms of weight(~700gr)

    Another alternative again is to go with a m4/3rds system.
    Sensor is smaller than the 1" RX10 camera, but then you have better choices of lenses to compensate for that(RX10 is fixed lens).
    Panasonics' 50-200/2.8-4 lens has a decent reputation for IQ. Matched to a lighter weight m4/3rds body, you will be between 1-1.5kg for a combo.

    Just throwing out some options for 'ya.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon}; -> 50/1.2 : 500/8 : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8 ais : 105mm f/1.8 ais : 24mm/2 ais
    {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

    {Yongnuo}; -> YN35/2N : YN50/1.8N


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    Thanks for the considered reply

    Thanks Arthur,
    I am a bird photographer, the walking is a great bonus. Your reply has prompted me to look a little further. I have the Tamron lens and for that matter the 750D as well.

    I went down this road to improve my photos, in particular more frames per second. I also have a Canon 400 prime. Bit shaky and Mr Magoo like. One thought I had was to use the either the 750d or the 7D with the Tamron and the 400.

    I really hate giving up, I might tune up with the 750 for a couple of days then switch to the 7D with those two lenses.

    Possibly a better sling set up and a way to distribute the weight.

    Thank you very much for your help,
    Kind regards, Journeyman

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    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    Just looking at the 200-600 Sony lens and it alone is 2.1 Kg so I dont see you saving much in the weight department if you were to go with an interchangeable lens Sony.
    Last edited by J.davis; 08-11-2020 at 10:26pm.
    Regards
    John
    Nikon D750, Sigma 105mm OS Macro, Tokina 16-28 F2.8, Sigma 24-105 Art, Sigma 150-600C,
    Benro Tripod and Monopod with Arca plates


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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    .... I have the Tamron lens and for that matter the 750D as well.

    ....
    Yeah .. I would try out the Tammy 18-400 lens on the 7D for a while and see if that helps .. weight wise at least.
    At 700g or so .. at least you have started to lighten the load a little.

    Just some basic physical limits that no manufacturer has got around ... lenses with higher focal length multiplication numbers almost always have lower quality output than those with lower multiplication factors.

    So, a 20x zoom lens in effect will never output IQ like a 4x zoom lens will.
    This is one of those situations where you need to factor in your personal situation into the mix tho .. so for the weight, maybe the Tammy 18-400mm will provide better than expected IQ.

    If this camera lens combo is workable for you(ie. the weight savings have helped) .. then definitely look into (say) a 70-300 lens as an IQ upgrade. These 70-300 consumer grade lenses can have half decent IQ .. especially compared to the 'super zoom' lenses out there.

    if you are curious to 'see this' for yourself, I recommend going onto The Digital Picture website.
    Whilst the images are only of printed targets, at least it allows some idea of the difference in IQ between 'lens A' and 'lens B'
    So what you would do is once on TDP site, click the Tamron Lenses link and locate the 18-400 lens. Click on Image Quality and it brings up a new page with the test target image range.
    There are some variable settings you can set yourself, Set camera to 7DMkII. There is a compared too half of this webpage. On the RHS set the other lens to the Canon 70-300 II lens. Now set the other variables to 400mm for the Tammy lens and then set the Canon lens to 300mm.
    As you move the mouse over the image on screen it flicks between the two IQ tests for each lens.
    This is a very easy way to see for yourself the difference between lens IQ.
    You will see that with those parameters set up on that website/lens comparison page .. the 18-400mm can't compare to the Canon 70-300II. Tammy 70-300 doesn't fare as well.

    Another tip to look into.
    One of the basic issues that these 20x zoom lenses can have is misfocus .. so for the user it's hard to know if the lens is soft in terms of IQ, or has it misfocused.

    The 7D would offer more accurate/better focusing compared to a 750D will offer (if it doesn't, something is wrong). But don't rely on this body upgrade scenario to give you perfect focus.
    I would check focus accuracy at the long end to start with.
    Get it on a tripod, outdoors good light, so high shutter speed and low ISO. Look for any subject that 'replicates' a bird like situation. Could be a picket fence, or a peg on a clothes line, but HAS to be static so that results are easily reproducible without question.
    Sometimes a printed target can be good, but not always .. everyday subjects can also offer good insight.

    Anyhow, get the subject lined up, camera and lens on tripod and take some shots. Set focus manually to infinity and then AF to get the shot, also try it the other way around and move focus to minimum focus distance(MFD) and try AF again. It's not unusual to see AF not be as accurate one way compared to the other.
    if you find that focusing at 400mm may be just ever so slightly off, and if the camera supports 'AF fine tune'(most likely will) .. maybe adjust the AF to get it more accurate. May help with overall IQ.

  6. #6
    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    What about one of the harnesses for carrying your camera. Then the weight will be carried in the centre of the chest and you can be hands free except when taking photos. For me, carrying the camera like that made a huge difference, particularly if the going it a bit rough.

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    Ever thankful photo person

    It is both wonderful and humbling to see the responses. Thank you.

    What I am also trying to avoid is being precious about this thing. Any problem of this type will have a suitably simple solution.
    A Kodak Instamatic is too simple (although...). It seems as though the best IQ will come from one of the interchangeable combinations.

    So my aim is to find a way to have the 7DII, EF400 prime and either an EF70-300 USM or a Tamron or EF ???-400 zoom. I have a 1.4 Canon convertor which suits the EF lenses.
    Plus a sling or harness and a bag of some suitable sort.

    I went out with the Tamron and the EF400 this morning. Both work well of course, the carry was ok, I changed the lens over back at the car halfway through.

    In my mind this should sort the problem out once and for all. Kit may look like:
    Canon 7DII,
    Canon EF400 5.6
    Canon EF 70 - 300 or other zoom,
    Canon 1.4 convertor.


    As always thank you, let you know how it all turns out.
    Kind regards,
    Journeyman (Dennis)

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    Replacement 100-400?

    Hello,
    I would like to follow up on this request for info.

    The time has come to seriously consider an alternative to my Canon EF 100-400 4.5/5.6 L II. A shame, however I am not enjoying the walks that go along with bird photography. This lens is a high quality lens with stunning results. My thoughts have moved to either a Sigma or Tamron 100-400.
    I like my Tamron 18-400, although on max extension it is a little short of 400.

    The reviews seem to be positive, Digital Picture has good things to say about the 100-400s.
    My question to the forum- has anyone used either of the lenses and are you happy with the results? Aftermarket tripod foot?

    As always, thank you for your input,
    Kind regards,
    Journeyman

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    Member robz's Avatar
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    Like Farmmax, I think you could look at a different carrying style before changing equipment. I too have neck and lower back issues and am finding it harder to carry lots of kit. Have a chat to your phsio or seek out a physio who specializes in work-place injury or in ergonomics. Perhaps changing the position on your back or carrying it on your front (or both) at a specific level may help.
    There are lots of sites on the internet that give the same general advice.... no more than 15% of your body weight,, keep the load close to your body. wide straps.. position of pack etc... But talk to a physiotherapist in this field and you might find a good solution.

    ps.. time to update my pack as well.

  10. #10
    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    I have a heavy lens/camera combo and I went with an aftermarket strap and carabinas (replaced the dog clips and drilled two holes in the end of the plate) to connect to an Arca Swiss Plate on the lens foot, can lug it around all day now.

    20151006-Lens strap-2.jpg

  11. #11
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    100-400 aftermarket lenses

    Thanks for the ongoing support and info.

    If possible I would like opinions on both the Tamron and Sigma 100-400 lenses. My 18-400 Tamron does not reach 400 on the narrow end. I have read reviews on both and both sound ok with no particular clear advantage to either.

    I would like to buy an aftermarket 100-400 that has a true 400.

    The other possibility is a bridge camera, I understand the downside of these cameras. I also understand there is an upside. Either Sony RX10 IV (or just a V would be good) or Panasonic FZ. Convenience is the goal.

    Thank you and kind regards,
    Journeyman

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