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Thread: Hypothetically speaking : Is it Technically Possible to create a fast super tele?

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    Hypothetically speaking : Is it Technically Possible to create a fast super tele?

    I was just watching a TV show where a guy (private detective) is using a 70-200 F2.8 to take few pictures during night. of course being a tv show he can take blur free pictures of moving objects in near total darkness.

    but it got me thinking that is it possible to make a lens that can achieve this for real.

    Something like a 70-200 F1.0 (f1.2)or a 100-400mm F1.0 (F1.2)

    my question is that is it technically (and financially) possible to create a lens like that ..as i am sure such a lens wont have issue selling itself.

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    Technically, it's possible. How much you got, how good's your tripod?

    There's been über fast teles been made, faster than what we get now.
    The soviets made a 125mm f/1.5
    Killfitt/Zoomar made a 75/1.3, 180 f/1.3, 240 f/1.2.

    Those were all back in the 60s to 80s, manual focus and all. Then take into account that the Zoomars covers 6x7 (that 240mm link is on a Pentax 67 body, it's about the size of a 1DX give or take). The image you get on a 6x7 photo is like putting a 102mm f/0.5 on a FF dslr. The Jupiter even covers 4x5", that's a FF equivalent of 30mm f/0.4.
    Even by mounting, say, that 240mm f/1.2 on a FF DSLR you're going to have trouble focussing, you'll have to set your tripod in concrete or vibrations might muck your DOF.

    Then imagine making one of them today. Putting in AF, imagine the size of the elements that you'd have to move to AF. Put in IS, that's more lens elements to move. That 240mm f/1.2 is going to have the same size elements as an 800mm f/4.0 (just not as long barrel). If you think that the 800mm is a huge and expensive lens, a 240 f/1.2 is going to be a lot worse, and not that many people can afford a $30k 20kg lens...
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
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    Doesn't Sigma make a 200-500 f/2.8 ... I think it weighs about 36lbs and costs $26,000.00. I heard Fox Sports used one to film and broadcast part of the World Series. So you could probably double or triple those figures to make one even faster.

    Due to the optics involved, at a certain point it becomes impractical for normal use due to the size and weight of the glass elements. Look on Google for the Canon 5200mm f/14 prime lens.

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    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    Doesn't Sigma make a 200-500 f/2.8 ... I think it weighs about 36lbs and costs $26,000.00.
    Sigma 200-500 f/2.8 Auto focus and power zoom but no IS as if you would hand hold LOL
    Mark

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    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    Doesn't Sigma make a 200-500 f/2.8 ... I think it weighs about 36lbs and costs $26,000.00. I heard Fox Sports used one to film and broadcast part of the World Series.
    "Fast" is relative, of course. But Canon makes lenses with an image circle sized for a 2/3" sensor that achieve 930mm f/4.7 (that's real focal length, not 'crop factor adjusted' which would be 3655mm f/18). These are field lenses for broadcast HDTV - for example, the DIGISUPER 100 xs is a 9.3-930mm f/1.7-4.7 lens, with a built-in 2x TC for 1860mm f/9.4, and it's an image-stabilized lens. It's a 10x10" lens (that's why they're called 'box lenses') that's 2 feet long and weighs over 50 lbs, and it can be yours for a mere $175,000.

    Speaking of big lenses and baseball games, I ran across a neat video of these lenses (a DIGISUPER 75 xs) in use by cameraman Tom Guilmette, who shoots Red Sox games at Fenway Park (which I can see from my office, incidentally).



    If you watch through to the end of the video, there's a great shot of a plane flying in front of the full moon taken at 1400mm (700mm w/ 2x extender).

    While we certainly think photo gear is 'expensive', cinema/broadcast TV gear puts it to shame - his tripod head alone costs more than a 600 II.
    Last edited by neuroanatomist; 01-17-2013 at 02:29 PM.

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    $175,000 lens.....cardboard to block the sun.....love it.....

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    The issue with the TV shows is that they shoot hight quality pictures in near pitch darkness (used to be with film cameras too) and not only that. They get f8 type DOF. So the problem is actually high ISO performance. Let´s start dreaming about the 1DXI
    I must admit that I struggle with the very shallow DOF on my 85mm f1.2. I don´t think I would be able to get anything in focus if I went to something like a 200mm f1.2, unless I used a tripod and everything in the image were dead objects.
    Cool ending to the video by the way.

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    Senior Member FastGass's Avatar
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    Vivitar made a nice 135mm f/1.5 as well. But I think the price and the difficulty if using a lens much longer and faster would make is so specialized that it would be VERY expensive.

    John.
    Amateurs worry about gear, pros about the pay, masters about the light, and I just take pictures!

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    Yeah, just as an example, that 240mm f/1.2 I mentioned earlier, it's not there now (so maybe someone bought it?), but for the last few months there was one of them on ebay, auction starting at $20k...
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist View Post
    "Fast" is relative, of course. But Canon makes lenses with an image circle sized for a 2/3" sensor that achieve 930mm f/4.7 (that's real focal length, not 'crop factor adjusted' which would be 3655mm f/18). These are field lenses for broadcast HDTV - for example, the DIGISUPER 100 xs is a 9.3-930mm f/1.7-4.7 lens, with a built-in 2x TC for 1860mm f/9.4, and it's an image-stabilized lens.
    Not only is it image-stabilized, there are internal weights that move around "opposite" to the zoom/focus actions, so that the balance of the overall rig doesn't change during zoom and/or focus. Let's hope Canon doesn't do that to our 100-400s or 28-300s.

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