Humor and Sarcasm

About That 25-300mm f/2.8 You Wanted

Published October 13, 2014

I get an email or text about once a month asking me if I think Canon, Nikon, or some other photo manufacturer will ever make something like a 24-300mm f/2.8 zoom lens. I’m usually gentle with those people, because I realize that a lot of people truly believe that if they want something badly enough, someone could make it for them. Occasionally, someone exhibits the Dunning-Kruger Effect and tells me that they know it’s a plot on the part of the manufacturers to make us buy multiple lenses instead of just one that could do everything.

I had another one of those emails a few days ago, so I thought it might be interesting to show everyone what a 25-300mm f/2.8 would (approximately) look like. We don’t actually have a photo lens of that specification, but our video friends do: The Fujinon 25-300mm T3.5. (For those who don’t know, f is a calculated value, T is actual light transmission. Most f/2.8 lenses are T3.5 to T3.8.)

The Fujinon is a PL mount lens, so I’m afraid you won’t be able to adapt it to your 5DIII or D810. If you really want to, though, you could buy a PL modified Canon 7D camera and use this as your walk-around lens.

About How Big is that?

The lens is in a video housing, so that makes it a bit larger than an SLR designed lens of the same specifications would be. But it’s 16 inches long, which wouldn’t change much if it were an SLR lens. That’s more than twice as long as a Canon or Nikon 70-200 f/2.8. It’s just about an inch longer than a Nikon or Canon 500mm f/4 lens.


The Fujinon 35-300mm next to a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR II


Those of you who shoot with filters might be unhappy with the 135mm front element, and that wouldn’t be any different if it was a photo, rather than video lens.


Front element of the Fuji (right) and a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR II (left)


It weighs in at 18.5 pounds. To compare with something most people have handled, the Nikon and Canon 70-200 f/2.8 lenses weigh in at about 3.5 pounds. Even the Canon 600mm f/4 IS weighs only 8.7 pounds. The Nikon 600 f/4 VR is closer, at 11.5 pounds.



Granted, some of the Fujinon’s weight comes from it’s video housing, zoom, and focus mechanism. From comparing video and photo versions of nearly identical lenses (from Canon and Zeiss) we could figure the Fujinon in SLR dress would weight 2 or 3 pounds less, so we’ll be charitable and say that it could probably come in no heavier than a Nikon 600 f/4.

So, for those of you who are still lusting after a 25-300 f/2.8 lens, it is available for purchase. It will run you about $44,000, but hey, you’ll save on all those other lenses it will replace.



Roger Cicala, Aaron Closz and Darryl Bolin

October, 2014


Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

Posted in Humor and Sarcasm
  • Penny Carlson

    I see 5 years have gone by and no one has come up with a solution. Tamron did just come out with a 35-150mm f/2.8. It is fairly heavy and still won’t go as wide or as long as you would need for say architecture and wildlife respectively. It’s probably really nice for portraits though.

  • I say f/5.6 is not f/2.8. For example, the aperture (light opening) at 300mm for f/5.6 is 53mm. For an f/2.8 it is 107mm, more than twice as wide. That basically means all the glass in front of the aperture has to be MORE than twice as wide as it would for the Nikon 28-300mm.

    Then there’s the image quality part, but that’s a much longer discussion.

  • Ian

    So, what do you have to say about this company’s offering?

  • MPNavrozjee

    I can just imagine the reactions of subjects if a tourist tried to use this as their walk-around lens.

    Long ago, a friend of mine borrowed by new Rollei medium format SLR and the attached 150mm lens and walked around mid-town Manhattan taking pictures. The first human he attempted to snap with this obtrusive combo politely told him that he, the subject, would feed my friend the camera and lens the moment the shutter went off.

  • I think more than 2 to 3 pounds could be shaved off of a photo version of this lens. Why do I think that? Because most of the photographers who want a 25-300mm f2.8 want just that – they are not asking for a t2.8, the f2.8 is what they are after. There is usually about 2/3 of a stop between “f” and “t” values, and we all know what a huge, enormous difference 2/3 of a stop can mean with respect to size and weight.

    As someone who uses the original Canon 400 f2.8 IS, at almost 13 pounds, as his everyday “walkaround” lens, I do not really see much of a problem with a 25-300mm lens being the same approximate size and weight. What do I usually use when I am not using my old, heavy 400 f2.8? My Sigmonster – the 300-800mm f5.6, which is larger, and just as heavy. A 25-300mm would fit right into my arsenal!

  • Peter

    All silliness aside, I’d love to see some even eyeball tests of sharpness. Size and weight is one issue, but the bigger one is image quality. Even 4k video needs a lot less than a 16MP still. A lot of the video lenses are obnoxiously bad when used for stills since they don’t need it. My impression was that, historically, fast long zooms were more limited by optical abberations (which increase with both zoom and speed) than by cost/size/weight.

    But it looks like a new lens, claims to do 4k, and we’ve had a lot of recent progress in optics.

    Even a few sample test shots would say a lot.

  • Anton

    Haha, funny.
    But what is the sensor size is Fuji made for?

  • Carl

    I think a 24-70 f/2.0 would weigh at least 1/2 pound less than a 70-200 f/2.8, and would also be shorter…thus less front heavy. And like I said, a 45-150 f/1.8 would probably weigh the same, or possibly less, than the current 200 f/2.0 prime (certainly under 6 lbs, and possibly under 5…or if it were a “DO”, perhaps 4 or less).

    Would I carry the 24-70 f/2.0 around? Like where, at a pro shoot where I needed it, or at a day long travel destination with a lot of hiking involved? I doubt anyone would use it for that, but all you need is a good strap or other support device. Those are getting better, although there are some strap companies that throw their weight around and put others out of business.

  • LeGO

    Kevin: Thanks for commenting and for your suggestions.

    A stop faster will be easier to implement in a lens with a shorter focal length than with a lens with a considerably longer focal length. To illustrate, the exit pupil of a 24-70mm f/2.0 in the 70mm end would be 35mm while a 70-200mm f/2.8 in the 200mm would have an exit pupil of at least 71.5mm. That’s quite a considerable difference in the exit pupil despite the 70mm being f/2.0 and the 200mm being f/2.8.

    The difference in size and weight would be far more pronounced when working with a longer focal length. I know better than to ask for a one-stop faster lens with a considerably longer focal length whenever I switch from my 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom to my 200mm f/2.0 prime. =)

    A 24-70mm f/2.0 would still be quite manageable and yes, I would carry it around. I seek such a lens not just for a shallower DOF and bokeh but primarily for it being brighter and thus requiring a stop lower in ISO setting. Video shooting does not always allow one to use a low shutter speed unlike stills. A quick replacement of lenses is always an option or even possible when shooting continuous video so a zoom such as the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.0 would be very handy for such use. As I always use a tripod with me, the bigger size and heavier weight of a 24-70mm f/2.0 lens is not such an issue even for extended use. But even when used handheld, hand holding a 24-70mm f/2.0 would not be such an issue as I am quite used to handholding my 70-200mm f/2.8 for extended periods of time.

  • LeGo: You can make a rought guess the size and weight by scaling existing lens.

    A stop faster? The diameter increases by 1.4x and weight increases by 2x (the lenses are discs so sacling roughly as the square of the diameter).

    Do you really want a full frame Sigma 24-70mm f/2.0?

    Would you carry it around?

    I could see an APS f/2.0 16-47mm (24-70mm equivalent) being around the same weight and size as the full frame 24-70mm f/2.8. People might use that but the weight is a cost. If you really want the focus seperation/bokeh use a lighter prime and change lenses.

  • LeGO

    Thanks for the laughs Roger.

    The 300mm f/2.8 long end of the zoom ensures that a 25-300mm f/2.8 lens will be a monster. But how about showing something a zoom lens within the realm of possibilities?

    I am thinking about a much more manageable shorter focal length for the long end. , e.g., instead of a 3x f/2.8 zoom, a 4x zoom 24-100mm f/2.8, or even a 5x zoom of 24-120mm f/2.8. The Olympus m4/3 40-150mm f/2.8 shows how a 3.75x zoom with a substantial long end would like with a m4/3 sensor. How would such a zoom look like with a wider short end and a shorter long end on an m4/3 sensor, such as a 12 to 60mm f/2.8 for m4/3? How about a 24-120mm f/2.8 for a “fullframe sensor”?

    An alternative lens would be a wider-opening zoom. Given my good experience with the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8, I am looking forward to the rumored “fullframe” Sigma 24-70mm f/2.0. An enlarged “fullframe” 18-35mm f/2.0 would also not be a bad idea.

    Can anyone model how these lenses would look like even as just a simple drawing?

  • Ok, it’s humongous, but is the image quality not atrocious?

    I guess the small premium in comparison to a 35mm superzoom is in part reflected in the image quality 😉

  • Taildraggin

    I still don’t know what I don’t know, but now it is comforting to know that I will not ever know.

  • Carl

    You should have shot a picture of it next to the Sigma 200-500 f/2.8! Then it wouldn’t look so big :)…Let’s see one of you hold it out supporting its front end with only one hand!

    Honestly I would be happy with a 45-150mm f/1.8 with IS, that AF’s as fast as the fastest lenses. That seems be very doable and not too large or heavy, and the range would be truly perfect for most portraiture and low light short telephoto imaging (would definitely take the place of both a 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8…other than for very wide angle shots.)

    It might be expensive…but I doubt it would need to cost as much as the EF 200-400 f/4. And seems like it could weigh about 5 pounds, or possibly less.

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