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 EffectΒ 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
  • Steve

    I’m holding out for the EF 14-500mm f2.0
    I could shoot anything with that sucker !!! πŸ™‚

  • Mike

    The weight is dominated by the size of the front element, which in turn depends on the (maximum) focal length and max. aperture.

    It would have been more adequate to place the lens next to a 300/2.8.

  • Branko Collin

    That Canon is available for EF mount, weighs 6.6 kilograms (which is [WEIRD_AMERICAN_POUNDS]) and has a transmission range (if that is the word) of T5.0 at the wide end to T13.35 at the long.

  • Speed

    Canon announced a 50-1000/75-1500 mm (built in 1.5 teleconverter).

    Canon has bolstered its cine-servo lens line-up with the new CN20x 50 IAS H E1/P1 high performance, ultra-telephoto zoom lens for sports and nature TV production. Delivering superb 4K image quality and exceptional creative control, the CN20x 50 IAS H E1/P1 is the first lens to combine a built-in 1.5x extender, class-leading 20x magnification and a removable servo drive, with a native 50-1000mm focal range that extends to a huge 75-1500mm.

    Hold on to your wallets.

  • If the bench can’t, maybe imatest will work?

  • Wally

    A comparison of what a video lens adds in terms of size and weight. A Zeiss CZ 70-200 T2.9 in F-mount compared to a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Note: the CZ is a compact zoom in video terms, but does cover FF.

    Zeiss Nikon
    Length 250 mm 206 mm
    Diameter 95 mm 86 mm
    Weight 2.8 kg 1.5 kg
    Price $20,000 $2,400

    So a little longer, a little larger in diameter, a lot heavier and a lot more money for the video version.

  • Roger Cicala

    Absolutely, Chris. I had a lot of fun telling Darryl he’d made the big time and was now an object of online discussion πŸ™‚

  • @Chris: Too bad modern cameras only have face recognition and not lens recognition as an AF mode πŸ˜€

  • Chris B

    Roger –

    Point well taken. And I hope you take my comment as made in good spirits! πŸ™‚


  • brandon

    i think kevin is showing signs of Dunning-Kruger.
    I’m with Aaron in wanting to see the performance of these lenses, but i expect they are nothing really out of the ordinary for normal photography needs. Roger did some stuff a while back with high priced lenses in a 50mm showdown and if i remember correctly they were fine. not amazing good, not bad, but fine.

  • A

    Roger: LOL; you’re one step ahead, as usual!

  • Aaron Bradley

    When I used to work in a video production house (20 years ago), I was curious how these monstrous video lenses compared optically to their lesser photo brethren. I always assumed that they would have less angular resolution because of how coarse the sensors were (720×486 on a 2/3″ sensor used to be a big deal). Of course, high def finally rolled in, and not mentioning all those esoteric cinema lenses lurking in PL land that I never got to play with, resolution requirements skyrocketed.

    So my question to the man with the equipment, the means, and (hopefully) the time: how optically good are these 18.5 lb hunks of glass?

  • Roger Cicala

    Chris, that would be Darryl. He’s a repair tech, not a photographer. You’d be surprised (well, maybe you wouldn’t after looking at the pictures) how many people who work here aren’t. Less than half the staff are experienced photographers or videographers, and during the day most of them are doing customer support or inspecting equipment, so we end up handing a camera set on full auto to a packer, programmer, or repair tech and telling them to take a picture. On our priority list, taking care of equipment, getting the orders filled, and giving customer support come first. These articles are fun, but not a priority.

  • Roger Cicala

    Kevin, our optical bench won’t hold anything this large, I’m afraid.

  • Chris B

    Er…nice article putting wants and expectations in perspective, but who shot the image of the guy holding the lens using, what, f/1.4 making the main subject – the lens – out of focus? Perhaps beyond testing and renting lenses which you guys do a great job of, perhaps practicing USING the lenses wouldn’t hurt. Sorry I couldn’t help myself commenting when I saw that shot… πŸ™‚

  • Kevin Conelly

    I (and a few colleagues) are really curious: Can you publish some measurements? And some of a Zeiss Master Prime? We do of course know that the price tags on these are a result of more than just optical quality, but it would still make for an interesting comparison to photo lenses. Pretty please?

  • Nqina Dlamini

    At around 8Kg your trpod options are a bit limited. Forget about a monopod.

  • Roger Cicala

    A, I was thinking of all the people who don’t want to carry a “huge” 70-200 f/2.8 lens πŸ™‚

  • A

    Probably be better off adding a picture of kit zoom lens #1 alongside the Fuji monster.

    I think (hope!) that most people who know what the 70-200 f2.8 looks like (and costs and weighs), would know better.

    No, I know, I’m dreaming aren’t I πŸ˜‰

  • mrc4nl

    Ive seen old f1.2 zooms from fuijion/fujinon (whatever the name)
    though i wont expect premium IQ out of those lenses.

  • I’ll take the “It does” comment back.

    It will cover full frame from Academy format 35mm (4-perf) not the 8 perf (doubled) still 35mm.

    This lens covers “Super35 4 perf” image circle (that’s a just a bit bigger than APS-C).

    But I think that rather makes Roger’s initial point! Just imagine how big a 42mm image circle lens wouild be πŸ™‚

  • “On the other hand I’m assuming this version doesn’t cover FF35…”

    It does. The PL mount is 54mm in diameter.

    The main sillyness of the 24-300 f/2.8 requirement is “large sensor support”.

    For a lens targeting a smaller sensors the lens would be smaller (linearly) and much lighter (dropping a bit slower than the square of the focal length ratio — most of the barrel is air except for the slabs of glass).

    Perhaps for type 1″ sensors it would work out? And, yes, there is an existance proof for that idea: the Sony RX10.

    Of course for 300mm equivalence the RX10 would need to be a bit bigger but it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility.

  • Ben

    But what about the boooooooooooookeh? :p

  • Oskar Ojala

    There is only one but: according to B&H, the lens has an image circle of only 31.5 mm, a far cry from the 43.3 mm needed to cover full frame. It should be ok for crop sensors though.

  • Ian

    …and the King of the Nikon chess set shudders in fear…but you forgot to mention what shrinking this to m4:3 would do…

  • I’ll take the Angenieux Optimo 24-290mm T2.8 (constant f/2.5!). Only costs around $85-90K =D

  • Joel B.

    It’s important to note that the Fujinon only projects a 31.5mm image circle. 8-perf 35mm (“full frame” 35mm stills) requires a minimum of a 43mm image circle, so a lens for them would be even bigger. APS-C users would be okay using the Fujinon since they only need an image circle about 29mm in diameter to cover the corners.

  • Lee Saxon

    I bet it being varifocal would shave off another pound or two. On the other hand I’m assuming this version doesn’t cover FF35…

  • KyleSTL

    Thank you, Roger, for adding sanity to the online world lacking in it most of the time. Your reference to the Dunning-Kruger Effect is awesome. I’m sure most know of the idea of this effect, but I’m sure a small minority (myself included) knew it had a scientic name and research behind it. Roger, your work is highly informative, entertaining and appreciated.

  • Joachim / CH

    GREAT lens, great article and the title, I’m sure, will be fixed in no time. I miss 10mm πŸ˜‰

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