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Are Hyperzooms That Bad?  
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 11 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1686 times:

I was looking back at some old posts, and Hyperzooms seem to have a pretty bad reputation.

I recently bought a Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 ASP Hyperzoom, and have been using it exclusively (on aviation shots anyway) for the past 2 months. Here are some of the pics I've taken with it.

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Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Charles Falk

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Charles Falk

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Charles Falk

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Charles Falk

I know that definition is hard to judge in this format, but I can't really see any difference between these pics (and their originals) and what I used to get with my 100-300mm and 28-105mm lenses. Can anyone see a difference, or am I missing something?

So is the bad reputation of Hyperzooms a predjudice that belongs in the past?


8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAndyEastMids From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 1030 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (13 years 11 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1598 times:


In my opinion, not all of these lenses are really bad, and the ones that are not so good are only bad when you try to push the envelope. You've said recently that you try to stop down to F8 most of the time, and I suspect that helps a lot. There's very few lenses that are that really bad when stopped down. Where quality (or lack of it) shows is when you're trying to use a lens at its widest aperture, and also at its longest or shortest zooms at the same time.

Looking at those pictures you've selected, three are in bright sunshine so I'd guess you're stopped down a bit. None of them look like you're stretching the 300mm end of the lens, or the 28mm end either.

I'd suggest you shoot some stuff on a dull day with the lens wide open at maximum and minimum focal lengths and make some judgements based on those results. Having said that, technology moves on all the time and all you need to do is think back 20 years and consider all the folks who condemned ANY sort of zoom, so these lenses are bound to be getting better as time moves on.


User currently offlineDa fwog From United Kingdom, joined Aug 1999, 867 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (13 years 11 months 21 hours ago) and read 1560 times:

The hyperzooms are very useful to have on the front of your camera for a catch-all, and the quality is comparable to what you'll get from carrying around a budget 70-210 or 70-300 and 28-80 (or 28-105 as you say). You will usually find that at the 300mm end it will be noticeably slower than a 70-300 (maybe 2/3 stop to a stop), and the quality usually degrades quite sharply once you pass the well-used 200/210mm range.

I would say that for most people for most circumstances, a hyperzoom will do almost as well as separate short and long zooms - the quality of the optics is similar. But there are also some really pretty good medium-range zooms (Nikkor & Canon 80-200/70-210 F4-5.6) that will produce better results for less money. I bought a secondhand Nikkor 80-200 F4-5.6 for £99 and it blows every other similar zoom I've ever had out of the water, including the Sigma 70-300 Super Apo Macro which was £300.

Doesn't get even close to the 70-200F2.8 though! Big grin


User currently offlineTappan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1538 posts, RR: 41
Reply 3, posted (13 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 1557 times:

I am still waiting for Canon to come out with a 14mm-1200mm zoom lens  Smile
Mark G

User currently offlineAirNikon From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 290 posts, RR: 35
Reply 4, posted (13 years 11 months 19 hours ago) and read 1563 times:

Lofty goal Mark! I'll settle for a fast 18-300, smaller than a beer can, and costs less than a compact car!

Don't get married, don't have kids, and you will have more money than you know what to do with...
User currently offlineTappan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1538 posts, RR: 41
Reply 5, posted (13 years 11 months 19 hours ago) and read 1558 times:

How 'bout an 18-300 2.8, not just smaller than a beer can, but actually a beer can. You can take pictures then drink from it.... Smile

User currently offlineAKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 45
Reply 6, posted (13 years 11 months 19 hours ago) and read 1555 times:


Good laugh on a Friday evening. Let me know when Canon will come out with that lense, maybe then Nikon can be convinced to do the same thing, I would settle with a 14mm-1000mm zoom, that would do it for me.....


User currently offlineN949WP From Hong Kong, joined Feb 2000, 1437 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (13 years 11 months 16 hours ago) and read 1544 times:

Mmmmm............given the fact that Canon's current EF 1200mm f/5.6 already cost well over US$130K (custom orders only), I wonder how shocking will the price tag be if they ever come out with a 14-1000mm like you guys fantasize about!!  Wow!


User currently offlineUSAir_757 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 996 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (13 years 11 months 8 hours ago) and read 1529 times:

Maybe I will give that Pentax 28-200 a chance...

-Cullen Wassell @ MLI | Pentax K5 + DA18-55WR + Sigma 70-300 DL Macro Super
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