Zoom Lens

There were stories - rumours on the internet - the occasional sighting. "I've got one and its wonderful" "The best zoom lens ever made!" 
Tales emerged of large amounts of money changing hands for second hand copies. 
They were rumoured to be made in very small quantities and released sporadically. 
There were rumours that they weren't made any more.

But back to the beginning.

Working with prime lenses has its attractions, with time to spare and an undemanding schedule, the photographic process is an enjoyable one, with time to experiment and try different combinations, different angles etc. Under those conditions manual focusing also proves seductive, particularly with beautifully made metal M-Mount Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander examples.

But what if its hot, you're tired. You're staggering down the high street of yet another pretty English village. You want a wide angle-shot of the whimsical knitted clogs shop, and then you want a telephoto shot of the folly on the hill made from brown ale bottles. Then you notice a man dressed as penguin behind you, and you have to have to have a shot of that. As you make your third lens change in as many minutes, try to find which pocket you left the lens cap for the 50mm in, you miss the world war one biplane and the team of morris men parachuting onto the church roof.

You say to yourself, "I've got to get an all-one zoom. This is ridiculous" But then you remember, "Superzooms are crap!" Well not crap exactly, but generally not very good. Compromises. You remember you loved using them but the results were always disappointing.

There are some pretty good zooms, the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 and 24-70mm f2.8. They are good. But they're incredibly heavy and they don't cover a wide enough range.

But what if?, just imagine, is it possible? that there could exist a zoom out there that was reasonably light, covered a range of 28-300 in 35mm terms and had the quality of a prime lens throughout its range?

These thoughts have entered my head from time to time and I had resigned myself to consigning them to the photographers idle daydream catergory.

Until a few days ago I was looking at a few favourite photographic websites, trying desperately to avoid editing the vast number of images that have accumulated in my "In Progress" folder. Nice name that, really means "I haven't got round to doing anything anything about these yet"

I followed a link to an obsure far eastern website, who were reviewing some aforementioned 28-300 equivalent zooms.

They used a shot of a circuit board as a test. Then showed a blow up from a new lens that has just come onto the market, a competitors lens available for a while and a lens they had tested some years ago.

My eyes ran down them idly, and I thought I really must get back to editing, until suddenly I noticed the third shot - which even allowing for the fact the samples are of different sizes was substantially sharper.

My interest was aroused and I decided to investigate.

TO BE CONTINUED..........................................