It's a bird

by Vian Esterhuizen

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The 1200mm lens you cite is something of an aberration, since it's built-to-order, not a general-market lens — see Why are some big telephoto lenses so expensive compared to telescopes? and Why are some lenses so expensive?. But the general rule holds true: lenses for DSLRs and most mirrorless cameras are gigantic compared to those in superzoom cameras. ...


The mount's throat diameter limits the exit pupil diameter. It also has strong control over vignetting, so it restricts the pursuit of ultra-large aperture lenses with acceptable light falloff.


The Canon lens has focal length of 1200mm and maximum aperture of f/5.6, whereas the Nikon lens has a focal length (at the long end) of 357mm and maximum aperture of f/6.5. So the Canon lens is longer and has a faster aperture, which requires a larger front element, 214mm vs 55mm. This is a substantial difference and makes the Canon larger, heavier and more ...


Smaller format lenses are eased by having lower maximum image heights and smaller fields of view at the same focal length. Each aberration has explicit field dependencies which describe the rate at which they grow. For the following equations, y is the ray height at the lens and h is image height. Spherical Aberration varies by y3. Coma varies by y2h. ...


For Canon, the EF-S was designed to precicely scale down the geometry of EF by the crop factor. SO, the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 gets its design kick-started by shrinking down the existing design for ... well, they don't make a EF 27-88, so not the clearest example. But I have read that some designs are scaled down. IAC, the rather large 17-55 is 1.6× smaller ...


To build on the other answers, this is indeed caused by a lens with undercorrected petzval. It is also vignetted, but more in one plane than the other. Here you can see a ray intercept plot for a large format tessar lens, these are also known as RIM plots or H'-TanU' Curves. On a RIM plot of the line is clipped, it indicates vignetting. You will notice ...

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