How much?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Rachelsne, May 14, 2008.

  1. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    Do lenses cost to make?

    I saw a video about canon, and the process looks complicated, and by the looks of the website they hire engineers as apose to factory workers.

    I worked in an opticians selling spectacles and lenses, and the mark up on both frames and lenses was huge.
     
  2. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    any one?
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If that's the video that I think it was (500mm)...then I'd guess that it costs a lot to make that particular lens. The retail cost is close to $6000. Keep in mind that it is a high end telephoto lens...with a low production rate. The more common lenses probably have a more streamlined production process.

    I doubt that many people outside of a lens manufacturing company actually know how much it costs to make the lenses.
     
  4. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    i wasnt looking for specifics, just an idea, things like that interest me,

    but yeah probably not many people know-If I were mr canon or mr nikon I would keep it a secret
    cant remember what lens it was but it was big, and very interesting
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    The production cost of anything depends on several factors, the two main ones being complexity and the number of units being made.
    The more you make of something the cheaper the manufacturing costs go (although there are one or two exceptions). Prototypes are always very expensive and the first run of something isn't much cheaper. But after that...
    You can see this effect in consumer products.
    Digital watches were frighteningly expensive when they first came out. Now you get them given away free.
    Blank CD's were expensive when they first appeared (and this was the excuse the Music Industry gave for why music on a CD cost more than the same music on a tape) but now you can buy them for 10 - 20 pence.
    Computer RAM 7 or 8 years ago was more valuable than diamonds. Then they opened another factory and now... Well I just bought 1 Gig for £45. In 2000 250 Meg cost me something like £800!
    Refrigerators, microwaves, automobiles, washing machines... the list is endless. All were, at one time, beyond the reach of the average working man but now very few people don't have these things.
    A big reason for the lowering of costs is computer manufacture.
    With lenses the lenses themselves are designed by computer and manufactured by computer. Most of the other parts are made either by precision injection moulding plastics or by computer controlled machinery. This means less sub-standard components (almost zero, in fact) which was a big contributer to cost.
    True, lenses are still put together largely by hand but this work is done in China or Asia where labour costs are very low, so it is not the big expense it once was.
    Most of the lens companies make bits for each other, too. It's expensive to set up and run a plant to make a component so companies help each other. Happens in all areas. In Europe the majority of ovens (Neff, Zanussi, Hotpoint, Indesit...) are made in one factory in Italy (I think). Cooker hoods are made at someone else's factory in another country and so on. The same is probably true of lenses.
    Of course, there are varying qualities of lens - better quality materials, more components, more coatings, etc - and generally the cost reflects this.
    But in terms of actual manufacturing costs...
    Well a white cotton t-shirt that you pay £5 for in the shops costs about 50 pence to make.
    A pair of £80 Nikes? About £1.50.
    You pay for the name, the Company wants to make money, the shareholders want their profit, the retailers want their profit...
    It all adds up.
    Another indication of real cost is to look at give-aways.
    I bought a mobile 'phone for £200 and the same 'phone was given away 'free' if I took out an annual contract with a network for £120 pa.
    I would suspect that the price difference on a lens (between manufacturing costs and the cost in the shops) is anywhere between 300 and 600%.(Remembering that not all of that is due to the manufacturer. If a company sells a product to a retailer for £100 the retailer will sell it to the public for £150 - £200)
    And I'm probably erring on the side of caution.
    It's got to be somewhere in that region or they wouldn't keep it such a big secret.
    But you can still make a guess:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C03E3DC1039F932A15756C0A960958260
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/02/05/bloomberg/sxnikon.php

    You don't get profits like that unless you have a decent mark-up :mrgreen:
     
  6. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    Wow Thanks great points there
     
  7. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Hertz, that's a lot of words to expect a guy to read this time of night.
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    OK. Potted version.
    Because company directors and company shareholders want to own Porsches, they charge a Hell of a lot more for their product than it costs to make.
    Any other company involved between manufacture and you adds their percentage (because they all want to own Porsches). And of course Governments take their cut, too.
    On average the actual manufacturing costs are only about 5-10% of what you shell out.
    Happy now?
     
  9. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    :thumbup: Thanks, Hertz!
     
  10. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    What about directors and shareholders of Porsche? What do they want?
     
  11. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Ferraris probably.
    I remember an ad for IBM with the MD extolling the excellence of his company's products - and on his desk (clearly in shot) was a Mac!
     
  12. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    :lol: That is awesome!
     

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