Why are fast lenses so expensive?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Ant, Jan 9, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Luton. UK.
    It seems fairly common sense...a 70-300mm f.5.6 is pretty cheap and a 70-300mm f2.8 is really expensive, but why?

    What's so difficult about making the aperture open up a little more? :?
     
  2. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Faster lenses require more complicated designs, greater amounts of expensive optical quality glass, smaller manufacturing tolerances, sometimes exotic glass types, etc. It's not just a matter of saying "well let's make the hole bigger and charge them more" or anything like that.

    Also, fast zoom lenses specifically tend to be built to a higher standard than a manufacturer's consumer line, because they're marketed to professionals who can pay more and want better build quality.
     
  3. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Luton. UK.
    I guess that makes sense. Thanks.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,818
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    To make the aperture (hole) bigger. You have to make the barrel of the lens bigger. You need bigger pieces of glass etc.

    The aperture of a 300mm lens at F2.8 would be 107mm...that's over 4 inches...just for the aperture. The barrel would have to be significantly bigger than that.
     
  5. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    The only comment I'd add is that if you're after a wide sharp lens for shooting at night or pulling more shots in, you might try and get a 50mm or standard lens at f1.4 or f1.8. These aren't more than $100 usually and are sharper than any telezoom will be.

    The alternative would be to try getting a Leica or Contax rangefinder clone - like a FED 2 body (Leica screw) or Contax IIIa or IV clone (like the Kiev 4). 'Jupiter' made Zeiss Sonnar clones and the 50mm f1.5 is reputedly sharper than a 50mm Summicron f2 lens, costing less than 1/10th of the price second-hand.

    Of course there are those who will insist Russian cameras are awful yada yada yada. Some do, most don't. Quality control issues on vodka doing overtime probably.
     
  6. BernieSC

    BernieSC TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Carolina
    More glass
     
  7. snapsnap1973

    snapsnap1973 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Portland, Maine
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    So they can make more money!

    They could be $10,000 a piece and some dumb people would buy em. Just like there a $6000 cameras. They're not really worth that price, but they put a high price cause they know people will pay for it.

    That same $6000 camera could've gone for another few thousand and lots of people would've sheepishly shelled out the money cause, they're addicted to always getting "bigger and better" things.

    Just like in my hobby, classical guitar, there are guitars that go for $10,000 dollars. That's a rip off, but people justify buying it, cause it's all a bunch of hype and bs. Just like George Carlin said.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 6
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,359
    Likes Received:
    10,656
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Just a point to note... this is a ten year old zombie thread...
     
  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    21,256
    Likes Received:
    7,521
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Because you've got to have more glass for each incremental step in opening the aperture. That also makes the barrel larger. More glass, more material overall = more money to produce = higher price.
     
  10. Trever1t

    Trever1t Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    9,088
    Likes Received:
    2,519
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    oh brother!
     
  11. Vtec44

    Vtec44 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    1,169
    Location:
    So Cal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There are technical challenges at you have to deal with at wide open aperture, ie sharpness and chromatic aberration. That in turn will require more expensive manufacturing process and materials. :)
     
  12. Trever1t

    Trever1t Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    9,088
    Likes Received:
    2,519
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    This from the same guy confused about the speed of light and the basic functions of a camera. Dude, you have no idea what you are saying.


    AND THIS IS A 10 YEAR OLD THREAD. SPACE TIME WARP 420 OR WHAT?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
why are 2.8 lenses expensive
,
why are 2.8 lenses so expensive
,
why are f2.8 lenses so expensive
,

why are fast lenses expensive

,
why are fast lenses more expensive
,

why are fast lenses so expensive

,
why are lenses so expensive
,
why fast lens more expensive
,
why fast lenses are so expensive
,
why lenses are so expensive