Why are prime lenses more expensive than non-primes?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by hankejp, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wausau, Wisconsin
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Just curious, why are primes with a 1 stop aperature more expensive that a non-prime with different f/stops. I would think it would be more.
     
  2. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Downtown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Wha6t are your for examples. The 50MM F/1.8 is a pretty cheap lens, but the 85 F/1.8 and 1.4 aren't. All depends on certain factors and generally how "intricate" it is to build that certain lens.
     
  3. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,997
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Slapamonkey, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm slightly confused as to your question here.

    Are you referring to say.....a 50mm f/1.4 vs an 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 zoom or true fixed aperture lanses verses the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 zoom and the like?
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you compared lenses of equal quality, I think you would find that the primes are cheaper.
     
  5. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wausau, Wisconsin
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Sorry, guess the question wasn't very clear. It seems like a zoom lens, i.e.- 70-300 f/3.5-5.6 are less expensive than say a 300mm 2.8. I'm just throwing numbers out there, I don't know if there's an actual 30mm f/2.8.

    Hope thi smakes a little more sense.

    Thanks
     
  6. jenn76

    jenn76 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    It's not the "300mm" part that makes it expensive.. it's the 2.8 aperture.
     
  7. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Greencastle Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    A single aperture is better than a shifting aperture. That's why they are more expensive.
     
  8. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,252
    Likes Received:
    418
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Basically it is not zoom lens is less expensive than prime lens. Good Quality lens is usually more expensive than the not so good one.

    A faster lens in general is more expensive than the slower lens (fast mean the max aperture is larger to allow more light to pass through at a given time so that shutter speed can be faster to obtain the exposure)

    A fast long range good quality telephone lens is usually very expensive such as this one

    http://www.adorama.com/SG200500DEOS.html
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,997
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Slapamonkey, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well, That does help. the primes do have just as many stops for the most part, it is in the manor in which the zooms are built that causes the multiple max apertures (the number listed in the lens title) As the zoom factor changes the aperture behaves differently, not being a super tech monkey I can not really explain this. But never the less the zoom does not necessarily have "More" aperture settings.

    But as for pricing...ho boy there are a pile of things that enter play one of them being build quality that ANDS! mentioned is but one, but that is between primes to primes. I don't pay much attention to modern lens prices but I think O|||||||O might be on the right track.
     
  10. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    California, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    A lot of things determine the price. How many glass pieces (elements) in a lens, the more, the more expensive usually. It is also more complex to design and build. The designers gotta be paid too ya know! The build quality is another... Metal vs Plastic etc... Better glass... Correction of CA... The aperture... Normally big apertures require larger diameter lenses...
    Ex:
    Canon EF 50mm F/1.8
    vs
    Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L

    The F/1.2L version by Canon is of course "L", the F/1.8 version is plasticy, cheaper to make, less glass etc... The F/1.2L is just plain better :p
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Compare something like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L to the Canon 85mm f/1.2L. They're both about 1k iirc.

    Canon 50mm f/1.2L about 1k. Canon 24-70 f/2.8L is about $1200.
     
  12. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The 85mm F1.2 L is actually $1800 :shock:
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
prime lenses expensive
,
why are fixed lenses more expensive
,
why are prime lenses expensive
,

why are prime lenses more expensive

,

why are prime lenses so expensive

,
why are single f stop lenses expensive
,
why are some lenses more expensive
,
why is a prime lens more expensive than a zoom
,
why prime lens are costly
,
why prime lens expensive