As has been stated above by a few in different way. Do we really need fancy lenses? Yes and no. Depending of the application and expectation of the user a fancy lenses may or not be needed or even worth the added cost. I find that the more someone specializes in a particular form of photography they also find what works for them. Fancy or not. Now having said this I own what would be called fancy lens. Do I NEED it? No. Could I get as good an image with a lesser lens? NO. Sometimes the fancy lens DOES make a huge difference and no matter how good the photographer is, you can't overcome the glass or lack there of. I'm not talking about length of the lens or even how much light it lets in (although this becomes extremely important in a lot of situations) however the main thing is clarity, the ability to give good contrast and minimal artifacts. Most cheap lenses just DON'T compare. Some on the other hand are surprising little gems where their simplicity does in fact make for a crisp quality lens. The real question ALL photographers NEED to ask is. Will anyone even notice the difference and is the added (whatever qualifier you want goes here) worth the extra cost. If you can't answer yes to both, then you're just spending for the satisfaction of owning a fancy lens.