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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Why are fast lenses more expensive?
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12/16/2006 02:29:24 AM · #1
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by Gordon:


I hate hate hate the variable length/ rotating barrel lenses.


I don't necessarily like that part of it, but it wasn't worth another $1200 to be rid of it. Should my photography become a profitable enterprise, I'll probably reconsider buying the "L".


Does it let you focus manually when in auto focus mode ? That's another nice L feature that I don't think was mentioned. The internal focusing is also a nice feature, for most of them. Particularly if you are using a circular polariser or doing close-up work.


No, it doesn't, well, you can turn the focus ring, but the motor is engaged and it's not a good idea to do all the time. Full time Manual focusing not a feature exclusive to "L" lenses either. My 85 f1.8 allows it as does my Sigma 12-24.

None of those issues are bothersome enough that I would spend for the "L".
12/16/2006 01:26:50 AM · #2
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by Gordon:


I hate hate hate the variable length/ rotating barrel lenses.


I don't necessarily like that part of it, but it wasn't worth another $1200 to be rid of it. Should my photography become a profitable enterprise, I'll probably reconsider buying the "L".


Does it let you focus manually when in auto focus mode ? That's another nice L feature that I don't think was mentioned. The internal focusing is also a nice feature, for most of them. Particularly if you are using a circular polariser or doing close-up work.


Not all L lenses allow FTM focussing, though.
12/16/2006 12:08:35 AM · #3
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I have the Tamron... It changes length when zoomed, the barrel rotates when focusing, it's nowhere near as sturdily built and it's certainly not weather sealed.


I hate hate hate the variable length/ rotating barrel lenses.


The Tamron lens barrel does NOT rotate.


The barrel doesn't, but the focus ring does. My bad.
12/15/2006 10:55:51 PM · #4
Nikon ED=Extra Dollars Canon L=Ludicrus
I just thought that up a while back when my buddy Steve bought a cannon L.
Back to the original post about what's a fast lens. In simple terms you can think of light sort of like water. It takes a certain quantity of light on the sensor with digital cameras to get the image exposed right. Call it a tea cup full.
You can pour that amount thru a hole the size of a soda straw, but it takes a while, or a long exposure, slow shutter speed. This would simulate a slow lens.
You can pour that amount thru a hole the size of a tennis ball relatively much faster, and have the same result in a much shorter time, a quick exposure, or fast shutter speed. This would simulate a fast lens.
It's bubbaneering physics, but that's about how I learned it.
The glass, like diamonds, is more expensive and tricky to manufacture and machine in larger pieces.
When you look a digital image at full screen, think about the number of sensor sized dots it would take to cover the screen, then think about all the details in each spot on the screen that size, and wonder how they get the light to go to the right place on the sensor as well as they do. They also manufacture many more of the lower priced lenses than they do the high end ones, so smaller production runs = more $ per unit. I picked up a 1.4/50mm manual nikkor in perfect shape at a pawn shop with leather case and metal shade for $20 recently. Luck, and patience helps a lot when shopping for good glass.
12/12/2006 04:19:27 PM · #5
Originally posted by Gordon:

Does it let you focus manually when in auto focus mode ? That's another nice L feature that I don't think was mentioned. The internal focusing is also a nice feature, for most of them. Particularly if you are using a circular polariser or doing close-up work.


No, you cannot manual focus in AF mode. It does, however, have an internal focus design where the front element does not rotate. It's the focus ring that rotates when it auto focuses, not the front element so using a polarizer isn't a problem at all. And if I remember correctly, the 24-70mm f/2.8L also has a lens barrel that extends and retracts when zooming.

Edit for grammar.

Message edited by author 2006-12-12 16:21:08.
12/12/2006 04:05:57 PM · #6
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I have the Tamron... It changes length when zoomed, the barrel rotates when focusing, it's nowhere near as sturdily built and it's certainly not weather sealed.


I hate hate hate the variable length/ rotating barrel lenses.


The Tamron lens barrel does NOT rotate.
12/12/2006 03:36:42 PM · #7
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by Gordon:


I hate hate hate the variable length/ rotating barrel lenses.


I don't necessarily like that part of it, but it wasn't worth another $1200 to be rid of it. Should my photography become a profitable enterprise, I'll probably reconsider buying the "L".


Does it let you focus manually when in auto focus mode ? That's another nice L feature that I don't think was mentioned. The internal focusing is also a nice feature, for most of them. Particularly if you are using a circular polariser or doing close-up work.

Message edited by author 2006-12-12 15:37:08.
12/12/2006 03:30:55 PM · #8
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Originally posted by SamDoe1:



Essentially the same thing that happened with the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 SP. It was marketed as (and is) a cheap lens, but its performance is up there with the best of them.


How could this lens possibly break all the rules of marketing and economics?


I have the Tamron and optically, it's great. If it's not as good as the "L", it's pretty damn close. It's definitely no "L" for other reasons. It changes length when zoomed, the barrel rotates when focusing, it's nowhere near as sturdily built and it's certainly not weather sealed.


I hate hate hate the variable length/ rotating barrel lenses.


I don't necessarily like that part of it, but it wasn't worth another $1200 to be rid of it. Should my photography become a profitable enterprise, I'll probably reconsider buying the "L".
12/12/2006 03:17:27 PM · #9
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Originally posted by SamDoe1:



Essentially the same thing that happened with the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 SP. It was marketed as (and is) a cheap lens, but its performance is up there with the best of them.


How could this lens possibly break all the rules of marketing and economics?


I have the Tamron and optically, it's great. If it's not as good as the "L", it's pretty damn close. It's definitely no "L" for other reasons. It changes length when zoomed, the barrel rotates when focusing, it's nowhere near as sturdily built and it's certainly not weather sealed.


I hate hate hate the variable length/ rotating barrel lenses.


12/12/2006 03:07:28 PM · #10
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Originally posted by SamDoe1:



Essentially the same thing that happened with the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 SP. It was marketed as (and is) a cheap lens, but its performance is up there with the best of them.


How could this lens possibly break all the rules of marketing and economics?


I have the Tamron and optically, it's great. If it's not as good as the "L", it's pretty damn close. It's definitely no "L" for other reasons. It changes length when zoomed, the barrel rotates when focusing, it's nowhere near as sturdily built and it's certainly not weather sealed.
12/12/2006 02:35:58 PM · #11
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

How could this lens possibly break all the rules of marketing and economics?


Because everyone else is being taken for a ride, obviously.
12/12/2006 02:34:10 PM · #12
Originally posted by SamDoe1:



Essentially the same thing that happened with the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 SP. It was marketed as (and is) a cheap lens, but its performance is up there with the best of them.


How could this lens possibly break all the rules of marketing and economics?
12/12/2006 02:11:57 PM · #13
Originally posted by crayon:

Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Just for thought...

If Canon, Nikon, Sigma, etc... produced a 80-200mm f/2.8 lens and sold it for $140, would anyone take the lens seriously and covet that lens? My guess is no.


I think consumers aren't stupid. At that price, it may first start out to be highly popular with budget-conscious or newbie buyers, and as it becomes popular, reviews will be made and reviewers will point out that the "cheap" lens is actually golden - and serious buyers will flock in.


Essentially the same thing that happened with the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 SP. It was marketed as (and is) a cheap lens, but its performance is up there with the best of them.
12/12/2006 04:18:41 AM · #14
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Just for thought...

If Canon, Nikon, Sigma, etc... produced a 80-200mm f/2.8 lens and sold it for $140, would anyone take the lens seriously and covet that lens? My guess is no.


I think consumers aren't stupid. At that price, it may first start out to be highly popular with budget-conscious or newbie buyers, and as it becomes popular, reviews will be made and reviewers will point out that the "cheap" lens is actually golden - and serious buyers will flock in.
12/12/2006 03:04:23 AM · #15
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by Azrifel:

Originally posted by Gordon:

Yet another reason canon L lenses are more expensive is probably because they don't use glass for all the elements. Some of them are fluorite.

I wonder how long it takes to grow an L lens. Can I get some seeds ?


But but but but, there is fluorite it my toothpaste right? Do you know how many tubes I can buy for the price of a 16-35 L? Surely fluorite cannot be the reason!


OK, try building a lens out of toothpaste and see how far you get.


Toothpastes have "flouride" in them; it ain't the same as "flourite" :-)

R.


Brushing my teeth will never be the same again.
Do you think there is a market for L toothpaste with a nice little red ring around the cap?


12/11/2006 08:01:27 PM · #16
Originally posted by American_Horse:

Originally posted by UNCLEBRO:

I know it sounds a silly question.
And therefore, there's probably a silly answer!
But what actually makes the lens more expensive.
Does more work have to go into making them, are there more parts, is the glass different?
What?
Somebody enlighten me with an ovbious answer.
Thanks.


Never mind what anyone else says.

Believe me when I say this...and think about what I am about to say...BUT...there is a conspiracy of sorts against you.

Yes, it's true.

And, YES, you, and only you, in the whole wide conspiracy of the world, are paying for over priced lenses, and the rest of us in our leather chairs, smoking our big cigars, and drinking the latest Merlot are all laughing right now because you are the brunt of the conspiracy, and we the conspirators, are cashing in on your short sightness.

Thank you very much.

Now, off for an overpriced beer at my local tavern.


It sounds like you've already had some over priced beer!!!!
Mind you, I'm actually drinking Southern Comfort and Mountain Dew at the moment,so I have no room to talk :-)
12/11/2006 07:53:30 PM · #17
Originally posted by UNCLEBRO:

I know it sounds a silly question.
And therefore, there's probably a silly answer!
But what actually makes the lens more expensive.
Does more work have to go into making them, are there more parts, is the glass different?
What?
Somebody enlighten me with an ovbious answer.
Thanks.


Never mind what anyone else says.

Believe me when I say this...and think about what I am about to say...BUT...there is a conspiracy of sorts against you.

Yes, it's true.

And, YES, you, and only you, in the whole wide conspiracy of the world, are paying for over priced lenses, and the rest of us in our leather chairs, smoking our big cigars, and drinking the latest Merlot are all laughing right now because you are the brunt of the conspiracy, and we the conspirators, are cashing in on your short sightness.

Thank you very much.

Now, off for an overpriced beer at my local tavern.
12/11/2006 07:46:29 PM · #18
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Toothpastes have "flouride" in them; it ain't the same as "flourite" :-)

R.


I've been to Florida quite a few times.
Disney World wasn't very good though.
12/11/2006 07:01:27 PM · #19
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Just for thought...

If Canon, Nikon, Sigma, etc... produced a 80-200mm f/2.8 lens and sold it for $140, would anyone take the lens seriously and covet that lens? My guess is no.


How much money do they make in the covet market? I'd imagine if that lens was great it would sell like hot cakes especially in the novice photography market which dare I say dwarfs the professional market.
12/11/2006 06:57:10 PM · #20
Originally posted by Azrifel:

But but but but, there is fluorite it my toothpaste right? Do you know how many tubes I can buy for the price of a 16-35 L? Surely fluorite cannot be the reason!


Well, toothpaste has floride, not florite... Not quite the same thing.

Edit: Damn, too late.

Message edited by author 2006-12-11 18:57:24.
12/11/2006 06:56:00 PM · #21
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by Azrifel:

Originally posted by Gordon:

Yet another reason canon L lenses are more expensive is probably because they don't use glass for all the elements. Some of them are fluorite.

I wonder how long it takes to grow an L lens. Can I get some seeds ?


But but but but, there is fluorite it my toothpaste right? Do you know how many tubes I can buy for the price of a 16-35 L? Surely fluorite cannot be the reason!


OK, try building a lens out of toothpaste and see how far you get.


Toothpastes have "flouride" in them; it ain't the same as "flourite" :-)

R.
12/11/2006 06:54:40 PM · #22
Originally posted by Azrifel:

Originally posted by Gordon:

Yet another reason canon L lenses are more expensive is probably because they don't use glass for all the elements. Some of them are fluorite.

I wonder how long it takes to grow an L lens. Can I get some seeds ?


But but but but, there is fluorite it my toothpaste right? Do you know how many tubes I can buy for the price of a 16-35 L? Surely fluorite cannot be the reason!


OK, try building a lens out of toothpaste and see how far you get.
12/11/2006 06:04:52 PM · #23
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned it, but it isn't just the glass; the "L" lenses are Canon's professional lenses, and they are built heavier and tougher across the board. The previously mentioned f/1.8 50mm is a plastic-barreled lens, while the "L" lenses use metal. They are heavy and solid and built to take a licking anc keep on clicking. This costs money on the manufacturing end.

R.


Yup, that was already mentioned. I think the 50 1.8 is also a bit of an aberration(sic) because it is such a simple double gauss design, compared to pretty much all the other asymmetric canon lens designs.

The build and lack of elements helps too, but it is a design that was first done in 1817, so there isn't a whole lot of research costs in there...
12/11/2006 05:57:03 PM · #24
I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned it, but it isn't just the glass; the "L" lenses are Canon's professional lenses, and they are built heavier and tougher across the board. The previously mentioned f/1.8 50mm is a plastic-barreled lens, while the "L" lenses use metal. They are heavy and solid and built to take a licking anc keep on clicking. This costs money on the manufacturing end.

R.
12/11/2006 05:52:10 PM · #25
Originally posted by Azrifel:


But but but but, there is fluorite it my toothpaste right? Do you know how many tubes I can buy for the price of a 16-35 L? Surely fluorite cannot be the reason!


Yup, that's what makes it taste so crunchy!
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