Why are lenses so expensive?


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ilario

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#1
Hello everyone, as a new DSLR owner, i'd like to be a lil curious on why are lenses so expensive... like affordable new ones already cost $300++? I heard that some of them use plastic instead of glass to save cost too... Is it truly so expensive to make a lens unit?
 

surge

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#3
Hello everyone, as a new DSLR owner, i'd like to be a lil curious on why are lenses so expensive... like affordable new ones already cost $300++? I heard that some of them use plastic instead of glass to save cost too... Is it truly so expensive to make a lens unit?
buy a spoilt used lens from sungei road and try to disemble the unit. they are plenty of precision parts in a simple lens. they ask yourself how much you would charge to make the same lens for others. that should give you a good picture why tis ex
 

philshots

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Hello everyone, as a new DSLR owner, i'd like to be a lil curious on why are lenses so expensive... like affordable new ones already cost $300++? I heard that some of them use plastic instead of glass to save cost too... Is it truly so expensive to make a lens unit?
It's all about putting more than one piece of polished glasses aligned together in a straight line to achieve a specific focal length a camera can use - its high tech precision engineering - not some DIY stuff anyone can assemble. If there are special ED glasses placed within the lens to enhance image quality, it will naturally cost more.
 

ilario

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I see, but the truly good ones will cost alot more than $300 right? I'm just thinking if you count like say $500-600 in money terms its quite alot, can buy alot of stuff lol, but i guess i didn't see how much effort and precision is put into the making the things. :) I guess i'm just being cheapo haha
 

ilario

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#7
wonderful video... thats very informative! the manufacturers should use this kind of stuff in their marketing instead of showing pictures of lenses... :)
 

VSonic06

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The cost of raw materials to produce a lens may be cheap, but you forgot the R&D and manufacturing costs,
 

night86mare

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#9
I see, but the truly good ones will cost alot more than $300 right? I'm just thinking if you count like say $500-600 in money terms its quite alot, can buy alot of stuff lol, but i guess i didn't see how much effort and precision is put into the making the things. :) I guess i'm just being cheapo haha
of course it is going to cost money. and er, there are lenses which cost more than $500 or $600. that is photography, that is reality, that is the way the world works.

i mean, even consumer digital cameras these days are getting expensive. basically, in general, you pay for what you get, and the payment in exchange for utility is usually exponential.
 

shgfun

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Sep 19, 2007
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#10
Hello everyone, as a new DSLR owner, i'd like to be a lil curious on why are lenses so expensive... like affordable new ones already cost $300++? I heard that some of them use plastic instead of glass to save cost too... Is it truly so expensive to make a lens unit?
plastic? I thought lens have to use optical glass.

A good lens can easily cost more than the basic body. The lens hold values, while bodies devalue rather quickly as technology improves (sensor, electronics, etc.)
 

Firefox

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#11
Hello everyone, as a new DSLR owner, i'd like to be a lil curious on why are lenses so expensive... like affordable new ones already cost $300++? I heard that some of them use plastic instead of glass to save cost too... Is it truly so expensive to make a lens unit?
The same reason why printers are sold below cost but ink is so expensive. It's simply easier to con a person into buying a system due to it's low startup but then the add-ons will incinerate the wallet.
 

night86mare

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#12
plastic? I thought lens have to use optical glass.

A good lens can easily cost more than the basic body. The lens hold values, while bodies devalue rather quickly as technology improves (sensor, electronics, etc.)
not really, i understand that nowadays the cheaper lenses can use plastic elements.
 

fengwei

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#13
A lens is made of a bunch of glass or plastic element and a metal/plastic barrel. Some of them may look cheap, but they are still the results of long time R&D work. You can't just simply put some glass or plastic element together to make a lens which can take good photos. You are paying for the materials/labor cost/ and most of all, the long time R&D work by the lens manufacturer.

To me, those diamonds for girls are waaayyyyyyyyyyy too expensive and don't worth the cost at all. But girls including my wife don't think so ;)
 

snapnut

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Oct 1, 2004
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#14
R&D and Precision Engineering.
Computer CPU chip can cost more than 1k for a block of sand :). Material cost $0 ;).
Not that I would mind cheap and good lens lah :sweatsm:
 

alanswan

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#15
http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/tech/l_plant/index.html
While this is a link from another camp, lens production procedures should be more or less the same across brands.
So the above link should give you a pretty good idea of the efforts in creating a lens.
And the difference between the process of creating a cheap lens and an expensive one.
 

NoMoney

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Mar 20, 2007
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#16
Hmm... what you pay is what you get bah. Bigger Aperture = More $

Somemore a good lens can last longer than a body. Say 10 years? So when you break down, its less than $50 per year lets say you get a $300 lens. :)
 

flipfreak

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#17
Hello everyone, as a new DSLR owner, i'd like to be a lil curious on why are lenses so expensive... like affordable new ones already cost $300++? I heard that some of them use plastic instead of glass to save cost too... Is it truly so expensive to make a lens unit?
u can look for used ones or old pentax lenses.
 

ilario

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Dec 2, 2007
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#19
Haha yeah, currently i only own the kit lens and an old cheap manual prime bought from fellow CSer... Maybe more justice to buy more lens :D
 

NoMoney

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Mar 20, 2007
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#20
Haha yeah, currently i only own the kit lens and an old cheap manual prime bought from fellow CSer... Maybe more justice to buy more lens :D
Haha... I am also looking for a lens. But cover a longer range. I find that the kit lens quality is good enough in general situation.

I feel that one time pain pain get a good lens to serve you long long, then digital photography is not a so expensive hobby. :)
 

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