Why Some Lenses Cost $1,799

We are at that point in the year where a bunch of kids are turning in their gear and need to go buy their own. It’s a wonderful support system we have here, but it also shelters them from understanding the costs of this stuff.

Which means when they finally wander over to one of the online retailers and start pricing lenses and bodies, they … uhhh … freak out. As do their parents. And then I get the questions about how they bought a camera and TWO lenses at Costco for $449 last year, why does this one lens cost $2,000?

Well, there are a lot of reasons. The first being because those consumer level lenses are optically slow and terrible for low light situations. Second, they’re pretty poorly made. If you’re photographing birthdays and vacations, they’re great. But if you’re going to make your living off of them and use them for hours and hours every day, they’re not going to hold up.

So how are the good lenses built? Take a look at this post by Roger Cicala on what’s inside the $1,799 Canon EF 35 mm f/1.4 II lens. The care taken to engineer this piece of glass is just staggering …

(Thanks to Michael Johnston of The Online Photographer for the link.)

Mark E. Johnson

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