Basic question about high IQ m43 versus NEX versus FF SLR lens manufacturing...

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
seachicken2000
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Re: Basic question about high IQ m43 versus NEX versus FF SLR lens manufacturing...
In reply to losangeles, Nov 11, 2012

One answer could be manufacturing tolerances; to get the same quality from a smaller format you need to be more precise.

Another issue is that some lenses are easier to do on full frame. Take the standard nifty fifty. The best you can do on m4/3 is a huge and expensive 25mm f/0.95, which is about the same as a full frame 50mm f/1.9. On the flipside, some lenses are easier to do on the smaller sensors, for example small long tele lenses (as the focal lengths can be shorter and therefore so can the lenses).

losangeles wrote:

One question I keep having, but not finding a good answer to, is why it seems easier to make high IQ lenses at reasonable prices for FF than for NEX and m43? Why for example is the 35mm f1.8 Zeiss for NEX >$1k when I can have an FF lens with similar IQ and better DOF control for a few hundred bucks?

Looking at the full frame 35mm Zeiss lenses, they're all around $1000, and one is a lot more. There's nothing unusual about the cost of the Zeiss NEX lenses. I don't think it makes sense to compare a Zeiss price to another brand because Zeiss lenses are a bit special and have their own set of rules for pricing.

And why can Nikon make a high IQ $500 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 zoom but there exists no $500 16-50mm f2.2-3 zoom for NEX, and a good f2.8 12-35mm lens for m43 costs $1200?

There's no 16-50mm f/2.2-3 lens firstly because the system is young and secondly because it would be quite large; there are 16-50mm f/2.8 lenses in NEX the system such as the Sigma 16-50mm f/2.8 I use (it cost me ~$350).

In Japan right now, the street price for the Nikon zoom is around 50,000 yen, the m4/3 around 70,000 yen and there's a decent zoom on the Fuji system for 50,000 yen.

The full frame lens is effectively the fastest of them all by a mile, but the prices are not so far apart. The m4/3 lens is new on the market in Japan, and will probably drop further before it settles on its true market price.

I have to agree with you though, in general lenses for smaller formats seem to be relatively expensive. Perhaps the main reason is unrelated to production costs, and boils down to supply and demand. Mirrorless cameras and lenses are just very popular right now, and people are prepared to pay to get them.

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