Why is 70-300 VR so cheap?

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
KG2002
Regular MemberPosts: 332
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Re: Why is 70-300 VR so cheap?
In reply to mosswings, Nov 11, 2012

mosswings wrote:

RobSouthOz wrote:

All the reasons already stated, but the most obvious one not yet mentioned is it's variable aperture F5.6 at the long end. All the other glass you mention is constant F2.8 or F4 which is always much more expensive and bulkier.

The 70-300VR is excellent up to 200ish, but drops down to good at the 300 range generally speaking, though there always seems to be an exception come along on these forums whenever that's mentioned (some claim Excellent all the way through).

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Not quite. The 80-400 is a variable aperture f5.6 as well. When comparing lens prices, we have to consider not only body build quality, but maximum aperture and zoom ratio as well. The 70-300 is a 4.2:1 zoom; the 80-400 is a 5:1 zoom, which makes for a more complicated and expensive design. Finally, there's expected volume - the 80-400 is a specialty lens designed for compact handheld high magnification applications such as wilderness nature shooting or safaris in good light. 400mm is a heck of a lot of magnification to be carrying handheld, and most folks don't need that much - particularly when they see the 30% larger entrance element and nearly 2x weight increase required. The 70-300, by contrast, can be made tolerably small and light for its magnification, and so enjoys a much larger market with commensurate economies of scale. I should also note that the 80-400 is the oldest VR lens in Nikon's stable, being over 10 years old, and this has something to do with the cost of manufacture.

This actually makes sense. 80-400 is more complex since it provides 5:1 magnification. This plus a better build should explain the higher price. Well, plus because "they can" of course.

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