"Normal prime": pricing question

Started Dec 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
Narcosynthesis
Senior MemberPosts: 1,511
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Re: "Normal prime": pricing question
In reply to Rachotilko, Dec 21, 2012

One of the biggest differences is in the build quality. The Canon 50mm f1.8 I owned had decent optics, but the build quality was notably lacking - plastic mount, cheap construction, and pretty poor tolerances and feel overall - perfectly acceptable given the price of the lens I should mention, but not a quality piece.

The Panasonic 20mm f1.7 on the other hand is about 2 1/2 times the price, which I would say is money very well spent - not only are the optics great quality, but you have a great quality lens to go with it - much better tolerances, metal mount, much more solid construction and so on. A notable amount more expensive, but a price increase well justified.

Rather than one of the 50mm 1.8 lenses I would compare the 20mm f1.7 to one of its crop sensor equivalents like the 28mm f1.8 or 35mm f2 - both are far better quality lenses, and priced closer to the Panasonic 20mm f1.7

There is also the fact that the 50mm f1.8 lens in particular is a throwback to the film days - a very old and very simple design that has been produced in huge numbers, so things like tooling and R&D costs were covered decades ago, and thanks to its position for many years as a kit lens production and material costs were kept to a very strict minimum. Compare that to a relatively new lens on a relatively new system, with much smaller production numbers and you can see where the old guard have an advantage.

Like for like I certainly don't think it is an overpriced lens, and if you were to handle them side by side I think it would be clear why it is more expensive.

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