Why do older camera lenses have faster F-stops?

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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vjk2 Regular Member • Posts: 231
Why do older camera lenses have faster F-stops?

I've gotten into vintage lenses lately, and it seems like with these older lenses, they're often much faster than the lenses I've gotten used to in the modern era.

I use Olympus and while I know that there is a 50mm f2.0 prime lens that costs $400, there are a number of less expensive vintage manual lenses I know of which will range from $50 for a f2 50mm to at most something like $150 for a f1.4

Could it be...what, autofocus, maybe the zoom design that makes modern lenses so dim?

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hha
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