Why do older camera lenses have faster F-stops?

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Why do older camera lenses have faster F-stops?
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Apr 16, 2013

In this case, you are likely comparing price of a new lens to some very much used lenses. For example, I bought a Vivitar Series I 70-210mm f/2.8-4 (Konica AR-mount) for my Sony NEX and paid only $50 for it. That included shipping. This wasn’t a cheap lens in its day, in fact it was premium priced.  When we also account for inflation adjustment, it is likely we may actually be paying less today for many lenses and a part of it has to do with using cheaper markets for building them.

A Popular Photography May 1975 magazine ad shows $295 for the Vivitar 70-210mm F3.5 lens. Cameras which came with a 50mm f1.8 could get an F1.4 for $30 more.

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