peevee1: Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM costs $700-$800. Panasonic wants $1300 for the equivalent 12-35, which also costs less to make (less glass, less surfaces to polish)? I am very disappointed they decided to go this high-margin/low-volume way. Especially given the fact that it allows to extract higher profits (compared to high-volume/low-margin way) only for "status" goods, and the X brand lens certainly does not carry any status. Incompetent marketoids.
Advanced new things cost more money not just because it is more expensive to make an individual item...
Kit lens probably sells 100:1 compared to this lens, that means the same millions that went into R&D is split 100 times more on kit.
And if you don't think a lens that is twice as big is not significantly easier to design, you really do live in your own world.
Bottomline is, cost of design is a much greater portion of this lens' price than material and the variable cost of manufacture. If u want value for money, buy a bigger camera.