How come no other cheapies like Nifty Fifty?

Started Feb 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
Tinu_ch Contributing Member • Posts: 660
Re: How come no other cheapies like Nifty Fifty?

guitarjeff wrote:

Still not sure how I can buy the M42 lenses so cheap

Many of them would have cost you an arm and a leg back when they were new!

and they have 28mm 1.8 lenses, manual focus, how do they work and why couldn't cannon do something along those lines?

AF has changed a lot in lens construction. Old designs often involve many heavy lenses to be moved for focussing. It was okay because for focussing manually you do not want them to move too lightly. But to move these lens groups by AF you need a strong (meaning big and costly) motor and inertia would interfere with focus speed and precision. New designs focus with less weighty lens groups but often involve more sophisticated lens elements to keep up IQ.

There are still lenses that can't be built along these new lines. The 1.2/85L for example is mortally slow and the driving mechanism is so complex you can't move it manually; if you turn the focussing ring it doesn't mechanically connect to the lens groups, it just gives signals to the AF motor ("fly-by-wire").

Can i get them simply because they are old and used, but they still have the same complex optics and such?

You can get them cheap because the great majority of photographers prefers automatic aperture control and AF but hates CA and flare. A lot of old lenses and only a few buyers and the laws of the market, that's all.

Tinu

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