Thom Hogan's lens survey

Started Oct 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Mateo Miller Regular Member • Posts: 476
Nikon lens survey

jfriend00 wrote:

3rd party lenses often cost less than Nikon lenses. That may be because Nikon collects higher margins because they can or it may be because they spend more to make a higher quality product or it may be because the 3rd parties have to accept lower margins in order to compete. I don't see any way such a 50-150 f/2.8 lens from Nikon would cost less than the 17-55 f/2.8 and be high quality. With larger glass than the 17-55 and a similar zoom multiplier, it should be more expensive than the $1400 17-55 if it's consistent with their other products.

I guess my response is that for $1400 Nikon developed two reasonably similar lenses... the 17-35mm and the 17-55. One would think they would want to capture as much market share as possible.  Going from a 18-55 kit lens (about $100) to a $1400 lens is quiet a jump. The lens survey seems to indicate this too, which is why (I think) many respondents indicated a desire for a 16-50mm f/2.8 (that doesn't cost $1400).

I gave the examples of the Tamrons, and Tokina's because they seemed to look at the market differently than Nikon.  Tamron sold a lot of 17-50mm f/2.8.  One would think Nikon would want to capture some of that revenue.  Could Nikon make a $800 DX 16-50 f/3.5?

So, why don't you just buy the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8? If it meets your needs at $1000, then isn't the problem solved?

Exactly.  But it was a "Nikon" lens survey.  Not a Sigma, Tamron, Tokina survey.

The question is can Nikon make a 50-150 f/2.8 for $1200? $1400? How much of a mark up does Nikon need?

If you're expecting Nikon to sell lenses for the same $$ as Tokina and Tamron, I've never seen them do that in the past. The 17-55 is big, but that is presumably because it was the best way for Nikon to meet it's design objectives (IQ, aperture, build, durability, filter size, etc...). I rather doubt they make it big just to be big. A different set of tradeoffs might result in a reduction in some aspects of size, but they don't change the size of the entrance pupil because that is set by physics of f/2.8 at 55mm. I, for example, appreciate that it uses 77mm filters because that's the same size my other pro lenses use like the 70-200 so I can buy and carry common filters for multiple lenses.


No doubt the 17-55mm f/2.8 is an excellent lens. But for my money I would get the 17-35mm f/2.8 (FX) and a 50mm f/1.8 (FX).  There is little to no advantage (that I can see) to a 17-55mm DX lens.  As was mention in a previous post...zoom with your feet.

I think what the survey indicates is that there are gaps in the DX line-up.

The majority of Nikon users are NOT professionals.  Many of us look at lenses like the 70-200 or the 24-70 and shake our heads. Excellent lenses no doubt, I just think there is market for mid priced equipment.

It seems like Nikon (and Canon) are willing to let millions of dollars of revenue  go to third party alternatives. I would think they would want an additional revenue stream.


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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8
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