Why do older camera lenses have faster F-stops?

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Hugowolf Forum Pro • Posts: 12,674
Re: Why do older camera lenses have faster F-stops?

JulesJ wrote:

Hugowolf wrote:

vjk2 wrote:

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?

Nothing has changed, There have been wide aperture fixed focal length lenses for a long, long time - zooms are different. Until the recent bubble in digital cameras, you could pick up Olympus 50 mm f/1.4 lenses for US$40. I bought one five years ago just to use as a +20 dioptre close up lens to reverse mount on my Canon lenses.

Canon had a 50 mm f/1.0 that was introduced in 1989, and there have been faster lenses. F/1.2 or f/1.4 is more common.

Brian A

But this doesn't answer the OP's question!

Well, the answer is that they don't. Fast fixed focal length lenses have been here for a while, and there are as many of them now as there ever were. 'Older camera lenses' don't have 'faster f-stops'.

Brian A

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