Why do older camera lenses have faster F-stops?

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 45,291
Re: Why do older camera lenses have faster F-stops?

Conrad567 wrote:

I own a Nikon 24mm f/2.0 Ai-S lens.  That was considered fast in the Eighty's and even the Ninety's.  Nikon now makes a 24mm f/1.4!  Of course it is a $2000 lens.  Truth is both Canon and Nikon make several offerings that are much faster than their old manual focus counterparts.  They are also much sharper wide open.  But......there is a price to pay.  Most of them are $1000 plus on the used market.

Zooms are the same story.  Nikon did not produce an f/2.8 zoom until the 35-70mm AF was introduced.  Before that it was the 35-70mm f/3.5 Ai-S.  Truth be known both lenses were great performers for their time, but they are not match for the 28-70mm AF-S and 24-70mm G that have come later.

I use and LOVE several older manual lenses, and some of them perform very well, but to state that there are no fast lenses being produced today is just flat out incorrect, but to say "Why can't I afford them?" Well now that is another question.

I agree with you, I don't think I said there were no fast lenses made nowadays.

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