Why do older camera lenses have faster F-stops?

Started Apr 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Hugowolf Forum Pro • Posts: 12,674
Re: Supplied WITH the camera, they do...

Barrie Davis wrote:

Dennis 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?

It's interesting that so many people are giving you reasons why "older cameras lenses have faster F-stops" ... when they don't.

Now that modestly priced zooms are supplied as kit lenses, with the camera, they do have very much smaller apertures (f/3.5) than the typical single focal length lenses supplied with cameras 20 years ago (f/1.8).

Even 30 years ago the choice was there. 1978 I bought a Canon AE-1 with 24-70 mm f/4 as a kit. The fastest lens I had at the time was a 24 mm f/2.8. I never owned a 50 mm lens until 2004, when I bought a 50 mm f/2.5 compact macro lens (1:2).

Brian A

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