Why is the 42.5 F/1.2 $1600 when the Fuji 56mm F/1.2 is only $1000?

Started Mar 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,948
Re: Why is the 42.5 F/1.2 $1600 when the Fuji 56mm F/1.2 is only $1000?

Lenses are not priced by size or weight or stats: they are priced based on various factors.

Number one on that list for the Panasonic is that it was designed in conjunction with Leica. That alone accounts for at least 10% to 20% of a price increase for Panasonic 4/3 and m4/3 lenses.


Because in all likelihood, the design and build of the lens is such that it will be sharp across the frame, even wide open. Leica designs are like that. I doubt the Fuji design will match the overall performance of the Panasonic. That remains to be seen based on testing of course.

Second is the OIS-yes, that can add to the cost of a lens, and the price can go up per lens according to the design. The OIS in a kit lens may be a basic unit, while that in a lens such as the 42.5 f1.2 may be a much higher quality. (Besides, comparing lenses to kit lenses for pricing is a flawed comparison, as the kit lens is just that-part of a kit that is meant to make a minimal profit on the lens).

Third, quality of construction (materials, tolerances) and resultant durability and performance. Why did my ZD 14-54 Mk1 cost as much as the combined price of both lenses for my E520 kit? In part because it is weather sealed, much more durable construction and more refined in how it handles. Metal mount, beefier construction overall, the zoom ring is much smoother than on the kit lenses. A variety of things that many people don't always appreciate.

Years ago I wondered why a "simple rangefinder" like the Leica M3 could cost so much more than my Nikon F2AS flagship model. The difference in capabilities of the two cameras was pronounced. Then I tried out a M3 and could see why: smoothness of operation and an impression that the camera would be operating flawlessly 100 years from now. That consideration in light of the fact that the F2AS was an outstanding camera, making something like the Canon AE1 look like a junky toy when it came to feel and smoothness of operation.

Even something as simple as using 4 screws and a metal retaining ring for a lens element vs 3 screws and a plastic ring adds up in the price of a lens. I've seen two lenses of identical focal length and aperture, but quite different prices,  opened up by a tech. The cheap lens virtually fell apart once he slid the inner assembly out of the lens barrel: it was pretty much just held together by the fiction of the retaining rings. The more expensive lens was held together by a series of bushings and screws, ensuring that things such as temperature changes and the shock of impact, or even focusing,  would not cause elements to be knocked out of alignment.

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