What makes a good (also expensive) lens?

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
DMKAlex
DMKAlex Veteran Member • Posts: 4,063
What makes a good (also expensive) lens?
2

The old saying was, lenses are just like tires in a car. Tires are where rubber meets the road. You buy an expensive Porsche or Ferrari for 6 figure, you don't want to save a few bucks by buyer cheap tires.

Back half a century ago when lens was hand grinded, it took very precise workmanship, and many rejects to make a perfect F/1.4 lens. Thus the price tag was high. But with computer CAT/CAM, all lenses are grinded perfectly. I have images taken with the cheapo kit lens with sharpness not pale from those with much more expensive lens.

So, what makes an expensive lens more expensive? Coating? Built? That 1 to 1.5 f/stop's?

Take for example. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR is listed for $2,400 and the AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR is only $500. Is the more expensive one really worth around 400% more? Is that 1 to 2 f/stops that critical, particularly in the world of 100000+ ISO? Would the DoF for 1 f/stop that noticeable, and how often that is a determining factor of the picture you're taking? The speed of focus is greatly leveled by the SWM technology, and in a short zoom, would one be that much faster than the other? Does the cheaper one produce a color cast on its images?

I am so used to buying the more expensive version myself, I find it hard to come up with some convincing answers when my daughter is thinking of getting a camera and lens for my son-in-law for Christmas. I know very well that, other than the "satisfaction" of owning a very expensive piece of toy, I certainly can take similar good pictures with the cheaper example.

 DMKAlex's gear list:DMKAlex's gear list
Sony RX100 IV Nikon D800 Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S +1 more
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow