why are Sony FE lens so expensive ?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Paul Barnard Senior Member • Posts: 2,087
Re: why are Sony FE lens so expensive ?

thiefofpresence wrote:

apocalypso wrote:

Never mind why they're so expensive.

Why in the world is it a common thing to make sure a new $2,000+ lens is not decentered when you buy it? I'm dumbfounded by this.

What other $2,000 product do you have to QA yourself to validate it's good before deciding to keep it?

Can someone explain? Or am I missing something?

That is actually a refreshingly blunt and useful question.

To me I would rather have something with a flawless reputation, than somehow feel after 2 returns that I am finally the lucky one with a "good" copy.

The answer to that is actually quite simple. For $2000 you get a certain level of quality. All the lens shipped will meet the level of quality defined by the company as being acceptable for that product. It might involve full testing of every lens or spot testing and deviation analysis. Additionally because of the manufacturing process it is possible to have samples of the product that exceed the quality standard they have set. In testing for de-centering you are doing additional testing beyond the manufacturer to select an example that has higher specification than that deemed 'acceptable' by the manufacturer.

This is exactly the same as you do at the super market when you select an apple from a pile of apples on display. All the apples were deemed acceptable by the vendor to offer for sale based on their criteria. You can randomly select from the pile and just assume thats good enough or you can give it a once over and put it back on the pile if you don't like the look of it. You could also go to a green grocer who has done more than tip the apples out of a box and know that the apple you grab will be less likely to suffer from quality problems.

The question is do you just pick up an apple and eat it, trusting the store to have checked for maggots, or do you check it out before taking a bite?

How many apples or lens you try before you get one that you are happy with reflects the quality/extent of the testing put in before you make your selection. This is the Samyang vs Sony situation. For me, I'd prefer to spend a bit less on the apple and check it myself.

Coming back to the Sony cost question the cost  related to the materials vs the testing needs to be considered.  Having a lens returned by a customer actually costs quite a bit so Sony will certainly have done the analysis on volume of sales vs cost of manufacturing vs return rate. If the return rate is too high then they would increase the cost of manufacturing (increased test/tolerance) and increase the cost of the lens to you. Look at the costs of Lieca lens to see an example of this in operation.

 Paul Barnard's gear list:Paul Barnard's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 25mm F2 Sony 1.4x Teleconverter (2016) Sony 2x Teleconverter (2016) +2 more
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