Are all camera lenses compromised optically due to cost?

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DiffractionLtd Senior Member • Posts: 1,241
Are all camera lenses compromised optically due to cost?

Case in point;  I was quote (15 year ago) $70,000 for a 800mm f/4.0 refractive lens from a Russian manufacturer to guarantee diffraction-limited performance.  It would have needed full-size fluorite as one of the elements and aspheric figuring.  Also, when the first Gigapixel image was being produced, the shooters paid $50,000 for a custom large-format lens because none of the commercial lenses available were good enough.  Not only that, but these lenses would both have used special compensating mounts to prevent strain and misalignment with temperature change.  So, when it comes to lenses even like Leica's $8000 50mm f/2.0 Apo-Summicron, is it possible even that kind of lens is an optical compromise?

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