Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

Started Feb 20, 2013 | Discussions
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dpyy Contributing Member • Posts: 905
Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one? What's the difference? Just paid for CZ badge?

headfirst
headfirst Contributing Member • Posts: 670
Re: Why is the new 35/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

what new 35/1.4?

If you meant 50/1.4 then it's a 30 year newer design with R&D costs at 201x prices not 198x ones (in fact the development costs on the old one will have been recovered/written off years ago), it's SSM & yes, Zeiss licencing costs. & they won't be anticipating selling as many so R&D has to be recovered on a smaller no. of lenses.

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dpyy OP Contributing Member • Posts: 905
Re: Why is the new 35/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

headfirst wrote:

what new 35/1.4?

If you meant 50/1.4 then it's a 30 year newer design with R&D costs at 201x prices not 198x ones (in fact the development costs on the old one will have been recovered/written off years ago), it's SSM & yes, Zeiss licencing costs. & they won't be anticipating selling as many so R&D has to be recovered on a smaller no. of lenses.

sorry I meant 50/1.4. So basically pay to upgrade to SSM?

headfirst
headfirst Contributing Member • Posts: 670
Re: Why is the new 35/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

well, I imagine that IQ is also going to be noticeably better.

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cs hauser Contributing Member • Posts: 731
Re: Why is the new 35/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

dpyy wrote:

headfirst wrote:

what new 35/1.4?

If you meant 50/1.4 then it's a 30 year newer design with R&D costs at 201x prices not 198x ones (in fact the development costs on the old one will have been recovered/written off years ago), it's SSM & yes, Zeiss licencing costs. & they won't be anticipating selling as many so R&D has to be recovered on a smaller no. of lenses.

sorry I meant 50/1.4. So basically pay to upgrade to SSM?

Do you honestly believe that the AF motor is the only difference between a 30-year old Minolta design and a brand new Zeiss design?

RandyPD Regular Member • Posts: 254
Re: Why is the new 35/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

Well basically, it has better glass, better coatings, better AF motor. Zeiss lenses were never cheap and they retain their value over time. As far as value is concerned, is it that much better for the money you pay? The perception of 'value' is very subjective, some people would pay a lot for a smidgen of improvement and some won't.

alphacam
alphacam Contributing Member • Posts: 949
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

Planar type.  Also 2 aspheric elements/glass for clean pictures.

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headfirst
headfirst Contributing Member • Posts: 670
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

& weatherproof

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tnagy Regular Member • Posts: 122
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

& takes pictures without a body

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Tom2572
Tom2572 Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Re: Why is the new 35/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

cs hauser wrote:

dpyy wrote:

headfirst wrote:

what new 35/1.4?

If you meant 50/1.4 then it's a 30 year newer design with R&D costs at 201x prices not 198x ones (in fact the development costs on the old one will have been recovered/written off years ago), it's SSM & yes, Zeiss licencing costs. & they won't be anticipating selling as many so R&D has to be recovered on a smaller no. of lenses.

sorry I meant 50/1.4. So basically pay to upgrade to SSM?

Do you honestly believe that the AF motor is the only difference between a 30-year old Minolta design and a brand new Zeiss design?

Planar is a brand new lens design?

Nordstjernen
Nordstjernen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,876
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

dpyy wrote:

Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one? What's the difference? Just paid for CZ badge?

- Much more expensive glass to optimize optical performance

- SSM drive, silent and fast internal focusing system

- Much higher build quality

- The small blue Zeiss logo also adds cost

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moimoi
moimoi Veteran Member • Posts: 3,729
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

I would be interested in comparing the optical performance of this lens with the sigma version at f/1.4. Not sure the zeiss version is worth the price?

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Stv Veteran Member • Posts: 3,532
Quite simple, really............

It's a three way cash grab with many fingers in the profit pie.

100% markup to Carl Zeiss for design/license

100% markup for sub-contractor manufacturer/assembler

100% markup for SONY the marketer/seller

........ and a pittance for the retailer, I'm sure.

Stv

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lross Junior Member • Posts: 44
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

Maybe it good image quality compared to the old one.    I think the old one was junk.  I had the old Sony 50mm F1.4 and it was very soft wide open compared to the sigma.   So I sold it and kept the Sigma.

Nordstjernen
Nordstjernen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,876
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

lross wrote:

Maybe it good image quality compared to the old one. I think the old one was junk. I had the old Sony 50mm F1.4 and it was very soft wide open compared to the sigma. So I sold it and kept the Sigma.

Wide open softer than Sigma, and not the same smooth bokeh. But stopped down, better than the Sigma. The Minolta/Sony was a very good 50 mm bright prime when it came.

The question is: Do you use your 50 mm wide open (Sigma) or stopped down (Sony)?

Hope the Zeiss is great at all apertures, since I really like this focal length and the aperture blades on my Sony 50 mm f:1.4 is stuck forever. Would be great with faster focus and SSM too, and I think all Zeiss lenses are built for long time everyday use.

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yakkosmurf Senior Member • Posts: 2,095
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

We only know one part of the value equation at this point. The price justification has to wait until we see how it performs. If it performs similar to the Zeiss 85 and 135 lenses, then it will be worth considering. The trade offs of the Sony and Sigma lenses had me waiting to get a 50mm prime. If the new lens is sharp all the way around, it will be on my list.

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tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 3,408
Re: Why is the new 35/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

Tom2572 wrote:

cs hauser wrote:

dpyy wrote:

headfirst wrote:

what new 35/1.4?

If you meant 50/1.4 then it's a 30 year newer design with R&D costs at 201x prices not 198x ones (in fact the development costs on the old one will have been recovered/written off years ago), it's SSM & yes, Zeiss licencing costs. & they won't be anticipating selling as many so R&D has to be recovered on a smaller no. of lenses.

sorry I meant 50/1.4. So basically pay to upgrade to SSM?

Do you honestly believe that the AF motor is the only difference between a 30-year old Minolta design and a brand new Zeiss design?

Planar is a brand new lens design?

Were there 50mm Zeiss Planar SSM lenses in the past?

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Andrew53 Regular Member • Posts: 301
Re: Why is the new 35/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

Zeiss Planar f1.4 for Canon and Nikon is soft wide open with harsh bokeh. At f2.8 it is very sharp and the bokeh is OK.

Zeiss Makro Planar f2.0 is sharp wide open and bokeh is pretty nice.

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moimoi
moimoi Veteran Member • Posts: 3,729
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?
2

Nordstjernen wrote:

lross wrote:

Maybe it good image quality compared to the old one. I think the old one was junk. I had the old Sony 50mm F1.4 and it was very soft wide open compared to the sigma. So I sold it and kept the Sigma.

Wide open softer than Sigma, and not the same smooth bokeh. But stopped down, better than the Sigma. The Minolta/Sony was a very good 50 mm bright prime when it came.

I think using a 50 mm f/1.4 at f/5.6 makes little sense to me, specially since I can get fantastic results with the 24-70 at f/5.6.  To me, if one seeks a f/1.4 lens, 95% should be taken at f/1.4-2.

The question is: Do you use your 50 mm wide open (Sigma) or stopped down (Sony)?

Hope the Zeiss is great at all apertures, since I really like this focal length and the aperture blades on my Sony 50 mm f:1.4 is stuck forever. Would be great with faster focus and SSM too, and I think all Zeiss lenses are built for long time everyday use.

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nemist Regular Member • Posts: 378
Re: Why is the new 50/1.4 three times more expensive than the old one?

I think Sony is doing themselves a disservice here--the 85 and 135 and 24 CZ are all priced well according to similar lenses in other camps. A 50 1.4 lens is not that terriblely expensive to make, so charging this much seems excessive.  Nikon, Sigma, Canon all offer decent 50s for under $500. If Sony wants to charge this much, it better be a legendary performer wide open.

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