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Thread: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

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    Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    I am a newbie in DLSR and recently purchased a canon 600D. Thinking of adding wide angle lenses but found various brands with wide ranging of prices. Why it varies so much?

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    A fairly simple answer; in photography as in many other things, higher price means higher quality and better performance.

    As a general rule in wide angles:

    1. The wider the angle (smaller focal length), the higher the price. With a camera like yours, pretty well any lens with a focal length less than 35mm is wide angle;

    2. The faster the lens (smaller maximum f-stop number), the higher the price. Faster lenses are often made for pro (full-frame) cameras rather than your crop frame camera, which means they have to create an image for a larger sensor, so this increases the price too;

    3. With everything being equal, a zoom lens is more complex than a fixed focal length lens, so a zoom will cost you more;

    4. Quality of materials; higher quality lenses will be better built, using better materials. As a example, dust and water seals, metal components instead of plastics, high index glass, glass aspherical elements, better anti-reflective coatings, etc.

    5. Popularity of the lens - a high volume lens will usually be less expensive than a lens produced in low quantities because the manufacturer will be getting economies of scale in their production. Fish-eye lenses and ultra-long focal length lenses fall into this category.

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    A fairly simple answer; in photography as in many other things, higher price means higher quality and better performance.

    As a general rule in wide angles:

    1. The wider the angle (smaller focal length), the higher the price. With a camera like yours, pretty well any lens with a focal length less than 35mm is wide angle;

    2. The faster the lens (smaller maximum f-stop number), the higher the price. Faster lenses are often made for pro (full-frame) cameras rather than your crop frame camera, which means they have to create an image for a larger sensor, so this increases the price too;

    3. With everything being equal, a zoom lens is more complex than a fixed focal length lens, so a zoom will cost you more;

    4. Quality of materials; higher quality lenses will be better built, using better materials. As a example, dust and water seals, metal components instead of plastics, high index glass, glass aspherical elements, better anti-reflective coatings, etc.

    5. Popularity of the lens - a high volume lens will usually be less expensive than a lens produced in low quantities because the manufacturer will be getting economies of scale in their production. Fish-eye lenses and ultra-long focal length lenses fall into this category.

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    Thanks for the information.

    What would U recommend me for the wide angle lens I.e. the lens speed and lens angle that is suitable for newbie like me?

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by vinloo View Post
    Thanks for the information.

    What would U recommend me for the wide angle lens I.e. the lens speed and lens angle that is suitable for newbie like me?
    The place to start would be to ask you what type of photography you are trying to do with the lens and what budget you are looking at and of course what lens(es) you currently use.

    I'm a bit of a super-wide angle junkie. I use a f/2.8 11-16mm on my crop frame camera and a f/2.8 14-24mm lens on my full frame; both were fairly pricey lenses and I probably use them for less than 5% of my shooting.

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    One more question to answer - (assuming you have the EF-S 18 to 55F/3.5~5.6)

    What do you want to do specifically - that you (think) you cannot do with the 18mm end of that lens?

    WW

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    One more question to answer - (assuming you have the EF-S 18 to 55F/3.5~5.6)

    What do you want to do specifically - that you (think) you cannot do with the 18mm end of that lens?

    WW
    Thank you very much for pointing it out to me. Earlier thought of having a fixed lens is better.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by vinloo View Post
    Thank you very much for pointing it out to me. Earlier thought of having a fixed lens is better.
    It all depends on what you are trying to do with the lens. I own a combination of fixed and zoom lenses. I bought each one for a specific reason (features). Whenever you buy a lens, you really have to know what you are planning to use it for.

    In my case, the reason I went for the wide angle lenses is that the wide end of my normal lenses was not "wide enough". When you shoot wide angle, an additional mm shorter focal length has a lot larger impact on your composition than an extra mm in even a normal prime.

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    I think William W's advice applies to all photographic equipment: only buy to fill a need. When you find that there is something that you can't do with your current equipment, and it is something you will want to do often, then think about what equipment will help you do that.

    The kit lens is a very good starter lens. It gives you a nice range of focal lengths with which to experiment. If you find you want to go wider than 18 mm or longer than 55 mm, then it's time to start thinking of alternatives.

    When you do get to that point: while higher price generally means better performance, that does NOT mean that you have to buy top-of-the-line to get good performance. There are many moderately priced lenses that are optically excellent. For someone starting out, two moderately priced lenses is often a better idea than a single expensive lens that costs as much as both. When the time comes, you can read reviews for competing lenses or post specific questions.

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    My previous post could have been misunderstood by vinloo. My meaning was exactly as Manfred and Dan Koretz have outlined. (Thank you both for taking the time to write.)

    vinloo - I am suggesting that if you have the 18 to 55 kit lens you should use that lens at the wide end - the 18mm end. After using the wide end of that kit lens to experiment with many types of images you should be able to begin explain WHY you need a different lens. When you can begin to talk about WHY you need something it is easier to choose WHAT exactly it is you really need.

    WW

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    My previous post could have been misunderstood by vinloo. My meaning was exactly as Manfred and Dan Koretz have outlined. (Thank you both for taking the time to write.)

    vinloo - I am suggesting that if you have the 18 to 55 kit lens you should use that lens at the wide end - the 18mm end. After using the wide end of that kit lens to experiment with many types of images you should be able to begin explain WHY you need a different lens. When you can begin to talk about WHY you need something it is easier to choose WHAT exactly it is you really need.

    WW
    Really appreciate the suggestions given by all. Many thanks to all of U.

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    I am not a "Super Wide Angle Junkie" as Manfred is. My theory is to first purchase the very best mid-range zoom I can afford such as the 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron or the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS because, the vast majority of my shots are going to be with that lens and I want the very best quality and versatility in the lens that I use most. A f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range combined with excellent image quaity and fast and accurate auto-focus is the reason that my primary go-to mid-range zoom lens is the great (but expensive) Canon 17-555mm f/2.8 IS lens.

    After using your mid-range zoom for a while, you will find which end of the zoom that you need extra range (either the wide side or the telephoto side).

    If you only occasionally find that the 17mm or 18mm end is too narrow a view, then it is very easy to shoot a several frame hand held pano to extend the coverage on either side...

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=17572474

    Note: Many photographers have a knee-jerk reaction to landscape images and automatically grab a wide or super wide lens. IMO, many of these shots turn out to be quite boring, with an immense uninteresting foreground and a lot of equally uninteresting sky. I think that a super wide lens is best used for landscape work when a distinctive and interesting subject such as foliage and or rocks is prominent in thr foreground.

    That said, IMO, one of the best values in a super wide lens for a crop format camera has been the Tokina 12-24mm f/4 ATX. There are two versions of this lens the original model and the Mk-ii version which is said to have increased flare resistance. However, I have shot with the original version for years and have not been troubled with flare. But, then I ALWAYS shoot using a lens hood and seldom shoot into the sun with this lens.

    The prices of all lenses have increased over the last few years. I bought the Mk-i new for $500 (USD) and when the Mk-ii was introduced, the new Mk-i lenses were reduced to $400 (USD) while the Mk-ii lenses sold for $500 (USD). They are more expensive now.

    One of the reasons that I selected I selected the Tokina 12-24mm f/4 ATX lens is because of the work that Roman Johnston did with this lens.

    http://www.pbase.com/romansphotos

    While my own images are not the quality of Roman's, I am quite happy with my Tokina 12-24mm f/4 ATX Mk-i

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    Just to add to the dogpile, use what you've already got thoroughly until it frustrates you. The frustrations will be the clues to what your next lens should be. With an 18-55 kit, if you want to shoot landscapes, I'd recommend stopping down into the f/8-f/16 range to get the best out of that lens.

    And also remember that what you're looking for is not THE best lens. What you're looking for is the best fit for you, your budget, and what and how you shoot.

    Photography messageboards continually have people asking for recommendations and folks giving them. But each recommendation is colored through that specific person's experience and needs. A professional portrait photographer is liable to answer the question "what's the best lens for me?" differently than a hobbyist landscape photographer.

    Not everybody needs an ultrawide. I still don't own one, after 7 years or so of dinking about with dSLRs. I'm only just now starting to think it would be a good thing to get one. Part of this is because my inclinations lead to shooting with longer lenses, and partly because the second lens I ever bought was an 8mm circular fisheye. You wanna talk wiiiiiide? I got the fisheye because the reasons I went dSLR was to use a good, high-quality fisheye lens in order to shoot spherical interactive panos handheld. I've not only used the hell out of that lens, I've upgraded it, and when I went to m4/3, I got a fisheye for that camera, too. It's a staple in my bag.

    But. I'm really really weird. Most people will never seen the need to rent/use a fisheye let alone purchase one, let alone three. But it's what I need; it's the right fit for me. Just because someone tells you it's good to have X in the bag doesn't necessarily make it so for everyone. The fun of a dSLR camera system is that you get to choose the tools you want to use. Carpenters, plumbers, and electricians all use toolboxes. But what's in those toolboxes varies. Same deal, here. Usually, most folks will decide on a lens based on two factors: budget and intended use. A messageboard recommendation is probably going to be more useful if you've narrowed your lens question down to "is A or B better for my specific purposes/budget?" rather than "what's the best lens for me to get?"

    That said. If you really want an ultrawide zoom for the 600D, then I'd say that Roger Cicala's take on the subject is probably the best summary I've seen on ultrawide zooms for crop-body cameras.

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    Re: Prices of lenses of similar range very widely, why is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by vinloo View Post
    Thanks for the information.

    What would U recommend me for the wide angle lens I.e. the lens speed and lens angle that is suitable for newbie like me?
    I wouldn't because I don't have one and when I want a wide view I take a series of overlapping shots and stitch them together in my editing program me which has layers. If you want to take photos that require a single exposure ignore this.
    obviously I am not a fan of the distorted perspective the WA gives

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