Is it worth it to spend more on lens quality or can you just go cheap?

by planetMitch2 Comments

Yesterday over on our new visual news page, we posted a couple of ‘how lenses are made' articles — but we thought it would be cool to have a couple more all in one spot – so we've gathered them up so you can be totally amazed at what goes into a quality lens.

I saw on a forum the other day someone posting about how it was lame that some “L” lenses cost so much more than the basic Canon lens. Well it seems to me that if you watch all of the labor that goes into making these lenses – whether it is Canon or Sigma, you'll understand more about why quality lenses cost so much!

So my answer (and that of most pros) is to spend money on good lenses – they'll last much longer than your camera body!


This first video is so well done, it makes me want to go out and buy a sigma lens! I've never tried sigma before, but I'll tell you honestly this video did make me feel that they just might produce some amazing lenses. [tentblogger-youtube fdF3RG0DDYw]

Behind The Scenes At Sigma: An Unexpectedly Captivating Tour Of Their Aizu, Japan FactoryThis has got to be one of the most beautifully filmed behind the scenes videos I have ever seen. Sigma recently released this tour of their factory, set to an incredible ambient soundtrack by Voytak and cut with scenes of the Japanese countryside. The juxtaposition of the clinical interior scenes with the natural outside world were very effective and to be honest, I found the whole video somewhat powerful. Then again, I’m the type of person who listens to Brian Eno and gets caught daydreaming on a regular basis. Still, this is brilliant.“The history of our Aizu factory, our sole production base, is also the history of Sigma itself. From the moment we first conceived the idea of setting up a factory in Aizu, we have aimed to grow and develop as a member of the local community. We believe that when a company sets up a business base, it has an economic and cultural responsibility to the local community from that time onward. The global market may be the principal focus of our business, but our attention to responsibility begins at home.

via Behind The Scenes At Sigma: An Unexpectedly Captivating Tour Of Their Aizu, Japan Factory | Fstoppers.


And this ‘making of Nikkor glass' (via NikonRumors) [tentblogger-youtube 04-ew-gn69M]


And for real detail on how much work goes into making a Canon L Series 500mm F4L IS USM lens (granted it is over $10k, but still shows plenty of details on how lenses go together) in 3 parts: (low resolution videos I'm afraid) [tentblogger-youtube MKNFW0YwDYw] [tentblogger-youtube qzpt49qq6v4] [tentblogger-youtube 6bQ3-DWh-rA]

(cover photo credit: snap from the Sigma video)


  1. It’s NEVER a good idea to cheap out on lenses. I’d actually rather cheap out on the body if need be. Lenses are a long term investment and can be used from camera to camera, while the bodies may be outdated in a year or two (being digital).

  2. Kahl is right. Bodies are the least important things in your bag. Invest in good glass for years and they will last you a lifetime.

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