Why Is the Canon 11-24mm f/4L Lens so Expensive?

The Canon 11-24mm f/4L lens is a beautiful piece of glass, but it's also a highly pricey piece of glass. This fun video takes a look at just why it's so expensive.

Coming to you from ZY Productions, this great video takes a look at why the Canon 11-24mm f/4L lens is so expensive. Personally, I was a big fan of the lens in my review. Of course, there's the wow factor of shooting so insanely wide, and believe me, that part is a ton of fun. But beyond that, it's simply a very high-quality lens with lots of sharpness at all focal lengths. Engineering such extreme glass (particularly a zoom lens) is not particularly easy, and giving it the optical performance it has makes the challenge all the tougher. I imagine that Canon also priced it a bit higher to help recoup some of the research and development budget, as a professional-level, extreme wide angle zoom is simply not a lens that will sell as many units as more popular pieces of glass, so in turn, it requires more of a profit margin per lens to turn an overall profit. Nonetheless, despite the price, it's a very fun lens, and I recommend at least renting one sometime if you'd like to try something different. 

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8 Comments

I agree with all of the reasons that a lens like this is so expensive but I would add one more: prestige. If you want to be a premier brand you can't just make stuff as good or slightly better than your competition, you need to pull out ahead and demonstrate amazing engineering feats.

Rk K's picture

When a stellar 12-24 f4 costs half of that... No, not worth it.

Not worth it to whom? The company making it? The consumer?

It's a rectilinear lens (not fisheye) that is sharp at all focal lengths & probably most apertures. There isn't a massive market for this lens but obviously enough of one because it exists.

Rk K's picture

I'm saying that you can get a 12-24 that does all this (rectilinear and sharp) for half the price.

Because wherever I go to a photo worthy spots, I get there early, sunrise and sunset, set up my tripod and strobes and I can get so close to the subject and get everything in without other photogs getting into my frame. I WIll be in your frame and there is nothing you can do about it...I got first dib...and you got to come again the next day because you do not want me with tripod and alll in your frame with the grand canyon or whatever on the background...one time one shot buddy...

And THAT is why it is worth 3000 big ones...bought one when it came out.

It's not so expensive if you buy it on eBay, especially from an auction. You can get one from around $1500 - $1900.

Thats a lot of cash to be gambling on eBay.

Rob Mitchell's picture

It's not a 'piece of glass' and it's expensive because they priced it that way, people who want it won't question it. Others will buy Sigma or whatever. End of story.