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| p.8 #5 · p.8 #5 · Tamron announces 150-600mm Ultra-Telephoto Zoom Lens |
I don't profess to have any knowledge of this stuff, but is it possible that Canon can't manufacture enough of the special optics needed for these lenses in the quantity that would be needed if they sold a $3,000 500mm or 600mm? Maybe the costs of expanding manufacturing and tooling to produce a large quantity of less profitable lenses is something that Canon aren't interested in? Or, perhaps there is a desire to maintain a level of exclusivity- as silly and unfair as that may seem to us consumers.
I think it's a chicken and egg situation. Do you build the capacity up front and hope you get enough demand to keep the lines running optimally, or do you just work with a limited production line and produce small batches now and then? The latter allows them to keep prices high, as you always have demand and not enough lenses to go around. But the other approach gives them higher volumes at smaller profits per lens. I guess you have to do a cost-benefit analysis and see what's the best approach.
Maybe as Canon robotises their production lines, they could increase throughput. The intend to have fully robotic lines within a few years, but I don't know if that applies to something like the superteles and I highly doubt it, at least not fully robotised.