New answers tagged pricing
Why are most things the price they are? Two primary factors: The cost of production. The more complex shape requires more production expense. The tulip also requires more materials for any given lens, since the cup version could only be as deep as the shortest parts of the tulip or vignetting in the corners would be an issue. Supply and demand. Assuming a ...
Most of the difference is explained at Why are some lens hoods petal shaped and others not?, with the remaining question being the cost. And, I don't think the basic cost premise is correct. See cheap tulip hoods at B&H, where they start at $4 -- a dollar less than the cheapest circular hood. So the answer to "why are tulip hoods more expensive?" is... ...
The only one I tried is the 70-300mm and it is a pretty good entry-level zoom lens. There is a previous version called only VR and you can get it pretty cheap on the used market. The VRII doesn't seem to be worth the price difference.
In terms of build quality, I didn't find much of a difference between the 16-85 and the 18-105. I believe the mount material (metal vs. plastic) is overrated as long as you are using consumer bodies which are so frail that you need to take great care of the package anyway. On a sturdy pro body, the plastic mount might be the weak link indeed, but again ...
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