Why are tulip lens hoods costlier than cup lens hoods? Both types appear to be made of same material. Is it only the design, or something else?
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... "they're not".
The Canon / Nikon branded hoods are more expensive, but even then, there's no real difference based on shape. If you take a look at Canon or Nikon lens hoods sorted by price, you can see both shapes mixed in at different price points. While it does happen that the very cheapest models for SLR lenses are small rings of plastic, as you go up, there is no general pattern where one type is cheaper.
In fact, the most expensive lens hoods (Canon, $700; Nikon, $1000) are just tubes with no petal shape. These hoods are for extreme telephoto lenses where the tulip shape provides no benefit (see the other question), and it's clearly supply and demand (particularly, rarity in this case) which determines the price. That's true at lower price levels too.
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 somewhat free market, items which are higher in demand can fetch a higher price, even if they cost no more to produce than another item that is seen as less desirable.
Both factors are probably in play in the case of tulip shaped lens hoods vs. cups. If properly designed, a tulip lens hood is functionally more effective than a cup.