Not a very interesting question in and of itself, but I'd like to get some numbers to use in a following question.

  • Are you interesting in a particular brand? Or in general? Nov 7 '14 at 14:31
  • Anything anyone may have.
    – JenSCDC
    Nov 7 '14 at 14:35
  • 4
    Upvoted, but I doubt any major brand would release that kind of data, after all this is somewhat important information for their competitors. Canon's annual sales report for example isn't nearly detailed enough. While a very biased analysis you might get a rough idea from metadata on a big image archive such as Flickr (they only offer that precompiled for camera models though).
    – mivilar
    Nov 7 '14 at 17:13
  • 1
    Your best bet would likely be to survey friendly local camera stores (since the big ones likely won't tell you - though nothing prevents you from trying).
    – user13451
    Nov 9 '14 at 2:17
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about sales volumes of various lenses, not about using lenses to produce photographs.
    – Michael C
    Dec 3 '18 at 18:01

If what you're really looking for is something like the relative popularity of 50mm f/1.4 vs 50mm f/1.8 lenses, you might look at membership in Flickr groups. For example, I added up the number of members in all the groups whose names started with EF 50mm f/1.4 and the same for EF 50mm f/1.8. The totals were 22008 and 21172, respectively. This doesn't really tell you anything about sales figures, but you could infer that among people who enjoy sharing photos on Flickr, the two lenses are roughly equal in popularity.

Another measure is Amazon's best seller rank for digital camera lenses. As of this writing:

  • items #1, #3, #4, #27, and #33 on the list are Canon, Nikon, or Pentax 50mm f/1.8 lenses

  • items #6 and #26 are Canon and Nikon 50mm f/1.4

  • item #40 is the Canon 50mm f/1.2L

From this, one might infer that more 50mm f/1.8 lenses are sold, at least through Amazon, compared to f/1.4 versions.

Of course, you hardly need Amazon to tell you that when two products do nearly the same thing the one that costs 2-3x more than the other will likely sell in lower volume.

  • Thanks. I was wondering if the same effect of it "if it costs more, it must be better" effect seen in wine applies in photography as well. But now I've realized that there are just too many confounding variables to to a meaningful analysis :( But the Amazon info is interesting in and of itself.
    – JenSCDC
    Nov 11 '14 at 12:55
  • I'd be willing to bet that those various Flickr groups have a LOT of overlapping members on each list.
    – Michael C
    Dec 3 '18 at 18:01

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