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Digital Camera Product Bite: The Lens Story

Last week, we introduced our Digital Cameras Category Report – a result of analyzing over 12,000 digital cameras. The camera story is a quite incomplete without the lens story. Photographers interested in taking more than simply selfies are invested in trying out different lenses for their digital cameras. Depending on if they’re shooting indoors or outdoors, the lighting conditions, speed of action, etc., people work with different lenses. We included lenses in our analysis to make our report more comprehensive, and explored lenses that serve both DSLR and mirrorless cameras. The Indix Cloud Catalog carries 9,323 in-stock digital camera lenses spanning 27,268 offers (product + store combinations) selling across 32 online stores from more than 35 brands.

Lenses are a critical part of the shutterbug’s kit. Most photographers are loyal to the lenses they own and once they have the right lenses, most often, they will get a new camera body to use with the same lenses. Among other things, we found that 69.4% of all lenses are fixed lenses while the remaining 30.6% are zoom lenses. The median sale price of zoom lenses is double that of fixed lenses ($438 vs. $219). Our in-house photography enthusiast Breann Harper explains that fixed lenses have only have one focal length while zoom lenses have a range of focal lengths. Because there are fewer moving parts, and they are simpler in their construction, fixed lenses tend to be cheaper. However, with a zoom lens, you only need one lens to do the work of two or three fixed lenses.

It’s intriguing to see the level of attribute depth we culled from our analysis. Here’s the classification of lenses by focal lengths and what the distribution looks like across fixed and zoom lenses.

Lenses classification by focal lengths:
• Super Wide Angle Lens: <20mm
• Wide Angle Lens: 21–35mm
• Standard Lens: 35–80mm
• Medium Telephoto Lens: 80–135mm
• Telephoto Lens: 135–300mm
• Super Telephoto Lens: >300mm

Distribution of Fixed Lenses by Focal Length

Distribution of Zoom Lenses by Focal Length

Another noteworthy finding was seeing that the lens market is a lot more competitive than the camera market with more brands in the top bracket.

Product Count of Top Brands

Please note that the bars marked in blue stand for the top eight digital camera brands.

Here are a few more insights from our report:

  • Standard focal length lenses comprise almost half of all fixed lenses.
  • Telephoto and super telephoto lenses make up a little more than half of all zoom lenses.
  • Nikon carries more than 12 times as many lenses as Polaroid.
  • Top five brands: Nikon, Rokinon, Sigma, Sony, and Canon.
  • Based on median price, Zeiss lenses are twice as expensive as the nearest competitor, Fujinon.
  • While Nikon leads in product count, it is the sixth most expensive brand at $484.6.
  • Six out of the top 20 brands have a median price less than $350.

For more insights on digital cameras and lenses, check out our full report now.



Also published on Medium.

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