50mm f1.8 II is also 6 element. I know the last element of the 40mm f2.8 is a "molded" aspherical element. It should not be more expensive than a polished element. As for size of the elements, both lenses are comparable. I think the real difference of the price is from the R & D and tooling cost per lens. Obviously, the 40mm f 2.8 will have a much lower volume than the 50mm f1.8 II.
I've got a bad feeling about the price of these new STM lenses....If Canon can sell the 50mm f1.8 II at $100. The 40mm f2.8 can be sold for $100 also if the sales volume is large enough. Canon price it at $200 to make sure it can get the R &D and tooling cost back fast enough. Also canon does not expect the 40MM f2.8 will be sold as much as the 50mm f 1.8 II.
I sure hope this pancake comes in at about $200. We could start a pricing pool -- unfortunately my guess would be $400.
Sure hope $200 wins the pool!
I think "hmmm" is right
- if the lens is FTM capable and
- if the rear element is aspherical
- because it has 6 lens elements (element number counts more then sheer size if compared to 1.8/50
- because miniaturization of components makes things more complicated/drives price
Why do I think of aspherical rear element? - If the color code of the lenses is according to that of the canon.jp web site, the last element IS aspherical. And that makes sens if you want a very well corrected lens.
If usability and IQ of this lens are a lot better compared to the 50mm/1.8 this one will sell well.
40mm is FTM -> much higher usability for many photographers, more complicated built
rear element is aspherical -> plan 20-30EUR more production cost
6-element -> I know that 50/1.8 is 6 element, 40mm is not cheaper in production
small outline -> small systems are - often - more complicated to built
Additionally we have a rounded 7 blade diaphragm compared to the 5 blades of 50/1.8 ...
We have a metal mount compared to the plastic mount of 50/1.8 ...
We have STM (hopefully it fulfills expectations) as a silent, video capable AF (if someone wants to use it) ...
IMHO pricing of the new lens can be understood without any tooling or R&D costs ... 200 vs 125 $ is a fair difference ... if general IQ of the new lens is great.