I digested a bit hunk of this thread yesterday, and had some thoughts on it last night, when I should have been sleeping.
It is of interest to me as I currently am a D90 user and am watching the expected D400 release with acute interest, and am ready to step up a grade in my glass, and would love to see the basic range covered well:
17-50 or 55mm f2.8 VR
50-135mm f2.8 VR
I see putting pro grade glass on a DX body just pushing the shooting distances, particularly at the short end, out way too far. I expect this issue will really come alive with the better sensor capacity expected to arrive with the D400.
We are used to seeing a motor vehicle body which is the basis of several variations; different equipment levels, and even body variants like sedans and hatches. In cars variants engine, suspensions, tyres and rims all vary to create dramatic variations in choice and performance.
How viable might the same concept be to lens?
What chiefly separates better lens from middle lens? These days it tends to be lens coatings and VR. Maybe different aperture diaphragms.
How viable might it be from both a manufacturers and a consumers perspective to offer a lens in:
Basic form - less exotic lens coatings, no VR, and less sophisticated diaphragms.
Intermediate form - more exotic lens coatings, more sophisticated diaphragms, but sans VR
Premium form - all the top kit
These could all go down the same production line, but in different runs, possibly with more time on assembly and QC checking as the grade rose.
Each product could be differentially labelled, just as cars are.
What do you think? Viable?
Do you think there'd be distinctly different markets for lens at each spec?
I think this could enliven the market removing some of the big gaps and making it more attractive for people to keep active in migrating upwards.