When the Noct was designed and built the use of aspherical elements was not common, those elements at that time required special cutting and polishing techniques, as well the reject rate on those elements we very high so that added to the cost. Now the increased use of aspherical elements is due to improved manufacturing, they are molded into the aspherical shape rather than ground by hand. These lenses were actually fairly reasonable not too long ago. Years ago I missed my chance to get one for 750.00, they were going for about 1000-1200 at that point but I was able to burn thru a roll to see what it could do. I was very impressed with the bokeh and sharpness wide open, and if I had that cash right then I would have bought it. After seeing the film I really Really wish I got it!!