As for why it's difficult to make, it pretty much boils down to "lenses are hard to make as it is, and the bigger they are, the more difficult it becomes."
kiltedtaco: Telescopes have some giant lenses in them, and while it costs a lot, it's not crazy.
sp160n: It's amazing how hard to conceive nightlife by candlelight is in this day and age.
ShutterBun: In short, a large f-stop has an awful lot to do with lens size.
ShutterBun: f/1.0, of course.
Err, how on earth are you able to calculate the f-stop of this hypothetical lens without knowing its focal length?
IAmBroom: one piece 50mm in front of the optical centerline
ShutterBun: In order for a lens with an effective aperture of 1mm (which it sounds like what you're describing) to have an f-stop of 1.0, it would have to have a focal length of 1mm, which would obviously be unusable for 35mm photography.
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