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05-07-2010, 07:21 PM   #1
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Building & investing in a lens collection

I've built my lens collection with a stringent set of criteria:
  1. Aesthetics (must look great on my red K-x)
  2. Must have a high resale value, greater than what I'd paid for it
  3. Must fill a need or gaping hole in my lens line up
  4. Must be a fast lens, preferably under f2 (nothing slower than f3.5 in my collection)

So far, I've stuck closely to my plan with the exception of No. 3.

My greatest concern is that Pentax will not be able to compete with Canon on an equal footing in the next several decades. This will adversely affect the value of K-mount and possibly M42 lenses. I'd like to have the flexibility to change platforms in case one company gains a distinct advantage over the other. I will likely leave Pentax if they're unable to release a competitive FF camera in the next year or so.

To my knowledge, K-mount lenses are mostly incompatible with Nikon cameras and require the mutilation of the aperture tab for compatibility on a Canon FF DSLR and the use of stop-down metering. This has somewhat turned me off from K-mount lenses, especially auto-aperture lenses like the Pentax-A or Voigtlander SLII lenses. I also feel much safer investing in M42 lenses as they're unlikely to fluctuate in value.

I understand some people might see this as an over-analysis and suggest that I should just be taking photos instead. However, I've spent thousands on lenses and I'm likely to reach the $10k mark in the near future. That's quite a chunk of change to invest in a hobby and I'd like to know that it wouldn't suddenly go the way of Minolta and Canon FD lenses.

Pentax is still in a precarious situation, they're not nearly as well entrenched in the DSLR market as Canon/Nikon. They could very well relapse into what they were in the 90's and early 00's.

What are other people's thoughts on this? Does owning thousands of dollars in photo equipment make you uneasy?

05-07-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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Nearly every lens that Pentax has ever made is still compatible with any modern Pentax camera. The same cannot be said of the other brands. What makes you think Canon won't switch to an incompatible E-FU (pronounced "ehhh, Eff You!) mount next year?
05-07-2010, 08:15 PM   #3
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I'm not worrying. As far as hobbys go, you can get a lot of camera gear for less than half the price of a boat with a medium sized outboard motor. The top of the line FF Canon's and Nikon's are cheaper than a used Harley. A good fly rod costs more than a Limited lens.

Go take some pictures and enjoy your gear!
05-07-2010, 08:51 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
What are other people's thoughts on this? Does owning thousands of dollars in photo equipment make you uneasy?
No, I don't worry about it much. Say Pentax goes out of business tomorrow. The lenses still work. The camera still works. Anyone who's not a pro can go for years without wearing out a camera or lens. So use them; that's why you spent thousands.

05-07-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aegon Quote
Nearly every lens that Pentax has ever made is still compatible with any modern Pentax camera. The same cannot be said of the other brands. What makes you think Canon won't switch to an incompatible E-FU (pronounced "ehhh, Eff You!) mount next year?
I understand what you mean, but it's far more likely for Pentax to release sub standard DSLR bodies than it is for Canon to switch mounts. Keep in mind Pentax has no plans to release a professional FF body in the near future, if ever.

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
No, I don't worry about it much. Say Pentax goes out of business tomorrow. The lenses still work. The camera still works. Anyone who's not a pro can go for years without wearing out a camera or lens. So use them; that's why you spent thousands.
We're not in the film era anymore. It's cute to pull out your Pentax ME Super, not so cute when you pull out your *istD a few years from now. DSLR bodies, like modern technology, improve dramatically each year in image quality. So yes, if the company were to die, the camera itself would still "work", but why stick with this body if in 2 years, other cameras will have twice the bit depth and three times the resolution?

But I digress, I just thought if you were to invest thousands of dollars in a hobby, it would behoove you to consider an exit plan. You never know when you'll need money suddenly.

Is it not impossible that Canon and Nikon could very well overtake Pentax? What then? We are photographers first and foremost, brand loyalty should not trump that. What would you do if Canon had a camera that is vastly superior to any Pentax cameras and you had all these lenses holding you back?
05-07-2010, 10:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
We're not in the film era anymore. It's cute to pull out your Pentax ME Super, not so cute when you pull out your *istD a few years from now. DSLR bodies, like modern technology, improve dramatically each year in image quality. So yes, if the company were to die, the camera itself would still "work", but why stick with this body if in 2 years, other cameras will have twice the bit depth and three times the resolution?

But I digress, I just thought if you were to invest thousands of dollars in a hobby, it would behoove you to consider an exit plan. You never know when you'll need money suddenly.

Is it not impossible that Canon and Nikon could very well overtake Pentax? What then? We are photographers first and foremost, brand loyalty should not trump that. What would you do if Canon had a camera that is vastly superior to any Pentax cameras and you had all these lenses holding you back?
Can anything really be predictable in the technology age? Apple has gone from a cool computer company to a computer company with a nearly invisible market share to a multi-product tech giant with a market cap bigger than Walmart. Lots of billion-dollar companies in 2000 don't exist today. Maybe these SLRs we have today are the end of the line for that technology altogether, and the Canon and Nikon users will also be left with huge investments in lenses that are obsolete. That possible future is just as likely, and I can't think of an exit plan for it.
05-07-2010, 11:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aegon Quote
Nearly every lens that Pentax has ever made is still compatible with any modern Pentax camera. The same cannot be said of the other brands. What makes you think Canon won't switch to an incompatible E-FU (pronounced "ehhh, Eff You!) mount next year?
Infact it can be said about all Nikon glass (since 1959, but sure, it may be the only brand except Pentax).. And all Canon EF-glass (since 1987.)

On the other hand I read about something which was better with Canon than Nikon, don't remember what though =P, if nothing else there's plenty of EF glass around anyway

I assume everyone will "abandon" their mount if they go EVIL? Kinda shitty but what to do about it?
QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Does owning thousands of dollars in photo equipment make you uneasy?
I've owned equivalents of multiple thousand of dollars of nutritional supplements (mostly protein and essential amino acids but also a lot of crap ), guess which was the wiser investment?
QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
but why stick with this body if in 2 years, other cameras will have twice the bit depth and three times the resolution?
I assume the obvious answer is "because it works and give good enough results"?
QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
But I digress, I just thought if you were to invest thousands of dollars in a hobby, it would behoove you to consider an exit plan. You never know when you'll need money suddenly.
Which make me wonder if I should buy everything used. That way I may eventually get the same back if I sell it.
QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Is it not impossible that Canon and Nikon could very well overtake Pentax? What then? We are photographers first and foremost, brand loyalty should not trump that. What would you do if Canon had a camera that is vastly superior to any Pentax cameras and you had all these lenses holding you back?
I thought glass made more of a difference than camera bodies so I rather speculate the opposite =P, what if I feel the glass available for a body (*ahem* micro four-thirds *ahem*) is inferior? . I like the GF1 body =P

Last edited by aliquis; 05-07-2010 at 11:41 PM.
05-08-2010, 04:46 AM   #8
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For the op

thinking photovraphic equipment and lenses is an invest
ent is just wrong.

So is thinking the equipment must look goog

05-08-2010, 06:38 AM   #9
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Lowell, what have you been smoking

Hangu, I don't care how much I spent on a hobby (but will spend the money wisely)

1) Looks: I could not care less as I don't see it when I look through the view finder
2) Resale value: my a**
3) Gap: agreed; the big gap in my collection (18-55 and 55-300) was a fast lens and therefore I bought a FA31LTD (no gap anymore)
4) Fast lenses only: I'm missing out on some very long lenses (400mm and higher) when you put that limitation in
05-08-2010, 07:24 AM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
1) Looks: I could not care less as I don't see it when I look through the view finder
2) Resale value: my a**
3) Gap: agreed; the big gap in my collection (18-55 and 55-300) was a fast lens and therefore I bought a FA31LTD (no gap anymore)
4) Fast lenses only: I'm missing out on some very long lenses (400mm and higher) when you put that limitation in
I agree with most of that.

If you are looking for investments, try gold.

Talking about "bokeh" and "rendering" and "my fast glass" is nauseating. There is so much more to photography than a fast freaking fifty.

How about using a lens that results in nice or even just interesting images rather than fitting into some stringent numerical requirement? If it fits your numbers - great. If not, so what?
05-08-2010, 09:59 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
For the op

thinking photovraphic equipment and lenses is an investment is just wrong.

So is thinking the equipment must look good
QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I agree with most of that.

If you are looking for investments, try gold.

Talking about "bokeh" and "rendering" and "my fast glass" is nauseating. There is so much more to photography than a fast freaking fifty.

How about using a lens that results in nice or even just interesting images rather than fitting into some stringent numerical requirement? If it fits your numbers - great. If not, so what?

Well, aren't we the purists here?

Let me make this clearer. My priority is not to make money by reselling lenses. If I so happen to be able to draw a profit out of a lens that I no longer use, then groovy. I go out and photograph more than most people on this forum, just because I have an eye on the monetary value behind my equipment doesn't make me any less of a photographer than any of you.

We're all spending thousands of dollars on photo equipment. It's important to buy things you enjoy but it's only prudent to use the money in such a way that it remains flexible, so you may withdraw or adapt with the technology.

Digital photography is growing and changing by leaps and bounds. It'd be folly to ignore that. Anything can happen; if Canon comes out with an amazing camera and Pentax continuously lags behind, I will hop on over without reservation. Before any of you criticize that kind of attitude, be aware that it's also the very attitude that enabled me to switch over to Pentax from Canon.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with using camera equipment that looks good. Criticizing that is hypocritical and downright ignorant. You spend money on clothes that flatter your physique and you choose your cameras partly on the aesthetic pleasure they bestow.

Go ahead, belittle and condescend someone who has the balls to admit that they bought a photo equipment because it looked good. As if none of you had ever admired the brilliant colors on a K-x and the craftsmanship of a K-7. Cause you know, art and design is totally not important, it's only a billion dollar industry that dictates our life style.
05-08-2010, 10:14 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Well, aren't we the purists here?

Let me make this clearer. My priority is not to make money by reselling lenses. If I so happen to be able to draw a profit out of a lens that I no longer use, then groovy. I go out and photograph more than most people on this forum, just because I have an eye on the monetary value behind my equipment doesn't make me any less of a photographer than any of you.

We're all spending thousands of dollars on photo equipment. It's important to buy things you enjoy but it's only prudent to use the money in such a way that it remains flexible, so you may withdraw or adapt with the technology.

Digital photography is growing and changing by leaps and bounds. It'd be folly to ignore that. Anything can happen; if Canon comes out with an amazing camera and Pentax continuously lags behind, I will hop on over without reservation. Before any of you criticize that kind of attitude, be aware that it's also the very attitude that enabled me to switch over to Pentax from Canon.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with using camera equipment that looks good. Criticizing that is hypocritical and downright ignorant. You spend money on clothes that flatter your physique and you choose your cameras partly on the aesthetic pleasure they bestow.

Go ahead, belittle and condescend someone who has the balls to admit that they bought a photo equipment because it looked good. As if none of you had ever admired the brilliant colors on a K-x and the craftsmanship of a K-7. Cause you know, art and design is totally not important, it's only a billion dollar industry that dictates our life style.
i feel kinda ashame that you're using a pentax like me...

if lens value is your thing move over to nikon, their lenses hold up very well.
05-08-2010, 10:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
i feel kinda ashame that you're using a pentax like me...

if lens value is your thing move over to nikon, their lenses hold up very well.
Oh, be more dramatic. Weep for the Pentax brand that I've so vigorously sullied.
05-08-2010, 01:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Oh, be more dramatic. Weep for the Pentax brand that I've so vigorously sullied.
LOL!!!!

The only drama queen here is you bro. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!
05-08-2010, 02:35 PM   #15
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