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08-12-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
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Prime prices

Hey all, new member here. Just picked up my K-x with the kit 18-55 and the DA 35 Ltd. about two months ago. As a newbie to dslr's, all I can say is this forum and posts were very helpful in my decision - I couldn't be happier!

I've noticed that while searching through past posts (ie. 2008-2009) I generally saw the prices for the DA Ltd. primes being cheaper than they are now. Have the prices on these increased or are they about the same? Is it typical that the price for these will increase as the supply dries up? Thanks in advance!

08-12-2010, 12:46 PM   #2
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Prices are decreasing for lenses that are still in production. You can view pricing trends for DA lenses here: Pentax Lens Review Database - Pentax DA Series Prime Lens Reviews and Specifications

Used lenses that are out of production are going up in cost, however.

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08-12-2010, 02:52 PM   #3
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Since this question is about lenses and not cameras, I'm moving it to the more appropriate forum. But note this has been a recurring topic the last year or so. A few lenses did go up by a significant amount - DA40 and FA50 most obviously so among lenses still in production. most went up by smaller amounts, or even went down. Also, though, retailers stopped advertising their actualprices but instead stated advertising "list" price, and you have to add to cart to see the actual (much lower) price. So a few lenses appear at first to have gone up a lot when they actually haven't.
08-12-2010, 08:02 PM   #4
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they had become more expensive due to Pentax decision to increase them. also the growing demand and popularity again by Pentax seemed to jack up the prices of old lenses. an FA135 in mint condition 2 years ago could be had for $200-$250. now it seems it goes for around $450.

the DA* zooms as I remembered goes for around $600-$650, now they are selling for around 1k nowadays.

08-13-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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Actually, current B&H price on DA*16-50 is $740, 50-135 $820. And neither really went for as little as $600 on a regular basis, although they might have occasionally hit that low in special sales.

And the FA35 is one of the lens that went up because it was discontinued and suppy is drying up. And while used copies might have gone for $200 occasionally, the *new* price - the only one Pentax has control over - was never really below $300.
08-13-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Actually, current B&H price on DA*16-50 is $740, 50-135 $820. And neither really went for as little as $600 on a regular basis, although they might have occasionally hit that low in special sales.

And the FA35 is one of the lens that went up because it was discontinued and suppy is drying up. And while used copies might have gone for $200 occasionally, the *new* price - the only one Pentax has control over - was never really below $300.
haven't really check the B&H price on the DA* zooms recently. this maybe due to decreasing demand and over-abundance of supply. or maybe they are doing a last minute inventory.
08-14-2010, 05:40 AM   #7
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I lament what appears to be the ever-increasing cost of Pentax lenses as much as the next guy. Back in 1981 when I purchased my first camera there was a general rule of thumb regarding the price of lenses. Simply put any new lens, from 28mm and up to 200mm, would start at $100 and then you would add the focal length to the price. So using this rule a 28mm lens would cost roughly $100 + 28 dollars or about $128 bucks. The same general pattern would apply to other common glass with extreme telephotos, very fast glass and wide-angle lenses always being more expensive due to low production runs. Those were the days.

Today there is no general rule I can ascertain for vintage glass except people seem to charge whatever the market will bear. Folks have become aware of how good many of the old screw mount Takumar, K, M, A and FA series lenses were and are collecting them. It is to Pentax’s credit they have stayed true to a policy of backward compatibility to a degree unmatched by any other maker. Many of these old lenses, all brass and glass, are built to a standard that would make them financially impossible to produce today. Quality always costs more and when supply and demand is thrown into the mix the costs always go up.

As for new lenses I have the same sticker shock reaction as many others. How can the DA* 16~50 I recently bought be worth the $900 (I know it can be had cheaper) they are asking for it at the local camera store? As I wear glasses and had to recently replace them the answer became apparent to me last month. I got the special Nikon (no Pentax coatings available) coated lenses which added to the overall price of just under $500 for the two lenses. The DA* 16~50 has 15 elements in 12 groups with some aspherical elements and extra-low dispersions elements thrown in to boot. Compared to my eye glasses this lens looks like a bargain. Considering what we are getting given the advances in engineering, lens coatings, and optical design, these modern optics, prime or zoom, are looking like better buys all the time.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-14-2010 at 06:33 AM. Reason: typo
08-15-2010, 09:10 AM   #8
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Lenses stay good for many years, so prices of good lenses get corrected for inflation (and sometimes in case of limitted supply even more expensive).

Just like house prices (before the economic crisis...) as well as collector items like Ferrari or watches of some fancy brands.

08-16-2010, 04:28 AM   #9
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Well put, Tom G.
We still see M42, K, M and A's going for good money, after how many years after manufacture?
We spectacle wearers know that we won't be wearing the same spectacles in 30 or 40 years! (OK, some of that reason is because our eyesight diminishes a little over time). And my $700 (au) spectacles have PLASTIC lenses.
08-16-2010, 06:24 PM   #10
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I think that some of the tales of amazing lens prices come back when folks in the US could buy from Canada very cheaply on the basis of the very weak Canadian dollar. I got the DA 35 about that time for 375 dollars and the DA 16-50 for 600 dollars with a Mack Warranty. However, Pentax Canada raised prices and the Canadian dollar got stronger and that source of "amazing deals" went away.

Here in the US, the prices have climbed steadily, but much more slowly than the Canadian prices that jumped a huge amount a year and a half ago.
08-19-2010, 08:58 PM   #11
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USD vs YEN of course didn't do very well either.
- Why would Pentax discontinue a FA35? To replace it my something better?
08-19-2010, 09:53 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
USD vs YEN of course didn't do very well either.
- Why would Pentax discontinue a FA35? To replace it my something better?
I reckon they figure they'd not want to undercut the FA31/1.8. Having a cheap 35/2 next to that would make the 31 less appealing. We lose.
08-19-2010, 11:56 PM   #13
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Now I will probably consider Sigma 30 mm F1.4
08-20-2010, 12:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by wjjstu Quote
I reckon they figure they'd not want to undercut the FA31/1.8. Having a cheap 35/2 next to that would make the 31 less appealing. We lose.
actually it is already less appealing just judging alone by it's price.
08-20-2010, 02:11 AM   #15
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You look at prices?
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