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11-15-2007, 03:31 PM   #1
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Old lenses - What to buy and how much ?

Hello, and pardon my english. It's not my native language and I'm into a few beers.

Anyhow, lets get down to it.
I'm a student and from Norway. The current currency of the $ is 5.40 NKR (Norwegian kroner) or close to that, which is (almost) an all time low.

I own a Pentax K10D, but so far I only got the kit lens.
Due to the cost of lenses here in Norway and the fact that I'm a student I don't have all that much to spend. So I've been having a look at eBay.

Currently I feel that the kit lens is limiting my creative options and also is a bit limiting when it comes to FOV.

The lenses I'm considering are these :
28mm or 35mm F/2 or F/2.8
50mm F/1.4 (Maybe 1.7)
135mm F/2.8 or F/3.5

Or something inbetween.
The most important is that they have to be resonable fast. I would love something longer than the 55mm (18-55 zoom) that I'm currently stuck with. However just having the opertunity to play with DOF will get me further in the "creative" part.

I do not (currently) have an adapter for M42, though I can get one for approx. 450 kr (80$).

Here's some more financial background :
I have to pay a 90 kr tax fee + 25% of the item+shipping cost in taxes when importing stuff at a value above 200kr (36$ (included shipping)).

The shipping alone, as I've found, by US Postal (something) is usually ~40$.
The FA 50mm 1.4 costs 2500 kr (454$) in Norway.

As a starting point consider a 50mm F1.4 (old and used, not new), what would be a reasonable price to pay on eBay considering the shipping cost and taxes ?
What would you consider to be the upper limit YOU would pay for such a lens ?

I hope you can help me out, as I really don't know which old lenses are 'good stuff' and how much I should pay for the 'good stuff'.

Regards,
Beej80

11-15-2007, 04:05 PM   #2
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I have never heard a post started better than that in my life!!

I'll continue reading now and hopefully give you a good reply.
11-15-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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OK, first off, sorry to hear about the currency problems over there. I currently have a FA 50mm f1.4 for sale, and if I was to get $454 dollars for it, I would probably through a party and dace a jig, it's a great lens but only worth about $200 new, $180 used in great condition.

A M42 adapter for $80, absolutely not, I am thinking $20 for one in pristine condition at best. (I have one of those too)

As for your lens choices, the 50 1.4 is great but we already went over that. A 135mm in that f-stop range can fetch anywhere from $50 to $150 depending on if you went with off-brand Sears to a real Pentax SMC model.

And on a side note, the kit lens isnt really limited.. think out of the box.
11-15-2007, 04:21 PM   #4
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Hi Beej80

If you don't mind using Pentax-M or K lenses (ie no A setting, manual foucs + manual aperture) you can get all the lenses mentioned above for less than US$100 each. Have a look at this Marketplace here and keh.com.

As for which one to get, I can recommend M28mm/f3.5, M50mm/f1.7 and M135/f3.5. I own the first two lenses and have been very happy with them. I have also heard heaps of good things about M135/f3.5. There are other better manual lenses but they are also more expensive.

hope that helps

cheers
Kenny

11-15-2007, 05:19 PM   #5
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Ah, thanks for the replies so far. The effect of the beers seems to be wearing off by now

But back to the topic.
I would like to try to play with some M or K lenses. The manual focus might just be beneficial for me, as I would then be forced to spend MORE time on each photo and as a result I might give them a bit more thought.

So lenses without autofocus would absolutely be an option.

@Budda Jones:
I'm not sure what about the start of my first post you found so good - but I hope you had a nice laugh
Uhm, we don't actually have a currency problem, the NKR is very strong against the $ now with the exchange rate being 5.40NKR for 1$ (It was 7.50NKR for 1$ last year I think).
So it's an ideal time to buy stuff in $$$.
The problem is that the "conventional" pricing of stuff in Norway is US price in $ *10 = price in NKR, and they haven't adjusted for the low exchange rate atm.

Back to the case again.
FA 50mm f1.4 - $180 used in great condition. <- That's more than I'm willing to pay atm.
My funds are quite limited right now (xmas coming up and all ).
So my sole reason for this post was to try to get a "reasonable" price range for the older lenses; M, K, A lenses. I probably didn't express that good enough in the first post.

I also want to know what BRANDS are (usually) good.

So, does anyone have anymore info for me ?
What would you pay for some NICE samples of older lenses ?
Please, just throw them out there. Which are good buys, which are decent, and which should I stay away from ?

Regards,
Beej80
11-15-2007, 07:21 PM   #6
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I have the SMC-M 50MM f1.4 and love it. I bought a K1000, just because it had this lens on it, i paid $70 shipped for both, and traded the K1000 in on a used tripod. They are not selling for as much as they used to on ebay, so you might want to look for one of those, and i think the f1.7 version usually goes for less, and is supposedly a little sharper wide open than the f1.4. A 28MM f2.8 is a really nice focal length on the 1.5 x crop factor of DSLRs , I have a Tokina, and love it. If i remember correctly, i paid $28 for the Tokina, and it is like new !!
11-15-2007, 07:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Beej80 Quote
The manual focus might just be beneficial for me, as I would then be forced to spend MORE time on each photo and as a result I might give them a bit more thought. Beej80
Not an expert, but what I found was actually getting a tripod to be more coercive in giving a shot more thought than selecting from a choice of lenses. Perhaps its just the principle of having carried and set up the tripod - you'd like to think you gave it your best crack.
11-16-2007, 05:58 AM   #8
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So to start summing it all up...

Tokina 28mm f/2.8 is a nice lens, price ~30 $ (And then I would have to add 40$ in shipping and then some for taxes. End price for me would then be ~100$). Still worth it ?

SMC-M 50mm f/1.4 also a good lens. Price ~50$ (??). With shipping and taxes I'm up to ~125$. Still worth the price ?

I was wondering if anyone has any info on Sears 135mm, IQ and price.
If I could get one for 75$, with shipping and taxes the end price would be ~160$.
I don't know if it is worth it.

If someone could please help me out here with details and acceptable priceranges for different lenses, brands and what to stay away from.

Regards,
Beej80

11-16-2007, 06:35 AM   #9
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Beej, I would suggest you keep on drinking that beer 'cause nothing wrong with your English, grammar or spelling.

I've noticed one thing when people start quoting prices for the 50mm f1.4 - there's a difference in price between the AF and the older versions.

From the sound of things pricewise, it would be better to get someone to courier-over an order. And I thought we had it bad here in Canada!

Good luck
11-16-2007, 06:48 AM   #10
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Good to hear that I can keep drinking beer occasionally

If I had only thought about it a few months ago I would have gotten my sister to buy some lenses for me when she were in LA. Unfortuantly it never occured to me at that time.

And yes, it does bother me that the shipping+taxes add up to more than the lenses themselves.
My best option at this time would be to find a seller that would sell a collection of lenses such that I would only have to pay for shipping once. It's really annoying to have to pay taxes for the shipping.

Well, I suppose free healthcare and education (universities) has to come from somewhere.

Regards,
Beej80
11-16-2007, 06:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Beej80 Quote
So to start summing it all up...

Tokina 28mm f/2.8 is a nice lens, price ~30 $ (And then I would have to add 40$ in shipping and then some for taxes. End price for me would then be ~100$). Still worth it ?

SMC-M 50mm f/1.4 also a good lens. Price ~50$ (??). With shipping and taxes I'm up to ~125$. Still worth the price ?

I was wondering if anyone has any info on Sears 135mm, IQ and price.
If I could get one for 75$, with shipping and taxes the end price would be ~160$.
I don't know if it is worth it.

If someone could please help me out here with details and acceptable priceranges for different lenses, brands and what to stay away from.

Regards,
Beej80
IMO there are 3 "Must have lenses" if you are going the bayonet mount. These same 3 are available in screw mount for less $. Careful shopping on ebay should get you these prices.

K or M28 f3.5 $35 to $75
M50 f1.7 $35 to $65
K or M 135 f3.5 $30 to $76 The K is heavier

At these prices I see no sense in looking at other brands. Use keh.com as a price guide, they are very reputable and their grading scale is excellent. I've bought several BGN lenses from them that are great. Right now there is a M135 f3.5 in EX condition listed for $76 and a M50 f1.7 in BGN for $65. You should be able to do a little better on ebay.

It might save freight if you bought both those from KEH.

P.S I just looked at keh again and they have a M28 f2,8 in BGN condition for $89. It's a good lens but not as sharp as the f3.5. That's a total of $230 plus freight and taxes on one shipment.

Regards,

Ken

Last edited by regken; 11-16-2007 at 07:03 AM.
11-16-2007, 06:56 AM   #12
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Ken,

thank you for your excellent reply.

Regards,
Beej80
11-16-2007, 07:01 AM   #13
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Hi Beej80!
I suggest to be focused on old (so good!) M42 lenses. I agree with Buddha Jones: an adapter should be max 20 US$ or something. I have some old lenses made in former GDR and I am very satisfied.
I have an excellent Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm 1:2.4 as a standard lens; I have also a very good Pentacon 200mm 1:4 (heavy, but reliable). I don't know were to buy in them Norway but look after such glasses.
I don't know a cheper issue.
Good luck!
11-16-2007, 12:26 PM   #14
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i just got 50mm f2, (likewise attached to a k1000 body), from my father, now 88. not the fastest normal but for free......

attached is a shot i took monday behing my office, using a gemini 2x extender. it was very cool and wet. not as sharp as i would like, but age has reduced my handheld range.

11-17-2007, 03:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by andrei46 Quote
I have an excellent Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm 1:2.4 as a standard lens; I have also a very good Pentacon 200mm 1:4 (heavy, but reliable).
Out of interest. I have a CZJ 135/3.5 that I bought 20 years ago and I am very pleased with the pictures I get with it. My LBA is pushing me to go for something longer, 200. From what I can tell from watching eBay in the UK is that CZJ 180 is quite rare, similarly any Pentax around this length. But I do see quite a few Pentacons. I wonder what your opinions are about your Pentacon 200, and whether you've got any photos you'll be happy to share taken with it?

Richard
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