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10-06-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
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Lens prices?

Being new to DSLRs, this will be my first holiday season since getting my K-r. I was wondering if you typically see any deals or rebates on camera equipment, particularly lenses, leading up to the holidays.

I know Tamron has a rebate going on through the end of the year on certain lenses. Does Pentax ever offer rebates or sale prices on their stuff? Sigma?

I would dearly love to acquire something like an FA 77 Limited, but I just can't afford one at current prices. I look in the lens review database, and the prices paid a year or two ago were so much lower than what they are going for now, even used. It's quite discouraging. Do we expect prices to go back to "normal" any time soon? You would think with the economy in the tank, the prices wouldn't be so high if they expect to sell any of the darned things!

Would really appreciate any input. Just trying to figure out where to set my sights next or whether I'll ever be able to afford one of those coveted FA Limiteds. Thanks!

10-06-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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Lens prices seem to rise on everything I want to buy, and drop on everything I want to sell. I think it's like which side of the peanut-buttered-and-jellied slice of bread hits the rug when I drop it.

My last major lens purchase was via Tamron's coupon last Xmas -- I got the 10-24 for US$375 shipped. I've never seen any Pentax nor Sigma discounts, but I haven't really looked. Good luck!
10-06-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
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You'll just have to keep an eye out in the marketplace for the lens you want with the budget you have. The 77 ltd will never be a cheap lens, though it is cheapest in the US - you should see lens prices in Aus...
10-06-2011, 05:36 PM   #4
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Pentax does rebates from time to time- stay tuned to our homepage or the price watch forum for the latest in good deals.


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10-06-2011, 05:52 PM   #5
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Thanks to everyone for the input! Sounds like I just need to keep my eyes open for any possible deals. I do watch the marketplace on the forum but things can go very fast there! I'll also watch that Price Watch section (thanks Adam!)

I sure would like to see a Pentax rebate or just see prices come down to what they once were. According to the lens review section, the average price paid for a FA 77 was $657. That seems like a steal when the cheapest price I can find it now is around $900.

(Sorry the prices are so high in Australia, Ash!)
10-06-2011, 06:02 PM   #6
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Regarding Adam's suggestion about the Price Watch section, it would be really cool if there was some way to set up an automatic alert so that when a certain item is listed, you get notification. Is that possible? Or does this capability exist and I have not figured it out?
10-06-2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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I remember thinking the FA31 was outrageously expensive at $600, but all it's done since then is go up. A dramatic shift in the dollar/yen exchange rate might help. If Pentax releases a full-frame camera and exposes some horrible optical flaw in the FA limiteds, they might drop in used value. If the price drops by a significant amount, they will be sold out for six months. I think if you want one and have the money, just pay the price now.
10-06-2011, 08:55 PM   #8
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The FA limited prices may fluctuate a bit in the short term, but in the long term the price of all 3 will continue to increase; particularly the FA31 (and even more particularly the MIJ copies).

10-06-2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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Welcome to dSLR and PF. As hinted by earlier posts, your choice of FA77mm is a very sound one. All the three FA Ltd lenses are highly regarded. I have myself the FA31mm and I have no regret of the investment. An artticle is interest is:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/158432-series-best.html
"The very best AF SLR lenses made today are the Pentax [FA] Limiteds. There are only three, and they have focal lengths apparently chosen by means of occultish numerology: there's a [FA] 31mm f/1.8 wide, a [FA] 43mm f/1.9 "true" normal, and a [FA] 77mm f/1.8 short tele." [...]
"Yet all things considered, the 77mm may be the best lens of the three
"

If you have some budget limitation (and we all have), you may consider very seriously to buy used equaipment from reputed sellers. Three addresses come in mind:
- the PF market place;
- Keh (www.keh.com); and
- Adorama (Used equipment).

Adorama has a more extensive used equipment section than other retailers. The choice is regualrly renewed. Keh is an used photo equiment specialised shop. They tend to list very consersatively the quality of their equipment. The PF marketplace is a great place and you need to be patient.

I used all three places and can recommend them strongly. The PF marketplace will tend to have the cheapest prices IMO if you can negotiate down the shipping fees and Paypal costs.

Hope that the comments will help.
10-06-2011, 09:56 PM   #10
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As Just1MoreDave said it's the current value of the dollar vs the yen. Prices have increased dramatically because of it. Maybe you'd be happy with a DA70? I know it's not a 77 ltd, but it is a highly regarded lens. I know a 31ltd let alone the holy trinity of the 31, 43 and 77 will be forever out of my grasp, but there are other fine lenses to be had. Maybe try the Samyang/Rokinon 85/1.4, the reviews are good.
10-07-2011, 01:34 AM   #11
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As kenafein said, why not consider the DA70? You won't be slumming it with a DA Limited! Plus being a DA limited, it has full time manual focus override, which the FA lenses lack. It's also a more modern lens, lens coating and mechanical design and much smaller and quicker to focus. I much prefer the DAs personally, especially the full time manual focus override that the FAs don't have.
Alternatively, there's the DFA100 macro, which could do double duty for portraits or macro. Or any number of fast zooms...

From Adorama:
FA77 = $784.95
DA70 = $559.95
DFA 100 = $619.95
50-135 2.8 = $979.00 (costs more but covers the range of three primes)
10-07-2011, 01:54 AM   #12
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Yeah they may seem high in price but they are worth every penny for one of the finest lenses made by Pentax

Just keep saving mate and sooner or later you will have enough to buy one, buying a used one from the US would be the cheapest.
10-07-2011, 05:22 AM   #13
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Thanks for the additional feedback and ideas, everyone! I had not really considered the yen/dollar issue.

I have thought about the DA 70 and I know it's a superb lens. There is just something about the FA 77 and the samples I've seen which seems to set it apart. I'm sure much of that is the photographers' skills! But it does appear to have a different look to it than anything else I have and I figure if I am going to spend a lot of money, I might as well go for something very different from what I already have access to. Plus, if I end up not liking it for whatever reason, I know reselling it would be no problem.

I love the DA Limiteds, though. I have the DA 15 (my only limited of any kind) and I adore that lens.

Thanks, hcc. I will definitely keep an eye out for Adorama and KEH, in addition to the forum marketplace.
10-07-2011, 10:08 AM   #14
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The DA70 is 540 at amazon, but 785 sounds pretty reasonable for the FA77, but maybe I've been hanging around this forum too long.
10-07-2011, 10:43 AM   #15
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Used lenses are definitely the way to go to save some money. Over time, new lens prices do tend to go up.

I don't hesitate either to recommend the DA 70 -- it obviously isn't as fast as the FA 77, but for someone who is unable to afford the FA 77, the DA 70 is a very strong candidate with similar focal length.
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