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11-25-2011, 09:39 AM   #1
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Craigslist listing for 85mm 1.4

Pentax 85mm f1/4 Portrait Lens $1400 value

Is this a good deal?

11-25-2011, 09:49 AM   #2
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They go for $1,200 up to $1,800 over here. Seems to be about right for over there.
11-25-2011, 09:51 AM   #3
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Looks like a good deal, seeing how this is one of the highest-rated lenses in the reviews section:
Pentax A* 85mm F1.4 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
11-25-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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I paid $360 for an older M42 SMC Auto Tak 85/1.8 thru the market place here on the forum. It sounds like a fair price.



11-25-2011, 10:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I paid $360 for an older M42 SMC Auto Tak 85/1.8 thru the market place here on the forum. It sounds like a fair price.

Back in the 1970's my brother in law tried to convince me to buy one from the store he worked in for $65,regret that I didn't.
Jake
11-25-2011, 11:07 AM   #6
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Nice deal if it's in good condition.
11-25-2011, 12:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjake Quote
Back in the 1970's my brother in law tried to convince me to buy one from the store he worked in for $65,regret that I didn't.
Jake
That might not have been as good as it now sounds.
With inflation, costs double about every ten years,
so $65 back then was like a thousand bucks nowadays,
or a month's worth of work at minimum wage.

Anyway, $1400 for the A85/1.4 seems in line
with the $1350 that Matsuiyastore is asking for an FA*85 --
smc PENTAX FA* 85mm f/1.4 IF Exc+ (0027075033443) | eBay

AF on the FA* versus IQ on the A?
At least according to this French test:
Test_85mm
11-25-2011, 01:23 PM   #8
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If you decide to buy you will with any luck, have a truly great piece of glass, but as an existing owner I'm just a tad biased.

11-25-2011, 04:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
That might not have been as good as it now sounds.
With inflation, costs double about every ten years,
so $65 back then was like a thousand bucks nowadays,
or a month's worth of work at minimum wage.
In the US at least, it is more like $275 of today's dollars, quite close to the current value of that lens.
11-25-2011, 06:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
In the US at least, it is more like $275 of today's dollars, quite close to the current value of that lens.
I was thinking more along these lines:
$1000 today will buy you 5/8oz of gold,
and $65 at some point in 1973
would have bought the same amount.

It would be interesting to try to piece together
a long-term price line for Pentax lenses.
The review section here
covers the last couple of years well,
but only back to around 2007.
11-25-2011, 09:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
I was thinking more along these lines:
$1000 today will buy you 5/8oz of gold,
and $65 at some point in 1973
would have bought the same amount.
I based it on inflation since 1975. By your math, my daily driver 1975 Gremlin which originally retailed for around $3200 with the options it has, would be $48,000, or the cost of a brand new base model Corvette today. Calculated by inflation, it would be around $13,000, or the price of an average base model econobox today like the Chevy Sonic, which makes sense because it was an econobox for 1975.
11-25-2011, 10:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
I was thinking more along these lines:
$1000 today will buy you 5/8oz of gold,
and $65 at some point in 1973
would have bought the same amount.

It would be interesting to try to piece together
a long-term price line for Pentax lenses.
The review section here
covers the last couple of years well,
but only back to around 2007.
Ctien at TOP ran some numbers when the 645D came out, and his numbers suggest that a 645 purchased in the 70's is about equivalent to the price of the 645D now when inflation is taken into account.
11-25-2011, 11:08 PM   #13
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Would have been better off buying the 85.Bought a Vivitar 135 for $47 instead which is probably now worth $25-$35.Still have that Vivitar.
Jake

Last edited by bjake; 11-25-2011 at 11:08 PM. Reason: addition
11-26-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
I based it on inflation since 1975. By your math, my daily driver 1975 Gremlin which originally retailed for around $3200 with the options it has, would be $48,000, or the cost of a brand new base model Corvette today. Calculated by inflation, it would be around $13,000, or the price of an average base model econobox today like the Chevy Sonic, which makes sense because it was an econobox for 1975.
By current standards,
the Gremlin had a high labor cost for assembly back then,
as does the limited-market Corvette today.
The production of current mass-market cars
is highly automated,
so they have become cheaper in real terms
(weight of gold).

I wonder if we see the same effect in lens production.
Is polycarbonate molded with less manual input
than is required to mill an aluminum or brass lens?
11-26-2011, 02:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
By current standards,
the Gremlin had a high labor cost for assembly back then,
as does the limited-market Corvette today.
The production of current mass-market cars
is highly automated,
so they have become cheaper in real terms
(weight of gold).
The production line was less automated, but the cars were far simpler and parts were much less expensive. The Gremlin was built using decades old technology, even in 1975, my car and my friend's 1952 Chevy truck use the same carburetor.

I don't think it makes sense to base relative cost on gold, since our currency isn't based on gold and hasn't been in many, many years. It should be based on the Consumer Price Index, which is what this calculator does.
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