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01-08-2012, 01:10 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Now if only all these lenses could once again return to the assembly line...
or even some of them.....


Last edited by rvannatta; 01-08-2012 at 01:44 PM.
01-08-2012, 01:14 PM   #47
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When I made the decision to stick with Pentax while ramping up my equipment back in the mid 90's, price was a major factor for me. Pentax pro level glass has always been ranked right up with the best, but low demand in the U.S. and elsewhere kept prices significantly lower than other pro glass.

When I bought a new FA*600/4 in 1995 (to replace my old F*600/4) it cost me $6400 from B&H. If my memory serves correctly, the Canon 600/4 was selling for $8900 and the Nikon was $8700. The Leica "module" tele's sold for considerably more and I think were not AF? (not that I ever use AF for animal work).

In 1997ish I bought the FA*250-600/5.6 new for $7400 and of course the other brands had no comparable lens.

Bought the A*200/4 Macro new for $999 about that same time while Canon and Nikon big macro's were going for about $1200. I think their lenses had progressed to autofocus by then, as if macro work is ever done in auto mode...

Bought the new FA*200/4 Macro in about 2002 or 2003 for $1300 which was comparable to the other brands.

Note also that during that era, the B&H big source book for Professional Photography DID NOT include any Canon or Nikon 35mm gear. They were not considered professional quality by one of the largest retailers in the World. Pentax 35mm gear was also NOT in the big source book. But Pentax medium format systems had several pages of equipment listings.
01-08-2012, 01:42 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
It's easier to see the major price differences.



Well, right now anyway.


Clinton: I agree with your basic premise. As a 40 year Pentax loyalist who has spent $10,000 in the last year or so on long Pentax glass
as recently as yesterday I was slobbering over the new Nikon body out for CES, and cruised through the lens assortment available for Nikon
to see how it stacked up with the Pentax.

Frankly the silence from Ricoh on future plans is starting to get to me. I came out with the same reaction you did-- that a jump to Nikon
would cost $25-$30,000.---and while one can debate whether the Nikon glass is 'better or not' the Pentax glass is clearly 'good enough', but they need to make some more of it.

It's clear however the the exotic lens market is very thin. I"ve been quite suprised at the lack of interest in my 300mm f/2.8 listed in the market place......
01-08-2012, 03:42 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I am afraid Pentax is no Leica, although some might like to fantasize. Throughout the Pentax K mount history, there were a handful of gems (like A*85 & 200 macro) but the majority are rather average, not necessarily poor but not awesome either. Also, the OP's list comprise some of the most expensive long teles where AF performance is a whole lot different from average lenses we are using. Pentax covers medium wide to short tele well, but anything beyond aren't really Pentax's domain.
You may be right and I would be interested to see some comparisons or data, but lenses like K 15/3.5, K 28/2, K50/1.2, K 85/1.8, K 135/2.5, A*85/1.4, A*135/1.8, A*300/2.8 etc are up there with the greats from what I have seen (and I've owned all of them except for the K28/2 and A*135/1.8 as well as some of the nice Leicas). Then there are the lovely limiteds and FA* lenses. I would be surprised if the best of Canon and Nikon are considerably better than these Pentax classics. Our own Digitalis who owns a bunch of systems says he cannot tell the difference between 31ltd and the 8x more expensive Leica Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH though I suspect there are situations when Leica will best out 31ltd. Other comparisons have pitted 77ltd against the famed Leica Summilux 75/1.4 with similar results.

Leica also have made fairly average lenses especially in their R lineup, and even a highly regarded lens like 19/2.8 Vers 1 has very strong distortion, 135/2.8 is average and 50/1.4 is not decidedly superior to our 50/1.2, IMO.

As for zooms, yes, maybe some of those old Pentax zooms were not great, but all major brands had some flops.


Last edited by DanielT74; 01-08-2012 at 03:48 PM.
01-08-2012, 03:52 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
Frankly the silence from Ricoh on future plans is starting to get to me. I came out with the same reaction you did-- that a jump to Nikon
would cost $25-$30,000.---and while one can debate whether the Nikon glass is 'better or not' the Pentax glass is clearly 'good enough', but they need to make some more of it.
Edit: double confusing negative below corrected. Sorry bout that. EEP! :P
Yeah, it bugs me too, but I have almost no doubts about the k mount continuing for a long long time, and I have expectations of FF gear in the next 20ish months.

I was peering at the prices to remind myself how much cheaper our gear is, and make me feel better about the gaping whole where a budget used to be.

Last edited by Clinton; 01-08-2012 at 07:40 PM.
01-08-2012, 05:30 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
Perhaps. Not sure how many they needed to sell. It isn't like they had inventory costs.--- they were special order---made to order
Yes, but with the future of Pentax gear being rather uncertain, how many people can you find that are willing to pay Nikon prices for Pentax glass - that is I think the main reason why they are cheaper. There are very few people interested in investing this kind of money in Pentax gear.
01-08-2012, 06:43 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Yes, but with the future of Pentax gear being rather uncertain, how many people can you find that are willing to pay Nikon prices for Pentax glass - that is I think the main reason why they are cheaper. There are very few people interested in investing this kind of money in Pentax gear.
I think it boils down to how may Pentax pro users left in the market. Being lack of the FF body had drove a large number pro users away from Pentax. And those who thinks AF is important to them, they had already adopted Canikon from the 90s era, and very unlikely will spend thousands switching to Pentax system, unless Pentax can come out with something unique to justify the move. Again, being unique means it will probably please a small user base, or a niche market, that make Pentax will not be able to compete in volume against the big brothers.

For those Pentax pro users that have the budget, I don't think they will have any problems paying the same price as Nikon for Pentax gears, as long as the quality is at least on par or better, however being in the niche market, I do think you always have to be better at cheaper or same price level, to make us feel worthwhile to stay loyal to the brand. I do believe the prices of Canikon are largely inflated because of their marketing and advertising expenses, while I believe Pentax put the advertising money into the product itself. Hope I'm not wrong in this sense, just my 2 cents worth of opinion.
01-08-2012, 09:24 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
It's clear however the the exotic lens market is very thin. I"ve been quite suprised at the lack of interest in my 300mm f/2.8 listed in the market place......
I think it has more to do with the size of our group here on the forum, and with timing. There have been a number of 300/2.8 lenses on both ebay and the marketplace recently, which will drive prices down. I would expect that we'll see prices go back up in a month or two.

01-08-2012, 09:34 PM   #54
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Can't say I ever considered the long ends, but when I owned a D700, it was the prices that convinced me to forgo a FF kit and go back to APS-C.

Well... that and the K-5
01-10-2012, 02:14 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Those long lenses were discontinued because they couldn't sell enough of them when they were available new. Low demand = lower used prices.
after they were discontinued, they became legendary and more people want to buy them.
Price go up
01-10-2012, 04:53 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
I just took a stroll through the Nikon gear on Amazon, just to get a picture of what their glass costs compared to Pentax glass. Obviously, our similar glass will be used glass, for the time being.

Nikon: 600/4? $10,000
Pentax: 600/4? ~$6500
Nikon: 400/2.8? $9000
Pentax 400/2.8? ~$3500
Nikon 250-600? Yeah doesn't exist.
Pentax 250-600? ~$8000
Nikon 300/2.8? $5900
Pentax 300/2.8? ~$3600
Nikon 200/4 micro? $1600
Pentax 200/4 macro? ~$4000 (ouch)
Nikon 85/1.4? $2000
Pentax 85/1.4? ~$1400
Nikon 70-200/2.8? $2400
Pentax 80-200/2.8? ~$1300
And those prices for the Nikon lenses are all for used lenses, correct? No? Those are new prices? Oh. Seems like a bit of a silly comparison in that case. Misleading thread title too.

I want Pentax to succeed as much as anyone, but this seems to be a bit of a stretch.
01-10-2012, 05:07 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
Note also that during that era, the B&H big source book for Professional Photography DID NOT include any Canon or Nikon 35mm gear. They were not considered professional quality by one of the largest retailers in the World. Pentax 35mm gear was also NOT in the big source book.
So if Nikon, Pentax and Canon didn't have any 35mm gear in the big book, I can't help but wonder who's 35mm gear _was_ in the big book?
01-10-2012, 05:47 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by MegaPower Quote
after they were discontinued, they became legendary and more people want to buy them.
Price go up
It doesn't seem so:

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
When I bought a new FA*600/4 in 1995 (to replace my old F*600/4) it cost me $6400 from B&H.
So it was $6400 in 1995 and a used copy is selling for $6500 in 2012. There is not much appreciation, considering inflation.
01-10-2012, 05:50 PM   #59
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I believe when the FA* 600/4 could last be special ordered from Pentax JP they were ~$7900? Sometime in the last year I talked to Chuck from B&H and he contacted Pentax JP that apparently had a single new one remaining but they wanted ~$20k delivered. (I declined).
01-10-2012, 08:56 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
I believe when the FA* 600/4 could last be special ordered from Pentax JP they were ~$7900? Sometime in the last year I talked to Chuck from B&H and he contacted Pentax JP that apparently had a single new one remaining but they wanted ~$20k delivered. (I declined).
So, this is worse than Nikon, right?
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