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08-01-2015, 01:23 PM   #1
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$159.99 MSRP in 1969

I was browsing an old magazine and saw a Pentax ad for the 28mm f3.5. Adjusting for inflation that equates to over $1000 today. Judging by the amount of vintage glass out there, did people have excessive amounts of disposable income back them?

08-01-2015, 01:59 PM   #2
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No, people did not have vast amounts of disposable income back then. They also did not have expensive things like smartphones and game consoles which many upgrade/replace on a near annual basis. Back then, the things they bought they kept for decades. It is this latter characteristic which I think explains the amount of vintage glass.

I remember buying my first SLR in 1977: A Pentax KM with a 55mm f1.8 lens for a whopping $150. I had that camera for roughly ten years. I forgot it at the end of lunch at the top of Yosemite Falls. When I went back to get it (I remembered within five minutes) it was already gone.

Last edited by WildBikerBill; 08-01-2015 at 02:05 PM.
08-01-2015, 02:22 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Here's a price list from 1976


08-01-2015, 05:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jkomp316 Quote
Here's a price list from 1976

You should probably credit "Cuthbert" for originally posting this price list in this thread.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/8-pentax-film-slr-discussion/300720-honey...ml#post3329205:

If you read the thread it also may answer some of your questions.

Phil.

08-01-2015, 05:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jkomp316 Quote
I was browsing an old magazine and saw a Pentax ad for the 28mm f3.5. Adjusting for inflation that equates to over $1000 today. Judging by the amount of vintage glass out there, did people have excessive amounts of disposable income back them?
No, we did not for the most part have a lot of bucks to spend. My '68 Pentax S1a...bough new in '68 also cost $ 159. I put a small down payment on it and paid $ 9 a month for about a year to the store. I bought a 'demonstrator' '69 VW Beetle Deluxe, with 6000 miles on it. I paid about $ 1600 or so....in May, 1969. New basic VW Beetles were about $ 1969 (same dollars as the year). The basic was more of a stripper than my deluxe VW...which would of been a bit more.

---------- Post added 08-01-15 at 07:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jkomp316 Quote
Here's a price list from 1976

Must of been the full MSRP. My ES ll with 1.8 Takumar 50mm, cost $ 364. CAD....new in '74 .
08-01-2015, 05:37 PM   #6
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well then, i never browse that sub forum. thanks for the link. its intriguing how expensive that gear was. we pick it up for peanuts on eBay.

did he upload that jpg? i found it on google.
08-01-2015, 06:56 PM   #7
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Sure, the following is overly generalized, but . . . .

In the 60's and 70's interchangeable lens SLR cameras were like golf clubs and fancy cars. They were owned by upper-middle-class consumers, or dedicated enthusiasts who made choices about what they bought. More middle-income families who wanted a better photograph generally owned nice rangefinder cameras that, even today, make very nice photographs with their fixed lenses. The Kodak Instamatic that it seems every family owned was decent, but it was a cheap camera that was replaced frequently as new features were introduced.

I recall attending a wedding as a college freshman in 1973 at which the father of the groom had a brown leather folding Polaroid SX-70 and handed out color prints to all comers. Having that camera was a very big deal (and very divisive) at the reception. Half the guests thought he was a very cool dude. The other half thought he was flaunting his high disposable income.

You can guess which sides of the church had which opinion.

Last edited by monochrome; 08-01-2015 at 07:17 PM.
08-01-2015, 08:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
On the other hand, today's cameras/lenses are so... so... so much better, I'd never consider going back. The good ol' days are now... trust me!
A good friend said to me recently - "there is reason things are old - new things are better." - Very profound in an obvious fashion.

08-01-2015, 09:26 PM   #9
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The 15mm f3.5 cost about as much back then as it does today (without adjusting for inflation)...

Last edited by hjoseph7; 08-02-2015 at 11:50 AM.
08-01-2015, 09:46 PM   #10
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Pretty much anything built up until the late 70's, even early 80's, was built to last decades. Nowadays, you'd be lucky if something built now will last you 5 years..
08-01-2015, 10:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jkomp316 Quote
well then, i never browse that sub forum. thanks for the link. its intriguing how expensive that gear was. we pick it up for peanuts on eBay.

did he upload that jpg? i found it on google.
Not sure, he got the price list in a Spotmatic purchase and just scanned and posted it this morning. Who knows once something gets on the internet.

No worries.

Phil.

.

---------- Post added 08-01-15 at 10:17 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by disconnekt Quote
Pretty much anything built up until the late 70's, even early 80's, was built to last decades. Nowadays, you'd be lucky if something built now will last you 5 years..
Yes I don't think many of today's Pentax digital cameras/lenses will be around in 40-50 years like the old film equipment.

PF members in 2055 will no doubt have a similar thread discussing camera/lens prices in 2015 and wondering who could afford a new 645z for 10k
or a new DA25/4 & DFA90/2.8 lens costing 5k each!

Phil.

Last edited by gofour3; 08-01-2015 at 10:18 PM.
08-01-2015, 11:14 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Not sure, he got the price list in a Spotmatic purchase and just scanned and posted it this morning. Who knows once something gets on the internet.

No worries.

Phil.

.

---------- Post added 08-01-15 at 10:17 PM ----------


Yes I don't think many of today's Pentax digital cameras/lenses will be around in 40-50 years like the old film equipment.

PF members in 2055 will no doubt have a similar thread discussing camera/lens prices in 2015 and wondering who could afford a new 645z for 10k
or a new DA25/4 & DFA90/2.8 lens costing 5k each!

Phil.
But on the other hand, I know I have many more shutter actuation's on my 3 Pentax DSLR digital bodies, than I do on my 3 Pentax SLR film bodies. I have a sense that most people who had good film and good dslr cameras have similar history. In the old days with film cameras...the cost of buying film really made me careful about how many pix I took. Now, with digital...I just click away with abandon.

As a result, my digital cameras have far more use on them, than my film cameras. That use makes a difference on how well a camera will age.
I look at my oldest DSLR, a K10D. It must be approaching 100,000 shutter actuations...still (touch wood) works well, looks good, has been hard used...but hasn't let me down yet. It's 8 years old and it's been a hard 8 years. Who knows.

My early electronic Pentax ES ll is still working after buying it new in 1974. Even with it's electronic components..it is still forging ahead after about, by my count...41 years.

Last edited by lesmore49; 08-01-2015 at 11:19 PM.
08-02-2015, 02:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
But on the other hand, I know I have many more shutter actuation's on my 3 Pentax DSLR digital bodies, than I do on my 3 Pentax SLR film bodies. I have a sense that most people who had good film and good dslr cameras have similar history. In the old days with film cameras...the cost of buying film really made me careful about how many pix I took. Now, with digital...I just click away with abandon.
Very true. Even when I got a discount working at a camera store I would shoot a roll of slides and wait a few days for processing to look at results before shooting more. Constantly shooting this way consumed 4 or 5 rolls a month, tops. At that rate a couple thousand frames in a year was prolific shooting and cost a lot most of my spending money while attending school. Nobody but busy pros shot as much on film as most DSLR users seem to click nowadays.
Modern PET PEEVE: Being cornered by somebody with hundreds of mostly repetitive frames to show of "baby eating breakfast" or "the dog getting a bath".
PICK A COUPLE AND DELETE THE REST!
08-02-2015, 11:15 AM   #14
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No. Delete nothing, for the bad ones are learning material. It does, however, pay to be selective with what you show others.
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