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07-22-2008, 08:44 PM   #1
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85mm glass...why so expensive? (Not work-safe)

My less than useful knowledge on lens design doesn't understand it, but why is that good 85mm glass is so darn expensive??? The design by now should be quite easy to make, like a nifty fifty of sorts. Looking around for a good inexpensive 85mm, since my pockets aren't necessarily deep, being a high school student means extremely limited funds

07-22-2008, 08:59 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by PollitowuzHere Quote
My less than useful knowledge on lens design doesn't understand it, but why is that good 85mm glass is so darn expensive??? The design by now should be quite easy to make, like a nifty fifty of sorts. Looking around for a good inexpensive 85mm, since my pockets aren't necessarily deep, being a high school student means extremely limited funds

Oh, boy, can't believe the timing. See "My favorite lens" thread, just posted now also.
07-22-2008, 08:59 PM   #3
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IMHO, since it's not within ur budget, you don't need a 85mm to get good photos.
07-22-2008, 09:09 PM   #4
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not saying I'm going to get better photos if I use it, just saying I find it a nice length and the wide aperture is great for low light work. And I quite like primes a lot better than zooms, main reason I carry around my 28-200 is just the convenience and the fact that primes are more costly.

07-22-2008, 09:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by PollitowuzHere Quote
not saying I'm going to get better photos if I use it, just saying I find it a nice length and the wide aperture is great for low light work. And I quite like primes a lot better than zooms, main reason I carry around my 28-200 is just the convenience and the fact that primes are more costly.
You can get the M 85 f/2 for under $300, and the Jupiter-8 85 f/2 for under $160, sometimes under $100. Both those are excellent choices, especially the M 85 2. You might also be able to find a Super Tak 1.8 or 1.9 for under $350.

I think Adorama, B&H or KEH often have a couple M85's in their used dept. I can't recommend it highly enough. I'd sell my 77ltd before my 85.


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07-22-2008, 09:36 PM   #6
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I think one reason is that Pentax has decided it's not a focal length they're focusing on (pun noted but not intended). In digital they've got a 55 f/1.4 on the road map that coresponds roughly to the 85 focal length. I guess they just don't have the resources to produce as many lenses as they (or we) would like.
07-22-2008, 09:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
You can get the M 85 f/2 for under $300, and the Jupiter-8 85 f/2 for under $160, sometimes under $100. Both those are excellent choices, especially the M 85 2. You might also be able to find a Super Tak 1.8 or 1.9 for under $350.

I think Adorama, B&H or KEH often have a couple M85's in their used dept. I can't recommend it highly enough. I'd sell my 77ltd before my 85.


.
heh, KEH seems to have the M85. B&H has the SMC-A* one though, which is crazy expensive, although its prolly because of the *. Are there any problems using the Jupiter-9? Other than the M42 mount, which is solved with the Petax adapter.
07-22-2008, 10:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by PollitowuzHere Quote
heh, KEH seems to have the M85. B&H has the SMC-A* one though, which is crazy expensive, although its prolly because of the *. Are there any problems using the Jupiter-9? Other than the M42 mount, which is solved with the Petax adapter.
The main issues with the Jupiter-9 have to do with handling and dealing with the pre-set aperture setup. The aperture actually is easier to use than most M-42 lenses, though it does take some getting used to.

Take a look at the reviews on the third-party lens database on this forum:

Jupiter-9 Reviews

Steve

07-23-2008, 03:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by PollitowuzHere Quote
My less than useful knowledge on lens design doesn't understand it, but why is that good 85mm glass is so darn expensive??? The design by now should be quite easy to make, like a nifty fifty of sorts. Looking around for a good inexpensive 85mm, since my pockets aren't necessarily deep, being a high school student means extremely limited funds
B&H Photos sells:

85mm f/1.2L II USM from Canon for $1830.
Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AF-D IF - $1025
CZ for Sony/Minolta 85mm f/1.4 with Auto Focus - $1300
Plannar 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus for Pentax & Nikon - $1033

Why are these lenses expensive? I think there’s a large demand for quality portrait lenses and the companies know this.

I know the 85mm f/1.8 AF-D is not very expensive and it's a very good portrait lens. It is priced at around $400. If you can get it to work on Pentax getting good results but it may be easier to buy a used D70S or D50 which are not expensive.
07-23-2008, 03:38 AM   #10
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And the correct answer is...

Buyers are willing to buy at the seller's offering price.

The first lesson taught (not always learned) in Marketing 101 is sale price has nothing to do with product cost. Things are sold for what buyers are willing to pay and sellers are willing to sell (for).

If you consider the price too high, you are not somehow being manipulated then victimized by the seller. Buyers are not fools. They are willing to pay the offering price (often gladly). If you really want it, the only options are to wait for the price to drop, or recalibrate your 'value' reference point, buy the item, enjoy using it, and don't look back.

...my 25 cent$...
07-23-2008, 05:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
You might also be able to find a Super Tak 1.8 or 1.9 for under $350.
.

I wish.....
07-23-2008, 05:20 AM   #12
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I think part of the reasonn 85mm's are so expensive is because they are considered excellent portrait lenses and concerning pentax, they haven't made very many 85's and the ones they did make were highly regarded, such as the super tak, the M , the ever wondrous A* and FA*. they just seem to be one of those elusive lenses in the pentax world. pentax isn't making any and everybody wants one, that drives up the price. I want and A* 85mm more than any other lens, in fact id sell everything including my M 85mm 1:2 to get one (except my MX).

Last edited by séamuis; 07-24-2008 at 02:07 AM.
07-23-2008, 05:46 AM   #13
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I would love the A* 85 also of course. One of the best lenses ever made from the reviews.

I'm waiting to see the results of the Helios 40 from one of the members. I see the price on these are pretty good.
07-23-2008, 06:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by PollitowuzHere Quote
My less than useful knowledge on lens design doesn't understand it, but why is that good 85mm glass is so darn expensive??? The design by now should be quite easy to make, like a nifty fifty of sorts. Looking around for a good inexpensive 85mm, since my pockets aren't necessarily deep, being a high school student means extremely limited funds
First, good glass tends to be expensive.
For some reason, the 85mm focal length seems to be a fairly rare animal, there just aren't a lot of them out there.
The older Pentax ones (85/2, 85/1.8, etc) were never common, so their price is jacked up due to rarity. The faster ones (A*85/1.4 as an example) are rare and expensive hunks of glass, and now that it has it's truly well deserved cult status, it is valued even more highly.
Amateurs tend to buy zoom lenses, so they are getting the long end of a 28-80, or the short end of an 80-200 and are happy. Discerning amateurs and pros don't account for much of the market, and they are the ones who would be buying 85mm lenses.
Low demand = higher prices, since economies of scale don't occur on low volume manufacturing.
07-23-2008, 09:16 AM   #15
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Don't forget Canon's EF 85mm f/1.8 which sells for under $400. Extremely fast USM focusing, very good build quality (not quite L, but close) and excellent image quality.

QuoteOriginally posted by alexgn Quote
B&H Photos sells:

85mm f/1.2L II USM from Canon for $1830.
Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AF-D IF - $1025
CZ for Sony/Minolta 85mm f/1.4 with Auto Focus - $1300
Plannar 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus for Pentax & Nikon - $1033

Why are these lenses expensive? I think there’s a large demand for quality portrait lenses and the companies know this.

I know the 85mm f/1.8 AF-D is not very expensive and it's a very good portrait lens. It is priced at around $400. If you can get it to work on Pentax getting good results but it may be easier to buy a used D70S or D50 which are not expensive.
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