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01-16-2009, 08:07 AM   #16

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QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
The noted prices are ok.
In Europe "collection quality" copies go for 900-1000 Euros.

Nevertheless I think the prices are too high for what you really get.
Compare: A premium copy of the FA24 goes for 400-500 Euros.

Those fast 85s are prestige items, and people are willing to pay that price.
That's also the reason why the DA70 is more expensive than the DA21, even though the DA21 is more difficult to build.
The relatively small production volumes partly account for the rarity of Pentax's fast 85s. The other reason is that people who own them don't want to part with them.

Another thing to take into account is that the earlier * series from M to FA are holding their value extremely well. And, as noted earlier, in some cases the used price is higher than the original new price, and continues to climb.

We'll see how the DA* line holds its value over time.

01-16-2009, 08:11 AM   #17
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There is another reason to go for the 85 instead of the 77 for example. It is called the bokeh or background blur.

May be just me, but I do not like the background the 77 makes. That is, I like the softer background by the FA85 far better.
01-16-2009, 04:19 PM   #18
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Here's a link I found in my Bookmarks. Prices of virtually any Pentax lens on ebay (Germany) since 2006. That should give a pretty good overview.

ebay Preise fuer Pentax Objektive
01-16-2009, 04:38 PM   #19
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Nice to see these high numbers for an A* 85. I've got one - bought brand new- that my Dad gave me for Christmas sometime in the '80's. It's beautiful and perfect - the build quality is breathtaking. I'll never sell it, but it is fun to see that it's holding its value.


01-17-2009, 08:15 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by yus Quote
Photodo - Photographic lens specifications, guides, discussion and reviews
is no longer as convenient as it used to be, but it is still has some of its old MTF measurements.
According to there measurements, for lenses made up to year 2000,
Pentax A*85/1.4, Pentax F 50/1.4 and Pentax F 50/2.8 macro are among less than a dosen lenses having average MTF 4.6. I personally doubt Pentax recent lenses are better. The only lens having a higher average MTF of 4.8 (if I am correct, this lens is not on their web site anymore) was Canon 300mm f/2.8 which is probably still in a league of its own in terms of its sharpness.
It was just so fun to re-discover that blog-post that compare the Pentax A*85/1.4 with the Canon 85/1.2 L since earlier this week there was a thread with a guy bashing Pentax going to Canon and claiming that Pentax have never had any lenses as good as the Canon lenses, and he listed a bunch of Canon lenses including this Canon 85 (eventually a moderator closed the thread since it got a bit infected...). OK, Canon might still produce their 85/1.2 (don't know), but he didn't mind listing other Canon lenses that was out of production, so it would have been fair to hit him in the head with the A*85/1.4. Not that I think it would have helped, he was in throll mode.

Not a collectors copy:

My five years old daughter with the A*85/1.4 at f2.8.
01-17-2009, 10:39 AM   #21
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many older Pentax lenses were excellent and above

QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
claiming that Pentax have never had any lenses as good as the Canon would have been fair to hit him in the head with the A*85/1.4
In about year 2002 I waned to buy a fully mechanical pro quality LSR. I am not a pro, so I mostly do not need and hate autofocus and other modern features that claim to make better decisions than I can make myself. In my opinion modern features take fun away from the process of taking pictures. I had to take a decision whether I go with Canon, Nikon, or Pentax, Contax (Carl Zeiss) and Leica were just too expensive and overpriced in my opinion.

At that time I found photodo Lens search, a website that compared most of the SLR lenses in terms of just physical measurements. This does not take into account several important subjective factors like bokeh, background and "3-dementionality" in prints. They are impossible to be measured directly. I already had some experience with SLRs and I noticed that I often liked sharper pictures.
So I decided to see how many sharp lenses each manufacturer has made. It was easy with photodo. To my surprise I discovered that Pentax lens lineup had not less, but even more outstandingly sharp lenses than the other guys. For my personal consumption I consider photodo MTF of 4.0 as acceptable, 4.2 as excellent and 4.6 as outstanding. Another surprise for me was that German Carl Zeiss and Leica are not any sharper than the Japanese brands. Still another interesting observation was that newer lenses were not any better than the older ones. According to photodo results, some A* and F series Pentax lenses are probably the sharpest Pentax lenses and they are made in 80s and 90s. I did not try the newer limited lenses. I would expect 77 to be around or above 4.0, and 43 and 31 above 4.2 in photodo MTF terms. They are also expensive.

My decision was that in terms of
1) sharpness and
2) price
Pentax beats the other Brands. The added value for me was that the number of K-mount lenses is much more than I can find in any other system thanks to backward compatibility + compatibility with older 42mm. And LX body was such a fun to use!

Still another interesting aspect is who was actually designing and making Pentax lenses. My guess is that they may have had their own designs as well as bought from specialized optics shops. I also think that recently they may have not been making their lenses themselves, but instead outsourcing the production to specialized companies like Hoya (optical glass and optics - Tokina). Same as the others of course.
Any news on whether Hoya actually bought Pentax?Hoya buys Pentax - Mac Forums

I hate "digital age" in that it hit Carl Zeiss, Leica and Pentax hard. It was all so clear before digital.

Last edited by yus; 01-17-2009 at 11:25 AM. Reason: some addition

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