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01-15-2009, 02:22 PM   #1
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price for a collection quality SMC-A* 85mm f/1.4?

What would be a fair buy price for a collection quality A* 85/1.4 at an auction considering
1) its rarity,
2) current lack of a full-frame Pentax body and
3) these lenses started to be permanently modified to fit on Canon FE full-frame digital bodies?
I am not selling, but consider buying.

By a collection quality I mean:
---------------required----------------
1) Little use
2) Optically in original condition
3) No scratches on outer surface lens coating
4) Mechanically perfect
5) No bubbles inside the lens elements (these are allowed by lens manufacturers when small enough), but nobody likes to discover them in their lenses
6) Little (up to 20 pcs) dust inside
7) No scratches or other damage to outer paint
---------------desired----------------
8) Original front and back caps or replacement same as original
9) Original packaging box
10) Original manual and packaging paper insert
11) Original Petax quality control sticker
12) Fitting hard case HG-115E

01-15-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by yus Quote
What would be a fair buy price for a collection quality A* 85/1.4 at an auction considering
1) its rarity,
2) current lack of a full-frame Pentax body and
3) these lenses started to be permanently modified to fit on Canon FE full-frame digital bodies?
I am not selling, but consider buying.

By a collection quality I mean:
---------------required----------------
1) Little use
2) Optically in original condition
3) No scratches on outer surface lens coating
4) Mechanically perfect
5) No bubbles inside the lens elements (these are allowed by lens manufacturers when small enough), but nobody likes to discover them in their lenses
6) Little (up to 20 pcs) dust inside
7) No scratches or other damage to outer paint
---------------desired----------------
8) Original front and back caps or replacement same as original
9) Original packaging box
10) Original manual and packaging paper insert
11) Original Petax quality control sticker
12) Fitting hard case HG-115E
Are you able to physically examine the lens first? To me, this adds to the price tag because the transaction risk is much lower for both the buyer and seller. Plus, I wouldn't have to pay for shipping/taxes/fees so it will only be fair to split this savings with the seller.

So if you can get #1-7 and meet face-to-face to evaluate the lens, then I'd say between $1,200-$1,400. I'd add another $75-100 if it comes with the proper dedicated metal hood.

If I were buying off flea-bay, sight unseen and buyer unknown, then I'd mentally knock off $100-$200 to adjust for the transaction risk. Plus I would have to factor in what it will cost for shipping, taxes, exchange rate (if outside US), and any fees.

Last edited by tranq78; 01-15-2009 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Add verbiage
01-15-2009, 02:58 PM   #3
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Have a look at the marketplace of this forum. I think prices there could be around 800 $/€, maybe 1.000. The FA version goes for ~1.500, I think. I personally would not pay more than 500 as long as I can get a Takumar or 'M' 85/1.8 for less than 200.

But as it's in collection condition it will be bought by collectors for a collection price ...
01-15-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Noisychip Quote

But as it's in collection condition it will be bought by collectors for a collection price ...
...and never be used again

01-15-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by yus Quote
By a collection quality I mean:
Surprised to see that fungus doesn't bother you.
If it is a rare fungus, it may have collector's value.
01-15-2009, 07:05 PM   #6
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why 85mm FA goes for more than A*?

QuoteOriginally posted by Noisychip Quote
Have a look at the marketplace of this forum. I think prices there could be around 800 $/, maybe 1.000. The FA version goes for ~1.500, I think.
Why does FA goes for more then A*, despite A* must optically be a noticeably better lens? Please explain?
01-15-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Fungus

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Surprised to see that fungus doesn't bother you.
If it is a rare fungus, it may have collector's value.
Fungus? I do not want to even think about that
01-15-2009, 07:11 PM   #8
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Autofocus.

01-15-2009, 07:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by yus Quote
Why does FA goes for more then A*, despite A* must optically be a noticeably better lens? Please explain?
the FA he is referring to is an FA*, not just a normal FA. I believe that they have the same optical formula actually, the FA just has all of the FA stuff.
01-15-2009, 07:31 PM   #10
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agree on the estimate

QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
...physically examine the lens first...So if you can get #1-7 and meet face-to-face to evaluate the lens, then I'd say between $1,200-$1,400...off flea-bay, sight unseen and buyer unknown, then I'd mentally knock off $100-$200 to adjust for the transaction risk. Plus I would have to factor in what it will cost for shipping, taxes, exchange rate (if outside US), and any fees.
I agree with the $1,200-$1,400 price range including taxes and other fees for the one that meets #1-7 with $1,500 being the limit for the one close to perfect. The price was also steadily going up 7-10% each year for the last 5 years. What bothers me is that they are getting more and more difficult to find.
01-15-2009, 08:02 PM   #11
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They are different

QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
I believe that they have the same optical formula .
They are different.

FA* 85/1.4 FA* 85/1.4 [IF]
Optical Formula http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/_optics/85f1.4-ii.gif
is internal focusing Internal focusing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
so it has a movable internal element.

A*85/1.4 A* 85/1.4
Optical Formula http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/_optics/85f1.4-i.jpg
is similar to FA 77/1.8 Limited FA 77/1.8 Limited
Optical Formula http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/_optics/77f1.8.jpg.
Both have fixed rear optical element and no movable internal element.
01-15-2009, 08:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
the FA he is referring to is an FA*, not just a normal FA. I believe that they have the same optical formula actually, the FA just has all of the FA stuff.
A*85 and FA*85 does not have the same optical formula (but the FA77ltd is close to the A*85).

From:Two Brothers and a Cousin - the A* 85/1.4, FA 77, and FA* 85/1.4: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

A*85/1.4: 7 elements in 6 groups, FREE focusing, not internal focusing (like the 77ltd)


FA*85/1.4 8 elements in 7 groups, internal focusing, not FREE focusing


The FA*85 is supposed to be softer wide open and more specifically designed as a portrait lens. Mind you I have only had it on my cam for a few minuits long ago, while I'm quite familiar with the A*85.

From what I have seen, the A*85 is more rare than the FA*85 and also often goes for a higher price despite that the A*85 has not autofocus.

Here is a fun link where a Cannonian (Cannonist, Cannonixian?) to his great surprice discovers that the A*85/1.4 on most aspects outpeform the Canon 85mm/1.2 L.

And here is a shoot out between all the Pentax 85mm's.
01-15-2009, 08:18 PM   #13
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autofocus price

QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
Autofocus
That what I thought too... I was using LX all the time when I shot on film and I did not feel like I wanted autofocus at all. I still do not feel completely comfortable about where autofocus is going to focus. I could not imagine it to be that valuable. I was not using my Pentax gear for almost 3 years now. I am planning to get back to it.
01-15-2009, 10:04 PM   #14
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sharpest older Pentax primes

QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Cannonian..to his great surprice discovers that the A*85/1.4 on most aspects outpeform the Canon 85mm/1.2 L
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.
01-16-2009, 02:57 AM   #15
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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.
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