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12-18-2009, 06:17 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
First, I find the lensrental page very interesting.
I found it very interesting too and it contains valuable information indeed. I should have been a bit more precise in my post: I meant that the article doesn't say a lot about how robust or not the Pentax SDM system is. The sole fact that other lenses fail in that kind of environment was to be expected. Perhaps not the frequency, but I don't have a good handle on this.

As you say, Pentax SDM lenses may or may not slot in inconspicuously. We just don't know.


Last edited by Class A; 12-19-2009 at 03:14 AM.
12-18-2009, 08:12 PM   #137
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relative prices

Here are some price comparisons based on lens cost vs. cost of the second most expensive Pentax camera in the ads. The prices are expressed as a percentage compared to the body cost. The 1979 prices were taken from the PopPhoto classifieds and were from Adorama (unless not listed). The 2009 prices were taken from the Adorama website. I tried to list the closest lenses in terms of coverage and stayed with primes since I prefer primes when possible. In 1979 a typical starter set would have been 28mm, 50mm and 135mm (all SMC)


1979 2009
ME 170.00 KX 600.00

24mm f2.8 91% DA 15mm f4 108%
28mm f2.8 58% DA 21mm f3.2 108%
35mm f2.8 68% DA 21mm f3.2 108%
50mm f2 38% DA 18/35 f3.5 21%
50mm f1.4 76% FA 35mm f2 100%
85mm f2 115% FA 50mm f1.4 62%
135mm f3.5 53%
135mm f2.5 91% DFA 100mm 106%
200mm f4 73%
(sorry for the lack of formatting but it won't stay)

So in 1979 a kit consisting of a 28mm, 50mm 2 and 135mm 2.5 would have cost 187% of the body cost or around $485 with the camera. All of he lenses would have been good quality and moderately fast. The 2009 kit of 21mm, 35mm, and 100mm macro would cost 314% of the body cost or around $2490 with the camera.

Since someone mentioned prices compared to minimum wage, the 1979 kit would have required 167 hours (pre-tax) and the 2009 about 343 hours (pre-tax) at the US Federal Minimum Wage.

I would love to see SOMEONE (Pentax, Sigma, Tamron, etc) sell something equivalent to a 28mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, 105/135mm f2.8 (35mm equiv) set with good optics, reasonable build quality and a price that isn't prohibitive. DA* and Limiteds are nice but hardly everyday optics for everyone.

Last edited by WJW; 12-18-2009 at 11:16 PM.
12-19-2009, 03:09 AM   #138
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iSuppli is a site that provides true mfg tear down cost of a wide variety of electronic devices. For example here is a Kindle 2 in early 2009:

Amazon?s Kindle 2 Costs $185.49 to Build, iSuppli Teardown Reveals - iSuppli
btw, that prices was when the Kindle 2 was around $350, today the teardown will be a lot lower, maybe around 30%-50% lower

It would be interesting to see what the current tear down costs are for lenses...any lenses would be fine as a ballpark idea is all I think is needed.

Something to consider when looking at lense prices these days, is glass production prices are very dependant on energy prices. Because there is so much heat needed to melt the glass. And the better quality the glass, the more times a batch will be run through melting process. Then there are the very controlled conditions for cooling the glass each time.

I think almost everyone here must have viewed the lenses making vids on YouTube and they only allude to the fact glass chemistry is a very high end science and also formulas are tightly guarded secrets. And even the slightest impurities in the air or processing gear can ruin an entire batch. So, the actual yield rates would also be interesting to know.

I am not saying that prices today involve a lot of sticker shock, nor am I defending HoyaTax's pricing tactics with their MAP agreements which are about as anti-consumer a thing as exists today. Just thought its the one place where I can appreciate why a lense would have increased at what seems to be a disproportionate rate. BTW, using things like US Fed. Minimum Wage might not be a reasonable gauge simply because of the inconsistent adjustments on that wage relative to inflation.
12-19-2009, 08:43 AM   #139
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I agree that using the FMW as a gauge can be tricky, but it does line up with other indicators. Using the CPI to calculate 1979 vs 2009 dollars makes that $485 of 1979 about $1450 in 2009 dollars.

My other point is that not only have lens prices gone up but, if you don't want zooms, there are no moderately priced modern AF lenses. I would love to have three AF SMC lenses such as:

18mm f2.8 (28mm)
33mm f2 (50mm)
80mm f2.8 (120mm)

On the 18mm you have to go to 14mm (much wider), 21mm (Limited and closer to 35 than 28), or a zoom.

On the 35mm you can go 31mm (Limited and a bit wide), 35mm Macro (Limited and slower), or buy the Samsung 35mm f2. This is actually my next intended purchase and I'm saving for it now. What I would love to see is a 35mm f1.4 for $499. That would keep the historical pricing in line and would be the new 50mm 1.4.

On the 80mm 2.8 (compromise between 105 and 135) you can go 77mm (Limited) or 100mm (a bit long and added macro expense).

12-20-2009, 06:32 AM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
iSuppli is a site that provides true mfg tear down cost of a wide variety of electronic devices. For example here is a Kindle 2 in early 2009:

Amazon?s Kindle 2 Costs $185.49 to Build, iSuppli Teardown Reveals - iSuppli
btw, that prices was when the Kindle 2 was around $350, today the teardown will be a lot lower, maybe around 30%-50% lower

It would be interesting to see what the current tear down costs are for lenses...any lenses would be fine as a ballpark idea is all I think is needed.

Something to consider when looking at lense prices these days, is glass production prices are very dependant on energy prices. Because there is so much heat needed to melt the glass. And the better quality the glass, the more times a batch will be run through melting process. Then there are the very controlled conditions for cooling the glass each time.

I think almost everyone here must have viewed the lenses making vids on YouTube and they only allude to the fact glass chemistry is a very high end science and also formulas are tightly guarded secrets. And even the slightest impurities in the air or processing gear can ruin an entire batch. So, the actual yield rates would also be interesting to know.

I am not saying that prices today involve a lot of sticker shock, nor am I defending HoyaTax's pricing tactics with their MAP agreements which are about as anti-consumer a thing as exists today. Just thought its the one place where I can appreciate why a lense would have increased at what seems to be a disproportionate rate. BTW, using things like US Fed. Minimum Wage might not be a reasonable gauge simply because of the inconsistent adjustments on that wage relative to inflation.
There are a lot of other things to consider in the cost of a lens besides the materials and labor. The general overhead of maintaining a factory is very high and those costs have gone up significantly, no matter where in the world it is located. Also shipping costs have to be factored in to the price. When fuel prices spiked so high a couple of years ago, it raised the operating costs of many companys to where their profits were eaten away. I think some of the current increases in prices are an attempt to recoup losses and also provide a buffer against future spikes in costs.
12-20-2009, 10:03 AM   #141
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This thread took off on the direction of pricing, but, to another aspect of the original subject, I'm just sad that there is not a quality 11-16mm 2.8 AF option for Pentax at any price. Fast+wide is a hole in the Pentax line, with the only real choice being the 14mm 2.8.
12-20-2009, 11:45 AM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
This thread took off on the direction of pricing, but, to another aspect of the original subject, I'm just sad that there is not a quality 11-16mm 2.8 AF option for Pentax at any price. Fast+wide is a hole in the Pentax line, with the only real choice being the 14mm 2.8.
I doubt the ever will be, not as long as Pentax makes a 12-24 lens...unless HoyaTax decides to punish Pentax users even more for daring to buy a brand that once had value by making the 11-16 as a DA*. Hence, adding anther $200-$300 to the price. So, my money is on the theory that if there ever is a lense in this range made while Pentax is held under the HoyaTax flag then will be in the $900-$1100 range and that is the street price not the MSRP. I feel that HoyaTax has painted the brand into a corner with the current pricing and distribution model.

I would be happy with a non-SDM or even a "bi-curious Screw-SDM" model of the existing 12-24.

Still there is always the 10-20 Sigma (not the gawds awful 3.5 but the 4-5.6 model) which is a fine lense. The Tokina design might or might not be sharper or whatever but it is not as if there is no option in that range in a Pentax mount.

Last edited by brecklundin; 12-20-2009 at 02:20 PM.
12-20-2009, 01:54 PM   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
This thread took off on the direction of pricing, but, to another aspect of the original subject, I'm just sad that there is not a quality 11-16mm 2.8 AF option for Pentax at any price. Fast+wide is a hole in the Pentax line, with the only real choice being the 14mm 2.8.
I symphathize with that longing. But seen from a more sober perspective such a fast zoom is hardly needed. With such a wide angle the use of f/2.8 is fairly limited and bears hardly an advantage over something in the f/4 or f/4.5 vicinity.

Ben

12-20-2009, 02:42 PM   #144
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I symphathize with that longing. But seen from a more sober perspective such a fast zoom is hardly needed. With such a wide angle the use of f/2.8 is fairly limited and bears hardly an advantage over something in the f/4 or f/4.5 vicinity.

Ben
Never mind the size/weight, if it were made of quality materials.

Steve
12-20-2009, 03:17 PM   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Never mind the size/weight, if it were made of quality materials.

Steve
The Tokina 11-16/2.8 is almost exactly the same size as and just a few ounces heavier than the Pentax 12-24mm. Reports say the build quality is good.
12-20-2009, 03:28 PM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I symphathize with that longing. But seen from a more sober perspective such a fast zoom is hardly needed. With such a wide angle the use of f/2.8 is fairly limited and bears hardly an advantage over something in the f/4 or f/4.5 vicinity.

Ben
Hmmm. Well I'm living without it, so it is not essential. However, I do seem to take a lot of indoor photos with my DA 17-70 at 17mm f/4, and I keep jacking up the ISO. At the 11-16mm focal lengths, I could still have a reasonable DOF at 2.8. The photozone tests and photos for the Tokina are quite nice even wide open.
12-20-2009, 08:53 PM   #147
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QuoteQuote:
Ben Edict: With such a wide angle the use of f/2.8 is fairly limited and bears hardly an advantage over something in the f/4 or f/4.5 vicinity.

Ben
I am now happy with my Sigma, but it did take me a while to get over not having the Tokina 11-16 as an option. For what I do, the Sigma 10-20mm is very nice and I am more than happy. However, if I were shooting Real Estate or Architectural, the Tokina's f 2.8 would become very important--so would the lens' reputation for being virtually distortion free.
12-20-2009, 09:43 PM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
The Tokina 11-16/2.8 is almost exactly the same size as and just a few ounces heavier than the Pentax 12-24mm. Reports say the build quality is good.
The 12-24 is a horse.
If the Tokina is heavier, what does that make it?
A fat horse?
12-20-2009, 09:43 PM   #149
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Wouldnt you be using a tripod for real estate?
12-20-2009, 10:04 PM   #150
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QuoteQuote:
WerTicus: Wouldnt you be using a tripod for real estate?
If the question is for me, the answer is no I would not shoot with a tri-pod, unless I had to shoot with one. This is paticularly so in these shorter daylight times, when often you do not have good sunlight aiding through available windows. DOF does not seem to play a big role in the shots I see when I browse real estate pictures. In fact, it looks like the only thing that mattered to the photographer was getting the shot.

But Werticus, remember, as stated above, for me the Tokina does not get my pick merely because it is a f 2.8 lens. It is a phenomenal lens. virtually distortion free, with a fixed aperture. It is the whole package which appeals to me, not merely the 2.8
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