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12-15-2009, 01:40 AM   #1
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FA 50mm/1.4: Preposterous Price?

Have Pentax just gone crazy? Not sure when the price hit that value:

The current price for the FA 50/1.4 is $429.95.

When I got mine new for $199 not so long ago I thought I was fooling myself with a lame excuse to justify the purchase with the argument that it is out of production and will become rare and will never be had again for this price.

Not in my wildest dreams I thought I'd be right.

Comparing the new prices it looks like an investment performance of over 100% in a year. Staggering.

BTW, the current B&H price is $359.95. Better, but still...

I know that I would never ever considered this lens for this price. I'm not saying it isn't worth that price just that I wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole with that price tag.

Hope it works for Pentax but it is sad to see a great bargain disappear like that.

BTW, does anyone know a hood for this lens that is appropriate for its use on an APS-C camera? I'd like to go beyond the normal 50mm hoods and wonder whether such things exist (should be hoods for <=77mm FF equivalent FL lenses).

12-15-2009, 06:11 AM   #2
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Similar prices for similar canikon primes on Amazon: $445 (Nikon) and $360 (Canon). Unfortunately, Pentax does not currently offer a cheap 50mm 1.8 around $150. But you can get older lenses...
12-15-2009, 06:19 AM   #3
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I never buy from the Pentax store because the prices are so out of whack.

B&H, Adorama, and Newegg for me.
12-15-2009, 06:35 AM   #4
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Quality of my pictures, and they sell well! Price Weight Small filters Dropped in on hard surfice, and it still works...
Unfortunately, Pentax does not currently offer a cheap 50mm 1.8 around $150. But you can get older lenses... yes, i agree.

12-15-2009, 06:40 AM   #5
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Wow, I paid $199 for mine as well. Saw them at $250 a while back, and didn't thing that much of it. I guess it is a keeper. I should have bought a caseload.
12-15-2009, 06:47 AM   #6
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Well, the Canon 50/1.4 is $374.00.
Is that preposterous too?
How about the Nikon 50/1.4 at $444.00?
Would you touch it with a barge pole for that price?
How about the Sigma 50/1.4 for $499.00?
Insane for a third party lens? Aren't they supposed to be cheaper?
What about the Sony 50/1.4 at $369.00? Surely Sony of all companies can afford to sell for less.
Or can they?
Or the Voigtlander Nokton at $379.00?
And you don't even get autofocus? What's that about?
And lets not even talk about the Zeiss 50/1.4 at $550.00.
A third party lens dressed up with a fancy German name, but is it really worth that much?
The Pentax is the cheapest of the lot right now. But if it's too expensive and you really need a 50, then spend more money with anyone else.
Go for it.
No one will stop you.
12-15-2009, 06:54 AM   #7
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What's really insane is that they sold it at such a low price for so long. And it's a very good lens too so the current price, as others compared to Canon and Nikon lenses, is appropriate. I also got mine for $199 and was shocked.

On the other hand though it's a good sign. It shows Pentax is getting their act together as a business.
12-15-2009, 07:40 AM   #8
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I have to wonder if the current, relative, weakness of the US Dollar doesn't have something to do with the pricing also.

12-15-2009, 07:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Well, the Canon 50/1.4 is $374.00.
Is that preposterous too?
How about the Nikon 50/1.4 at $444.00?
Would you touch it with a barge pole for that price?
How about the Sigma 50/1.4 for $499.00?
Insane for a third party lens? Aren't they supposed to be cheaper?
What about the Sony 50/1.4 at $369.00? Surely Sony of all companies can afford to sell for less.
Or can they?
Or the Voigtlander Nokton at $379.00?
And you don't even get autofocus? What's that about?
And lets not even talk about the Zeiss 50/1.4 at $550.00.
A third party lens dressed up with a fancy German name, but is it really worth that much?
The Pentax is the cheapest of the lot right now. But if it's too expensive and you really need a 50, then spend more money with anyone else.
Go for it.
No one will stop you.
But it is a significant price jump in a short period of time for any product. I paid $ 249 CAD for my Pentax 50mm F1.4, in Dec. 2008...last year almost to the day.

A friend paid $ 299 CAD for his Pentax 50mm F1.4, in June 2009...6 short months ago.

What was the latest price for this lens at the Pentax store ....$ 420 something USD.

Who is setting Pentax prices lately...OPEC ?
12-15-2009, 07:54 AM   #10
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I think Pentax is trying to get a bit of market share--it badly needs some in order to survive. Given the dire economic circumstances, their prices are still very good. Also, it's hard to complain about the offer of camera bodies--excellent, at fairly low prices. (I'd say the best APS-C bodies currently available.)
So, if even with their recent increase (in the wake of an effort to make the company profitable)--in the context of recession (or depression)!!--Pentax's prices can be compared to those of the competition, I can see no reason to switch systems.
12-15-2009, 08:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
I think Pentax is trying to get a bit of market share--it badly needs some in order to survive. Given the dire economic circumstances, their prices are still very good. Also, it's hard to complain about the offer of camera bodies--excellent, at fairly low prices. (I'd say the best APS-C bodies currently available.)
So, if even with their recent increase (in the wake of an effort to make the company profitable)--in the context of recession (or depression)!!--Pentax's prices can be compared to those of the competition, I can see no reason to switch systems.
Do you think the Pentax K7 is better than the Canon 7D or the Nikon D300s ?
12-15-2009, 08:31 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Do you think the Pentax K7 is better than the Canon 7D or the Nikon D300s ?
I should have qualified my statement: "within their price range".
12-15-2009, 08:55 AM   #13
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I think the reason is the production output of Pentax lagged behind the demand. Depreciation of USD should not account for that much price change since Pentax outsourced its factories to other countries with low cost.
12-15-2009, 09:10 AM   #14
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I don't know much about marketing, but I'd also suspect that it may be a bit of smoke and mirrors ie. if a product is priced high people will believe it must be a good quality product, particularly when compared to competitor's products that are widely viewed as high quality (whether they really are or not is beside the point). I don't think the cost of producing the lens has changed dramatically in the last 12-14 months, but the retail price sure has, so there has to be some marketing motivation as well as profit motive.

Like I said, I'm not really into marketing, so maybe I'm just talking out of my a$$.
12-15-2009, 09:24 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
But it is a significant price jump in a short period of time for any product. I paid $ 249 CAD for my Pentax 50mm F1.4, in Dec. 2008...last year almost to the day.

A friend paid $ 299 CAD for his Pentax 50mm F1.4, in June 2009...6 short months ago.

What was the latest price for this lens at the Pentax store ....$ 420 something USD.


Who is setting Pentax prices lately...OPEC ?
The street price is what B&H is selling it for, not what Pentax's web store can milk from it. Aevery price i quoted was from the B&H website as of this moring for a USA warranted item.
Why do you think Pentax should be able to manufacture and market a lens for less than Sony, Nikon or Canon?
When will people figure out that Pentax was plain and simply selling equipment at an unsustainably low price and now the party is over?
They street price is competitive and is in line with what their competition is selling for.
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