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04-17-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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Is it me, or is used glass getting expensive

Is it just me, or is used glass getting expensive and hard to come by. For what I've seen people bidding/paying for used glass, it seems to almost makes more sense to spend a few extra bucks and buy new. I've bid on a few lenses lately on ebay that have ended up going for upwards of $350.

1) Is the old glass optically that much better that it is in such high demand?

2) Is there just a lot of hype around the old stuff?

3) If 1 is true, is it so much better to be worth losing AF and AE abilities?

I'm trying to understand this, because I'd love to build out my kit at a reasonable price, but it seems to be impossible.

04-17-2010, 08:47 PM   #2
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The economy is starting to recover, so the prices of everything are going to start going back up again. A year ago I could get a Tamron 28-75mm for less than $250, now it's hard to find it for less than $350. It definitely sucks for those of us who didn't have any changes in income!

Because more people can go out and buy lenses now though, the people selling them start getting the hint and raise their prices a little bit to get a little more money off of them, and then that just becomes the normal price. Of course in the recession, barely anyone would buy a lens, so the people selling them had to keep lowering their prices to near ridiculous numbers to make sure that they would sell them.

Unfortunately if things keep getting better (although it'll get better for the rest of us) those of us who buy used lenses are going to have a big problem being able to afford as many as we have been able to buy recently. Let's just hope we can get the ones we want before we can't afford them anymore. The same thing has also been happening with cameras, which has led to a few interesting little tidbits, such as the K100D selling for more than the K10D sometimes, and the *ist series cameras selling for more than the K100D in a few instances, and a lot of people actually buying them.
04-17-2010, 09:29 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GregK8 Quote
1) Is the old glass optically that much better that it is in such high demand?

2) Is there just a lot of hype around the old stuff?

3) If 1 is true, is it so much better to be worth losing AF and AE abilities?
Depends on what lens you want. Theres a lot of crappy old lenses out there and a lot of good/great ones. There are definitely some old lenses that can compete with the new stuff. I would also tend to agree that there is a some amount of hype surrounding certain legacy glass (albeit not without good reason). And yes if the lens is good enough its definitely worth losing AF and AE.
04-17-2010, 09:29 PM   #4
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I've had Pentax for about a year, used glass has definitely went up in price in that time. In what I've read, it's risen sharply from the prices of 2-4 years ago. It could be caused by supply and demand, or adapters for Canon and other brands becoming more popular, sales of the KX, or maybe a bad economy is causing more people to buy used instead of new, although you wouldn't think so with the amount of new equipment coming out industry wide. I've found the best lens buys to be lenses sold on Ebay that are "included" with film cameras. But these deals are happening less frequently.

Although used lens prices haven't come close to rising as much as new Pentax lenses in the past year!

04-18-2010, 04:15 AM   #5
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Generalities:

Most new zooms are better, often MUCH better, than most old zooms.
Most prime lens designs reached their (optical) peak quite a while ago.
New primes have autofocus, lighter materials, and maybe better coatings.
Cruddy lenses have been built at all times by all lensmakers. Beware.
Old lenses are more likely to suffer from damage, dust, fungus, etc.
Old lenses can be sharp, compact, challenging, fun to use, different.
Old lenses can still be bargains: see https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/57359-pawnshop...ers-guide.html
04-18-2010, 05:46 AM   #6
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I think you are seeing that the market of desireable old lenses is drying up

You simply don't see many used pentax lenses in stores. Lots of canon and nikon, but no pentax (except for the mid 1990's platic junk and kit lenses)

Even on EBAY while the number of pentax compatible lenses is increasing, it is all russian and most are BIN, the number of lenses going for auctions is dropping rapidly
04-18-2010, 05:50 AM   #7
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Used glass getting more expensive is a function of new glass prices. New glass has been increasing not so much because of any sort of sustained recovery domestically, but due to a weakened dollar.
04-18-2010, 06:58 AM   #8
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I'd say it's not just you.
Here in the UK the market with used Pentax glass is recovering too quickly for my liking.
Say 2 years ago you could get decent Pentax M and A series for next to nothing.
Since then 2 things happened:
a) new glass went crazy with prices which provided lift for aftermarket prices too
b) seems that Pentax is getting more popular again so used stuff vendors are trying to push the limits.

Example?
2 years ago FA50/1.4 could be had for 140GBP, now used A50/1.4 in EX condition has price tag of 160GBP....

04-18-2010, 07:02 AM   #9
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agreed Axl, Mr Cad's told me much the same thing, there had been a lot more demand for used pentax lenses in the last 6 months.
04-18-2010, 07:10 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
agreed Axl, Mr Cad's told me much the same thing, there had been a lot more demand for used pentax lenses in the last 6 months.
Just like the market, it will fluctuate, I am sure.

Some of the old lenses are just out of this world, and nothing can replace it.

I don't have them, but I have seen pics taken by A* 85 and 135. I just about cried. So, even if some are getting a bit pricey, they may still be a good buy, although not as good as it has been. I still think that Pentax lenes are, relatively speaking, cheaper and reasonable, at least in US.

One word of caution is the current DA lines includding ltds and *'s. They will be outdated soon due to sensor coverage issues. Too bad, because some of the DA lenses I think are few of the best that were ever produced.
04-18-2010, 07:12 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 41ants Quote
Used glass getting more expensive is a function of new glass prices. New glass has been increasing not so much because of any sort of sustained recovery domestically, but due to a weakened dollar.
Ditto. The Yen is the benchmark for glass. Wit the Euro falling, some of that European glass may become more affordable. The Yen will fall dramatically in the next decade, and so will glass prices. It has to. The pension system now has to liquidate and not buy Japanese debt, flooding the market with Yen. If that is delayed for reasons of bizarre macroeconomic manipulation as the samurai class try to levitate the economy even longer, glass production will have to move offshore, as body production has.

Cameras and lenses are a fascinating insight into the forex markets.
04-18-2010, 07:14 AM   #12
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Also each new body sold means one more person potentially buying used lenses. Of course prices go up.
04-18-2010, 07:35 AM   #13
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can we say the same about new glass ?
04-18-2010, 07:51 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nubi Quote

One word of caution is the current DA lines includding ltds and *'s. They will be outdated soon due to sensor coverage issues. Too bad, because some of the DA lenses I think are few of the best that were ever produced.


You mean I won't be able to use my lenses on my K10/K20/K7 anymore due to Sensor coverage issues??
04-18-2010, 07:53 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nubi Quote
One word of caution is the current DA lines includding ltds and *'s. They will be outdated soon due to sensor coverage issues. Too bad, because some of the DA lenses I think are few of the best that were ever produced.
now that is some shrewd thinking from the chief strategic officer.
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