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04-20-2010, 06:09 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoso Quote
don't go out there and buy a bunch of FA 35/2's now.. he he he ....
precious metals are better investments.
Though actually, at least one person on eBay (and one person selling here as well?) did do this and seemed to turn a decent profit.

But what is it you want to do? Be a vendor of photographic equipment? Or be a photographer? Of course you can be both, but be aware that setting up a sales business is a time-intensive matter with taxation and other hurdles. I wouldn't dip into it casually or without a proper business plan, as that is a sure-fire way to end in disappointment and financial loss.


Last edited by rparmar; 04-20-2010 at 07:50 AM.
04-20-2010, 06:22 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Though actually, at least one person on eBay (and one person selling here as well?) did do this and seemed to turn a decent profit.
But what is it you want to do? Be a vendor of photographic equipment? Or be a photographer? Of course you can be both, but be aware that setting up a sales business is a time-intensive matter with taxation and other hurdles. I wouldn't dip into it causally or without a proper business plan, as that is a sure-fire way to end in disappointment and financial loss.
Well said.
04-20-2010, 06:55 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Of course lenses are for shooting, that's true.
But are they good investment?
I won't say that question is asinine but none of us here have a peek at Pentax's business and R&D plans.

Anything can be a good investment provided people will pay more than what you've paid.

Do you think Pentax will keep on their recent tear and produce bodies that compete with Canon and Nikon in the next few years or will they lay another egg? I think that's the most important question, along with the "do you have the capital for such a venture or the savvy to exploit the current/future market?"

I bought a 16-mm Bolex camera a few years back thinking hey, it's 30-year old equipment, it's going to keep its price as long as I take good care of it, there's no way it's going to depreciate in value right? Not after all these years?

Wrong. Some schmuck in Taiwan created a c-mount lens adapter to convert 16mm lens to micro 4/3. Bolex lenses were all inexpensive high quality fast lenses. Think Takumar build and image quality mixed with high speed (25mm f1.4 & 15mm f.96, 75mm f1.8). As a result, lenses more than DOUBLED in price with all the micro-4/3 people grabbing up everything on the marketplace. Meanwhile, people who actually shot Bolex were screwed. They can't afford the lenses anymore. Bolex cameras have rotating bayonet mounts and you need 2-3 lenses to shoot a decent film. That's going to cost you $800 nowadays compared to $300 for fully serviced ones 5 years ago. Only hobbyists shoot 16mm film and they don't have that kind of money. There goes an entire 16mm segment. I won't even get into what the adapters did to Anenieux/Beaulieu lenses.

Since no one can afford the lenses anymore, the bodies quickly depreciated in value. I lost about $100-200 on the body but made $300 on the lenses. I barely broke even. I had a tinge of regret because 5 years ago, I only had enough money for 2 lenses, had I had money for a few more lenses.... Then I realized, Jesus, nobody, absolutely NOBODY could have anticipated that turn of events.

I hope you draw from the story above that ANYTHING can happen. Someone can easily mass produce an adapter that opens a whole other market of lenses to Pentax users and quickly depreciate the Pentax lenses you own, you never know. Someone can also create a Pentax to _____ adapter that'll double the market value of all your lenses (I hope not).

What really bothers me about this thread is that I don't think any serious photographer with a conscience would ever seriously consider this method of investment. You should understand that lenses are for one thing only. There are a limited amount of lenses in this world and it's frustrating that a good amount of the best lenses ever made are in some greedy schmuck's closet with ridiculous and exorbitant price tags on them.

This is an INCREDIBLE hobby and profession that people should be allowed to enjoy. I want to SHARE this with everyone else and so should you. A photographer depriving another person of this pleasure and passion out of avarice is kind of screwed up. It's OK to make a few bucks as a seller but when your objective is to hoard them all, deprive the market of any and then release them little by little in 5-10 years, then yeah, you're kind of screwed up.

What I just wrote may sound harsh but I honestly can't imagine the guy behind GoKevinCameras to be a photographer of any caliber. Someone prove me wrong on this one.
04-20-2010, 07:54 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Of course lenses are for shooting, that's true.
But are they good investment?
Well, I bought my 31ltd for 345. These days I wouldn't sell it for less than 600... so you tell me...
Generally if you look at my line up... I'd say 1.5k is in there and if needed I know I where to turn....
so IMO, yes, Pentax (good) glass is a good investment...

I think "WAS" is the operative term...

Those opportunistic rises relative to inflation have been and gone. They can't go higher vs C&N.

So, the the OP, the answer imho is a strong no.

04-20-2010, 09:23 AM   #20
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The last thing I would buy as an investment is a lens.
One of the first things I would buy for years of enjoyment and satisfaction is a good lens and I would consider the results of using that lens as a very satisfactory investment.
04-20-2010, 09:45 AM   #21
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I would Never buy a lens strictly as an investment. That isn't to say that I do not buy them to resell. I do, and I do it often. The question I have to ask myself is this.. Will I be happy Keeping the lens if I cannot find a buyer at my price? If the answer is No, I leave the lens alone. If it is yes, I grab it (If the price is right). Investing for resale requires a pretty firm knowledge of the market and the product (as with everything else) as well as timing. Is the cost of Selling going to eat any potential profit? Fees, commissions, ect will all chip away at that once great investment.
There will Always be a buyer for a given lens. The question you need the answer to is will he/she be looking when You are ready to sell?? Overall though, if you buy a lens, or a camera, or anything else with the intention of reselling it, figure on being stuck with it.
04-20-2010, 10:59 PM   #22
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IMO, If you needed the lens and using it will not be a bad investment provided you take good care of it..
I think its a good investment as long as you dont leave the lens for storage in a long time and as long as its not SDM
04-20-2010, 11:04 PM   #23
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I have owned both Nikon and Pentax 35mm systems and 2 seperate Pentax DSLR systems. The fact that Pentax has kept the K mount for so long and that even current DSLR camera bodies are backwards compatible makes all Pentax and Pentax compatible lenses retain their value better than Canon/Nikon/Minolta/etc lenses.

Old Pentax-M, Pentax-A, and cult classics like the Vivitar Series 1 lenses fetch quite a bit more money than comparable vintage lenses for other mounts.

I think that the rarity of Pentax lenses and the universal compatibility makes them retain their value well and I would consider them a decent investment. I don't think you will ever get rich by holding onto lenses unless they are extremely rare but I have never lost money on any Pentax lens that I have bought and later sold.

04-21-2010, 12:30 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by JP_Seattle Quote
I have owned both Nikon and Pentax 35mm systems and 2 seperate Pentax DSLR systems. The fact that Pentax has kept the K mount for so long and that even current DSLR camera bodies are backwards compatible makes all Pentax and Pentax compatible lenses retain their value better than Canon/Nikon/Minolta/etc lenses.

Old Pentax-M, Pentax-A, and cult classics like the Vivitar Series 1 lenses fetch quite a bit more money than comparable vintage lenses for other mounts.

I think that the rarity of Pentax lenses and the universal compatibility makes them retain their value well and I would consider them a decent investment. I don't think you will ever get rich by holding onto lenses unless they are extremely rare but I have never lost money on any Pentax lens that I have bought and later sold.
Exactly as said!
Canon FD lenses sell for next to nothing by now. There is Minolta Rokkor MD 50/1.2 in London, with asking price of ~150 if I remember correctly. I had to spend 100 more to get my K50/1.2.
Nikon 85/1.8mm lenses even AF go for around 200-250. Pentax K85/1.8 in London goes for 300 and up (if it pops up every now and then).
So, I still think that as long as K mount is around, and new bodies can mount any K mount lens, then Pentax lenses are good investment, they retain (or increase) their value as time passes....
04-21-2010, 04:58 AM   #25
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My answer is No.

IMO, as soon as the dollars strengthens against the yen, the prices of new lenses will go down and with it the used prices also.

Of course if you plan to purchase and use the lenses before selling them at a future date, then you really have nothing to lose.
04-21-2010, 05:50 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by JP_Seattle Quote
I have owned both Nikon and Pentax 35mm systems and 2 seperate Pentax DSLR systems. The fact that Pentax has kept the K mount for so long and that even current DSLR camera bodies are backwards compatible makes all Pentax and Pentax compatible lenses retain their value better than Canon/Nikon/Minolta/etc lenses.

Old Pentax-M, Pentax-A, and cult classics like the Vivitar Series 1 lenses fetch quite a bit more money than comparable vintage lenses for other mounts.

I think that the rarity of Pentax lenses and the universal compatibility makes them retain their value well and I would consider them a decent investment. I don't think you will ever get rich by holding onto lenses unless they are extremely rare but I have never lost money on any Pentax lens that I have bought and later sold.
I agree with this, but will add one additional point, while lenses may fetch more than their nikon or canon counterparts, having bought some cult classics brand new, they have not yet reached even the purchase price, let alone consider inflation.

for example, I bought a vivitar series 1 70-200F3.5 (version 1) in 1981 at the time for $350 CDN. even if I consiider inflation at 3% annually since then (and it has been worse) that lens today would cost about $850 (which is about where a good 70-200F2.8) sells, suggesting that lens prices are not really all that far out of line with reality. BUT, what does the Series 1 version 1 sell for today, maybe 1/5 of the value, sure it is at least double the same lens in nikon or canon mount, but it is still not holding value.
04-21-2010, 09:42 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I agree with this, but will add one additional point, while lenses may fetch more than their nikon or canon counterparts, having bought some cult classics brand new, they have not yet reached even the purchase price, let alone consider inflation.

for example, I bought a vivitar series 1 70-200F3.5 (version 1) in 1981 at the time for $350 CDN. even if I consiider inflation at 3% annually since then (and it has been worse) that lens today would cost about $850 (which is about where a good 70-200F2.8) sells, suggesting that lens prices are not really all that far out of line with reality. BUT, what does the Series 1 version 1 sell for today, maybe 1/5 of the value, sure it is at least double the same lens in nikon or canon mount, but it is still not holding value.
That's a very good point. We can thank the digital age that these old K-mount lenses have been given a new lease on life. But as a result, the deals now are not as good as they were a few years back.

Your example of the Viv S1 70-210/3.5 is very interesting, as even factoring in inflation I think the new cost is actually pretty cheap, given the build quality and the higher labour costs. I actually own a copy of this exact lens, however I got mine pretty cheap from a pawn shop along with a bunch of other K-mount gear. I've recently started using this lens with my K20D, and have been very pleased so far. It seems to be quite a bit better than my A70-210/4.
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