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04-18-2010, 08:51 PM   #1
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Is Pentax Lenses Good For Investment?

Generally, camera bodies loose their value very quickly.
But what about lenses, especially Pentax lenses? I know for a fact, the limited edition will definately appreciate in value over time; but what about the other lenses?

I read that Pentax last increased their lens prices in 2006. Does that happen often? Should one get a lens just for investment purpose (so that if one really need the money, one can sell it away for better returns than putting it in a bank)?

Cheers.

04-18-2010, 08:58 PM   #2
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Is Pentax Lenses Good For Investment?

Some examples I read from other forums :

1) The FA 43 f1.9 MIJ, the official selling price in Hong Kong raise 100% from 2008 to 2009

2) FA50.4 - in MAlaysia, the lens price now is around RM1.6k (USD 475) but for the second hand price, people can still get around RM600-700 range (USD180-210).

And by the time the price increasse, IMO, one will value its lens more and never think to resell it since it will become rare and not everyone can afford it.

As for other Brands (in terms of photography) that definately increase in value is the Leica brand.
04-18-2010, 09:08 PM   #3
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There has been much discussion here about popularity spikes, exchange rates, basic supply and demand, the Japanese pension system, and more macroeconomic stuff than I can shake an abacus at. But the basic rule for inexperienced investors is: Only buy stuff you love. If you can sell it at a profit, great. If you can sell it at all without losing your shirt / house / relationship, OK. Otherwise you're stuck with it, so you had better love it a whole bunch, or else you'll only hate it and yourself and anyone you dealt with and the whole world and existence itself, etc.

An example: Journeying to Guatemala and central Mexico, we found certain exotic goods at EXTREMELY low prices. Upon returning to California, we contacted an ethnic arts dealer who promised to buy whatever we brought back on subsequent trips. So the next time, we bought Tarahumara crafts and Taxco silver and Mayan huipiles and all sorts of good stuff, and we returned -- and the dealer never returned our calls. And nobody else was interested.

So, some of the Taxco silver became much-appreciated gifts. The huipiles became comfortable chair-back covers. The Tarahumara crafts sit on our shelves, in a room that looks like a library-lounge at the rustic-grand Ahwanee hotel in Yosemite. We love all this stuff. It didn't cost all THAT much. But it's a damn good thing that we weren't depending to live on the proceeds of their sales. And it's a damn good thing I didn't tie all those Guatemalan carved animals onto the car roof. I really wouldn't want them in the meadow between the house and the forest. Nothing for the squirrels to chew on, for the deer to sh!t on, etc.

There's another rule: Buy land, because they ain't making it anymore (except in Hawai'i). Think about that. If something is no longer being produced, and there's still a demand for it, then its value will rise (sooner or later). If production continues, there's no guarantee. Will Pentax stop making lenses anytime soon? That's what you're gambling on if you want to buy Pentax glass as an investment.
04-18-2010, 09:11 PM   #4
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Like anything, buy and sell at the right time and you can make money. If you buy a lot just before Pentax releases an extremely popular camera or discontinues a popular lens, it might work. It might be a lot of work to beat the returns of other potential investments. Make sure you have a good place to store lenses.

04-19-2010, 07:56 AM   #5
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Is it okay to store it in a bag?
04-19-2010, 08:09 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
Is it okay to store it in a bag?
Not if you are in a humid environment. The Phillipines, which show in your location signature are not a place, where I would store my lenses in photo bags. Keep them ventilated or, even you have really expensive and valauble glass, buy a dry cabinet for photographic gear. There have been several suggestions about those in the past.

Ben
04-19-2010, 08:57 PM   #7
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Actually, the last Pentax price rise was a lot more recent than you indicate -- prices went up last year in most places, by an awful lot in the UK and a big jump in the rest of the EU. If I had bought before that (and I did see it coming) then I could have made a lot of money. But you have to have money to make money, y'know? And likely I would have just ended up keeping all the lenses I bought to sell later.

But in general I would not recommend starting your retirement fund in this way. Buy only what you need to use, unless you find some fantastic deal you cannot pass up. That will keep you from experiencing unexpected losses.
04-19-2010, 09:31 PM   #8
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I wouldn't count on it to fund your retirement, but buying old Pentax lenses can be a relatively safe "investment" while at the same time also being able to get enjoyment from using them. It's also fun to go hunting for good deals.

There was a time several years ago when I was shooting Pentax on film and bought a lot of secound hand gear on eBay. Most of the lenses have appreciated in value, and the good ones still work very well on digital. But there's a lot of overlap and when I get the time I'm going to sit down and sort through my stockpile and decide which to keep and which to trade-in for some modern glass that I've been eyeing lately. While the feel of old Pentax glass can be very good, sometimes it's nice to have AF.

But one word of warning - with this approach you are depending on Pentax maintaining some sort of backwards-compatibility with old lenses in future bodies. Which I think they will, for the time being.

04-19-2010, 10:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Not if you are in a humid environment. The Phillipines, which show in your location signature are not a place, where I would store my lenses in photo bags. Keep them ventilated or, even you have really expensive and valauble glass, buy a dry cabinet for photographic gear. There have been several suggestions about those in the past.

Ben
Same here.
I'm glad we didn't start off our Pentax kits with expensive lenses because many of them grew mold and/or humidity issues in the first year due to temperatures here.

Now... I buy a regular supply of dry packs(desiccant) and keep some fresh ones in our bags at all times.

I also place our packs in a room with a dehumidifier when they are not in use.
It's been 4 years since we've had problems.
Good luck!
04-19-2010, 10:56 PM   #10
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Camera lenses are meant for shooting.

Don't turn into Gokevincameras.
04-19-2010, 11:21 PM   #11
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Couldn't agree more:

QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Camera lenses are meant for shooting.

Don't turn into Gokevincameras.
04-19-2010, 11:54 PM   #12
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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...
04-20-2010, 04:48 AM   #13
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I think all good glass is an investment for a photographer, but not for resale at a higher value, just as a means of insuring return on their skills.

While it may be true that there are some highly sought after lenses, not all lenses will go up in value over time.

I can recall the pentax 135-600 K mount super zoom selling for in excess of 5K in the mid to late 1980's yet today it sells for less than 1K.

My sigma APO 70-200F2.8 EX (Non DG non macro) was selling used at one time for 25% more than I paid new, because there were no other zooms in that range in current production, now it sells for half that maximum value because there are lenses to be had (although the origonal is in many people's eyes the sharpest wide open)

The limiteds today are not really limited lenses, pentax does not make a non limited version of the same lens., it is all marketing BS. Sure they are quality lenses, but they are not collectors items, they are not rare higher toloranced versions of standard lenses. They are not a financial investment
04-20-2010, 04:55 AM   #14
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I guess I would be satisified if the lenses don't lose a huge amount of value. At present however, I could sell my lens collection for more than I paid for it. Prices have really climbed in the last year. In fact, I think that it was last March that Pentax raised prices. There was a lot of old stock out there, even after that. Even up till August/September, you could still find the FA 50 for 220 dollars, but now everything is more expensive.

I use my lenses and I wouldn't buy a lens that I didn't plan on shooting with. At the same time it does give a little bit of security knowing that if my family came on hard times I could sell the lenses and make back what I have in them (although it would break my heart to do so).
04-20-2010, 04:56 AM   #15
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don't go out there and buy a bunch of FA 35/2's now.. he he he ....

precious metals are better investments.
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