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04-20-2010, 05:05 PM   #1
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Scooped up a brand-new Pentax M 200mm f/4

I'm somewhat excited about a little bit of luck I had today on ebay. I've been after the M-200mm f/4 for a while now, mostly because I've been enjoying the M-135mm f/3.5 quite a bit due to its diminutive size and nice performance. The 200 would be a useful addition for me - I mostly shoot film so that would be a true 200mm and no stop-down metering either. :-)

Anyway, my latest attempt at acquiring it failed as I was outbid by someone who ended up paying a preposterous $106 for a used one. Today I spotted an unused specimen that comes with the original box, leather case, some auxiliary caps still in their original wrapping and all the original paperwork. However, the seller wanted $300 for the whole lot! He was probably trying to skim off the clueless. More mocking than serious, I offered $150, mostly to send him a subtle message that he might be off by an order of a magnitude.

Surprisingly, my offer was accepted so now I am keenly awaiting a shipment from Quebec. $150 is probably still a stretch for this lens even considering it's brand-new. Then again, it's not easy to acquire a 30-year old lens that has never even been mounted onto a camera. I wonder if I should even use it or preserve its mintness. I also have a very cheap Vivitar 200mm f/4 coming which I know nothing about and which might do.

Anyway, I'm happy.
Cheers,
Tassilo

04-20-2010, 06:05 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by vparseval Quote
I'm somewhat excited about a little bit of luck I had today on ebay. I've been after the M-200mm f/4 for a while now, mostly because I've been enjoying the M-135mm f/3.5 quite a bit due to its diminutive size and nice performance. The 200 would be a useful addition for me - I mostly shoot film so that would be a true 200mm and no stop-down metering either. :-)

Anyway, my latest attempt at acquiring it failed as I was outbid by someone who ended up paying a preposterous $106 for a used one. Today I spotted an unused specimen that comes with the original box, leather case, some auxiliary caps still in their original wrapping and all the original paperwork. However, the seller wanted $300 for the whole lot! He was probably trying to skim off the clueless. More mocking than serious, I offered $150, mostly to send him a subtle message that he might be off by an order of a magnitude.

Surprisingly, my offer was accepted so now I am keenly awaiting a shipment from Quebec. $150 is probably still a stretch for this lens even considering it's brand-new. Then again, it's not easy to acquire a 30-year old lens that has never even been mounted onto a camera. I wonder if I should even use it or preserve its mintness. I also have a very cheap Vivitar 200mm f/4 coming which I know nothing about and which might do.

Anyway, I'm happy.
Cheers,
Tassilo
If it is worth $150 to you then it isn't a stretch.. You've just set the bar for future pricing of that lens on ebay though Use it, and enjoy it. Keep the box and papers in a safe place and take care of the lens. It will be a while, I would bet, before anyone would be willing to go to that price. The M200 is actually quite a nice lens.

04-20-2010, 06:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
If it is worth $150 to you then it isn't a stretch.. You've just set the bar for future pricing of that lens on ebay though Use it, and enjoy it. Keep the box and papers in a safe place and take care of the lens. It will be a while, I would bet, before anyone would be willing to go to that price. The M200 is actually quite a nice lens.

My impression is that the ebay prices for K-mount lenses have already turned sour a while ago. This is certainly true for genuine Pentax/Takumar lenses. But even finding a replacement for my beloved Sears 135mm f/2.8 whose aperture blades died was much more onerous than I would have expected.

I wonder who these people are that are sucking dry the used market for Pentax lenses. Whenever I look at the bidders taking part in auctions, those are all people having bid on very few items before. Obviously, they also spoil it for me by bidding too early and thus inflating the prices further.

Cheers,
Tassilo
04-20-2010, 06:41 PM   #4
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Where in Quebec? Maybe I could go and see if this guy has more lenses in his basement!

04-20-2010, 06:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Where in Quebec? Maybe I could go and see if this guy has more lenses in his basement!
Funny, I think he actually has. The description for my item contained this enigmatic sentence: "This lens have been in the collection of my friend. I will list several in the next week and will combine shipping."

Just keep an eye on his ebay store. Do remember to haggle when something comes up. ;-)

Cheers,
Tassilo
04-21-2010, 05:12 AM   #6
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I'll keep an eye open. He seems to have a lot of varied stuff, maybe he just helps friends sell their oldies. Who knows.
04-21-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by vparseval Quote
I wonder if I should even use it or preserve its mintness.
I'd consider the latter. After all, I assume the reason you were willing to pay twice the going rate for the lens was because of its unique condition, but the minute you start using it, it becomes just another $75 used M200/4 like you can find any day of the week. That's a lot of money to lose (on paper, anyhow) just for opening a box. If the Vivitar doesn't suit you, I'd just go ahead and get a regular $75 M200/4 to use, and keep the $150 for what it is - a collector's item. Otherwise, what would have been the point of getting it?
04-21-2010, 06:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I'd consider the latter. After all, I assume the reason you were willing to pay twice the going rate for the lens was because of its unique condition, but the minute you start using it, it becomes just another $75 used M200/4 like you can find any day of the week. That's a lot of money to lose (on paper, anyhow) just for opening a box. If the Vivitar doesn't suit you, I'd just go ahead and get a regular $75 M200/4 to use, and keep the $150 for what it is - a collector's item. Otherwise, what would have been the point of getting it?
That's probably sound advise. We'll see if I can restrain myself.

I'll see how the Vivitar performs first. I've found virtually no information about a Vivitar 200mm f/4, only on f/3.5 specimens which are apparently quite well liked. I'm going to use it only with B&W film anyway, so neither popping colors nor ultimate sharpness will be a huge concern. The analog world is so forgiving...

I just hope it wont be too big and heavy. On the photos it looked comparable to some of the 55mm filter-thread 135mm f/2.8 lenses. That I could easily tolerate. My reasoning behind getting the M 200mm f/4 was its very manageable size mostly.

Cheers,
Tassilo

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