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08-03-2014, 05:34 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Sony 16-35, ƒ2.8 $1898 at B&H.
Sigma 18-35 ƒ1.8 $900
Somehow that doesn't seem cheap to me...
A 645 lens has to create a larger image circle...which is going to mean more glass.

At Heny's
Pentax 645 25mm.... ƒ4 $5k
Haasleblad 24mm ƒ4.8 $7.5k


Hassleblad 35 mm ƒ4 $5k
Pentax 35mm $2k

Sony FE 35mm ƒ 2.8, $800 (FF)
Pentax 35mm ƒ2.4 $200 (FF)
Pentax 35 ƒ2.8 macro $750

I'm looking for what you describe... but I'm not seeing it.
Well, I can see it right off the bat---the lenses here that cover FF are far less expensive than the new Pentax 645 D-FA lenses---and they don't have to cover but 1.7x the FF image circle, so while there should indeed be increased cost it seems a bit too increased to me. For instance that Sony I had: it was a pretty phenomenal lens, being a UWA zoom with remarkable performance, then add in the Zeiss brand premium. I don't think comparing the Pentax to Hassy comparison is particularly valid, since Hassy has always been the Leica of MF, with shared pricing perspectives (a friend of mine used to be a Hassy dealer back in the '80's -early 90's). So that you don't see it and I do now means we just have to agree to disagree.

---------- Post added 08-03-14 at 08:44 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by harumo Quote
normhead,

Maybe what OP means is the price of all these new DFA lenses (25mm and 90mm) and those soon to be announce zooms compare to the available & affordable FA lenses on the market right now.

To OP - even though I agree with you of the hi-price DFA lenses but actually they are in-line with the other MF lenses of those Hasselblads & Phase One/Schneider.

Have you ever check the price of Zeiss Otus 50mm for FF 35mm camera ?
No, I actually did mean the new D-FA lenses just in and of themselves, although you bring up an interesting point: The older lenses all covered actual 6x4.5---a larger coverage than at least one of the high priced new ones (and maybe more that are coming), so that sort of torpedoes the argument that it's all about larger image circle coverage needing more glass and thus needing to be more expensive--since looking at Phil's very helpful post of the old price list we see much more moderate prices, new, for the FA lenses---especially adjusted to 2014 dollars! Those seem to me to be where the prices ought to be landing.

As far as the comparisons to other MF glass, those premium brands were always high, and in some cases always had people scratching their heads a bit back in film days. I'm not sure it's totally valid to compare, just as in the FF market some things are just black swans(Leica, Zeiss a bit). The Otus is just a complete outlier, an exotic.

---------- Post added 08-03-14 at 08:47 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Heck... who knows what he means?
Is it possible to start a thread here, and disagree perhaps, without getting insulted? What is this, DPR? It seems other posters understood me pretty well, and there have been some speculative answers, and I thank you for your first one, but not this one....


Last edited by texandrews; 08-03-2014 at 05:52 AM.
08-03-2014, 05:57 AM   #17
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No current FF lens will produce a 51 Mp image with the kind of DR and low light performance of a 645z. If you want the performance you pay the price. If you don't stick with your Sony. The Hassy on he other hand will. They are in a class by themselves. Your dancing around that doesn't change it in any way.

QuoteQuote:
Is it possible to start a thread here, and disagree perhaps, without getting insulted? What is this, DPR? It seems other posters understood me pretty well, and there have been some speculative answers, and I thank you for your first one, but not this one....
Well then , have a nice day.
I'll avoid your threads in the future, we'll both be happier.

Last edited by normhead; 08-03-2014 at 06:12 AM.
08-03-2014, 08:21 AM   #18
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Tex: It is a simple Quality / Units Sold = Price equation. When Pentax was a major, high volume (yet still mostly wealthy enthusiast) player there was a lot more volume / unit to cover fixed costs and lower variable costs.

People didn't cost then what they do now. People are a huge expense, which is why so much is assembled outside Japan.

Machines IMHO have an upper limit to what quality(ies) can be designed into a lens (the design must be optimized for machine productive assembly). Materials have cost benefits beyond merely the cost of material - there's also the relative proclivity to be made useful by a machine (consider a CNC-milled aluminum barrel versus injection molded engineering plastic). There are no doubt plenty of internal parts and assembly compromises we'll never see. It is always possible Pentax is limited by the machines and patents it already owns, which, if replaced to make less expensive lenses, might actually ADD costs to the final product.

To go beyond that machine-assembly quality limit requires expensive processes or hand work. To do that on low volume requires a high price.

I read that an A7 is assembled from only 7 elegantly-designed sub-assemblies that are completely machine-made. The article states Sony drew on its expertise in manufacturing engineering from all its consumer products in the engineering / production design of the A7. IOW, the lack of a mirror box is valuable not only in terms of a cost elimination, but also in massive simplification of the entire manufacturing process.

I suspect one reason Pentax hasn't competed in MILC is because they simply can't. Same could be part of the lens price rationale - they don't lower their lens prices because they can't. I read an equity research report on Ricoh a couple years ago that stated, if Ricoh chose to invest ALL the necessary money in Pentax to make it competitive in DigiCams there would be a meaningful earnings decline for six to eight quarters. That report takes into account R&D, capital equipment and brand-building marketing expenses. Consequently Ricoh will build its Pentax brand slowiy using mostly internal cash flow - not a recipe for lowering lens prices any time soon.

Last edited by monochrome; 08-03-2014 at 08:34 AM.
08-03-2014, 12:09 PM   #19
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These Pentax lenses are hand-made.

08-03-2014, 01:36 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
These Pentax lenses are hand-made.
Why are Pentax lenses so expensive?
08-03-2014, 04:32 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
Thanks for the post. The 600mm was 5k in 1994; I can see why Pentax discontinued the lens, they would have to charge 15k nowadays.
Yeah the Pentax 67 800/6.7 ED IF was going for 11K the same year!

Phil
08-03-2014, 04:57 PM   #22
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Well then , have a nice day.
I'll avoid your threads in the future, we'll both be happier.
Thank you, that would be a kindness.

---------- Post added 08-03-14 at 08:11 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Tex: It is a simple Quality / Units Sold = Price equation. When Pentax was a major, high volume (yet still mostly wealthy enthusiast) player there was a lot more volume / unit to cover fixed costs and lower variable costs.
Ah, I had not thought of this point, that Pentax has come down in the world share-wise. That would be a negative.

QuoteQuote:
People didn't cost then what they do now. People are a huge expense, which is why so much is assembled outside Japan.

Machines IMHO have an upper limit to what quality(ies) can be designed into a lens (the design must be optimized for machine productive assembly). Materials have cost benefits beyond merely the cost of material - there's also the relative proclivity to be made useful by a machine (consider a CNC-milled aluminum barrel versus injection molded engineering plastic). There are no doubt plenty of internal parts and assembly compromises we'll never see. It is always possible Pentax is limited by the machines and patents it already owns, which, if replaced to make less expensive lenses, might actually ADD costs to the final product.

To go beyond that machine-assembly quality limit requires expensive processes or hand work. To do that on low volume requires a high price.

I read that an A7 is assembled from only 7 elegantly-designed sub-assemblies that are completely machine-made. The article states Sony drew on its expertise in manufacturing engineering from all its consumer products in the engineering / production design of the A7. IOW, the lack of a mirror box is valuable not only in terms of a cost elimination, but also in massive simplification of the entire manufacturing process.
Yes, I've seen that about the new Sony's, and I think Roger Ciala maybe disassembeled one to demonstrate the point? Someone did, I remember seeing it. That's also an interesting point about Pentax being limited by what it already owns (and can't afford to replace...)

QuoteQuote:
I suspect one reason Pentax hasn't competed in MILC is because they simply can't. Same could be part of the lens price rationale - they don't lower their lens prices because they can't. I read an equity research report on Ricoh a couple years ago that stated, if Ricoh chose to invest ALL the necessary money in Pentax to make it competitive in DigiCams there would be a meaningful earnings decline for six to eight quarters. That report takes into account R&D, capital equipment and brand-building marketing expenses. Consequently Ricoh will build its Pentax brand slowiy using mostly internal cash flow - not a recipe for lowering lens prices any time soon.
And this final bit is making a lot of sense.
08-05-2014, 06:19 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
Thanks for the post. The 600mm was 5k in 1994; I can see why Pentax discontinued the lens, they would have to charge 15k nowadays.
Inflation, R&D, tooling, and low production comparatively sums it up.

Factoring in inflation the exact same lens would sell for 8k in todays dollars. If they were to remake it you would have to add in the costs of development for SR and WR and AF since that is they way they are rightly going. Also keeping with the low production numbers about 12K would be a good expectation.

Just look at what the FA 45-85mm would cost in todays dollars would be 2,700. So compare that to what it sells for now and it is pretty close. So consider even if minor redesign and tooling are required to produce it again now. So again add in the R&D for SR and WR plus the new AF, labour increases, energy price increase, new tooling, etc. I think it would fall into the 5k range for low production numbers. It's just how inflation works compounded with new R&D, tooling, and more advanced systems paired with low production.

The 25mm would have been probably the lowest production lens since the 600mm. All the sales of it have to pay back for designing the widest lens they have ever made for the system (compounding in that it was actually even designed for the FF 645 adding additional difficulty).

Look at Zeiss lenses for the 35mm, very high priced for what you get as prime manual focus lenses. Yet they still have significantly higher production.

If it costs you $50M to develop and you only sell 100,000 units then add on $500 per item. After the final all in cost (R&D, electricity, capital investment for manufacturing, labour, materials, etc) Pentax will want at least 15% back. Shipping costs. The seller with also mark the item up. If it is something that has a low turn around like low production items it gets market up higher to cover overhead costs of running the shop and paying employees. Then you have the import duties and sales taxes...

These aren't like tv's for example with super high production runs and ever cheapening technology. Or even close to Sony, Canon, Nikon for production numbers to spread out the investment costs on and the obvious everything gets cheaper with scale.

If this lens wasn't projected to be so popular and the 645Z wasn't so successful this new zoom lens would easily be higher priced.


Last edited by atlnq9; 08-05-2014 at 06:54 PM.
08-07-2014, 06:25 AM   #24
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I think the new lenses are way overpriced. They should be around $2500 or so give or take $500 depending on the particular lens. Judging from their performance, build quality and feel. The 55mm DFA should be cheaper than it is. Certainly feels like it. It does not mean the lenses are bad it is just that when you get into Hasselblad H territory you expect a heck of a lot more.
08-07-2014, 07:02 AM   #25
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It's a tough market, isn't it? Because of the price of the camera, there just aren't many lenses sold, meaning that good, bad, or indifferent, new lenses are going to be priced high.

That's the biggest problem with what is considered to be a niche product.
08-07-2014, 02:00 PM   #26
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back in the film days, medium format lenses were considerably more expensive than 35mm and a lot more of them were being sold then than now. A lot of shooters who would have used MF(think of the wedding shooters) are now able to do the same with FF cameras (or even smaller sensors). The MF guys are losing the production numbers game and the cost benefits there-in.
08-07-2014, 04:41 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
are losing the production numbers game
In 1995 the 67 body plus TTL prism was $1100-$1200 new. . With the new cost of 645D/Z bodies going for way more than that now, the number of customers able to afford that is much more limited. Inflation has not been a major price driver. Body cost will limit lens production.
08-07-2014, 08:07 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
In 1995 the 67 body plus TTL prism was $1100-$1200 new. . With the new cost of 645D/Z bodies going for way more than that now, the number of customers able to afford that is much more limited. Inflation has not been a major price driver. Body cost will limit lens production.
I would disagree. That is a $1900 in todays dollars. At $10/roll of 120 (film+developing) it costs $50,000 to take the same number of photos as the 645D's shutter limit before shutter replacement. Capital investment is far higher but operating costs is severely cut. So if we look at an apples to apples comparison of what it used to cost on even the 645's and compare that to the cost to do the same with a 645D there is significant cash savings. ~35k to purchase a 645N body and take 50,000 images vs 8.5k to purchase a 645Z and take 50,000 images. That is how I justified it anyways... With that kind of economics you can easily justify a loan for the capital if you don't have the money available.

What would be more driving lower sales is the ability to produce the desired results with a 35mm kit that requires less capital. It's more of how many people really need the extra step up beyond what use to be capable of and can justify the extra capital. So it isn't even inflation driving lower sales. I just used inflation to explain that while we see how cheap they used to be to what they cost now isn't a fair comparison (that was the example of what FA lenses used to cost vs what the same lens costs now). But the low sales of bodies would obviously be directly related to lower lens sales than past (when factoring in all the new costs to produce and sell the new lens means the price has to go up to pay back that work at fewer units produced...).

Edit:
Versus taking 50,000 images with a D800 at what 2.5k? (Remember it has a higher shutter life)

Now none of those consider camera+lenses costs. That is completely dependent on what lenses each person needs. When I did cost comparisons to buying the same focal length range for a D800 (when considering the switch) I found it was higher than the 645D+lenses (now they weren't exactly equivalent since on one hand I had the manual 600 for the 645 and the other side was a AF 400 for Nikon) (see note below). But there was enough cash left over to purchase one new 645 DA lens when straight comparing (which I will finally be cashing out on since they finally brought the 28-45 out and off of the paper lens roadmap...).

(Note) I like to call that an apples to pineapples comparison. They both have the word apple (both have the same field of view). Apples make it a lot easier to get the reward (referring to AF and you can just wash and eat it); while pineapples the reward is far better (assuming you get a ripe one and referring to the cutting and waiting to ripen, etc, etc.) (referring to the image quality from the 645D and 600mm when you take the effort and get it right)...

Last edited by atlnq9; 08-07-2014 at 08:44 PM.
08-07-2014, 10:15 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
I would disagree. That is a $1900 in todays dollars. At $10/roll of 120 (film+developing) it costs $50,000 to take the same number of photos as the 645D's shutter limit before shutter replacement. Capital investment is far higher but operating costs is severely cut. So if we look at an apples to apples comparison of what it used to cost on even the 645's and compare that to the cost to do the same with a 645D there is significant cash savings. ~35k to purchase a 645N body and take 50,000 images vs 8.5k to purchase a 645Z and take 50,000 images. That is how I justified it anyways... With that kind of economics you can easily justify a loan for the capital if you don't have the money available.
Except that no one who shoots film ever does it a rate that a person does with digital.

Also a film 6x7 body will last forever with minimal maintenance and are easy to fix.
You will go through eight 645 digital bodies in the 40 years my 6x7 has been in existence.

Phil.
08-07-2014, 10:39 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Except that no one who shoots film ever does it a rate that a person does with digital.

Also a film 6x7 body will last forever with minimal maintenance and are easy to fix.
You will go through eight 645 digital bodies in the 40 years my 6x7 has been in existence.

Phil.

Excellent, salient points, Phil. Digital cameras of any type are emphatically not a good or wise investment over time. Nor are they necessarily the best tool for any particular job.
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