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10-02-2012, 11:16 AM   #1
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Cost of lenses equals quality?

Did a search, didn't find anything answering my question. If anyone has a link to something similar, feel free to share.

Now, I was curious if the amount you spend on a lens is directly related to the quality of it. I have a P3 body with a 1:3.5-4.5 28-80mm lens. I would like to get a zoom lens. I found this 80-200mm f/4-5.6 Sakar MC telephoto zoom lens for K, KR mount - L5495 | eBay and was wondering if it would be ok to buy.

10-02-2012, 11:24 AM   #2
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in mid 1980's zooms some of the best were vivitar series 1 lenses there are 4 versions of the 70-210mm lens. For you the best would likely be 70-210 F2.8/4 with KA mount , Personally I like the first version (70-210F3.5 in K mount but maybe it is because I own it)
10-02-2012, 11:49 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BikerInCincy Quote
I was curious if the amount you spend on a lens is directly related to the quality of it.
I doubt you can come up with a single category of anything that has a direct cost-to-quality correlation. And lenses have subjective qualities, and different designs to suit different needs. As a rule, for a given lens specification (focal length, maximum aperture, zoom range if applicable), sure -- you get what you pay for, more or less. The market tends to sort this out. But particular lenses, and particular lens specifications, go in and out of fashion like anything else.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some people are willing to pay a lot more to get something that performs a little better (faster, sharper, less distortion). But just plain average lenses tend to be more than good enough for casual photography.

BTW, "zoom lens" means any lens with variable focal length, including the lens you already have. "Telephoto" is the term for longer focal length lenses*, so what you want is a telephoto zoom.

* Well, technically "telephoto" refers to the lens design rather than the focal length, but nearly all long focal length lenses are telephotos, and the term is generally understood that way.
10-02-2012, 11:52 AM   #4
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Sakar isn't exactly a name associated with quality.
For an inexpensive MF zoom (but with the "A" setting), I can recommend this one, which is new:
Tokina 80-200mm f4.5-5.6 Zoom Lens for Pentax Man Focus | eBay
Someone reviewed it and gave it a 9 (not me):
Tokina 80-200 SZ-X f1:4.5-5.6 Lens Reviews - Tokina Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

I had it, and it's pretty good.

10-02-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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Sorry, "telephoto" escaped me.
10-02-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
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If I were you I'd try a newer AF zoom. usually this kind of consumer grade zooms were optically improved with time, and the price difference is probably not much.
for example, from the user reviews here the average price of a current Sigma 70-300 is $127.
10-02-2012, 12:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BikerInCincy Quote
I found this 80-200mm f/4-5.6 Sakar
QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
Sakar isn't exactly a name associated with quality.
Sakar is/was another (one of many) importers of lenses and branded a few under their name. That particular lens looks like a samyang variant from the days when they [samyang] were strictly mass producing lenses for importers across the globe. FYI: Sakar now owns the vivitar brand name and currently labels their lenses that are imported (Samyang lenses 85 1.4, 35 1.4, 8 3.5, etc..) vivitar lenses. For future reference, I have dealt with Sakar's Vivitar service center in the past and they are top notch on the service side of things.
10-02-2012, 12:39 PM   #8
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I had a Sakar 28-200mm lens that was absurdly talented - but at 810g I just couldn't bear to carry it! And my $35 Rikenon and $250 DA40 are both excellent for IQ. Image quality is a big factor, but just one of many; weather seals, in-lens AF or IS, max aperture all play a part in the cost without a direct bearing on the image. And let's be honest: demand makes some lenses rise above their true value and suppresses others. I'm a big fan of Rikenon and Sears lenses for their quality:cost ratio!

10-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #9
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It is hard to look at the cost of used stuff and determine quality, some things have an undeserved reputation, others are expensive just because they are rare even if they aren't particularly good. Cheap stuff can be fun, it might have a certain character that lenses that are technically better won't have.
10-02-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
I'm a big fan of Rikenon and Sears lenses
I have a Rikenon P 50mm 1.7 (MIJ) that replaced my Pentax-M 50mm 1.7 and never looked back - that lens is pretty stellar even wide open...
10-02-2012, 01:33 PM   #11
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Well, I put in a bid on it. If I get it, I get it. If not, oh well. I think I can part with $25.
10-02-2012, 01:35 PM   #12
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I do appreciate all the responses. If I get it, I'll let you all know how I like it.
10-02-2012, 01:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BikerInCincy Quote
If not, oh well. I think I can part with $25.
Hard to go wrong at that price, as long as it works.
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