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01-21-2014, 11:11 PM   #1
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The best $X you ever spent...

I thought this might be fun. It's interesting to see what other people have found to be their best value for the dollar they spent. Guideline: needs to be relatively available in the new or used market. Nothing discontinued 25 years ago & rarely seen. Discontinued, but super common to find is ok. No software. Hardware or resource material only.

Here's our price breaks:
*Under $100
*$100-150
*$151-250
*$251-400
*$401-600
*$601-750
*$751-1000
*Over $1000

01-21-2014, 11:53 PM   #2
hcc
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*$401-600

My Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4 lens. A fast fifty MF prime with outstanding IQ. My first prime lens (purchased in 2009) and it is still my best investment to date. I bought the VL58mm to complement my DA18-250mm on my K-7. The DA18-250mm would be my second best buy, and the first based solely upon the number of shots that I took. The VL58mm however gives me a much better "keeper" ratio. It is the Lens, the one that I would take when I want to maximise the number of keepers.

I add that I shoot mostly outdoor in any conditions, sunlight, sunrise, sunset, rainstorm, windstorm, beaches, sand storm, smogg, fogg, .... The VL58mm f1.4 shines in tricky lighting conditions, possibly ahead of my FA31mm f1.8 (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/209251-fa31...mm-f1-4-a.html).
01-22-2014, 12:10 AM   #3
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Under $100: Pentax m42-K adapter: 30€.
$100-150: DA 35/2.4: 100€.
01-22-2014, 12:28 AM   #4
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90bucks. ME Super with a m50 1.7

Stupid little thing started me on this Pentax adventure grrrrr.

01-22-2014, 12:34 AM   #5
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Doesn't have to be just lenses. Can be other gear. Straps, tripods, flashes, bodies, etc.

For me:
Under $100 - a strap on clearance for $10. It's a neck strap with neoprene padding.

$100-200 - I think I like my DA35 better than my DA50. Either way, I only spent $125 for each of them.
01-22-2014, 03:02 AM   #6
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For $751 - $1000 (converted, $1000), my first Pentax , the K10D with DA18-55AL/II
Better, for $251 - $400 (converted, $400) a refurbed K100D.
For below $100, M50/1.7 and M120/2.8 (each about $30, second hand).

Please be aware that we do pay VAT over here (14% or so), so prices are higher than in the States.

The M50/1.7 came from a colleague and the M120/2.8 was found in an old shop
01-22-2014, 03:28 AM   #7
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Under $25 - Industar 50-2. Odd lens, sharp in the centre, terrible at edges (even on crop camera), but I like how it renders tones. Fun to play around with.

399euro, got a brand new yellow K-01 with 40mm XS. At the time, it was a great price, but it went lower still. Gave me new enthusiasm for photography
01-22-2014, 04:12 AM   #8
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Under $100:

K1000 for learning basic (but crucial) photographic skills
M42 adapter

01-22-2014, 04:59 AM   #9
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In the $251-400 range: If we're just talking value, I'd say my Gitzo tripod. Bought it around 1988, used it extensively for still photoraphy and also video, and it's still as tight and stable as the day I bought it. I've had better bargains, but not better value, I don't think.

But, speaking of bargains...in the under $25 range: I recently found a Yashica T4 Super buried in a bin at my Goodwill store for $1.99. Popped a battery in it and the thing works like a champ.
01-22-2014, 06:45 AM   #10
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Yes, value. Something you bought that was worth every penny & maybe more.
01-22-2014, 06:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
I thought this might be fun. It's interesting to see what other people have found to be their best value for the dollar they spent. Guideline: needs to be relatively available in the new or used market. Nothing discontinued 25 years ago & rarely seen. Discontinued, but super common to find is ok. No software. Hardware or resource material only.

Here's our price breaks:
*Under $100
*$100-150
*$151-250
*$251-400
*$401-600
*$601-750
*$751-1000
*Over $1000
Under 100: Pentax M 135mm 3.5
151-250: Samyang 85mm
251-400: Samyang 14mm
401-600: Pentax K-30 + DA WR 18-55

Last edited by causey; 01-22-2014 at 09:08 AM.
01-22-2014, 08:46 AM   #12
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Under $100: A 60cm 5 in 1 reflector/diffuser. Awesomely versatile for small subjects (~$25 with tax)

$401-600: DFA 100mm Macro. Maybe not the best value out there for macro work, but for the amount I've used it I consider it a bargain (Paid just under the $600 threshold new just before the WR version was announced)

*$751-1000: K100d with 2 kit lenses. A few months after it came out, about $850 with tax iirc. Terrific value at the time, used bodies are very cheap these days but getting rare.
01-22-2014, 09:16 AM   #13
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*Under $100: (way under) Pentax-F 35-70mm 3.5-4.5. This versatile little gem has far exceeded my expectation. Unassuming, the 35-70 surprises with decent sharpness, good colour rendition, and a useful close-up capability.

*Under $100: SMC Takumar 50/1.4. This wonderful piece of vintage glass and metal can be found on the used market. I smile to myself everytime I go out with it. Manual-schmanual, gee this lens is fun to use, easy to focus, and it produces great results.

*$601-750: DA 35mm Macro Limited. The first fixed-FL lens I bought with my K-7. Paid full price, new. This is probably my most often-used lens, a real workhorse.

- Craig
01-22-2014, 09:31 AM   #14
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*$401-600 My Black Friday k-5ii. This is a light years ahead of my k-x upgrade.
01-22-2014, 10:03 AM   #15
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I got a lot of my stuff in those one-time years-ago deals, so I'll skip them.

Under $100 - SMC Pentax 55mm f1.8. Any of the Takumar 55mm f1.8 or f2 lenses qualify here. These are exceptional bargains and really interesting lenses.

$151 to $250 - Tokina SD 400mm f5.6. I paid $180 which is a deal, but not outrageous. I use it all the time for birds, the moon, mountains, coyotes or deer. A long telephoto prime that you can depend on is surprisingly useful. Look for lenses with APO, SD or ED in the name because the low-dispersion glass is important for long lenses. To get the most value, you need a tripod.

$251 to $400 - FA 35mm f2. I paid $300 new. The DA 35mm f2.4 is optically about the same, and FA prices are more reasonable today. It's a great normal prime.

$601 to $750 - my first DSLR, what they used to call a "gateway drug" - got me addicted.
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