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09-30-2014, 08:17 PM   #1
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Average price on review page?

I'm interested in buying a lens being sold here in the marketplace for $70. However when I looked up the lens on the "reviews" page on this site, it says average price $22.

Now, I understand a seller is free to ask for any amount. But as a buyer should I use that average price as a guide or is it completely unreliable?

Thanks

09-30-2014, 08:52 PM   #2
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Look at how many people have supplied pricing info and how recently those posts were made. If still in doubt, see if you can find the same item in the sold items section and compare the price.

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09-30-2014, 09:20 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moropo Quote
But as a buyer should I use that average price as a guide or is it completely unreliable?
The prices on the reviews often include lenses purchased as part of a lot at a garage sale or body/lens combos on eBay. Those reflect the low end of the spectrum. A more realistic value for an item in known condition would be current listings at KEH.com. Multiply the KEH price by 0.80 to get a fair estimate of open market value. The next question would be, "Are you saying that KEH prices are inflated or not fare?" Absolutely not. They inspect and often service items before sale and provide a no quibble 180-day warranty. The extra money is worth it in my opinion.


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09-30-2014, 09:29 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Note that the average includes loads of different regional markets. Like here in Sweden we often pay a lot for camera bodies compared to US but the Pentax DA 1.4x TC is relatively cheap.

A second thing is timing, prices varies over time.

Thirdly stuff like conditions aren't taken in account.

Fourth, the acquisition method can change price a lot, there is often a big difference between buying a lens from a family than a complete stranger.

Fifth, the measuring method and the small sample-size creates a bad accuracy.

Finally the seller can set any price he/she wants, it's unlikely to sell if it's way over market price. Often a slight profit from one deal merely cuts the losses made in other deals from the past.

09-30-2014, 09:42 PM   #5
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Not much to add except that Pentax lenses had a fairly steep price increase over the years, at least some did. For a while there were rumors Pentax was going under and lens prices were extremely cheap. So older reviews will reflect that.

Whenever buying I always check:
Ebay sold listings
PF marketplace sold listings
KEH pricing
You can get a fair idea of the current price from those. But bottom line it comes down to what the buyer will pay and what the seller will take.
10-01-2014, 04:32 AM   #6
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Personally I use the same ones jatrax recommended. They can give a more real time price guide.
10-01-2014, 05:15 AM   #7
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Here's one problem with review page prices.

If you've had a lens for many years,
and are writing a review for it,
what price do you quote?

The direct original price?
The original price adjusted for inflation?
Or just cop out with "N/A"?
10-01-2014, 05:32 AM   #8
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You can check Keh.com for prices, but you can also look at finished sales on ebay or on the marketplace. Visual Darkness listed the many factors, and they are quite significant. Some people don't mind paying extra if the lens looks mint, some people get a deal from an unwitting garage sale. Someone buying at a second hand store in Japan or someone buying new in the EU will have very different prices. And prices change a lot over time, so a price that someone bought the lens for 2 years ago and someone who bought it last week can be very different. Some lenses get forgotten, others become rare cult lenses.
What you should look at is recent sales and also your own wishes. Nothing wrong with paying 60 for a lens that you want. Keep in mind that in that range the differences will be relatively bigger than with expensive gear. With cheap lenses, the variation in price can be 50%, 80% of the price. With lenses that cost $900, the variation might be 20%.
If you want more details, you will have to tell us which lens you are talking about.

10-01-2014, 08:09 AM   #9
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Original Poster
Hello,

Thanks for the answers.

Sorry I didnt mention the lens at the beginning, I just didnt want the seller to think I'm questioning his price.

The lens is "Vivitar 100-200mm F4 MC Macro Focusing Zoom" (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/265866-sal...-pk-mount.html)

I would like a macro lens and got interested in this one for its low price and the fact it got a 9.5 sharpness rating on reviews (yes only 3 reviews...). But now I dont know if this lens is really super sharp or just "sharp enough for its price". Also, after reading some, it seems this lens has a macro ratio 1:3 where true macro must have 1:1 apparently.

I checked on keh.com (didnt even know this website existed, thanks!) and couldnt find this exact lens but I did find other vivitar zoom macros with similar specs and very cheap.

What kind of expectations should be had for these cheap and 30+ years old lens? I know they are manual focus, but in regards to their macro ability and sharpness (what I care the most)?

Thanks.
10-01-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
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if you want macro buy a cheap real macro lens instead of a zoom, you won't regret it.
10-01-2014, 10:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moropo Quote
What kind of expectations should be had for these cheap and 30+ years old lens? I know they are manual focus, but in regards to their macro ability and sharpness (what I care the most)?
Except for the cult classic Vivitar Series 1 70-210 zooms, you are probably better off with a Pentax-A 70-210/4.

QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
if you want macro buy a cheap real macro lens instead of a zoom, you won't regret it.
What he said. The macro part of the name just mean close-focus.


Steve
10-01-2014, 10:44 AM   #12
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But on the other hand, true 1:1 macro is a very specific thing, which you won't use much unless you specialize in this genre. 1:3 is a big closeup and is enough for many users, especially since you get the bonus flexibility of zoom. I think most photographers consider 1:2 magnification or higher to be "macro", but zoom lenses often claim to be macro at much lower magnifications (even 1:5)
I don't have experience with that specific lens, but I would say that if you want a versatile tele zoom with close focus capabilities, it is probably a good choice. If you want something specifically for macro work, it is probably better to get a 50mm or 100mm macro (F and FA and DFA versions, there are older ones which are also great, but some allow 1:2 magnification and need an extension tube for 1:1. That being said, feel free to get a MF macro lens, because AF is generally useless in the macro range). Or Tamron 90mm or Sigma 70mm, 105mm.

Oh, and if you don't want a lens that is good "for its price", stop looking at lenses that cost under $500. You can't have contempt for the "for its price" part if you are looking for lenses that "have a certain price"
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