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08-08-2009, 09:47 PM   #1
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Takumar lens price guide

I hope this message isn't a disappointment after reading the title. I know that in the lens review section, people list the prices they pay for various takumar lenses, and others as well. There seems to be a HUGE range for most lenses. Between that and what things go for on Ebay, I can't gauge how much I should be paying for these lenses. I'm still looking for some other lenses as well and I'd like to have a better idea of what a good and bad deal is.

Maybe if beginners start posting their recent purchase prices to this page, it will be a helpful updated guide (as opposed to prices that are sometimes a few years old in the lens review section) to lens buyers. Who knows, maybe this post can turn into an easier, more efficient lens price tracking guide.

Here's everything I've bought so far (within the last 3 weeks) and what I've paid (some say I have a bargain hunting gift, I hope it hasn't failed me) All prices include the shipping I've paid. (cents are rounded to the nearest dollar value)

Pentax k20d new (with 16-45 AL II kit lens------------------------$708 Amazon
Super Takumar 135mm 3.5-----------------------------------------$ 46 Ebay
Super Takumar 28mm 3.5-----------------------------------------$ 17 Ebay
Auto Takumar 55mm 1.8-----------------------------------------$ 25 Ebay
Original Pentax K mount adapter with original red/white box-----$ 45 Ebay

I only want two more lenses for the time being:
a 200mm screwmount (preferably Takumar)
and an 85mm screw mount (preferably takumar)

What is a price range say from bargain to overpriced?

Thanks all in advance

08-08-2009, 09:58 PM   #2
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It really depends on what you are looking for. That sounds like a great deal.....especially if they take great pics! I bought the 28mm/3.5 S-M-C Tak, the 85mm/1.8 S-M-C Tak, and the 135mm/2.8 S-M-C Tak for about $700 a year ago. "Brand new" in the box with cases and hood (and cases for the hoods). Never used from a collector/estate sale. I spent about the same on each of my new lenses....but they are not as special to me as these are. I would have been happy to have spent $1000.

If you want a superb Tak to enjoy for the rest of your life....$17 would be great.....but I would expect $150 or more to get something I would be happy with.

The only piece that seems pricey is the mount adapter.....I ordered/bought mine for $30 from the local camera shop.

Last edited by SteveM; 08-08-2009 at 10:16 PM.
08-08-2009, 10:07 PM   #3
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A lot depends on where you buy the lenses. Ebay for example is going to be whatever the market will stand and also people can get carried away in their bidding.
Craigslist can be a place for bargains, someone has lost a family member and found equipment in a closet. Many of them also come with a camera attached but are still cheaper than you would pay for the lens alone elsewhere.
Real bargains can be had in charity stores.
Prices in the Marketplace here tend to be pretty reasonable I think, not necessarily bargains but sellers and their descriptions tend to be honest.
08-08-2009, 10:10 PM   #4
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The adapter was a special case. I needed it within a week and the Pentax website shipping listed a predicted 14-17 days. For 2 day shipping, they charged $25 extra, which would have brought the total adapter price to $51. I got mine in 6 days. I see it as a shipping compromise. I saved $6. Also, there is no local camera shop in Gainesville FL. In fact, every camera shop in Tallahassee FL has also closed, and about 4 in Jacksonville have closed. Orlando has a few, but it's such a pain to drive down there.

Could you clarifly the statement about the $17 28mm Takumar purchase? Are you saying you'd expect to buy one for $150 or that you'd be suspicious to buy one for less than that or what?

08-08-2009, 10:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scott_the_Artist Quote

What is a price range say from bargain to overpriced?
It all depends on who else wants the same lens you are after...truly! Taking a gander at your list, it looks like you have done pretty well price-wise, though the old rule applies:
Anything you want to buy is worth exactly what you are willing to pay for it.
In practical terms:
  • Any serviceable lens of reasonable optical quality in good to excellent condition for less than $30 is a good deal, regardless of brand
  • Any lens regardless of optical quality, condition, or brand is overpriced if you cannot immediately sell it for what you paid
That last point seems a little harsh, but the idea that a significantly higher price is due an article because of reputation or scarcity is only true if you truly desire/need the item or if you have a buyer waiting at the time of purchase to allow a quick turn for a profit. I have paid premium money for used lenses*, but only when I could not secure the item in a reasonable time frame by any other means.

Steve

* $120 USD for Pentax-A 50/1.7 in Excl-minus condition in Spring 2007 after the K10D debut drove prices up (dumb, dumb, dumb me!)

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-08-2009 at 10:23 PM.
08-08-2009, 10:27 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scott_the_Artist Quote
Could you clarifly the statement about the $17 28mm Takumar purchase? Are you saying you'd expect to buy one for $150 or that you'd be suspicious to buy one for less than that or what?
If I spent $17 on a 28mm Tak I'd wouldn't be expecting to get a top quality 28mm. That's not saying that you didn't however. Great if you did. I've been on ebay for a few years and have not seen prices like that....there isn't much on craigslist in the area I live. Sounds like you have a bargain....
08-08-2009, 10:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scott_the_Artist Quote

Could you clarifly the statement about the $17 28mm Takumar purchase? Are you saying you'd expect to buy one for $150 or that you'd be suspicious to buy one for less than that or what?
I think he is saying that you might be able to find a 28mm for $17, but that he would expect to pay about $150 for a good one.

Frankly if I had $150 for a M42 28mm and was not picky about brand, I would shop for either a Super-Tak 28/3.5 or one of those really nice Vivitar 28s. Which ever one found first for under $40 wins!

Steve
08-11-2009, 09:49 AM   #8
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Ebay is kind of a crap shoot. Sometimes I see some very low prices and other times they seem to shoot up, for the same lens. So far I have never spent over $50 on an Ebay lens and have received good quality items. There is a risk with used stuff which is why I always shop cheap. The marketplace here in the forum is another good place to look. I trust forum members descriptions much better than Ebay dealers. A comment on the $17 28mm: I would have no problem shelling out $17 and at that price I would take the risk but would never spend $150.

08-11-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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also things like

original rear caps (that say takumar on them),
orignal front caps (that say Asahi on them)
leather cases (sometimes with straps)
lens hoods (the Super-Takumar 50mm F1.4 lens hood is VERY rare)

all add up to the cost, so keep that in mind.
08-11-2009, 01:07 PM   #10
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The most I ever paid for a Takumar was $100 for the SMC 105, but then it was from Eric Henderson. Special case.

Otherwise, I tend to wait for a real bargain, which often come after an orgy of bidding wars. I think I ended up with two 28's for <$30 each, with the caps and one even had the lens shade. But that's not what I'd expect to pay.

For the less common ones, and when you get into the more extreme wides or longs, the ebay marketplace tends to be fairly efficient, i.e. you probably won't luck into paying way under market.
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