Rangefinder Lens prices...will they keep increasing?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by msbarnes, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I started photography about a year ago--mostly with inexpensive cameras, but now I'm interested in getting some LTM (and maybe M) lenses. From browsing old posts, it seems that lens prices have gone up. a lot.

    I don't know the nature of lens prices and their fluctuations but is it a stupid time to buy? Or do you think that the prices will come down?

    My feeling is that the prices will continue to rise because of the advent of digital mirrorless cameras are making these lenses more desirable.
     
  2. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Wait till after the next big economic crash.

    4/3rds and the advent of lens adapters for smaller then full frame sensors did cause the price of most, if not all good lenses, to go up. People talk of deals here and there but for most it's a hunt to find one because everyone else is looking as well. If you find a reasonable deal slightly off of the going prices you'd be better to buy then wait till prices come down.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I wouldn't read too much into the price increases. Technical labor costs are rising, as well as the cost of the commodities associated with manufacturing things like this. For a long while, the cost of manufacturing some tech object in Asia was low; that is changing quickly. Plus, the currency fluctuations have been pretty severe of late, and companies with a lot of export business will want to cover themselves and will price for the worst case.

    I'd suggest that you think about these things as consumables that you will use and get immediate value from, and any resale value you get is gravy. Some people buy pricey lenses and keep them in velvet boxes as a long term investment... but if you take into account inflation and the tendency for cameramakers to obsolete their own products, there is seldom any money to be made that way. (there are much easier mays to make bank in photography) Just buy what you need and enjoy it!
     
  4. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    No. They will come down when the craze fades.

    Look at Harley Davidson prices from 1990 to 2002, and now.
     
  5. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    are harley prices down now?
     
  6. peter_n

    peter_n Member

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    Have Leica lens prices ever come down?
     
  7. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Another crystal ball post.
     
  8. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Who knows what they will do in the future. But in the 5-6 years I've been shooting RFs... the prices have continued to go up. By a lot. New prices have gone up (not just for rangefinder lenses - newer Canon prices are getting up there), which pushes used prices up. I think I got into RFs right before the M8. Certainly the M8 and M9 have created more demand. Lastly, all these mirrorless cameras (Sony NEX, micro 4/3rds, etc.) are also some creating demand, though in my experiences, most of the people using RF lenses on them already had the lenses.

    The only saving grace in all of this in my mind is the Zeiss ZM lenses. Yes, they are moderately expensive at around $1000. However, they are fantastic lenses and their prices have been reasonably stable. The Cosina lenses are a great buy, but some of them are getting reasonably expensive now, and some of the grand bargains, like the 28/3.5, are gone.

    So who knows if they'll continue to rise. I'd say if you have the money and want to get into them, do it now and enjoy it now.
     
  9. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    My secretious hope is that once the NEX and MFT systems have their own 'full' lens line up, the demand for RF lenses will drop. But I don't really believe in it.

    Yes, this *is* a bad time to get into RF photography. Not impossible, just bad.
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Declining demand for 'traditional' RF lenses does not mean that the prices for those lenses will go down- quite the opposite. The facilities that design and build these things do not have the luxury of scaling back instantly with the market- they have skilled labour and high-cost facilities to maintain, whether they sell 1000, 100, or 10 lenses. In the short term, they will simply pass their overhead on as a price increase.

    Combined with the other factors I mentioned, I don't expect any price decreases for new camera lenses. I expect substantial price increases.

    This is the best buyer's market for used gear that we may ever see... enjoy it!
     
  11. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

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    I think in time manufacturers of the small digital cameras will release enough better lenses that people will not want to get a Leica lens and fuss with it. We are seeing this now with Fuji and Sony. Prices started to really spike on RF lenses a little over a year ago. I don't think they will ever go back down to where they were, but they should decrease at some point.
     
  12. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    When the digi-kid's don't want them anymore, how many gray haired film guys are going to step up with cash?

    Especially if they already have lenses?

    Be realistic. A lot of lenses are going to be back on the market without buyers.

    Prices will decline.
     
  13. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Leica R/M to EPIC RED converter will skyrocket all Leica glass prices.
    The current CEO (since 2010) Leica Camera AG is Alfred Schopf who was ARRI CEO from 2001 to 2004.
    Leica wants a big bite in the movie biz territory, You will see increasing use of Leica glass outside photographic circles.
     
  14. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Source: http://www.red.com/press/epic-leica
    and some more..
    http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?67168-EPIC-Leica-M-Pier-59
    http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?66048-DSMC-Leica-M-Mount
     
  15. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Glad I got my summicron 35 iv before all these other clowns showed up. F* RED, and F* digital.

    Also, good morning!
     
  16. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Well, It was going to happen sooner or later.
    When RED announced the M mount thingy a few months ago, some of my cinematography buddies went crazy and now there is R mount one on the line.
    It looks like there is more Leica appreciation amongst cinematographers than amongst photographers.
     
  17. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    One thing to consider: Population and wealth growth--especially in Asia. The demand for all things Leica will never go down anytime soon. The prediction of a correction in Leica pricing has been talked about ever since the big run up in prices in the eighties.

    It's as safe of an investment as most anything else out there.

    If you are waiting for the prices to go down before you buy something, I doubt you'll ever buy it.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    If I could predict the future, I would be so wealthy I wouldn't need to consider the price of anything.
     
  19. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    This is true, and I have heard several times, from independent sources, that the trend in China (still growing at 10%) favors authenticity i.e. the Chinese consumer is quickly moving away from discounted knockoffs, and there is a new pride associated with owning high-end, brand-name products. If you couple that with abundant cash flow, the Chinese market alone will support quite a lot of price inflation.

    To wit...

    For All The Complaining About Chinese Counterfeits... China Is A Massive Growth Market For Luxury Goods
     
  20. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I also use a digital camera. I think that, in the digital arena, mirrorless cameras are going to conquer a larger share of the market in the future. That will, in turn, keep the interest for old-time manual focus lenses high. Not just Leica, but anything of good quality.

    So my simple crystal ball (dating back to 1980, an analogue one) says that this is not a wrong moment to buy into manual focus lenses because second-hand prices are not going to diminish in the "crystal-ball foreseeable" future.
     
  21. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Hilarious (and disappointing) irony in that. The chief producers of cheap crap desiring non-cheap crap for their own stuff.
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I think that's a bit coarse. The new Chinese consumer is young, educated, and not inclined to work insqualid conditions for low wages. We need to recognize that, encourage responsible behavior, welcome them to the modern world, and let bygones be...
     
  23. peter_n

    peter_n Member

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    ^ Agree. Also quite a bit of the stuff coming out of China now has quality, including photographic gear. Let's remember that years ago Japanese companies also apparently produced "cheap crap" at least according to some.
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    This attitude of belittling and underestimating the opposition, complacency, and not facing facts is one of the reasons we in the West are in the current financial position we are in because South East Asian companys can produce as good or better products in purpose built high tech factorys using modern manufacturing techniques better and cheaper than we in the West can, and the only response that western companys seem to have to the competition is to move their manufacturing facilitys to Asia.