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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Rangefinder Lens prices...will they keep increasing?

    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. #2

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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.
    W.A. Crider

  3. #3
    keithwms's Avatar
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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!
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  4. #4

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    No. They will come down when the craze fades.

    Look at Harley Davidson prices from 1990 to 2002, and now.
    - Bill Lynch

  5. #5
    Rob Skeoch's Avatar
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    are harley prices down now?
    Rob Skeoch
    This is my blog http://thepicturedesk.blogspot.com/
    This my website for photo supplies...
    www.bigcameraworkshops.com
    This is my website for Rangfinder gear
    www.rangefinderstore.com

  6. #6
    peter_n's Avatar
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    Have Leica lens prices ever come down?

  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Another crystal ball post.
    Ben

  8. #8

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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. #9
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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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. #10
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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!
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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