Inflation Calculator re Prices


Link Posted 08/10/2013 - 08:38
I was curious as to whether or not cameras/lenses are expensive or not compared to when I started in photography.

We can find the details for specific items ourselves as there are plenty of inflation calculators on the web. But here are two examples.

Using the Eric Fishwick 1984/1985 catalogue as the price source, an LX with FA-1 finder would have cost 371.50. A K-3 body even at release price costs 1099.00. Adjusting the LX for inflation, it is equivalent to 1012.95.

A lens cap cost 3.00, adjusted the price today would be 8.18. The SRS price for a similar cap today is 6.99.

My first SLR was the SP1000 with 55mm f/2 lens. 99.95 then, around 1978, that would be 526.86 now. I could still comfortably get into the Pentax system with that amount of cash.

Best regards, John


Link Posted 08/10/2013 - 10:09
Im actually studying price convergance in my european business module of my business degree and a huge part of this is due tot he single european market. Although technology and inflation pays a part int hat convergance the removal of barriers to trade and increase in competition have brought down prices.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released


Link Posted 08/10/2013 - 11:07
Inflation tables have to be used with caution. They usually provide an average, which will contain types of goods that are inflating at different rates, some much faster than others. A more precise guide is to look at income levels and ask how many hours a person would need to work to buy (say!) camera 1 in 19xx as opposed to camera 2 in 20xx.

But in general, as cameras have transformed from being mainly precision mechanical or simple electro-mechanical devices to the digital cameras we know today, prices in real terms have fallen somewhat, and that trend has been maintained by moving manufacture from the relatively high-wage economy of Japan to lower-wage economies.

So, is the K3 a bargain? Or was the LX so expensive in real terms? Probably neither. But undoubtedly both are desirable cameras. They do not depreciate in value quite as fast as cars, though looking at what I paid for a K5 a few years ago (seems like yesterday) and what it's worth today, they are not too far behind . I'm not going to be an early adopter of the K3, but at some stage perhaps ...
Regards, Christopher



Link Posted 08/10/2013 - 12:15
I can't remember the precise numbers, but when I brought my ME in the late 1970s it was pretty expensive in terms of hours worked to purchase, much more than a K500 or even a K50 today. Mind you, it was built like a brick XXXX house - a lovely piece of precision engineering.
K-5iiS; K-r; ME Super; ME; DA* 16-50 f2.8; DA 18-135 WR; DA 55-300 WR; HD DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited; FA 50mm f1.4; A50mm f1.7; DAL 18-55mm; M40mm f2.8; + assorted non-Pentax lenses

My Flikr Page link


Link Posted 08/10/2013 - 13:59
Send any spare hours that you've worked to me
so that I can buy a K-3

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff



Link Posted 08/10/2013 - 14:19
swarf wrote:
when I brought my ME in the late 1970s it was pretty expensive in terms of hours worked to purchase

I bought my first SLR around 1980. I had been considering buying a ME Super - mainly for the very good (?) reason that I knew someone else who had one. I vaguely remember going to a camera dealer in Bolton (think it was Mathers) but actually bought a Ricoh KR-10 with 50mm f/2 lens for just on 120. IIRC, the ME Super would have been around 145.

In today's money, the ME Super (145 in 1980) would cost 527 according to the historic inflation calculator on the ThisIsMoney website. SRS are selling the K50 with kit lens for 599 - so, the technology has changed, but prices are pretty much the same.

Flickr photostream
Last Edited by andrewk on 08/10/2013 - 14:21


Link Posted 08/10/2013 - 14:28
I seem to remember the ME Super being advertised for around 350, perhaps that was near the release date.


Link Posted 08/10/2013 - 14:49
The ME Super was introduced at 209.95 with 50mm f/1.7 lens I think. In black, 10 more. By 1984 it fell to 139.95 and 148.95 in black.
Best regards, John
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