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05-04-2010, 12:53 PM   #1
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Where are the FA 31mm lenses?

I should be in the position of buying a new lens by the end of the month and I've been debating which lens to get, the FA 31 Limited or the DA 35 Macro Limited (longshot the Zeiss 35). I had pretty much decided on the FA 31 but I can't find it new in-stock anywhere at the moment. In fact, about the only things I've seen are either sold almost immediately (and I'm not in a position to buy right now) or else priced higher than new on ebay.

So what gives? Has the lens been discontinued? Or is it just temporarily out of production and I should wait for a while for new stock to arrive? That's not a problem as I have to wait until the end of the month anyway and it wouldn't be a big deal to wait a bit longer. But if it's going to become a collectors item I'll buy the DA 35 macro or seriously research the Zeiss to see if its worth going to a manual lens for.

05-04-2010, 01:35 PM   #2
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Maybe Pentax Vietnam is tightening QC due to imaginary quality complaints following outsourcing. Because "the better is the enemy of the good," you should consider buying an 18-55, which covers 31mm and is good enough. Country of origin is an outdated and unreliable term that is not related to production yield or quality.

Wait, is it OK to speculate here?
05-04-2010, 02:35 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aegon Quote
Because "the better is the enemy of the good," you should consider buying an 18-55, which covers 31mm and is good enough.
That's a nice suggestion, but I doubt anyone seeking either the 31 or the 35 limited would find the 18-55 adequate for his needs. The 18-55 is merely a nice kit lens. The 31 is one of the greatest AF lenses ever made.
05-04-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
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Hi northcoastgreg. I'm just being obtuse and also a jerk.

My post was exaggerating on and riffing upon previous comments surrounding AIV quality control. That's why I'm being a jerk, because I'm stretching what other nice people have said.

I'm was obtuse because I didn't come out and say what I thought. Here it is:
I think Pentax pulled the lenses to apply better quality control. Anecdotal evidence supported by actual comparison images suggests that AIV QC is less than desirable. Since this is a flagship lens, hopefully Pentax pulled stock to re-examine. Hopefully they've made efforts to fix any problems.

*edit* Did I mention I was speculating?

05-04-2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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I've been reading with interest all of the various recent threads about the 31 and 35 (along with looking at tons of shots from both lenses), so I wondered about that, too. But then I got wondering if there was something I missed with all of the talk here and thought I'd ask.

Aegon - I did get a laugh out of your response. I'm suffering horribly from LBA and will most likely end up buying 2 lenses that cover the 30-35 range. And I'm feeling rather silly about it as both lenses are pretty expensive (the other being the DA*16-50). But as one of my friends said, the idea of getting only one lens to cover a particular focal length (no matter which one) is over-rated.
05-04-2010, 04:15 PM   #6
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I solved the problem by buying a used MIJ FA 31mm. It is a sweet lens. Silver as the day is long. And plenty sharp when wide open.

I'd easily recommend buying a used FA 31mm. You won't save much money over new, but it is still worth the cost. Besides, the lens is built well and most owners take extra special care of the 31.
05-04-2010, 04:26 PM   #7
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When my new AIV went back to Japan for repair they replaced an optical group, so at least in my case I believe it wasn't imagined ;-) Though the CRK service center in Australia seemed to think it was imagined (but by my request did send it back)...

It is like a different lens now, much sharper..

I have also noticed the big stores don't have stock anymore.. Two ideas come to mind, either Japan have had a few too many come back like mine and are reviewing the assembly process or they are phasing it out..
05-04-2010, 04:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
When my new AIV went back to Japan for repair they replaced an optical group, so at least in my case I believe it wasn't imagined ;-) Though the CRK service center in Australia seemed to think it was imagined (but by my request did send it back)...

It is like a different lens now, much sharper..

I have also noticed the big stores don't have stock anymore.. Two ideas come to mind, either Japan have had a few too many come back like mine and are reviewing the assembly process or they are phasing it out..
Why would they be transferring production to Vietnam and then phase the lens out?
---
anyway, 31ltd is probably the nicest lens I've shot!
Marvell of a lens indeed. I got lucky and have MIJ early series (red bag) in silver...

can only recommend it

05-04-2010, 06:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Why would they be transferring production to Vietnam and then phase the lens out?
Companies can't change their minds? I just mentioned it could be a possibility...
05-04-2010, 08:27 PM   #10
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I have no problem with buying used, I'll look around more when I have the money in hand. Not only are the usual sources out of stock, the Pentax store shows out of stock, too. The more I think about it, the more I think they may be checking outstanding inventory and perhaps tightening up things in the new facility. They've announced discontinued lenses ahead of time before - I was wondering if I had missed it or something. Oh well, if I can't find one at the end of the month, I'll just get the DA 35mm macro ltd.
05-04-2010, 08:28 PM   #11
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I don't think AIV has any optical problem according my experience. I cannot understand why somebody continue to spread this, though I prefer a MIJ version.
05-04-2010, 08:29 PM   #12
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Check this
100% cut from wide open shoot
05-04-2010, 08:51 PM   #13
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Yeah my AIV is now outstandingly sharp (after service).. but it wasn't when I got it, I don't think all AIV have an optical flaw, but I think there has been a bit of a cluster of people reporting QC problems with AIV 31s, true there have been plenty without problems too..

There has been plenty of QC problems with other lenses too (every brand has that problem from time to time) its just there was a bit of a rush on 31mm problems and I had never seen that before with the FA* lenses..
05-04-2010, 09:20 PM   #14
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What is funny is that the Pentax OnLine Store is "out of stock" also....
05-05-2010, 04:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
Companies can't change their minds? I just mentioned it could be a possibility...
They an but I don't think it would make sense, spcially if the company is not very big and can't easily absorb extra costs...unless they transferred the production, phased it out and would plan to release DFA31ltd WR or a replacement model manufactured on the same line...

my 2p
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