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04-05-2011, 05:05 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
There´s varying build quality in everything, of course there is. When I got a DA70 it was optically perfect but the quick shift would seize up continually & when in AF it would struggle to find focus even in good light with a high-contrast subject. I took it back, but at some time in the future I would like to buy another one, and I won´t worry too much about getting a dud.
They are all great and seldom has any bigger faults.

Im one unlucky bastard though

My DA 40 is a huge problem for Pentax. Something wrong in one of the lens elements. Thay have had it back and forth on service 3 times and its still doesnt perform. Inconsistent BF/FF issues they said. They calibrate it, only to push the fault at some other end.
For example. They calibrated at f/2,8 near limit, only to have huge (really far of) FF on f/4 portrait distance, then they calibrated it at f/5,6 mid distance to have if miss really bad at near limit f/2,8.

This time it has been in for 2 months, and no word yet, so im hoping for a new one *fingers crossed*

I have actually heard from other users that they sometimes settle for a calibration that fit on one end but miss on the other, wich is really sad, because their final word is the final word.

04-05-2011, 07:22 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by the swede Quote
Im one unlucky bastard though
Sounds like it!

Seriously, though - thanks for sharing your experience and investigation. I've often wondered just how Pentax can make nice, compact, and solid DA Limited prime lenses while keeping the price down and the quality up. At some point, they either go the (recent) Cosina way of low-volume and critical QC, or the Sigma way of high-volume and spotty QC.
Hard to have both (as a former Canon L-series user, I know even huge budgets and high prices don't solve the problem!).
04-05-2011, 07:42 AM   #18
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I had a rather bad wobble in my first da70 too. Went through another two brand new copies with slighter wobble until I finally settled on an earlier production copy which is almost wobble free. I am glad that I had acquired most of the lenses I want as the QC these days are going down hill for Pentax.
04-10-2011, 07:27 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by the swede Quote
New price for DA 70 in Sweden is about 880$
I got this one for 475$ wich is about the avarage used price on the market.

I paid $650 for a new one (just across the Baltic sea). Though that's still much more than they need to pay for this lens in the US... Damn those pricing policies and taxes

04-10-2011, 09:25 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
I think it's pretty easy to tell whether the threads on the focus mechanism have been abused in some way. There's not much magic to it. I'm not surprised to learn that there are such wide levels of tolerances in the build quality. I think one advantage that Japanese workers had when assembling Pentax lenses was an ability to set aside parts with varying tolerances and match them up with other parts so that the resulting product had a better fit. Based on what has been reported with regard to FA Limited lenses, this skill is not as present in the Vietnam assembly line workers. Or perhaps the parts for DA Limiteds aren't built to the same strict tolerances that FA Limiteds were once upon a time.
Can you provide actual evidence to back up your generalizations with regards to the differences between Japanese and Vietnamese worker skill or is what you're saying unsubstantiated conjecture?

All DA Limiteds are made in Vietnam and it is also immediately obvious that the FA Limiteds have a better build quality compared to the DA Limiteds. No matter whether the FA Limiteds were from Japan or currently from Vietnam. I have actually seen several MIJ and newer assembled in Vietnam FA Limiteds side by side and I can't tell the difference where build quality is concerned. So I don't buy into the Japanese worker vs Vietnamese worker argument that you have put forward, but I certainly don't discount the possibility for sample variations as lenses are always made in batches.
04-10-2011, 01:52 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Can you provide actual evidence to back up your generalizations with regards to the differences between Japanese and Vietnamese worker skill or is what you're saying unsubstantiated conjecture?
Nope, it's all conjecture based on anecdotal evidence. (LOTS of anecdotal evidence)

QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
All DA Limiteds are made in Vietnam and it is also immediately obvious that the FA Limiteds have a better build quality compared to the DA Limiteds. No matter whether the FA Limiteds were from Japan or currently from Vietnam. I have actually seen several MIJ and newer assembled in Vietnam FA Limiteds side by side and I can't tell the difference where build quality is concerned. So I don't buy into the Japanese worker vs Vietnamese worker argument that you have put forward, but I certainly don't discount the possibility for sample variations as lenses are always made in batches.
Actually the quality of FA Limiteds has been criticized more often ever since production was moved the Vietnam. Both build quality and image quality.

I've seen lots of picture examples from owners of MIJ and AIV copies where the AIV version had noticeably inferior output to the MIJ version. Whether this is due to tolerance stacking or batch variance or user error, there's really no way to know. Ned Bunnell tried to dispute this theory, and Pentax vehemently denies its possibility, but the theory is still floated out there. The net result is that used MIJ versions of FA Limiteds typically sell for slightly more than AIV copies.

As for build quality, similar complaints have been made. Wobbly barrels on brand new lenses, screws not tightened properly, etc. Meanwhile the MIJ versions tend to continue strongly without major complaints.

Unless someone wants to assemble 10+ 31mm Limiteds of each version and do a thorough test, I don't think we'll ever know for sure.

Personally, if I was going to spend $1000 on a lens, I'd probably wait a little longer to get a MIJ version. Not because any of the above theories have been proven, but just for my own peace of mind. That's a lot of money for something that might not live up to its reputation.
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