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10-24-2011, 01:26 PM   #1
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FA* Info

I would really like to know more about the FA* lineup of glass, specifically related to the FA* 28-70 f/2.8 and the 80-200 f/2.8. Particularly these few questions:

How loud is the autofocus compared to the kit lens or the 40mm Ltd?

How quick does the focus lock relative to SDM or the 40mm Ltd?

I know they aren't weather proof, but can they take a little light rain (my 40mm was fine, just kept it pointed down)?

Are these the best optical quality possible for this range in a zoom?

Are there any quirks to look for when buying these lenses?

Thanks so much guys, I'll post more questions if I think of any.

10-24-2011, 01:38 PM   #2
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Pentax-FA* 80-200mm F2.8 ED [IF] Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Pentax-FA* 28-70mm F2.8 AL Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

The AF is loud but fast, faster than SDM and only slower than the DA 40 because the throw is a little longer (esp that of the 80-200). Both lenses have IF to speed things up. In terms of optics, both lenses are up there- the 80-200 is on par with modern zooms as far as I'm concerned (see comparative review), the only issue being that it's heavy and doesn't have quick shift.

If 28mm is wide enough for you, I'd go for the 28-70mm in a heartbeat (its power zoom function is also nice, whereas that of the 80-200mm is too slow to be useful). Before getting the 80-200mm, I'd consider the tamron 70-200mm.

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10-24-2011, 02:10 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
I would really like to know more about the FA* lineup of glass, specifically related to the FA* 28-70 f/2.8 and the 80-200 f/2.8. Particularly these few questions:
I have only recently obtained copy of FA*28-70 and only handled 80-200 once, so all the comments below are relating to the shorter of these two zooms

QuoteQuote:
How loud is the autofocus compared to the kit lens or the 40mm Ltd?
I think it touch louder than both, but not by much IMO, power zoom is just about as loud as the AF, but you don't have to use it

QuoteQuote:
How quick does the focus lock relative to SDM or the 40mm Ltd?
AF beats the shit out of SDM, at any time... and gives a good run to 40 ltd, I'd say the pancake focuses faster but the difference is negligible IMHO

QuoteQuote:
I know they aren't weather proof, but can they take a little light rain (my 40mm was fine, just kept it pointed down)?
Haven't tried it, yet.. as I've only had it for couple of weeks, but the build tolerances seem tight enough to withstand some light weather conditions when common sense is used

QuoteQuote:
Are these the best optical quality possible for this range in a zoom?
Depends on your definition of "best optical quality". There are shaper zooms out there (especially at 70mm) but tell you the truth the colours, contrast and overall rendering are unmatched by any other zoom I've tried (although I haven't used too many)

QuoteQuote:
Are there any quirks to look for when buying these lenses?
couldn't say really....

QuoteQuote:
Thanks so much guys, I'll post more questions if I think of any.
anytime,
and I hope some more experienced owners of these lenses will chime in.
Frankly, owning the shorter one and seeing some fantastic shots from the longer one, I think I wouldn't hesitate to buy the 80-200 if I came across one for decent price, despite the size and weight...

regards
10-24-2011, 02:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Both lenses have IF to speed things up. ....
unless there is something horribly wrong with my FA*28-70 I'm pretty sure it's not an IF lens. But the 80-200 is for sure, IF and internal zoom too...
the 28-70, on the other hand, extends while zooming and performing AF too, plus the front element rotates.

10-24-2011, 02:21 PM   #5
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What is drawing your attention to the fa* vs da*?
10-24-2011, 02:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
What is drawing your attention to the fa* vs da*?
I don't know what will OP's answer be but for me:
- AF speed
- reliability
- IQ (50-135 might hold it's own well against the 80-200 but the 16-50 wouldn't hold a candle against 28-70 IMO)
- FF compatibility (one never knows what will be )
10-24-2011, 02:33 PM   #7
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They just seem to be better more reliable lenses in my research. SDM doesn't give me much confidence, and the reviews of the DA* 16-50 aren't inspiring given how much money it costs. I already am having trouble finding time to send my K5 back to have the sensor fixed, I don't want to deal with that on a lens. I also believe I use the focal range on the FA lenses more than the DA range (my only complaint it that 28 may not be wide enough, though I think I can adapt, I will want to use a 12-24 for the really wide stuff anyway). The fact that they are full frame attracts me since I won't lose edge sharpness on APS-C and will also have lenses that translate to FF should Pentax ever take that route.

The idea to completely cover from 28-200 at 2.8 with all Pentax glass appeals greatly to me, which the DA* cannot do. I only wish the FA* were quieter, weather sealed, and (in a perfect world) lighter/smaller. Honestly, if there was a DA* line from 24-200 that was 2.8, I'd probably go that route. It is particularly the 16-50 that is disappointing to me, I thought I wanted it for a long time, then after doing more research realized it wasn't as awesome as the 50-135. The 50-135 also feels just a little short to me, would've been nice to bring it up to 200mm... Overall, it is the zoom ranges that appeal to me most I believe, coupled with the great optics the FA* line has.
10-24-2011, 02:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I don't know what will OP's answer be but for me:
- AF speed
- reliability
- IQ (50-135 might hold it's own well against the 80-200 but the 16-50 wouldn't hold a candle against 28-70 IMO)
- FF compatibility (one never knows what will be )
Pretty close! Now that I know about AF speed as well, that'd be a major selling point too, but I wasn't aware of that till this thread.

10-24-2011, 02:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I don't know what will OP's answer be but for me:
- AF speed
- reliability
- IQ (50-135 might hold it's own well against the 80-200 but the 16-50 wouldn't hold a candle against 28-70 IMO)
- FF compatibility (one never knows what will be )
It depends on the two lenses being compared, but certainly overall the FA* lenses focus a bit faster than the DA* lenses. However, they can be somewhat noisy while the SDM lenses are pretty much silent. As for reliability, certainly it's true that the DA* lenses have a higher chance of having issues, so that's something to factor into the long terms cost of ownership.

I disagree with the IQ argument as I think the DA* lenses are every bit as good as the FA* lenses in terms of IQ. But at the same time, there really aren't a lot of direct comparisons in terms of focal length (the 200/300 aside) so it's somewhat of a moot point. I would also disagree that the 16-50 wouldn't hold a candle to the 28-70 (given a good copy of each lens). I'm not a huge fan of the 16-50, nor the 28-70 for that matter, but both lenses have strengths and weaknesses and I think it's unfair to say the 28-70 is better than the 16-50 (except perhaps in reliability, where the 16-50 is certainly lacking).

In terms of FF compatibility, I believe over half of the DA* line covers FF (the 200, 300, 60-250 do, and I believe the 55 as well). The 16-50 and 50-135 don't cover FF.

FWIW, the two FA* lenses I own at the moment are the FA*24 and FA*85, and that's mostly because there is no DA* equivalent.
10-24-2011, 03:16 PM   #10
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Thanks for voice of reason dgaies. BTW your lens line up is particulary LBA inspiring... I thought I had to many...
10-24-2011, 04:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
Thanks for voice of reason dgaies. BTW your lens line up is particulary LBA inspiring... I thought I had to many...
I definitely have too many!

FWIW, I find it's much easier to acquire lenses than it is to decide which ones to let go
10-24-2011, 06:02 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I definitely have too many!

FWIW, I find it's much easier to acquire lenses than it is to decide which ones to let go
Try not to get attached to those lenses, then you'd have no problem letting them go

I used to have more than 50 lenses, now I'm down to less than 10. Trying to cut down to around 5 to 6 since I've migrated to smaller m4/3 ...
10-24-2011, 06:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Try not to get attached to those lenses, then you'd have no problem letting them go

I used to have more than 50 lenses, now I'm down to less than 10. Trying to cut down to around 5 to 6 since I've migrated to smaller m4/3 ...
I actually don't usually have too big an issue letting things go, but at this point it's not like I have many "bad" lenses either. I think I'm at about 30 right now, and ideally I'd like to get things down to around 10 as well
10-24-2011, 06:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
They just seem to be better more reliable lenses in my research. SDM doesn't give me much confidence, and the reviews of the DA* 16-50 aren't inspiring given how much money it costs. I already am having trouble finding time to send my K5 back to have the sensor fixed, I don't want to deal with that on a lens. I also believe I use the focal range on the FA lenses more than the DA range (my only complaint it that 28 may not be wide enough, though I think I can adapt, I will want to use a 12-24 for the really wide stuff anyway). The fact that they are full frame attracts me since I won't lose edge sharpness on APS-C and will also have lenses that translate to FF should Pentax ever take that route.

The idea to completely cover from 28-200 at 2.8 with all Pentax glass appeals greatly to me, which the DA* cannot do. I only wish the FA* were quieter, weather sealed, and (in a perfect world) lighter/smaller. Honestly, if there was a DA* line from 24-200 that was 2.8, I'd probably go that route. It is particularly the 16-50 that is disappointing to me, I thought I wanted it for a long time, then after doing more research realized it wasn't as awesome as the 50-135. The 50-135 also feels just a little short to me, would've been nice to bring it up to 200mm... Overall, it is the zoom ranges that appeal to me most I believe, coupled with the great optics the FA* line has.
For double of the current price??

btw, I would NOT use the FA* under the rain. I am not able to afford to damage it.
10-24-2011, 09:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
but the 16-50 wouldn't hold a candle against 28-70 IMO
Unless wide is important. The 16-50 has a wide end of 83 degrees diagonally, The 28 is only 55 degrees diagonally. So that's 66% wider?
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