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12-19-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
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200mm FA or A* Macro lens question.

I am curious if anyone knows why Pentax doesn't put these lenses back in production?

From everything I have seen and read, it seems like these were some of the best lenses ever made by any company. So wouldn't they stand to make some money by releasing new versions of these? Heck if they were to retool to put out a DA* model with their new HD coating that performed on par with those two models of macro lenses, how many of you would pick one up almost immediately?

How much would you be willing to pay for one? Two to three thousand USD? It seems like when the old, discontinued Pentax 200mm macro lenses pop up for sale, they fall within that price range. Though I really shouldn't say that for the FA since I have never seen one of those legendary lenses pop up for sale since I have started looking.

You think Pentax would have noticed this by now.

Is there something I have missed or am not getting by having this line of reasoning?

12-19-2012, 12:05 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Would be nice, but I don't think there's a market for lenses that long at the moment. 200mm on APS-C is like 300mm on film!

Adam
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12-19-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Would be nice, but I don't think there's a market for lenses that long at the moment. 200mm on APS-C is like 300mm on film!
Oh. Well they produce a regular 200mm DA* so why wouldn't they do a macro version? I know I use my 100mm WR macro for shooting portraits at times. Same with my 35mm macro. I just figured that more people would be interested. I mean how many people have picked up their 560mm lens?

Well I guess I was just in a wishing mood. :P Thanks for the response Adam.
12-19-2012, 12:28 PM   #4
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Actually, my FA*200 macro is now even better with the cropped format. Super for reptiles and zoo work as well as flower/bug stuff. I had the A*200 before the FA* came out...sold the A* to a forum member here. Both lenses rock!

The reason Pentax hasn't jumped to get this into DA* production is very few Pentaxians are willing to spend the money. Bought mine new from B&H about 10 or 12 years ago for only $1350 ish and it's worth 3x that now. Very few people bought it then and very few would buy it now. It's kind of like the new 560 telephoto...lots of folks willing to say that Pentax needs this in the line up, but haven't seen a single post on this forum from anyone planning to buy one--though at $7000 msrp it's half the price of the faster big teles from other companies. (I'm not buying the 560 because my FA*600/4 works just fine). Simple market planning...if thousands will sell the first year then they will make it. Since thousands didn't sell back when it was cheap, no reason to presume that thousands will sell now at upwards of $2000.

12-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
Actually, my FA*200 macro is now even better with the cropped format. Super for reptiles and zoo work as well as flower/bug stuff. I had the A*200 before the FA* came out...sold the A* to a forum member here. Both lenses rock!

The reason Pentax hasn't jumped to get this into DA* production is very few Pentaxians are willing to spend the money. Bought mine new from B&H about 10 or 12 years ago for only $1350 ish and it's worth 3x that now. Very few people bought it then and very few would buy it now. It's kind of like the new 560 telephoto...lots of folks willing to say that Pentax needs this in the line up, but haven't seen a single post on this forum from anyone planning to buy one--though at $7000 msrp it's half the price of the faster big teles from other companies. (I'm not buying the 560 because my FA*600/4 works just fine). Simple market planning...if thousands will sell the first year then they will make it. Since thousands didn't sell back when it was cheap, no reason to presume that thousands will sell now at upwards of $2000.
Thank you much for your response Ron. I did not know that was the case. I guess I was deluding myself into thinking that just because I wanted that lens, I assumed everyone did. Normally I am not guilty of that.

Lucky you to have owned both. I keep seeing the A* versions on ebay but do not know if I should shuck out the 2.5k bucks for it. That is a lot of money for a used lens though I am sure it would get constant use. So you sold off the A* for the FA huh? Was it a noticeable step up?

Sounds like you have quite the lens collection.

I have noticed that with the 560 but even though it is cheaper than other telephoto lenses out there on the market, 7k bucks is still 7k bucks. 1-3k for a lens is a tremendous difference but I definitely see your point.

I definitely hear you on how many people say that certain lenses need to be in the lineup but will not run out to get them when they are produced. Believe me, I would grab that 560 if I had the disposable income to do so. I am eager to see a review on it. I should say a regular user review rather than just a review site testing it for a day or a few hours before putting out their two cents.

Thanks again Ron. Good info
12-19-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
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As Ron wrote: a new 200mm macro will be very expensive and I think it would be more in the 3k-4k USD range at the end of the day. The old A* or FA versions were already very expensive in their days, as this is simply a niche product, sold in exceedingly small numbers. We are talking here about a couple of hundred lenses , sure not more. Bringing such a small series into production nowadays is simply not feasible anymore.

Ben
12-19-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
As Ron wrote: a new 200mm macro will be very expensive and I think it would be more in the 3k-4k USD range at the end of the day. The old A* or FA versions were already very expensive in their days, as this is simply a niche product, sold in exceedingly small numbers. We are talking here about a couple of hundred lenses , sure not more. Bringing such a small series into production nowadays is simply not feasible anymore.

Ben
I see. Thanks Ben.

You really think it would around that much if they were to produce such a lens? Wow. That seems really steep. But if they have to retool for a limited amount of lenses then I guess it is possible.
12-19-2012, 02:37 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Maybe a 200macro for the 645, which could also be used on K mount cameras?

12-19-2012, 10:43 PM   #9
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My lens collection has been trimmed severely lately but is still quite satisfying from an LBA standpoint.
12-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
As Ron wrote: a new 200mm macro will be very expensive and I think it would be more in the 3k-4k USD range at the end of the day. The old A* or FA versions were already very expensive in their days, as this is simply a niche product, sold in exceedingly small numbers. We are talking here about a couple of hundred lenses , sure not more. Bringing such a small series into production nowadays is simply not feasible anymore.

Ben
Rumors says they made 900 of the FA* 200/4 Macro. No idea if it is true...
12-22-2012, 01:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Rumors says they made 900 of the FA* 200/4 Macro. No idea if it is true...
I don't know either - no manufacturer discloses its production numbers. But from what I find on the used market, the 200 macros are exceptionelly rare, apart perhaps from some prototype lenses. The numbers for the FA 600 or the 250-600 are also quite low, which is no real wonder, considering their price tags.

Ben
12-22-2012, 02:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Rumors says they made 900 of the FA* 200/4 Macro. No idea if it is true...
If they make #901 I'll buy it... Besides a 10mm rectilinear it's the one lens I "need" to fill up a gap in my line-up.

Kjell
12-23-2012, 06:21 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Rumors says they made 900 of the FA* 200/4 Macro.
then explain why they made so many of the A* 200mm f/4 macro lenses that they continued production up to the FA series? if demand for the lens was that low then why would they bother? One curious coincidence involving the FA*200mm f/4 ED macro lens was the fact that nikon discontinued the Nikkor 200mm f/4 ED macro lens at the same time that pentax did.
01-02-2013, 03:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
then explain why they made so many of the A* 200mm f/4 macro lenses that they continued production up to the FA series? if demand for the lens was that low then why would they bother? One curious coincidence involving the FA*200mm f/4 ED macro lens was the fact that nikon discontinued the Nikkor 200mm f/4 ED macro lens at the same time that pentax did.
They didn't. The A*200/4 was only produced for a short time. I guess there was only one batch made. They were without a 200 Macro for at least a decade before the FA* lens was released. Both lenses are very rare.
01-02-2013, 04:40 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Actually, B&H sold the A*200/4 macro for more than a decade, perhaps even more than 15 years. I bought mine new from B&H in about '95 or '96 and they still had it in the in-stock line up at that same price--$999--until the FA* came out just after the turn of the century. B&H catalogs from before my purchase also included the A*200 Macro and it's not that hard to find in the used market for those patient enough to wait a month or two until one comes available. By the way, don't hesitate...buy one as soon as you can...it has fine resale value so your risk is very minima at any cost. This hobby is about fun and that's one seriously fun lens...editors like buying the results too!

Pal, I think the low production you refer to is for the FA* 200 macro which likely did have just one or two production runs. I still have the internet PR for the lens that I printed out back then.. both ED and low refraction elements etc.

Phosphene--I didn't buy the FA* to replace the A* and in fact owned both for more than 5 years. Thought I'd use one and my son would use the other, but as with most sons, he didn't catch the "dad's hobby" bug nearly as badly as I hoped, so it made sense to sell it (and I still had an FA100 Macro for him to use). I was new to this forum and had no idea what I was holding with both those macro's (I never purchased due to the reputation of the lenses, just purchased because they worked really well for me...hadn't ever heard the "buzz" and still don't hold internet buzz in very high regard). You should have seen the forum light up when I posted both simultaneously in the marketplace as an "either/or" purchase option. Once I figured out the level of interest and extreme value I decided to keep the FA*. Actually, both lenses are beyond superb. Probably should have tried to get $5K for the FA* and kept the A*?

Note that the forum member who purchased the A* macro returned a few months ago and bought my 100/4 Macro for 67II, one of the last lenses designed and marketed for the 67 system...and also OMG sharp--I have several 30x40 Ilfochrome prints from transparencies shot through that lens.
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