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02-19-2008, 03:54 AM   #1
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DA FA lenses; what gives

I try to search about these but the engine rejects DA as being a string too short!!

Any way I would appreciate some history on these categories of lenses

DA withe the supersonic engines are SMD's?

DA's are all special high tech relatively new lenses?

FA; not sure about these at all.


02-19-2008, 04:48 AM   #2
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FA's are good on both film and digital APS-C and Full Frame sensors. DA's are designed for digital cameras only APS-C sensors. DA's with SDM are the newest breed, same as the DA as far as digital only but the SDM, SDM lenses offer two main advantages - they're quieter, and they can potentially focus faster thanks to the higher torque, gearless motors they employ.
02-19-2008, 04:59 AM   #3
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Hi Hobie, welcome to the forums.

I'll take a stab at this and if I make a mistake I'm sure other will chime in.
DA lenses are manufactured with the size of the digital APS-C sensor in mind. The digital sensor is about 1/3 smaller than the corresponding film size which is why you always see the "1.5 crop factor" mentioned. In other words, if you were to put a DA lens on a film camera the image would most likely not cover the full frame of the film. DA lenses are therefore smaller and usually lighter than their film counterparts. DA lenses also have special "digitally optimized" coatings that theoretically specifically address the optical characteristics of the digital sensor.
FA lenses were designed to fit on film cameras. Therefore they are usually a bit bigger and heavier. They obviously can fit on both film and digital cameras. They also lack the digitally optimized coatings of the DA lenses. To be truthful I have not noticed that the different coatings of the two different lenses makes much difference, but there IS a big difference between no coatings and the SMC coatings of both types of lenses.
The new DA* lenses are both weather sealed and have internal focusing motors. DA lenses without the "*" are neither weather sealed nor do they have the in lens focus motors.

NaCl(hope that helps)H2O
02-19-2008, 06:08 AM   #4
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Some DA lenses do work on film, the DA40 being one of them. Apparently the new DA* 200 does as well.

02-19-2008, 09:01 AM   #5
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You may want to also check here:
Pentax Lens Review Database - Main Index

And there is good background info on a number of lenses here with reviews:
Pentax Lens Tests
02-19-2008, 11:43 AM   #6
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Excellent thanks guys. It is all clear now.

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