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03-01-2013, 05:33 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
the reasons why they discontinued a lens like the FA 28mm f2.8. They might as well start fresh.
They discontinued the FA 28 with no replacement. The FA 35 was available until the DA 35 2.4 launch. The FA 50mm is still available. Why did they kill off the FA 28? I guess the obvious conclusion is that it was not a big seller compared to the others.

03-01-2013, 05:42 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
They discontinued the FA 28 with no replacement. The FA 35 was available until the DA 35 2.4 launch. The FA 50mm is still available. Why did they kill off the FA 28? I guess the obvious conclusion is that it was not a big seller compared to the others.
People argue with me on the forum when I say th FA35 is NLA. Hell, it costs anywhere between 750-1000 euros in Germany, if you can find one and the place doesn't cancel your order when you place it. I think it's remaining stock and the lens is no longer made.
03-01-2013, 05:53 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
I It's definitely the normal modus to talk about the FA24 negatively on APS, but then not say how.
The Photozone review rated optical quality of the FA 24 at two stars. That's going to harm the reputation of any lens, whether the rating is justified or not. Hearing comments from owners and knowing how PZ reviews, I'd say it's a better lens than the PZ rating.

From the summary I don't see why it only rates two stars for optical quality. Pentax lenses would fare better at PZ if he dropped the highly subjective star ratings.

Verdict
The Pentax SMC-FA* 24mm f/2 AL [IF] is an interesting lens but not a really stellar performer as you may expect from its FA* designation. The resolution characteristic has a very strong emphasis on the center resolution whereas the border quality is a bit substandard especially at large aperture settings. The delivered contrast seems very high even at f/2 which may compensate some of the shortcomings on side of the sheer resolution. The level of distortions is comparatively low for such as lens whereas vignetting and CAs are about average. The build quality of the lens is very good although today's Pentax Limited lenses are on par or even better in this respect.
03-01-2013, 06:14 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
People argue with me on the forum when I say th FA35 is NLA. Hell, it costs anywhere between 750-1000 euros in Germany, if you can find one and the place doesn't cancel your order when you place it. I think it's remaining stock and the lens is no longer made.
I didn't say it's still being made, I said it was available until the DA 35 2.4 was launched. I agree that this lens has been discontinued. There was an official announcement, but I can't find it. According to the Pentax Lens database on this site "As of 2012, this lens is still available for purchase." Finding a new FA 35 for sale is pretty rare now.

It's not unheard of to discontinue manufacturing, but continue to sell a stockpile. The DA 16-45 for example was announced as discontinued in January 2010 and is still readily available.

03-01-2013, 06:25 AM   #35
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Yeah, in my opinion, the FA35 is done. Of course, they don't continuously make them, but go in batches, but I think the last one was the last batch, and it's discontinued, thus the extreme pricing of the lens. While some say the optical formula of the DA35 is the same, I don't find it to be the same, especially the F2.4. I'm not a basher of the lens, as I like it, but it's not an FA35.
03-01-2013, 06:34 AM - 1 Like   #36
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Surely lenses such as the FA Limiteds, the DA 15mm, DA*55mm and DA*60-250, and several others are tomorrows legends - today?
03-01-2013, 06:43 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by LennyBloke Quote
Surely lenses such as the FA Limiteds, the DA 15mm, DA*55mm and DA*60-250, and several others are tomorrows legends - today?
No.

The DA15 is ok, but it's not a legend, not world class. It's merely ok and has some specific uses where it excels. The edge to edge performance is an issue.

The DA*55 is an ok lens, but pretty far from legendary performance or performance competitive with 50mm lenses from others. Part of the problem we have here is that Pentax no longer has a fast 35, either, which also makes the absence of a fast 24 conspicuous. So 78mm EFL? It might be ok for portraits, but it's not going to turn the world around and it's not going to really work fully edge to edge on a FF. It's more of a sign of Pentax's management problems of the past.

60-250 is ok. The SDM has to last long enough for it to become a legend.

The FA limiteds are older lenses, so they have their status already. The shaker here is that they are made in Vietnam now and some are not too happy with that for performance reasons, not only pricing reasons.
03-01-2013, 07:54 AM   #38
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Sorry - I can't agree with you snake - The DA*60-250 and the FA*80-200 aren't far apart in performance (yes I know 2.8 compare to 4), the 55mm produces some superb results and there are many users who think the performance of the DA15 (including edge to edge) is excellent, even "mind-controlling" . I thought the FA Limiteds were still in production, yes they were designed some time ago - but aren't they in the current Pentax line-up? I'm a big fan of much of the older "legendary" glass, I even have some of it - but sometimes I think we overlook what is currently available in the quest for legends

03-01-2013, 07:56 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by LennyBloke Quote
I thought the FA Limiteds were still in production, yes they were designed some time ago - but aren't they in the current Pentax line-up?
Who said they were out of production? Did you even read my post fully, where it says the exact opposite?
03-01-2013, 08:08 AM   #40
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Sorry Snake - I'll back off, I was just expressing an opinion - the OP was titled "...bring back the legendary glass" my point was current against non-current. I asked the question "...aren't they in the current Pentax line-up" - I thought they were but hadn't checked.
03-01-2013, 08:48 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
A 50-55 is easy,even other brands look pretty close. But if they have to start with a completely new type of glass, the old lens really just represents a potential target. They have to rework everything from the shape of every element to the build to maybe adding sealing or a different focus system to new coatings. Then they have to build the lens in a different factory and figure out how to make money on it for new owners, the reasons why they discontinued a lens like the FA 28mm f2.8. They might as well start fresh.
If I were to design a lens, I could take two approaches: one is to start simple, with one or two elements, then add and modify glass to correct aberrations, while the other approach is to find a basic recipe that has already been used and optimize that layout for my particular needs. I suppose my comment about it being relatively easy to update a lens design is in reference to starting de novo, without any reference to other designs. Which nobody would ever do, or could ever do, because they learned how to design lenses by studying what's already out there. For example, even the FA31 was not an entirely new design: it plainly is based on the front grouping of the M35/2 and the rear grouping of the K35/2. That does not imply that they didn't have to recalculate every single surface, not to mention lens assembly. I just think that once you have the basic approach--an outline of the glass and a philosophy to optimize for--then you've already jumped a major hurdle.

But I'm probably being incredibly na´ve, being that I'm definitely quite ignorant of the relative weight of effort required for each part of the process.
03-01-2013, 09:08 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Even in that small web sized image I can see the red-blue CA that the FA*24mm f/2 produces.
That was the first thing I noticed about the picture.... I wasn't going to say anything...

The Tamron 17-50 is excellent at 24 mm as is the 18-135. If you're so desperate for a 24 buy one or the other and epoxy the zoom ring with it set at 24... problem solved.
03-01-2013, 09:26 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Even in that small web sized image I can see the red-blue CA that the FA*24mm f/2 produces.
That's just how I processed the photo, I don't see CA with the original:




Here are a couple of average photos taken with FA*24.






Last edited by chesebert; 03-01-2013 at 11:57 AM.
03-01-2013, 10:27 AM   #44
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Why would Pentax reproduce legacy glass when there is so much of it available places such as here in marketplace and ebay?
03-01-2013, 10:45 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
Why would Pentax reproduce legacy glass when there is so much of it available places such as here in marketplace and ebay?
Because Ricoh is in the business of making money, and they don't make any money from a sale on the marketplace or eBay. There will be no Pentax FF until there are new lenses to support it...
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