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01-29-2014, 04:18 PM   #16
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I myself am trying to get a FA*24. That's about the top of my price range, which puts the FA*24-70, FA*80-200, FA*85, FA*200, 300, 400 and 600 out of my price range.

01-29-2014, 04:23 PM   #17
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I imagine these sellers are pricing to the persistent 'FF is really coming this time' rumor and will be happy to keep the lens at a lower price. IIRC there was a rapid upward spike in rarer FA and FA* lenses last summer when certain prototype bodies would have been in NDA-bound testers' hands. A few of the SMC lenses (K85/1.8 and K50/1.2 for instance) have reached plain stupid prices recently.
01-29-2014, 04:36 PM   #18
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I think people are asking too much for those lenses. For example, from reviews I read, the 28-70 has its optical quirks and at 250% of a price of a used, and newer, tamron 28-75, I would opt for the latter. If price was not an issue, I would obviously buy the whole line up.
01-29-2014, 07:25 PM   #19
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The top of my personal 'buy' list is the 31mm... but I am with the others stating that 1. FA lenses are expensive 2. It's about the money.

01-29-2014, 07:48 PM   #20
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I'm watching for a good deal on a 70-200, but likely won't buy until a FF is released. The longest lens I have that isn't a junk lens from when I first got started with photography is my 77. I produces lovely images, but it's simply too slow on autofocus for anything moving. I've never held any of the FA* lenses and with that lack of exposure to them, I question why I would want the FA* 24 or FA* 85 when I have the 31 and 77. How much difference is there in those few millimeters? If I want wider than the 31, I'll have to go with the 15 or 21, but they're crop lenses and I don't really want to invest in crop lenses. I can't imagine Pentax won't release a FF within the next few years.


I think there are some A* lenses that are priced to the point of obnoxiousness. I think part of it is most want to haggle and gear is often price padded to put the wiggle room in up front. Seller gets close to what he wants, buyer feels like he got a deal.
01-30-2014, 02:30 AM - 1 Like   #21
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I know the FA* lenses appear quite dinosaur-like to many (slow, noisy AF, bulky, heavy, etc), but if you haven't used one it's not easy to appreciate how good they can be. I've owned many top Pentax lenses (all the FA and DA limiteds, most of the DA* lenses and many K mount lenses) and sold many - but I still have the FA* 24, 28-70, 85, 80-200 and an F*300 and use them all regularly (except for the 80-200 - too heavy for me). There is a level of hype over some of these lenses, but if you get yourself a good copy and know the characteristics/limitations then I think many of you would be very happy to keep hold of them.

I am not knocking the current range of lenses at all - they are as good and indeed better in many ways (WR, excellent IQ, faster AF, lighter, etc) - but I recommend trying the F and FA star lenses - they might just be what you didn't know you wanted
01-30-2014, 03:28 AM   #22
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The FA* 85 in question is restricted to sale in the US. My canned search automatically excludes these sales, so I had to explicitly hunt for the post.

I'm sure the seller would have a much better chance of selling the lens if he opened it up to worldwide sale.
01-30-2014, 03:40 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by LennyBloke Quote
I know the FA* lenses appear quite dinosaur-like to many (slow, noisy AF, bulky, heavy, etc), but if you haven't used one it's not easy to appreciate how good they can be. I've owned many top Pentax lenses (all the FA and DA limiteds, most of the DA* lenses and many K mount lenses) and sold many - but I still have the FA* 24, 28-70, 85, 80-200 and an F*300 and use them all regularly (except for the 80-200 - too heavy for me). There is a level of hype over some of these lenses, but if you get yourself a good copy and know the characteristics/limitations then I think many of you would be very happy to keep hold of them.

I am not knocking the current range of lenses at all - they are as good and indeed better in many ways (WR, excellent IQ, faster AF, lighter, etc) - but I recommend trying the F and FA star lenses - they might just be what you didn't know you wanted
I don't think anyone is denying that these lenses are good. I have tried a few myself, the F* 300, the FA* 85, the FA*600, really good. Would I put so much money in lenses that I would probably send for servicing at some point and which might be difficult to be repaired in case of issue (I know for a fact that in France, you better not try to have a FA*28-70 fixed by Pentax, they don't have the spare parts). It's too much of a risk.

01-30-2014, 04:34 AM   #24
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85/1.4 fans started liking Samyang.....
01-30-2014, 05:23 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
slowly people realize the FF is really a unicorn... :P
This! Who's going to invest THAT amount of money in a lens that is designed for a camera that doesn't even exist yet. Especially when there's a modern alternative that costs much less new.
01-30-2014, 05:47 AM   #26
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I think it has more to do with the fact that there isn't a lot of turnover of FA* lenses. They are expensive (aside from the FA*24) and they are kind of a specialty lens. It might be misleading to look at a couple of listings and make any conclusions.

I also think the DA* lenses look awesome in black in addition to the general styling of all DA lenses compared to the FA lenses. If there is a comparable lens (like the 200 and 300) then I would buy the DA* (includes WR) almost every time.
01-30-2014, 07:35 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
This! Who's going to invest THAT amount of money in a lens that is designed for a camera that doesn't even exist yet. Especially when there's a modern alternative that costs much less new.
Well, certain of these lenses have an almost cult following, particularly the FA *85. But I would rather have updated versions with more modern coatings and hopefully less CA on a digital sensor.

The biggest thing currently is that the focal lengths are somewhat odd for APS-C. I mean 85mm is pretty long -- I seldom use my FA 77 because it feels long and I prefer 55mm focal length on APS-C. 85mm would be worse.
01-30-2014, 08:03 AM   #28
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With every purchase, I look at what I can get for the money... and honestly, modern lenses are a better deal. I have often thought of starting a thread entitled "what is wrong with people?' with regards to FA* prices. An example would be a long search for a 300 ƒ4.5. I've been a little late to the party for one at $750. Personally I think $750 is too much for used equipment. I don't know if it's been dropped, or in some other way abused, it has no warranty and it's old. I constantly see DA* 300 ƒ4s for around $1000 as refurbs with full warranty. I haven't seen a 300 ƒ4.5 for less than $950.

The DA* is cheaper, it's faster, it's quieter... I'd probably happily pay $650 for the ƒ 4.5. That would be a decent savings over the DA* to compensate me for what I'm giving up.

But the market being what it is, I have no idea who is paying these prices or why... but I suspect it has to do more with nostalgia than performance, FA* lenses are not a good deal, for a practical guy. They are valuable only because Pentax no longer produces anything in their focal length. I don't carry lenses around to look cool, I carry lenses around to give me images. I check every option and possibility before I buy, and I don't own a single FA* lens. And I don't think anyone else with a limited budget would buy them. You can buy a whole photography kit for the price of one FA*. So unless you have unlimited funds, why would you?

FA* lenses from my perspective are of value only to people locked into Pentax as a brand, and who won't consider 3rd party options, and who are collectors... the only one I'd consider would be the 250-600... still a bargain at $7000, but I won't buy that one, because I don't want to carry it.

Last edited by normhead; 01-30-2014 at 08:23 AM.
01-30-2014, 08:12 AM   #29
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I don't have my FA* and F* lenses because of a strong belief in a Pentax Full-frame digital making an appearance any time soon (although it would be nice) and I don't own them to look cool or for nostalgic reasons - I have them because they produce beautiful results and in general the focal lengths work for me. As for repairs, yes that's a chance you take, but your chances of buying a DA*16-50 or 50-135 that will need a repair are probably higher than with an FA* lens - but if an FA* lens does need a repair you may well be out of luck

The comment has been made that there is little turnover of FA* lenses, I suspect this is due largely to the fact that many who acquire them are more than satisfied and so keep them. The 24mm does seem to make an appearance second hand quite regularly, probably due to a larger number being made and also the fact that there are some copies that are softer than others (I had a poor copy a while back) and so they get recycled into the Used market.

I owned the DA*300 at the same time as the F*300 (essentially the same lens as the FA* version I believe), when it was time to sell one I deliberated hard and "on paper" I should have kept the DA* - WR, faster aperture, quieter focus, etc - but when I looked at photos taken with both I preferred the "look" of the photos I'd taken with the F* version.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not a FA*nboy of these lenses exclusively, in the longer zoom range I prefer the DA*60-250 to the FA*80-200. The DA15mm Ltd is beautifully crafted and delivers great results, and the DA*55 is a superb descendant of the FA*85 - but the F and FA Star lenses are still very relevant in todays digital world
01-30-2014, 08:16 AM   #30
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The only FA* lens I really want is the 250-600, and I would have said the 24, but with the new Sigma 18-35 I withdraw that. Also, 85mm isn't a usable length for me. I probably have very few shots in that range out of the thousands I've taken.
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