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08-27-2008, 01:58 PM   #1
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Difference between F and FA?

What, if any, is the difference between the FA and F label on a lens? Besides the fact that one was designed with the aesthetics of the 80's

08-27-2008, 02:01 PM   #2
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The main difference is an extra "A" in the title.

Some FA lenses support power zoom and come in crap-tastic silver; arguably LESS crappy than their F counterparts, though.

That's about all I can tell, since I've never owned any of these lenses; save for an FA J 28-80 lens.
08-27-2008, 07:43 PM   #3
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There was something about mtf and distance data the FA had and the F didn't or was different, that and power zoom info. Other than that and build differences optically the F and FA are the same ( lens for lens that is) .
08-27-2008, 07:49 PM   #4
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Optically the same but FA series are supposed to transmit more lens data.
However the look of the F series is something you either love or hate imo. The dated and wierd lens body colours, the hard plastic, very narrow focusing rings and finish that can flake over time is why I have always preferred the FA lenses over the F series.

08-27-2008, 08:15 PM   #5
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So FA transmits distance information for flash (im assuming for flash, since thats what sony uses it for)? Do pentax cameras make use of this information?
08-27-2008, 09:12 PM   #6
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I've been researching it online, and apparently both F and FA transmit distance to subject, but only FA transmits MTF, which gets used in modes where the camera sets the aperture to set it to the sharpest value possible. Or so I gathered online anyhow.
08-27-2008, 09:23 PM   #7
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From what I've read, it seems to me that the FA lenses include a chip that contains data including focal length and MTF data while the F lenses do not. Not having any F lenses myself, I can't verify this, but if anyone has one, does it report focal length on the K series? Do you have to manually input the focal length for SR?
(edit: nevermind, nixcamic posted while I was writing this)

Also, Torphoto points out that the FA's were supposed to be power-zoom. I recently acquired two powerzoom lenses (28-80, 100-300) and the manuals seem to support this idea, that any FA-Zoom lens was supposed to be powerzoom. For example, from page 2 of the manual (copyright 1991), it states 'When Pentax FA Zoom lenses are used on the Pentax KAF2-mount camera, the camera features a Power Zoom system...'

As for aesthetics, there seems to be a progression from the early F lenses, to late F lenses like this 100-300, to 'mainstream' FA lenses like this 28-80 and the primes like the FA 50, to the later FA's like this 100-300.

Personally, I kinda like the late F/mainstream FA designs. I miss the old Silver FA* lenses, however. Those were quite distinctive.
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