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02-27-2024, 10:33 AM - 1 Like   #1
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FA31: In the market for a pre-owned prime? These classics are worth trying (dpreview)

Article about buying used primes with two copies of FA31 on the cover photo:
QuoteQuote:
Somewhere between 28mm and 35mm is this Pentax SLR lens, one of the famous FA Limited lenses.
It's all-metal, has a handsome built-in hood, and is touted for its rendering of subjects on digital and film camera bodies.
This lens is useful for street photography, architecture, and landscapes alike.
In the market for a pre-owned prime? These classics are worth trying.: Digital Photography Review

02-27-2024, 12:41 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
Article about buying used primes with two copies of FA31 on the cover photo:
In the market for a pre-owned prime? These classics are worth trying.: Digital Photography Review
Bit too heavily used and fungused....to my taste.
02-27-2024, 02:25 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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I just got the SMC 31/1.8 limited in black...actually arrived today. I paid $420 from a Japanese seller. The lens was in better condition than expected. It would call it mint condition. So far I tested the focus accuracy on my K3iii and it's exactly dead on. Also check sharpness and chromatic aberration. Sharpness is good at center f/1.8. I didn't check corners, because I don't need sharp corners at f/1.8. I will check corners at f/8-11 when I get a chance. CA is very present, purple fringing on high contrast, at f-stops from 1.8 and clears up around f/5.6. Overall, I'd say it's a pretty good lens for being a 20+ year old design.

Pictures below...
K3iii with 31mm f/1.8
Focus test
CA at f/1.8
CA at f/4
CA at f/5.6

02-27-2024, 04:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlag Quote
Bit too heavily used and fungused....to my taste.
That is an understatement! The lens is a mess. I can't believe they are asking money for it.

02-27-2024, 08:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
That is an understatement! The lens is a mess. I can't believe they are asking money for it.
And I can't believe it was featured in the sponsored article! Maybe they have had it for years and just can get rid of it due to the fungus.
02-27-2024, 10:30 PM - 1 Like   #6
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…why are we linking to another site's "sponsored content"?
02-28-2024, 03:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
That is an understatement! The lens is a mess. I can't believe they are asking money for it.
$264 is a very low price for an FA 31mm. Around $600 is a more common used price, so it's less than 1/2 price for being well used and needing the fungus cleaned.

02-28-2024, 04:30 AM   #8
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What I got from the linked article (OP) is that some lens models, just a few, are "special" and worthy of your attention. It's about reputation.

Lots and lots of the members of this forum are very fond of their FA 31mm F1.8. We know that, it was voted to the very top of Pentax lenses, some time ago. Many reviews can be read here. If we know, many others probably don't know, so that article doesn't hurt.

Some of us might get offended by the unlucky way of presentation, the particular picture of that lens, featured in that article. Get over it. It is a positive message after all.
02-28-2024, 10:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by CristiC Quote
What I got from the linked article (OP) is that some lens models, just a few, are "special" and worthy of your attention. It's about reputation.

Lots and lots of the members of this forum are very fond of their FA 31mm F1.8. We know that, it was voted to the very top of Pentax lenses, some time ago. Many reviews can be read here. If we know, many others probably don't know, so that article doesn't hurt.

Some of us might get offended by the unlucky way of presentation, the particular picture of that lens, featured in that article. Get over it. It is a positive message after all.
I agree, but it’s still odd.... sometimes you wonder if the author knows what he is referring to in his article. The reason I looked into it , is that lens is on my watch LBA watch list....there are nicer ones around in other regions than MPB USA....
02-28-2024, 11:29 AM   #10
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ah, now I see, it's that particular $264 offer, in the US.

I was browsing the non-US pages from that merchant's site. The question actually is about the ethics. The dpreview article is clearly marked as "SPONSORED CONTENT
Published Feb 27, 2024 | Presented by MPB", hence they wanted to get rid (sell) a sub-par used lens, at a discounted price, riding the wave of good reputation - possibly creating a false expectation for that particular item. Putting myself in their shoes, I'd find it too a good idea to advertise the thing on a forum that is visited by people who use Pentax lenses, it's the right audience for that ad.

I paid a lot more for my own FA31 lens, bought as new, and I would definitely buy it again (new and HD) - that's how much I like it. I would definitely not buy that particular $264 thing.
02-28-2024, 10:58 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Interestinly enough, I bought my FA31 from MPB a couple of years ago. I've had a good experience with them, buying and selling. Better than KEH, anyway.
02-29-2024, 02:55 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CristiC Quote
Some of us might get offended by the unlucky way of presentation, the particular picture of that lens, featured in that article.
The link is not to a review of the lens, it is to an advert for a particularly crappy beaten-up one.
02-29-2024, 12:34 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by greyscale Quote
…why are we linking to another site's "sponsored content"?
It's directly pentax-related.
Is there any reason not to open a thread about it?
02-29-2024, 10:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
Article about buying used primes with two copies of FA31 on the cover photo:
QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
It's directly pentax-related.
It is, at best, Pentax-adjacent; it's merely an ad for a business promoting themselves and trying to move (what sounds like from the reactions here) some B-grade inventory. Your presenting it as something written in good faith for general interest is serving their interests, not ours.


QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
Is there any reason not to open a thread about it?
Absolutely. You're uncritically driving viewership to an advertisement on a competitor's' site. Not even to an article on an ad-supported site: to the ad itself. Without any sort of a disclaimer that that's what you're doing.
02-29-2024, 11:53 PM   #15
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I paid the equivalent of US$365 for my 31mm recently from a pawn shop, it is MIJ and in excellent condition. While it's one of my sought-after lenses I wouldn't pay full price for a new copy. The MPB listing looks quite bad and not worth the price.
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