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01-15-2009, 10:14 PM   #1
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Why was FA 28mm discontinued?

The FA 35mm and FA 50mm are still current, but no FA 28mm. I don't understand why they would drop a good lens, when all the development and sunk costs are covered, and nothing is even planned to replace it. What am I missing?

01-16-2009, 12:13 AM   #2
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My guess: 28/2.8 just isn't very useful on digital sensors, and the FA 31 Limited is close enough anyway that they probably felt the need to kill off one of them. It basically amounts to being a slow normal lens, instead of the decently fast wide angle it used to be on film.

The FA35 still exists because it's fast for a 35 (but I wouldn't be surprised to see Pentax kill this lens soon) and the FA50 because it's the token fast 50 that every manufacturer has.
01-16-2009, 12:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The FA 35mm and FA 50mm are still current, but no FA 28mm. I don't understand why they would drop a good lens, when all the development and sunk costs are covered, and nothing is even planned to replace it. What am I missing?
My answer to this would be, "because Pentax fails at marketing." The FA series would be ideal should Pentax decide (and they better) to create a full-frame body, yet the discontinued most of it...

Doesn't compute if you ask me.

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01-16-2009, 12:47 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
My answer to this would be, "because Pentax fails at marketing." The FA series would be ideal should Pentax decide (and they better) to create a full-frame body, yet the discontinued most of it...

Doesn't compute if you ask me.
Honestly, what would be a failure in marketing would be to stick to the old FA lineup if they did release a full frame DSLR. The FA lenses look tremendously ugly and feel really old, and that would certainly not help sales. What they need to do is to take the FA lens designs, stick SDM and weather sealing in them, and re-release them in real shiny-like packaging. Then they can call them DA-F or something. You heard it here first, folks.

01-16-2009, 01:22 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
The FA 35mm and FA 50mm are still current, but no FA 28mm. I don't understand why they would drop a good lens, when all the development and sunk costs are covered, and nothing is even planned to replace it. What am I missing?
very good question to ask... I was wondering myself, but have found no sound argument. Luckily next week I'll have oportunity to get either F or FA 28/2.8 (seller is not sure, but all points towards F version) and I'm not going to miss it!

QuoteOriginally posted by Erik Quote
My guess: 28/2.8 just isn't very useful on digital sensors, and the FA 31 Limited is close enough anyway that they probably felt the need to kill off one of them. It basically amounts to being a slow normal lens, instead of the decently fast wide angle it used to be on film.

The FA35 still exists because it's fast for a 35 (but I wouldn't be surprised to see Pentax kill this lens soon) and the FA50 because it's the token fast 50 that every manufacturer has.
in your first assumption I'd say you are wrong. Why? 28 on APS-C has FOV VERY close to FOV of 43 on FF! Note that 43 is the exact diagonal of film frame, and is possibly closest to FOV of human eye! For APS-C this diagonal (therefore roughly the same FOV) is 28.26mm! So 28mm AF lens would make a big sense on APS-C. Yes, it could be faster but then again, they have brought out 40/2.8 and 21/3.2, if they deem that fast enough, then 28/2.8 would definitely be fast enough, at least until propper replacement for FA43/FA50, IMHO.

and for you second assumption FA31 is close in terms of FOV and is excellent lens, with very decent speed too. BUT guess how many would buy FA28 (if it wasn't axed and would retail anywhere between £200-£300) instead of not buying FA31 which retails between £600-£700!!! I think for normal enthusiast or consumer it would have been no brainer. I'd love to have FA31 but with my salary I simply can't justify to spend anywhere close to it's price on my hobby. And because of axing of FA28 I'm left with no Pentax branded lens to fit between 21 and 40 (talking primes)
BR
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01-16-2009, 01:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
in your first assumption I'd say you are wrong. Why? 28 on APS-C has FOV VERY close to FOV of 43 on FF! Note that 43 is the exact diagonal of film frame, and is possibly closest to FOV of human eye! For APS-C this diagonal (therefore roughly the same FOV) is 28.26mm! So 28mm AF lens would make a big sense on APS-C. Yes, it could be faster but then again, they have brought out 40/2.8 and 21/3.2, if they deem that fast enough, then 28/2.8 would definitely be fast enough, at least until propper replacement for FA43/FA50, IMHO.
Alright, I give up. I was just trying to make sense of the whole thing but I might have to concede there is no real sense behind this decision. I also notice Sony, Nikon and Canon all still sell their 28/2.8's, so I don't know what's really up, I guess.

I hardly find it surprising that it's gone though as I think Pentax is working on killing the entire FA line (most likely the 50 will disappear when the 55 SDM is out, and the 35 is in real danger now as it's directly competing with the DA35 limited)
01-16-2009, 02:31 AM   #7
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For me personally 28mm is the new "standard" lens. A 28mm is my walk-around lens. I just love it.

I have both the FA28 and the F28. If I had to choose I would probably take the F, since it has more contrast at f2.8, but otherwise they are both very good. I love the colors of the FA.

Why there is no new FA28 anymore?
Don't know. First, when the first "new" FA50s and FA35s popped up, they said these would be remainders of stock, but I doubt that now, since they continue to flow in on the market. I think that they just have somewhere the assembly line for the FA35 and the FA50, but not for the FA28 (which has an asph. lens).

I also have the old M28/2.0 which is really a gem!
I have sold all my K and M lenses, but this one I have kept.
01-16-2009, 04:49 AM   #8
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Not sure about the FA28. Maybe they discontinued because of the DA*30mm announcement?? Maybe sales were poor and it made sense to discontinue. Maybe FA31 sales were/are so good that it made sense to keep it and close out the FA28.

c[_]

01-16-2009, 04:57 AM   #9
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It doesn't make sense to me either and that applies to a lot of the FA series. The line needs a lower cost FA series. Not everyone can afford or even wants the higher priced Limited's or DA* series.

I suspect it's a case of a smaller company that has to be very careful with inventories and hasn't got the $$ to stock too many different varieties. The second thing is it's hard to push DA series glass (at a higher price) and claim that the coatings are that much better at reducing digital sensor reflectivity when your FA's with the older coatings are doing a fine job.
01-16-2009, 06:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erik Quote
Honestly, what would be a failure in marketing would be to stick to the old FA lineup if they did release a full frame DSLR. The FA lenses look tremendously ugly and feel really old, and that would certainly not help sales. What they need to do is to take the FA lens designs, stick SDM and weather sealing in them, and re-release them in real shiny-like packaging. Then they can call them DA-F or something. You heard it here first, folks.

And don't forget to price them at 3x the old prices...


Really, it would make no sense to release an SDM version of such lens: it would be much bigger and much more expensive with no real gain.

FA primes might look ugly and old but they were good, they were cheap and they were compact: I would really want to see this kind of lens again in Pentax's lineup (FA 28f2.8, FA 50f1.7, a 80f2, FA 135f2.8 for example all priced between 130€ for the 50 and 350€ for the 135).

Enough of the "limited" uber-expensive fancy looking stuff! How about making one or two affordable yet luminous lenses?
01-16-2009, 10:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
Why there is no new FA28 anymore?
Don't know. First, when the first "new" FA50s and FA35s popped up, they said these would be remainders of stock, but I doubt that now, since they continue to flow in on the market. I think that they just have somewhere the assembly line for the FA35 and the FA50, but not for the FA28 (which has an asph. lens).
I think you might be closest to the truth. Pentax has moved most of its lens production to Viet Nam. I think they decided the FA28 wasn't going to be produced in the new plant. I remember reading that only FA Limiteds are still made in Japan, but that means either the 35s and 50s are from old stock, they moved the line or the announcement was wrong.

The lens roadmap has a 30mm lens on it, which may have been intended to be a more modern replacement and in production much sooner. Certainly it would be hard to explain having a 28, 30 and 31 all in production. Roland Mabo says that the FA28 wasn't very popular either when it came out, so sales figures may have been a factor.

My question is, why isn't there a ~24mm in the line?
01-16-2009, 11:00 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The lens roadmap has a 30mm lens on it, which may have been intended to be a more modern replacement and in production much sooner. Certainly it would be hard to explain having a 28, 30 and 31 all in production. Roland Mabo says that the FA28 wasn't very popular either when it came out, so sales figures may have been a factor.
The 30mm shown in the roadmap is a DA*. I could see the new 30mm displacing the FA31, but it will be 2 or 3 times the price of what the 28mm would sell for.

As far as how the 28nm sold when it came out, the format in use at the time was 35mm film, so the FOV was 28mm equivalent, rather similar to the 21mm LTD on a K20. On an APS-C camera, a 28mm lens is the ideal normal length and the FA design is very capable and should be inexpensive to market.
01-16-2009, 12:12 PM   #13
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correct me if i'm wrong but isn't the FA35/2 AL discontinued as well?
01-16-2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
correct me if i'm wrong but isn't the FA35/2 AL discontinued as well?
That was the rumour, but I haven't seen it confirmed anywhere. I tend to think it's not true, because at one time of the US online retailers only Adorama had stock and now it seems readily available from a lot of locations.
01-16-2009, 02:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
As far as how the 28nm sold when it came out, the format in use at the time was 35mm film, so the FOV was 28mm equivalent, rather similar to the 21mm LTD on a K20. On an APS-C camera, a 28mm lens is the ideal normal length and the FA design is very capable and should be inexpensive to market.
In the film days, I bet every lens manufacturer on the planet made a 28mm lens, and that was a lot of lens manufacturers. Pentax alone had the K28/3.5, M28/2.8, M28/3.5, M v2 or A or F28/2.8, and FA28/2.8. That's not counting Takumar Bayonet. There was a thread here a few months ago trying to document Vivitar 28mms that had about 20 different types. If the FA didn't sell, it wasn't because it wasn't useful on film.
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