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06-12-2009, 07:59 PM   #1
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Pentax FA 28-80 F3.5

I just bought this lens and today was told that it's a "dog of a lens". Can someone else confirm this? If it is, I can return it for something else.

06-12-2009, 08:18 PM   #2
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According the Pentax Forums Lens review database, there are three variations of the FA 28-80mm that all have f3.5 at the low end of the focal length.

SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm F3.5-4.7
SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm F3.5-5.6, and
SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 AL

Pentax Lens Review Database - FA Series Zooms

Which one did you get?

I wouldn't necessarily interpret these reviews as absolute facts unless there are considerable amount of contributors.
06-12-2009, 09:59 PM   #3
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Mine is the second one: SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm F3.5-5.6
06-13-2009, 07:58 AM   #4
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I am going to send this one back. I just got it Monday so I have 14 days in order to return it for unsatisfied with purchase.

And I'm not sure I really need this type of zoom lens. I have a 50mm and a 28mm. I'm planning on buying either a 70-300, 100-300mm, or 80-320mm.

06-13-2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
I just bought this lens and today was told that it's a "dog of a lens". Can someone else confirm this? If it is, I can return it for something else.
That depends entirely on what you call a 'dog'. When DW went for a bike trip with my daughter - two months in Western Europe - I bought her an ME and the FA 28-80 f/3.5-4.7. As a camera to be carried in a backpack on a bicycle, it was both light and flexible. It has the normal mechanical failure - packing tape is holding the power zoom controls in place - but took quite a few very nice photos during and after those two months. If you are wanting a lens to print 4 x 6 foot images, no, but for 4 x 6 inch prints, few flaws show.
06-14-2009, 09:07 AM   #6
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Thanks Albert for the comments but I've found some hazy or fungus inside this lens. See my post in Post your photos, on Camera said it was in focus.

I got to thinking about this lens. When I bought it, it was supposed to come with both caps, but when it arrived there were no caps. I called KEH and the support guy said the reason it didn't come with any caps is whoever made up the order, sent me the wrong lens. Now I'm wondering if they sent me the "BGN" lens that they also had for sale instead of the "EX" I wanted.
06-14-2009, 09:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
Thanks Albert for the comments but I've found some hazy or fungus inside this lens. See my post in Post your photos, on Camera said it was in focus.

I got to thinking about this lens. When I bought it, it was supposed to come with both caps, but when it arrived there were no caps. I called KEH and the support guy said the reason it didn't come with any caps is whoever made up the order, sent me the wrong lens. Now I'm wondering if they sent me the "BGN" lens that they also had for sale instead of the "EX" I wanted.
KEH is reported to have excellent return policies. I'd just send it back.
06-14-2009, 06:29 PM   #8
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I've heard they have good return policies and they're getting a call from me Monday.

Thanks for all the help.

06-14-2009, 11:01 PM   #9
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I've heard that, that lens sucks. No offense... but thats what I've heard. You can get the 24-105 for the 175-225 range and it has a similar F stop AND A wider range. Prob more money... but...

Additionally, for cheap money but wide range, the Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 is considered a GREAT value. Lets be clear, the optics are NOT amazing. But they ARE solid, and for the price GREAT. It runs ~149 dollars. It is reviewed on photozone, where they basically say what I just told you.
06-15-2009, 12:03 AM   #10
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I don't consider $150 for a lens cheap money. I am on a fixed income so lens buying is according to what is left are bills, unfortunately.

This one is bad because of the grundge inside it.

And I have two months before needing the lenses I want. I've got a family reunion in September where as I'm the designated photog.
06-15-2009, 11:44 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jk333 Quote
I've heard that, that lens sucks. No offense...
I had one (f3.5-5.6 not AL) for a short time and used it mostly for some eBay shots. It was pretty similar to the DA 18-55 in image quality and build, not surprising since they were both intended as kit lenses. The minimum focus distance is 0.5 meters which made it a little less useful for my eBay shots. I liked the wider focus ring. With three FA 28-80 versions, it can be hard to get information on the right one.

I would rate it better than two other Pentax zooms I've used with similar ranges. The FA 28-90 does suck. It started off in the hole because I bought it by mistake, but a plastic mount and softness noticeable in the camera's 2" screen sealed the deal. I lost $2 reselling it. The FA 35-80 was better, but slow, an even worse range and still soft.
06-15-2009, 09:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
I don't consider $150 for a lens cheap money. I am on a fixed income so lens buying is according to what is left are bills, unfortunately.

This one is bad because of the grundge inside it.

And I have two months before needing the lenses I want. I've got a family reunion in September where as I'm the designated photog.
I'm in the same boat, apparently I'm fortunate as I have completed my setup with $340 dollars in lenses. (24-300mm, two lenses) I guess you see so many people on here buy 1,000 dollar limited lenses and you get a little jaded, haha...
06-18-2009, 11:01 AM   #13
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Update:

Thought I'd update this thread. I called KEH on Monday, I have 60 days to return the lens. Soon as I get money and time, it's going back.

And I just bought another lens on our MarketPlace. Another Sigma, but this time it's this one:

Sigma 70-300mm APO 4-5.6 Macro
09-13-2009, 10:05 AM   #14
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interesting. At the moment I have one of these,in good shape with the power zoom thing good,a silver 28-90 FA,and a 28-80 F. One is the keeper for my ZX5,the other 2 get matched to an SF-1 and a PZ10 and re-sold. I see a LOT of disagreement over these....

I have a manual Tamron SP 35-80 I think is better optically,much better macro,and I'm no big fan of AF,but wanted to hang on to one AF lens. I think I may just match the lenses and Cams by vintage. For my use,the lightweight 28-90 should suffice. The Power zoom stuff works well with the PZ10...boosts it's resell. I suspect the F lens s the best build. The 35-70 was the cheaper kit lens of that era.

I have not shot with any bot the F lens. It's good. Not dazzling.
09-13-2009, 10:33 AM   #15
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Ron, thanks for the comments, but that lens I had, had haze or fungus inside, and my thinking that was causing my problems. Before I sold all my equipment 4 years ago, I had a Pentax 35-80 FA and it wasn't like this one. It was clear, course it was new, and it took excellent photos.
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