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07-21-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
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Where to find the SMC Pentax-FA 35mm F2 AL

Hello,
I am quite new in DSLR world. Before P&S exclusively...Just bought a K20D + 18-55 kit lens 6 weeks ago and starting my LBA...I really appreciate this forum.
I am interested in general photo (landscape, city, portrait of my family member) and was looking for that prime lens SMC Pentax-FA 35mm F2 AL. I have noticed very good comment on various forums but was not able to find it. Is this discontinued ? Where could we buy used ones around NYC ?
Thanks in advance.
Frederic

07-21-2009, 01:33 PM   #2
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I personally think quite highly of the lens. I bought it just a few months ago from Amazon for $249. Seems the price has gone up if you can find it. Cambridge is in Manhattan, I think, and they might still have the lens.

It makes an excellent "normal" lens for the APSC format, and it's one of the sharpest lenses I've ever used. Good choice, if you can find one!
07-21-2009, 02:51 PM   #3
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Yes Frederic, unfortunately it's been discontinued due to the success of the DA 35mm macro I guess. There are 4 good used sources tho; I would keep close watch on both the Adorama and B&H used equipment departments. I've had better luck with Adorama but I'd keep watch on both. Those are both in NYC. KEH is also a very good and reliable source for used equipment, they are more expensive than e-bay, but their ratings are quite conservative, what they call "bargain" most on e-bay would rate "excellent". Even better, they have an excellent return policy 14 days and no questions asked. You can check their regular stock, but I'd also check "in transit". If you see something there you like, you sign up for it and KEH sends you an e-mail as soon as they receive the lens. That is how I got my FA 35mm. Here is a link to their site: KEH Camera: Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Film Cameras, Laptop Computers and More.
Last but not least, there is a very active photographer's marketplace here. Be sure to read the sticky's at the top to get all the rules. I got my FA 43mm ltd here. Got a fair price and good feedback. It's a great place to pick up all kinds of gear.
link: The Photographer's Marketplace - PentaxForums.com

NaCl(nothing like feeding someone else's LBA)H2O
07-21-2009, 02:53 PM   #4
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I know that they are discontinued already and got replaced by the DA 35 2.8.
try to look for in the forums marketplace. I saw 3 or 4 being sold from June to July. but that would be difficult since a lot of members in this forum are racing to purchase one, once an FA 35 shows up for sale. I'll say it's one of the most sought after and in demand Pentax lenses right now. if not, try posting in the wanted items sections for the FA 35 lens. there might be an FA 35 owner that might sell his lens.

07-21-2009, 06:08 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
KEH is also a very good and reliable source for used equipment
I've had bad KEH rating experiences so far...a RRS rated "good" was scraped up and missing the locking wrench....an eye one pro was listed as "excellent" and failed diagnostics (still trying to get them to agree to a refund including the excessive $20 shipping charge but no luck, even w/ a BBB complaint)...
07-21-2009, 07:40 PM   #6
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Thank you for all your reply. I've checked Cambridge'website. Looks like they still have it , but I saw very bad comments (old but...) for their onlne service, so I will better check in their store this week end. I was also considering the DA35 F2.8, but I saw lot of comments saying that it is definitely a good macro lens but for general purpose, the FA35 IQ was much better.
I was looking at the FA31 ltd, but $$$. may be later... when I will be deeply LBA'ed...
With same price/quality in this FL, is there anything similar to the FA35 F2 with Sigma or Tamron ?
07-21-2009, 07:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by fthiaw Quote
Thank you for all your reply. I've checked Cambridge'website. Looks like they still have it , but I saw very bad comments (old but...) for their onlne service, so I will better check in their store this week end. I was also considering the DA35 F2.8, but I saw lot of comments saying that it is definitely a good macro lens but for general purpose, the FA35 IQ was much better.
I was looking at the FA31 ltd, but $$$. may be later... when I will be deeply LBA'ed...
With same price/quality in this FL, is there anything similar to the FA35 F2 with Sigma or Tamron ?
for a prime 35mm lens with an IQ and speed like that? none !!!
07-21-2009, 08:33 PM   #8
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Hahaha... At least this is clear ! We get a real fan here. PP, How would you compare it with DA35 if I want to shoot group portrait at night (parties etc) ?

07-21-2009, 08:58 PM   #9
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@ kenyee;
I've bought a myriad of lenses and other camera gear from them and have had nothing but good experiences from them, I've returned lenses I didn't like with no hassles and have found them to be always knowledgeable and courteous. I've also seen many many other here post positive experiences with them. I'm sorry you've had trouble with them, all I can say is that the overwhelming evidence is that they are a good reliable outfit.

NaCl(and that is not only my opinion)H2O
07-21-2009, 09:23 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by fthiaw Quote
Hahaha... At least this is clear ! We get a real fan here. PP, How would you compare it with DA35 if I want to shoot group portrait at night (parties etc) ?

I'll take that as a compliment. well, dont worry. there are a lot of people here that can attest to the FA 35.

well the f/2 stop makes a lot of sense. honestly I was considering the DA 35 before when I was looking for a macro. but shooting too close to the subject ain't my sort of thing and so I settled for an FA 100 instead which covered my telephoto ass and macro need at the same time.

I did test out the DA 35. honestly I was impressed by it's color rendition and sharp images. but I found the FA 35 to be sharper (well, too damn sharp), atleast from my experience and judging from the results themselves.
as to lowlight performance, you got a winner here. I think I made a post regarding how fast the FA 35 under lowlight. well, it is damn fast, spot on and never experienced any focus hunting. I could attest that the FA 35 is sharp even wide open. so that is a big advantage over the DA 35 which is a stop slower.

remember, f/2 sharp !

Last edited by Pentaxor; 07-21-2009 at 09:28 PM.
07-21-2009, 11:14 PM   #11
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.

It's a class-leading indoor D-normal.


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