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12-08-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
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So, these days, how "limited" are the Limiteds?

I did search but could not come up with the right combo of search terms to get a result. I just asked a question in a thread about a post that got me thinking. Is using the work Limited now just a marketing tool to differentiate the line of lenses from others as well as add the premium price.

This is one of those I ask because I dunno sort of questions. I really don't care, but it's fun to know.

I am correct in understanding at one time the annual production of each FA Limited was indeed limited to a pretty low number. I swear I read only 5k or so of each but to me that seems awful low.

12-08-2009, 10:51 PM   #2
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I think it is a marketing ploy. The FA limited's are readily available.
12-08-2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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They are limited in regards to the production capacity, not the total number to be produced.

Steve
12-09-2009, 04:02 AM   #4
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They are called "limited," because only limited number of people can afford them.

12-09-2009, 05:26 AM   #5
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I think Pentax would have sold as many as people were willing to buy. It was their user base that was limited when the FA limiteds were in production. My understanding though is that this meant that they were all metal construction and were speced a notch above other lenses available at the time.
12-09-2009, 06:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
I think it is a marketing ploy. The FA limited's are readily available.
That was sort of my take. From what I can tell there really was never a problem with getting a Limited, FA or DA. I will add though that my limiteds are silver and the 77ltd has a 5-digit serial number in the 18,000 range and I bought it this year. My current 43ltd is on the 31k range and my original 43ltd was in the high 28k range as I recall (never really paid it more than a passing glance and had to sell it soon after buying....got a good one again though!! )

Maybe it is the silver body versions that are produced in somewhat limited numbers? I do recall reading an article somewhere when researching Pentax lenses in June, about them having limited annual production numbers. Maybe that was in the early days because production ability was nor ramped up combined with not knowing for sure if they would sell/be popular?

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
They are limited in regards to the production capacity, not the total number to be produced.

Steve
That makes sense as well...takes time to ramp up and refine a production line. I would add though that once eBay was lousy with Limiteds but these days, not so much.

Last edited by brecklundin; 12-09-2009 at 06:53 AM.
12-09-2009, 06:51 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nubi Quote
They are called "limited," because only limited number of people can afford them.
hahahaha....ya might be right about that...then again, I decided on three really nice lenses (I originally had a 35ltd, 43ltd 77tld and a 50-135 but it died a very swift crib death so I don't count it anymore) rather than a dozen lenses. Not sure I could deal with all those decisions!

Gonna relace the 35ltd in, I hope, January or Feburary. Miss it already but am enjoying the 43ltd that came in return for it.
12-09-2009, 12:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
They are limited in regards to the production capacity, not the total number to be produced.
Just wanted to reiterate that this is the true answer - not that the others weren't cute. The word was never meant to imply a limited total number of them would ever be produced - in other words, it's not like a "limited edition" series of prints. It just meant they weren't cranked out of the factory in the same mass-produced quantities as other lenses. That is, it's not just a marketing ploy, but it doesn't mean what you may have assumed it meant.

12-09-2009, 02:19 PM   #9
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There are other limits

Of course, after buying one your possibilities to buy other things (like bread and butter) are pretty limited. Not like that would outrule your buying them...
12-09-2009, 02:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nubi Quote
They are called "limited," because only limited number of people can afford them.
I think you're right!!!
12-09-2009, 02:59 PM   #11
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There was this Limited from Ford



I think it is a marketing term, though based on true enough features: special materials and finishes, unusual focal lengths or other oddities, perhaps design where there is more human input to fine tuning the rendering, and nicer presentation than the oridnary lenses.

And of course being primes, the Limited series features extremely limited zoom range.
12-09-2009, 03:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Just wanted to reiterate that this is the true answer - not that the others weren't cute. The word was never meant to imply a limited total number of them would ever be produced - in other words, it's not like a "limited edition" series of prints. It just meant they weren't cranked out of the factory in the same mass-produced quantities as other lenses. That is, it's not just a marketing ploy, but it doesn't mean what you may have assumed it meant.
you are right, earlier this AM I did a bit more searching and found a thread from 2006 on DPR which got into the evolution (loved that silly movie btw...cracked me up) of the ltd's. It was fun to read they were really just the pet project of a lens designer-engineer and he developed the formulas/designs for himself because Pentax just let him have some fun for a couple years. The idea was to create something special but that he liked personally. That was where the 43mm idea came into play because of the 35mm frame having about a 43mm diagonal measurement, he felt that gave a true "normal" lens compared to the Carl Zeiss' concept of a 50mm lense which he felt was not quite right. And eventually he (I wish I could remember his name...but this was like 2AM soooo, ya know...) anyway, eventually he was able to show the PTB the lenses were something that could sell. He got a tentative OK for some very limited production which worked out great and slowly Pentax began to make more and more. But it was because of the free production capacity and the line he had the OK to use, quantities were very limited. I may have missed a few bullet points but distilled down to the hghlights, it was nothing more than that...then once Pentax realized they had a winner, the marketing spin took over to create the mystique around those three lenses. And today they are arguably the crown jewels for Pentax primes. So, the marketing spin must have worked.

I did not search for details about the DA ltd's so dunno how the evolved as an off-shoot.

Anyway, I thought it was a fun story...a guy tinkering away in some basement lab designing the perfect lenses for no other reason than to please himself and get results he liked best. It does not get any better than that I suppose.
12-09-2009, 03:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
There was this Limited from Ford



I think it is a marketing term, though based on true enough features: special materials and finishes, unusual focal lengths or other oddities, perhaps design where there is more human input to fine tuning the rendering, and nicer presentation than the oridnary lenses.

And of course being primes, the Limited series features extremely limited zoom range.
hahaha...that is the very thing I think of when I type those letters L-freaking-TD...what a vehicle, what a statement!! What a pimp mobile! snickersnicker...
12-09-2009, 09:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
hahaha...that is the very thing I think of when I type those letters L-freaking-TD...what a vehicle, what a statement!! What a pimp mobile! snickersnicker...
Still, though, they were an impressive automobile at the time. Ford sold a lot of them. (Limited?) Of course, what do I know...My dad drove Buicks and Jags!

Steve
12-09-2009, 10:44 PM   #15
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I don't have any Limiteds, but I wrecked my dad's LTD just after getting my license! He punished me by getting a 73 Dodge Dart, slant-6 + 3 speed manual transmission on the column, to replace it.
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