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03-18-2010, 03:23 AM   #1
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just got an FA77... and I have a couple of silly questions :)

I received the FA77 this morning, played a bit with it on K7... looks like a great lens. First impressions lead me to believe it's as good as the Minolta 85G, but I need to spend a few more days with it before I can pass judgment on that

Anyway... I've got a couple of (probably silly) questions:

- Is there a way to lock the hood in the retracted position? Whenever I try to pull the front cap off (it sits pretty firm), the hood extends Or maybe the cap will loosen up after extensive use?
- Is it normal for manual focusing to be active only when the lever on the camera is set to MF? In the custom menu, I've enabled 'Cancel AF' for the AF button, when I press it MF is displayed in the viewfinder, however, the screwdrive doesn't disengage If I switch from AF-S to MF using the lever on the K7, the screwdrive is retracted and I can turn the focusing ring freely (although I can hear clicks as I turn it, but I assume that's normal). I only have two other lenses to compare to: DA15 and the 18-55 kit; with these two, turning the focusing ring gives no resistance, regardless of the shooting mode (AF-S, AF-C, MF).


Thank you!


Oh, there's one thing I forgot to mention: I bought it from BHPhoto, on their website it's marketed as 'made in Japan', but there's a big engraving on the lens stating 'assembled in Vietnam'; it doesn't bother me that it's not a Japan-made lens, but I guess BH should be more careful what they write on web pages


Last edited by cezarL; 03-18-2010 at 03:37 AM.
03-18-2010, 03:45 AM   #2
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Congrats on getting the FA 77, I hear it's a pretty decent lens.

The FA 77 doesn't have Quickshift, like most DA lenses, and that's why you have to switch to MF on the camera to manually focus.
03-18-2010, 03:54 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cezarL Quote
- Is there a way to lock the hood in the retracted position? Whenever I try to pull the front cap off (it sits pretty firm), the hood extends Or maybe the cap will loosen up after extensive use?
Not that I know of, I've heard of this complaint on more than one occasion.


QuoteOriginally posted by cezarL Quote
- Is it normal for manual focusing to be active only when the lever on the camera is set to MF? In the custom menu, I've enabled 'Cancel AF' for the AF button, when I press it MF is displayed in the viewfinder, however, the screwdrive doesn't disengage
This is normal. The FA Limited lenses do not have quick-shift manual focusing, so the focus ring is always engaged to the screw drive motor as long as the camera is set to AF. As far as I know, only DA, DA* and DA Limited lenses have quick-shift manual focus where you can fine-tune the focus manually once auto-focus is achieved. Not even all DA lenses have it.

QuoteOriginally posted by cezarL Quote
Oh, there's one thing I forgot to mention: I bought it from BHPhoto, on their website it's marketed as 'made in Japan', but there's a big engraving on the lens stating 'assembled in Vietnam'; it doesn't bother me that it's not a Japan-made lens, but I guess BH should be more careful what they write on web pages
This is a major point of discussion lately. While the components are all made in Japan, the lens itself is now assembled in Vietnam. Some people contend that this has caused the optical quality to drop compared to the "Made in Japan" versions, while others (like myself) maintain that the few examples of this are actually caused by tolerance stacking and were probably also present in some lenses that were assembled in Japan.

Since the components are all made in Japan and the lens is assembled in Vietnam, it's debatable whether one can claim the lens was actually made in Japan. The "Made in Japan" markings have been removed from the lens itself ever since assembly was moved, though. I suppose you could email B&H and make your concern known, maybe they'll fix their listing to reflect the truth. Personally, I don't really think it makes a difference in the quality of the finished product.

Having said that, I made an effort to find a "Made in Japan" version for myself anyways

Now this will probably turn into a "Made in Japan" vs "Assembled in Vietnam" thread. If so, watch all the mud-slinging that happens... it's very entertaining.
03-18-2010, 03:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick reply!
Yeah, well... I did say they would be silly questions, didn't I?
I thought quick-shift (the lack of, to be precise) is the culprit, but I wanted to make sure there isn't anything else I might be missing (I'll still trying to get acquainted with the K7).

As for the hood/cap thingy... I'm not bothered by the fact that the hood extends, it's just that it takes longer to remove the cap than I would have liked (I'm used to clip-on caps with Minolta, removing those is pretty much instant).

03-18-2010, 04:06 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX:
This is a major point of discussion lately. While the components are all made in Japan, the lens itself is now assembled in Vietnam. Some people contend that this has caused the optical quality to drop compared to the "Made in Japan" versions, while others (like myself) maintain that the few examples of this are actually caused by tolerance stacking and were probably also present in some lenses that were assembled in Japan.

(...)

Now this will probably turn into a "Made in Japan" vs "Assembled in Vietnam" thread. If so, watch all the mud-slinging that happens... it's very entertaining.
Thank you, I heard about such discussions but I didn't pay too much attention, it's just that I was misinformed: I thought you had lenses made in Japan and then you had lenses made in Vietnam (glass included, not just the assembly). Thanks for clearing it up.
I am very happy with how the lens performs, at least from the few pics I've taken around the house now. So I tend to agree with you, any QC issues that surface now and then are probably caused by sample variation, regardless of the country where a lens is assembled.

We've had a lot of similar discussions regarding QC on CZ16-80 for Sony, back in the day, so I'm not new to this type of talks. On top of that... there are the ever-going suppositions on who (and where) is manufacturing (assembling) the CZ glass for Sony.
And yes, it can be entertaining
03-18-2010, 05:17 AM   #6
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Get a hood

The FA77 is almost to small to handle safely. I got a standard 49 mm screw-in metal hood for mine, and I'm letting it sit on the lens constantly. This makes changing lens a lot safer. This is essential to me, I'm using the gear professionally and I'm quite often in a hurry.
The front cap, beautiful as it may be, is superfluous in this setup.
The combo is stil quite small and light. See pic.
Now the only thing to worry about is the rear lens which is very vulnerable to scratches since it's so unprotected. This lens always has to have the rear cap on before you throw it in the bag.
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03-18-2010, 12:25 PM   #7
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As for the hood/cap thing...One of the first things I did when I got my 77 Limited was to put that beautiful metal cap in a drawer with the beautiful leather pouch. I use a snap-on lens cap and a pouch I picked up from the junk bin at the camera shop. I also use a much deeper and more substantial hood than the one built on to the lens (heavystar on eBay).

As noted above, the FA 77 lacks quick-shift. Be sure to always disengage the AF drive when manually focusing this lens. Failure to do so may damage the lens and/or the camera body.

Steve
03-18-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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I actually love this hood and lens cap and wish all my lenses had the same arrangement.

Quick shift would be great, but then the lens would be slower and called the DA70.

03-18-2010, 08:32 PM   #9
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- Is there a way to lock the hood in the retracted position? Whenever I try to pull the front cap off (it sits pretty firm), the hood extends Or maybe the cap will loosen up after extensive use?

Believe it or not, you may come to appreciate this as a feature. I have the FA77 and the DA35, which have the same lens hood/cap arrangement. So much so, in fact, that I even wondered if the cap from the DA35 would fit on the FA77 and vice versa. For the record, they don't because of the locations of the felted ridges inside the cap and on the hood barrel. However, my DA35 hood is not as tight as my FA77 hood. On one occasion, my DA35 hood popped-off with minimal assistance from me, fell to the floor and put a nice silver ding in its black finish. I doubt my FA77 hood would have done the same in those conditions.
03-19-2010, 12:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot:
As for the hood/cap thing...One of the first things I did when I got my 77 Limited was to put that beautiful metal cap in a drawer with the beautiful leather pouch. I use a snap-on lens cap and a pouch I picked up from the junk bin at the camera shop. I also use a much deeper and more substantial hood than the one built on to the lens (heavystar on eBay).
Thank you Steve! Actually, I have the pouch tucked away safely too
But speaking of snap-on caps... I was considering them as well, but I have some concerns.

I had a couple of this type with Minolta:
Capac Hoya Slim 49mm
While very nice, they aren't available anymore, at least not in online shops from Bucharest. Instead they are offering this:
Capac obiectiv fata pentru (49mm)
I'm worried that the rear parts of the... 'pinches' are too recessed and might touch the lens' front element when removed in a hurry. If you are using similar ones, could you give an opinion? (or maybe share a pic of the cap, if it's a different system). Thanks!
03-19-2010, 08:42 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cezarL Quote
Thank you Steve! Actually, I have the pouch tucked away safely too
But speaking of snap-on caps... I was considering them as well, but I have some concerns.

I had a couple of this type with Minolta:
Capac Hoya Slim 49mm
While very nice, they aren't available anymore, at least not in online shops from Bucharest. Instead they are offering this:
Capac obiectiv fata pentru (49mm)
I'm worried that the rear parts of the... 'pinches' are too recessed and might touch the lens' front element when removed in a hurry. If you are using similar ones, could you give an opinion? (or maybe share a pic of the cap, if it's a different system). Thanks!
I am not much help there. I bought a genuine Pentax cap from B&H.

Steve
03-19-2010, 08:45 AM   #12
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Congratulation. Very good info GoremanX. Thanks.
03-19-2010, 09:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cezarL Quote
. . .


Oh, there's one thing I forgot to mention: I bought it from BHPhoto, on their website it's marketed as 'made in Japan', but there's a big engraving on the lens stating 'assembled in Vietnam'; it doesn't bother me that it's not a Japan-made lens, but I guess BH should be more careful what they write on web pages
I got one from BH in early Dec and it was Made in Japan. It could be that BH has finally ran out of their "stash" or Pentax is still assembling them both places. Regardless, the DA ltd series has always been assembled in 'Nam. The only reason I cared on the FA was the collector in me otherwise I wouldn't think about it any differently than my DA 35mm, DA 21mm or DA* 300mm.

25 years from now there well be some collectors bragging about having silver MIJ and MIV and black MIJ and MIV along with the assorted colors of bags and felt.
03-19-2010, 11:55 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I got one from BH in early Dec and it was Made in Japan. It could be that BH has finally ran out of their "stash" or Pentax is still assembling them both places.
I emailed B&H yesterday and they stated they had no more MIJ samples in their inventory. Funny how I don't actually believe in the "Made in Japan" versus "Assembled in Vietnam" quality thing, and yet I still make an effort to find ones that are "Made in Japan". Must be a group psychology thing... I always want to follow the herd.

moo
03-19-2010, 01:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
moo
Moooo.... its ok.
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