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04-10-2010, 12:00 AM   #16
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It kind of denotes the same then by calling them limited, doesn't it? I suppose they would just call them limited edition fully like the specialized cameras, but I just figured that it was a shortening of that.

04-10-2010, 12:27 AM   #17
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I am dreaming of FA 31 ltd. Unfortunately my limited budget does not allow me to buy it

But I have a very fine DA 70/2.4 ltd
04-10-2010, 12:29 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asudef Quote
Is there a reason why the 43mm is half the price of the other two though?
The FA43 is smaller and therefore has smaller glass elements which will make it cheaper. Also, the FA31 has ED and AL elements which are expensive to include. The DA40 has AL elements, the DA15 f4 has ED and AL elements, the DA21 has AL elements which all add up to them possibly being slightly more expensive than the FA43.
04-10-2010, 02:10 AM   #19
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Few share my view but I think the real difference between the LIMITED and the rest of Pentax primes are indeed - metal. I have come across some defective MIJ Limited lenses to make me believe they did not receive tighter QC. Optical formula is something we cannot compare because Pentax did not make them available in non-Limited form. But based on other reviews and my own experience, FA31 is the only "special" one that truly stands out. The rest are just regular optics in M series like body with AF for the yummy price tags. Anyone in business know it is not what you actually sell, but how people perceive your products that sell. The Limited idea was a lucky accident that save Pentax in recent history. And my own speculation is that in 1997, when the FA43 was released, Pentax was uncertain on what to expect and planned to make it a one-off product and so LIMITED was called. But the success took everyone by surprise and the FA77 was released in 1999/11 (I happened to be in Japan at the time and saw it 1st hand in magazine and bought one). Some years later it was tested against the EF85/1.8, and to my surprise, it was beaten by the EF in every areas from sharpness to CA control. These weakness are even more obvious on digital. The FA43 is not that great on FF either because of barrel distortion and edge sharpness outside the APS-C format. Wide open it is just soft and donut bokeh is obvious. The FA31 could have been perfect but it was cursed by the fixed hood, and beneath the familiar metal skin, its build quality is nothing like the rest of the Limited lenses due to floating design (very very rare in Pentax history, also why its focus ring is so loose). The FA31 is also one of the very few Pentax lenses with molded glass AL. If the Pentax Japan website didn't mention they were glass AL, they would be molded resin AL which are cheaper and lower in clarity (FA35/2 for example). The DA Limited are nicely build like FA43/77, but some of them had loose aperture blades or other issues due to QC. But when properly assembled, they should be trouble free for the rest of their useful life.


Last edited by wlachan; 04-10-2010 at 02:16 AM.
04-10-2010, 02:22 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The build is different; they don't really look or feel particularly similar. Presumably you've seen pictures; if not, Google should be happy to show you. Overall I'd say the Limited build is superior to the M in most ways - sleeker, less clunky. But the M series, being designed for manual focus, do tend to have better focus rings.
I am afraid the opposite is true. The Limited lenses structural designs are based on the M series (except the FA31) but with A aperture and AF. Beyond that, they are pretty much identical, except, Limited lenses have loose focus rings and very light grease. You can relube any Limited lenses with heavy damping grease and they will feel like M lenses (and kill the AF motor along the way). In fact, I believe the aluminum alloy being used on M series might be a little more rigid than on Limited lenses (but I have no proof of that).
04-10-2010, 04:36 AM   #21
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I think it is just a designation to separate the "top of the line" primes from the middle of the road primes (like the FA 35 and 50's). You can argue about how special they are or not. Currently the DA limiteds are designated to separate them from the DA* primes (of which there is only one) which are bigger and have SDM and weather sealing.
04-10-2010, 01:14 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
It kind of denotes the same then by calling them limited, doesn't it? I suppose they would just call them limited edition fully like the specialized cameras, but I just figured that it was a shortening of that.
No. It is either a Limited lens or it isn't. There are some lenses that have Special on them such as the A 50mm f1.2 Special that has the titanium finish to match the LX Millenium Special (LX 2000). That version of the lens was truly limited in production numbers but isn't a Limited lens.


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