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05-28-2010, 01:03 PM   #1
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FA 31mm

For some time, BH Photo has been out of stock of the smc Pentax FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited. Why is this, and when does Pentax say you will be receiving new shipments?

05-28-2010, 09:07 PM   #2
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try Amazon, adorama
05-29-2010, 08:15 AM   #3
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Why?

Adorama has been out of stock for the same amount of time. Amazon currently does not even list this lens. Recently, Amazon has sporadically listed it from a few non-authorized sellers at inflated prices, but as you might imagine, that doesn't interest me.
05-30-2010, 10:49 AM   #4
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I've asked B&H to notify me when this lens becomes available again - but I too have been wondering why new ones don't seem to be in stock anywhere (at least among sellers I would buy from) - they've been out of stock for a month to six weeks or longer it seems -

in a similar thread one theory had Pentax putting a moratorium on manufacturing some lenses until they addressed some quality issues in Vietnam - i haven't attempted to verify this though

06-01-2010, 06:59 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by harmonica2 Quote
For some time, BH Photo has been out of stock of the smc Pentax FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited. Why is this, and when does Pentax say you will be receiving new shipments?
Hello,

The lens is made in very small numbers and is difficult to get. At this time we do not have any indication when Pentax will resume shipping it. As soon as we know anything, we will post it on our web site.

Pentax | smc Pentax FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited (Black) | 20290 | B&H

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06-03-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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An Unlikely Explanation

Given that the lens is commanding over $850 on the used market, I find it very unlikely that Pentax would leave this much "money on the table" if they had a choice. I appreciate your response, Chuck, but denpapp's conjecture makes a lot more sense.
06-04-2010, 08:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by harmonica2 Quote
Given that the lens is commanding over $850 on the used market, I find it very unlikely that Pentax would leave this much "money on the table" if they had a choice. I appreciate your response, Chuck, but denpapp's conjecture makes a lot more sense.
The lens is commanding over $850 on the used market because:
  • The retail price for a new one, when we last had it, was 964.95, and
  • Scarcity. Supply & demand drives the price in the used market.
Pentax USA doesn't always tell us why a particular item is unavailable and frankly I wouldn't necessarily expect them to do so. Since the lens is out of stock almost everywhere it's apparent the problem is Pentax USA can't get them from Pentax, who also doesn't always tell us why.

We appreciate denpapp's conjecture, but we're less free to speculate in the absence of evidence so are more inclined to stick to facts. Here, the fact is the 31/1.8 is unobtainable at the moment. We don't have any reliable idea when we'll get more nor how many we'll get when we do. IMO it would be unfair to people who want to buy this from us for us to speculate. You, of course, are under no such restraint. :-)

Last edited by henryp; 06-04-2010 at 08:24 AM.
06-04-2010, 11:36 AM   #8
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Best Guess

It is also a fact that a number of people had quality issues recently with their FA31s. One forum member in particular sent his lens in for repair, and they replaced his optical element - an expensive proposition! I fully admit that a manufacturing moratorium is conjecture, but not without facts to support it, and B&H's unlikely explanation that Pentax didn't make enough FA31s did little to convince me otherwise.

06-06-2010, 01:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by harmonica2 Quote
It is also a fact that a number of people had quality issues recently with their FA31s. One forum member in particular sent his lens in for repair, and they replaced his optical element - an expensive proposition! I fully admit that a manufacturing moratorium is conjecture, but not without facts to support it, and B&H's unlikely explanation that Pentax didn't make enough FA31s did little to convince me otherwise.
I think this is a credible possibility. In this crazy current economy, where many firms are trying to downsize, etc., its also possible that some supplier of parts is either not making things to spec or is getting behind, etc. I'd prefer Pentax get behind on orders than ship lenses that may be defective.
06-06-2010, 09:07 PM   #10
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I am in Japan at the moment on vacation, and here the situation seems similar. Only used copies are available, and they are going for about $1000 us. I actually asked about this, and sales person apologetically told me that there is something going on but he just cannot say. He said to wait a bit if I wanted one (I actually own a blk copy, vietnam version with no complain). He did tell me that the "pricing structure," whatever that is, has not been changed on FA ltds for a while, and starting about a year ago that price of FA ltds had gone up considerably.
06-07-2010, 07:46 AM   #11
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Well, I take it back. I found a copy today (not that I needed it). About $1,400 us.
06-07-2010, 12:41 PM   #12
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Huh. I walked into a well-known photo store here in Toronto and they had two FA31's behind the counter and said they came in last week after a long delay... YMMV.
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