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01-27-2007, 10:16 AM   #1
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End of Production of FA lenses?

Somebody said, that Pentax will end production of FA lenses, as they move from Japan. Is this true? If yes, then I guess no chance of a fullframe K1D, right? If it is, then I must quickly buy the FA 43mm f/1.9, FA 50mm f/1.4, FA 77mm f/1.8 and FA* 85mm f/1.4 (already have the 31mm f/1.8).


Last edited by Manwe; 01-27-2007 at 10:24 AM.
01-27-2007, 11:16 AM   #2
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Yup. The world of Photography Forums is based on hope, opinions, advices, nay-sayers and speculations.

For quite some time now we have seen speculations about the end of the FA lenses. To me it seems reasonable to guess that they are phased out. Even some reputable dealers have declared that there are no more new FA lenses coming. It's hard to know if this is true.

According to an interview with one of the big heads at Pentax the K1D (which may be the name of the camera) will be a APS-C sized sensor camera, just as the D(x) and K(x) series of digital Pentax cameras.

So, what do you need the FF lenses for?

Decisions, decisions. It's impossible to give any advice but to me it sounds as you are wanting a lot of lenses that are pretty close to eachother. Do you need 31, 43, 50 mm? Both the FA77 and the FA*85/1.4 also seems a bit over the top. (And where can you find an FA*85/1.4?)

2 cents,
01-27-2007, 11:39 AM   #3
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Well, I ordered the FA 77 1.8 a couple weeks ago, but nothing yet. I have been in contact with Pentax Canada and they said they "should be getting some shortly". This was about a week ago. I've also been in contact with Henry's (from whom I ordered) and they told me that according to their supplier (likely Pentax Canada); they are waiting for shipment from Japan (I think enough have accumulated but not yet shipped).

As long as they have it to me before my trip to Italy (March), I won't have to maim anyone !

I would love to get the 31 also, but that's gonna be a long time coming 'cause their are a few things I want more. I really hope they don't discontinue them. Or they could bring the design back....

Sean B.
01-27-2007, 01:27 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
Decisions, decisions. It's impossible to give any advice but to me it sounds as you are wanting a lot of lenses that are pretty close to each other. Do you need 31, 43, 50 mm? Both the FA77 and the FA*85/1.4 also seems a bit over the top. (And where can you find an FA*85/1.4?)
I was joking about getting all those lenses, all I need is a wide, normal, tele, and a macro. With the end of the FA line I would imagine the lenses to soar in price, as many still shoot film.

Fa* 85mm f/1.4 located here. (I know that it is backordered, but I only had to wait for two weeks till they got the 31mm f/1.8 back in the end of December)

QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
So, what do you need the FF lenses for?
I was hoping that the K1D would be full frame as this seems to give bigger pixels without sacrificing resolution. Also I will get a film camera soon, AFAIK, these do not take DA lenses. I paid for the full lens, now I want to use all of the glass in it.

01-27-2007, 01:39 PM   #5
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That Bhphoto site has Fa*85 f1.4 listed as back ordered for ages...

There is one in ebay listed from europe. Few days left to go.

FF is more about less noise and working better for protrait when dramatic DOF needs to be brought out clearly with definitely sharp in focus subject. But I had seen plenty of shots by k10d doing it quite well for this purpose.
01-27-2007, 08:58 PM   #6
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That was me who said that. It was not intended to be a 'the sky is falling' comment. Let me explain what I meant. I have previously written that Pentax has been lowering its cost structure in order to stay competitive. This, when combined with the need to refresh a product line, will mean that the FA series will eventually be replaced. You can update the electronics & put fancy motors in the lenses but good glass will remain good glass. Personally, I have no idea when production will cease, but I have also read about speculation of the FA series ceasing production soon. If there is something that you like in the FA or FA Limited, get it now. Better to be safe than sorry.

I personally also agree that the full fram FA/Limited/* lenses will remain in high demand. Lots of film users are still out there. If I want to use a wide landscape, I'll just use a film body + wide angle lens... cheaper than buying a DA12-24/DA14 (your mileage will vary).

Here are some words which will add more color to my comments. Here's the thread & the specific message. Roland Mabo is the font of Pentax lore...

Full thread:

Show Message

Specific message:

Show Message

Last edited by tranq78; 01-27-2007 at 09:25 PM. Reason: get the url right
01-27-2007, 09:18 PM   #7
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For me this really is a the sky is falling comment, because I love to crop and also to print my photos at size like 12x18, I get great prints from the K10D by the way, but imagine more cropping and bigger prints. You know, the whole bigger and better thing. Maybe I should switch to Canon. They seem to be the only ones interested in fullframe. Then again, just did the math and a fullframe sensor with the same pixel density, as the K10D would have only 13.5MPX. I was just comparing the (Canon) 5D to the K10D and it seems to have much less noise. Although I like the noise of the K10D as it has a consistent texture, similar to grain. The film camera compatibility problem is important too. It would be bad PR if Pentax simply stopped producing lenses for the film crowd. I am confused.
01-31-2007, 03:07 PM   #8
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I think 10MP will allow lots of cropping. Plus you get the shake reduction, dust/weather seals, sensitivity priority, and RAW+jpeg on the K10. Those are features worth having.

Pentax still makes lenses for film and digital. They are the D-FA series. It is only the DA series that is digital only.

If you look at the Pentax Roadmap, you will see that D-FA 200mm & 300mm primes are scheduled for release in 2007.

If you are interested in the full frame FA Limiteds, I would buy them now. There is a rebate right now. Plus I think that they are good value. If they had a Canon logo stuck on them I think the price would be much, much higher.

01-31-2007, 06:31 PM   #9
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Well, back in early October I talked with John C. Pentax's Marketing Mgr(? anyway the guy in the utube pentax K10 video) and he said that the FA Limiteds would still be produced "for quite some time yet" I got the sense that he was talking years, not a few months. Note that the demand for the FA limiteds is still very high. Unless there is a reason why they can't produce them (I've heard leaded glass mentioned) I don't see them stopping production. I have also heard that they will definitely be limited in production, ie always scarce. So if you've got a chance to buy one, do.

NaCl(I've got my 77 on order finally)H2O
02-01-2007, 12:53 PM   #10
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Those looking to buy the Limiteds might want to place an order with a store even when they do not have them currently in stock.

I wanted to buy a 77 Ltd. in early December but none of the reputed Internet dealers had any in stock. I usually buy lenses from B&H or Adorama. I placed my order with Adorama because unlike B&H they do not charge your card till the lens actually ships.

These stores usually fill backorders before indicating a lens' "in stock" status on their sites. In my case, Adorama didn't show the lens to be "in stock" till about 24 hours after I got a "your lens has shipped" email from them.

If your mind is set on one of those lenses and the only thing preventing you from having one is lens availability, you might want to just go ahead and place an order with a store and wait. Beats having to obsessively check their pages every 20 minutes!

Oh, I got my copy of the 77 a little under 4 weeks after I ordered it.

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02-14-2007, 10:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Well, back in early October I talked with John C. Pentax's Marketing Mgr(? anyway the guy in the utube pentax K10 video) and he said that the FA Limiteds would still be produced "for quite some time yet" I got the sense that he was talking years, not a few months. Note that the demand for the FA limiteds is still very high. Unless there is a reason why they can't produce them (I've heard leaded glass mentioned) I don't see them stopping production. I have also heard that they will definitely be limited in production, ie always scarce. So if you've got a chance to buy one, do.

NaCl(I've got my 77 on order finally)H2O
I remember having a chat with a rep about the lenses he said that the FAs that can be purchased at the moment all don't have the Leaded glass, which is why they were discontinued, I believe he said it had something to do with older ED elements, and possibly older coating technique, but don't quote me on either of those, it was a while ago and a comment made in passing, if i hadn't been more concerned about up coming body speculation, i may have been able to ply him further.
02-15-2007, 02:08 AM   #12
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what kind of suprises me is that they cannot redo the lens design without lead, for less cost than designing from scratch and reintroduce the FA lenses again, even if they were "on order" only and extremly expensive (like FA*300 2.8) there would still be plenty of takers I would think.
02-15-2007, 01:11 PM   #13
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Don't think so

QuoteOriginally posted by Manwe Quote
Somebody said, that Pentax will end production of FA lenses, as they move from Japan. Is this true? If yes, then I guess no chance of a fullframe K1D, right? If it is, then I must quickly buy the FA 43mm f/1.9, FA 50mm f/1.4, FA 77mm f/1.8 and FA* 85mm f/1.4 (already have the 31mm f/1.8).
I asked Pentax to get me the FA 31 and they said it is available. I'll have it in three weeks...I guess it still must be.
02-15-2007, 04:21 PM   #14
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Got both my 31 and 77 Limited a few weeks ago, so at least those 2 FAs are around. I hope they reintroduce the longer FAs like the 250-600. It'd be great for surfing photos.
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