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09-02-2016, 08:14 AM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Isn't this a Jun Hirakawa design?
It is sometimes attributed to Hirakawa, but actually the FA 35mm was designed by Takayuki Sensui, who's also responsible for the FA 200 f4 and the FA 20-35. See here for the patent.

09-02-2016, 08:26 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Well, I see $350 as a fair price, not necessarily a clearance price. And while I think an updated DFA version of the FA 35mm would be very nice in itself, I don't think Ricoh will do it. They already sell a cheaper version of the same lens in the DA 35mm, so I think it would be difficult to sell a lens with the same optical formula for the price an 9-blade HD DFA WR DC version would likely sell for. I think the road mapped new lens you refer to will be something new, and I personally hope it'll be a 28mm lens, because that is lacking in the line-up.
I agree. But, at this point, I don't know - not even the focal length, less alone the aperture, or basic optical specifications. I'm open to all possibilities.
And, quite likely, I'll buy the new lens.
09-02-2016, 08:29 AM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
It is a mystery. I suppose there is enough demand to continue making the lens elements, but why keep using SMC and making the ancient plastic barrels?
I don't think it's that big of a mystery at all. As most of us know, camera and lens makers tend to produce products in batches and may or may not produce additional batches as needed. Pentax has always had this lens in stock overseas and now they have a full-frame camera for sale in the U.S. So they brought in a batch of the FA 35mm f/2.0 lenses in order to serve that market in the short term.

Pentax may be working on a more-premium 35mm lens for the K-1. But that doesn't do them any good right now... and many Pentaxians can't afford or won't buy the FA 31 -- at least not until it's brought up to modern standards or a replacement is released.

As an aside, the FA 35mm f/2.0 is a very good lens - and was a fabulous deal when it was first introduced. But its price has steadily risen over the years and its reputation grew from that of one of the better plastic-fantastic normal primes to that of near Limited quality. I'm not sure it deserves such a reputation. It has only six aperture blades and the newer DA 35mm f/2.4 is the same optical formula. As for the differences in aperture between the two pieces of glass, those who have used both extensively will tell you the the FA behaves a bit more like an f2.2 lens - and so does the DA version.

I'm not putting down the FA 35mm f/2.0. I think it's a decent option for K-1 owners in the short-to-medium term. But let's remember what its mission always was. And its reappearance in the U.S. market at this time makes all the sense in the world.
09-02-2016, 09:20 AM   #34
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I bought one used several months back. I wanted to buy new but any the time they aren't available in the US. Dont the age fool you, its a nice piece of glass.

09-02-2016, 09:22 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The poor man's FA31!

An outstanding little lens, really.
Happy i'm a poor man��

Last edited by ebk; 09-03-2016 at 12:21 AM.
09-02-2016, 09:33 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
But its price has steadily risen over the years and its reputation grew from that of one of the better plastic-fantastic normal primes to that of near Limited quality.
The current price through the Pentax USA Web store ($349 USD) is about the same as its historic street price. As for its "reputation" and design intent, the lens has never been "down-marketed"* and its performance has always been on a par with the better Pentax FA-series stablemates (e.g. FA 50/1.4 and FA 50/1.7) with which it shares its plastic build. The reputation grew as people did direct comparisons to the FA 31/1.8 Limited and 35mm focal length lenses from other makers. Credit given where credit is due. That being said, it also has the reputation of busy bokeh. Although a fan of the FA 35/2, I don't consider it a substitute for the FA 31/1.8.


Steve

* The term "plastic fantastic" is generally reserved for down-market lenses that "punch above their weight". I believe the term was first applied to the Tokina 18-35/3.5-5.6 (193) which was marketed as a bargain lens from day one, but became a bit of a cult classic to the extent that owners of similar Quantaray and Promaster lenses were shouting "me too"

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-02-2016 at 09:40 AM.
09-02-2016, 09:47 AM   #37
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I sold my FA35/2 a couple weeks ago for about the same price I paid to buy it new in 2006. For years it was my go-to lens on K10D and K-01, but it saw little use on K-3 or K-1 after I bought the 31/1.8. I'm certainly not a doubter - the colors, especially blues, are fabulous!*



* I also have a K-35/2.
09-02-2016, 10:15 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
I don't think it's that big of a mystery at all. As most of us know, camera and lens makers tend to produce products in batches and may or may not produce additional batches as needed. Pentax has always had this lens in stock overseas and now they have a full-frame camera for sale in the U.S. So they brought in a batch of the FA 35mm f/2.0 lenses in order to serve that market in the short term.

Pentax may be working on a more-premium 35mm lens for the K-1. But that doesn't do them any good right now... and many Pentaxians can't afford or won't buy the FA 31 -- at least not until it's brought up to modern standards or a replacement is released.

As an aside, the FA 35mm f/2.0 is a very good lens - and was a fabulous deal when it was first introduced. But its price has steadily risen over the years and its reputation grew from that of one of the better plastic-fantastic normal primes to that of near Limited quality. I'm not sure it deserves such a reputation. It has only six aperture blades and the newer DA 35mm f/2.4 is the same optical formula. As for the differences in aperture between the two pieces of glass, those who have used both extensively will tell you the the FA behaves a bit more like an f2.2 lens - and so does the DA version.

I'm not putting down the FA 35mm f/2.0. I think it's a decent option for K-1 owners in the short-to-medium term. But let's remember what its mission always was. And its reappearance in the U.S. market at this time makes all the sense in the world.
I'm not a cynic. I know FA35/2 is a fine lens - I owned it for a decade, just recently sold.

I'll wager that fewer than 750 7,500* K-1's are the USA right now. If 3% of those owners buys an FA35/2 it won't be meaningful. I'd bet Ricoh Imaging brought 250 on shore. B&H has 50, Adorama has 40, the other major dealers have 110 between them and RICOH has 50 in Denver. I'll wager that lasts until the lens is refreshed.

* Not the first time I've made an order of magnitude error, but they don't happen often. Doesn't really change the thesis that in USA Pentax is tiny compared to CaNikon.


Last edited by monochrome; 09-03-2016 at 05:27 AM.
09-02-2016, 10:17 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
And there is the 28mm F3.5
In the line-up?
09-02-2016, 10:22 AM   #40
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yeah but it is a bit bulky
09-02-2016, 10:29 AM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I'm not a cynic. I know FA35/2 is a fine lens - I owned it for a decade, just recently sold.

I'll wager that fewer than 750 K-1's are the USA right now. If 25% of those owners buys an FA35/2 it won't be meaningful. I'd bet Ricoh Imaging brought 250 on shore. B&H has 50, Adorama has 40, the other major dealers have 110 between them and RICOH has 50 in Denver. I'll wager that lasts until the lens is refreshed.
I can't imagine there are only 750 people in the USA shooting with a K-1. If that's the case then I think Ricoh has won the publicity campaign in terms of impact and efficiency! Nikon and Canon would need to sell thousands to stir up what Ricoh did with hundreds.

I wonder if we can ever get our hands on some sales figures.
09-02-2016, 10:51 AM   #42
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@6BQ5 The D810 pre-order at B&H alone was 50,000 units. Nikon and Canon sell hundreds of thousands. Pentax sells . . . hundreds.

We know they planned 7000 a month. We know the earthquake reduced that number. We know they've been producing since February.

7,000 * 8 months at full production (being generous) = 56,000 K-1's produced to date.

We know USA is a minor market for Ricoh. Let's allocate a generous 15% of production to USA.

56,000 * .15 = 860 8,600. Given the production and shipment slowdown since the earthquake, 750 7,500* or less is a reasonable estimate.

There are other indications, such as the number of pre-orders that came through Adam's PF link; then knowing the percentage of total USA pre-orders at B&H and Adorama (K-1 pre-order fulfillment was allocated, not weighted). **

Frankly, few people outside of PF and DPR even know Pentax exists, much less the K-1. Ricoh USA has done very little to publicize anything, as we all know.


* Yes, I erred in calculation, and that does not invalidate my thesis that Pentax USA share is tiny.
** I understand the pre-order volume was around 750 units.

Last edited by monochrome; 09-03-2016 at 05:30 AM.
09-02-2016, 11:10 AM   #43
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monochrome, your calculation is off by an order of magnitude. The difference is nowhere near so big.

Last edited by Kunzite; 09-02-2016 at 11:20 AM.
09-02-2016, 11:15 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I'm not a cynic. I know FA35/2 is a fine lens - I owned it for a decade, just recently sold.

I'll wager that fewer than 750 K-1's are the USA right now. If 25% of those owners buys an FA35/2 it won't be meaningful. I'd bet Ricoh Imaging brought 250 on shore. B&H has 50, Adorama has 40, the other major dealers have 110 between them and RICOH has 50 in Denver. I'll wager that lasts until the lens is refreshed.
Maybe but now it is in the catalog. No idiot can't moan it is not offered..
09-02-2016, 12:05 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
monochrome, your calculation is off by an order of magnitude. The difference is nowhere near so big.
I was just going to say....

56,000 x 15% = 8,400 K-1 cameras.

Even at 5% of total production, there would be 2,800 K-1s in the USA. This is a pretty interesting topic. I wonder if there is any way to find out how many have been sold here. It's been said that Pentax sales in Japan are more than the rest of the world put together. I wonder if the USA is a pretty good chunk of the bottom 49%?
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