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03-26-2019, 04:20 PM - 2 Likes   #256
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
The first since the FA 77mm Limited, the FA★ 200mm f/4 Macro and the FA 31mm Limited (introduced in 1999, 2000 and 2001 respectively) I would say. The FA★ 200mm f/4 Macro was a hell of a lens, even though its sales were almost confidential.
I was able to snag one if those around the same time it was discontinued. I believe I got a Reps lens, but PCI refurbished it and got it to me for about a third of what I had been quoted originally.
I recall reading somewhere on the internet that there were only around 200 of them built.

03-26-2019, 05:19 PM   #257
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I was able to snag one if those around the same time it was discontinued. I believe I got a Reps lens, but PCI refurbished it and got it to me for about a third of what I had been quoted originally.
I recall reading somewhere on the internet that there were only around 200 of them built.
Pentax-FA Macro 200mm F/4 Lens for K Mount #16150C6 | eBay

Yup, pretty rare stuff=EXPENSIVE

Relative of course, half the price of this one, gulp.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pentax-FA-600mm-F-4-IF-ED-Lens-EX/302701280767?hash...gAAOSwKJtazbBV
03-26-2019, 05:42 PM   #258
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
And that one has fungus. Imagine what a clean one would command.
03-26-2019, 09:42 PM   #259
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
And that one has fungus. Imagine what a clean one would command.
And the hood is missing the polarizer window. These things are collector money. They have to be perfect.

03-26-2019, 10:08 PM - 2 Likes   #260
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I think every lens has its own character. We as a group want to rate, score and rank everything, declare one the objective winner and then argue about the result. We argue because Best comes after Better and Better comes after Good, but we don’t always agree what precisely defines ‘Good’. There is no universally accepted Standard so there can be no universally agreed best lens..

Bench testing the FA50/2.8 Macro against the DFA*50/1.4 on a K-1 would be an interesting exercise, but ithe scores wouldn’t answer the question which is a better lens. First, we wouldn’t agree on what defines good. Second, a bench test doesn’t allow subjective character elements to be scored.

Throwing in the 8-element Super Takumar 50/1.4, the DA*55/1.4 and the FA43/1.9 would just further muddy the waters. The 4 of those 5 lenses that I have are all ‘Best of’ in one way or another, but none is, in all ways, Best.

[EDIT] On second thought, the DFA*50 is.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-26-2019 at 10:39 PM.
03-26-2019, 11:10 PM   #261
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
[EDIT] On second thought, the DFA*50 is.
Do not hesitate to get yourself a DFA*50, that lens will shine on your K1.
03-27-2019, 02:44 AM   #262
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Do not hesitate to get yourself a DFA*50, that lens will shine on your K1.
I think he already owns one...
03-27-2019, 03:18 AM - 1 Like   #263
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I was able to snag one if those around the same time it was discontinued. I believe I got a Reps lens, but PCI refurbished it and got it to me for about a third of what I had been quoted originally.
I recall reading somewhere on the internet that there were only around 200 of them built.
I believe 900 copies of this FA*200 is closer to reality.
You had a great deal with yours !

03-27-2019, 08:56 AM - 4 Likes   #264
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
And the hood is missing the polarizer window. These things are collector money. They have to be perfect.
He is asking collector money for something that isn’t even user quality. Missing the polarizer door is a fairly minor flaw in a user lens, but the amount of fungus in that one is quite alarming. I don’t see it as being user quality. It might be an OK parts lens, but nothing more.

---------- Post added 03-27-19 at 10:27 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I think every lens has its own character.
This is why I have at least half a dozen 50mm lenses. Every one of them excels at something and while not necessarily failing elsewhere, is not playing to all it’s strengths. Even the new DFA 50/1.4 has a failing, that being it’s a bit big and heavy if one is going for a long walk.

QuoteQuote:

We as a group want to rate, score and rank everything, declare one the objective winner and then argue about the result. We argue because Best comes after Better and Better comes after Good, but we don’t always agree what precisely defines ‘Good’. There is no universally accepted Standard so there can be no universally agreed best lens..
If one breaks things down to fit for purpose if becomes easier. Certainly the 50/2.8 Macro is the better close focus lens, but it is not the best low light or limited DOF lens.

QuoteQuote:

Bench testing the FA50/2.8 Macro against the DFA*50/1.4 on a K-1 would be an interesting exercise, but ithe scores wouldn’t answer the question which is a better lens. First, we wouldn’t agree on what defines good. Second, a bench test doesn’t allow subjective character elements to be scored.

Throwing in the 8-element Super Takumar 50/1.4, the DA*55/1.4 and the FA43/1.9 would just further muddy the waters. The 4 of those 5 lenses that I have are all ‘Best of’ in one way or another, but none is, in all ways, Best.

[EDIT] On second thought, the DFA*50 is.
Bench testing takes everything to the lowest common denominator. You have to be far enough away from the target that the longest focusing lens can compete, you have to have enough light that the slowest one can compete, etc.
This is why I’m not really much for lens tests. They don’t really tell you much about how a lens performs at it’s best, only how it performs at another lens’s worst.

Comparing a DFA 50/1.4 an FA50/1.4 macro is, in my mind a pretty pointless exercise. Comparing it to the other non macro 50mmish lenses is somewhat more useful since they are all designed for similar purpose.
Oh wait, I pretty much did just that very thing. The D FA* 50/1.4 blew them all away in every metric except portability.

---------- Post added 03-27-19 at 10:36 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by fsge Quote
I believe 900 copies of this FA*200 is closer to reality.
You had a great deal with yours !
900 is still not a lot of them, and I expect there has been some attrition, which is sad, as it is as fine a lens as can be had.
I first saw the FA200/4 Macro at a photography seminar in 2005. I decided I wanted one and when I got home checked and it was still listed on the PCI website to I had my local pusher order one. He gave me a price quote of just over $3K and asked if I really wanted it at that price. I said yes, because I’m just a boy who can’t say no.
He got back to me the next day saying it was no longer available, so I put some pressure on him, pointing out that Pentax was still listing it. He went to work and called around, and found one in a Reps kit in the USA. PCI brought it up, did a full CLA on it and sent it out. I ended up paying $1300.00 for it.
Sometimes it pays to be a one person profit center for a company.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 03-27-2019 at 09:36 AM.
03-27-2019, 10:48 AM - 1 Like   #265
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
He is asking collector money for something that isn’t even user quality. Missing the polarizer door is a fairly minor flaw in a user lens, but the amount of fungus in that one is quite alarming. I don’t see it as being user quality. It might be an OK parts lens, but nothing more.

---------- Post added 03-27-19 at 10:27 AM ----------



This is why I have at least half a dozen 50mm lenses. Every one of them excels at something and while not necessarily failing elsewhere, is not playing to all it’s strengths. Even the new DFA 50/1.4 has a failing, that being it’s a bit big and heavy if one is going for a long walk.



If one breaks things down to fit for purpose if becomes easier. Certainly the 50/2.8 Macro is the better close focus lens, but it is not the best low light or limited DOF lens.



Bench testing takes everything to the lowest common denominator. You have to be far enough away from the target that the longest focusing lens can compete, you have to have enough light that the slowest one can compete, etc.
This is why I’m not really much for lens tests. They don’t really tell you much about how a lens performs at it’s best, only how it performs at another lens’s worst.

Comparing a DFA 50/1.4 an FA50/1.4 macro is, in my mind a pretty pointless exercise. Comparing it to the other non macro 50mmish lenses is somewhat more useful since they are all designed for similar purpose.
Oh wait, I pretty much did just that very thing. The D FA* 50/1.4 blew them all away in every metric except portability.

---------- Post added 03-27-19 at 10:36 AM ----------



900 is still not a lot of them, and I expect there has been some attrition, which is sad, as it is as fine a lens as can be had.
I first saw the FA200/4 Macro at a photography seminar in 2005. I decided I wanted one and when I got home checked and it was still listed on the PCI website to I had my local pusher order one. He gave me a price quote of just over $3K and asked if I really wanted it at that price. I said yes, because I’m just a boy who can’t say no.
He got back to me the next day saying it was no longer available, so I put some pressure on him, pointing out that Pentax was still listing it. He went to work and called around, and found one in a Reps kit in the USA. PCI brought it up, did a full CLA on it and sent it out. I ended up paying $1300.00 for it.
Sometimes it pays to be a one person profit center for a company.
Lens roadmap: Tanaka-san spills the beans - Page 14 - PentaxForums.com

This is a great reply.
03-27-2019, 11:10 AM - 3 Likes   #266
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
You caught me on one of my increasingly rare lucid days.
03-27-2019, 11:19 AM   #267
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That's how I rationalize owning multiple 28mm primes. Well, that, and being too lazy to sell/give away that Albinar...
03-28-2019, 06:58 AM   #268
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the da*55 does well on extension tubes, but needs aperture contacts, so i never really use it that way... but i could post results of it vs. the dfa50mm macro if anyone's really interested. i'd love to try the new dfa1.4 as a macro lens, but no kaf4 extension tubes exist. pentax hasn't updated their extension tubes since 1979 or something. in general, pentax lenses aren't as diffraction limited as, say, the canon mp-e 65mm 1x-5x i tested... until you get to 3:1 or so, then you need a more open aperture and stacking to stay sharp.
03-28-2019, 08:42 AM - 2 Likes   #269
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I think every lens has its own character. We as a group want to rate, score and rank everything, declare one the objective winner and then argue about the result. We argue because Best comes after Better and Better comes after Good, but we don’t always agree what precisely defines ‘Good’. There is no universally accepted Standard so there can be no universally agreed best lens..

Bench testing the FA50/2.8 Macro against the DFA*50/1.4 on a K-1 would be an interesting exercise, but ithe scores wouldn’t answer the question which is a better lens. First, we wouldn’t agree on what defines good. Second, a bench test doesn’t allow subjective character elements to be scored.

Throwing in the 8-element Super Takumar 50/1.4, the DA*55/1.4 and the FA43/1.9 would just further muddy the waters. The 4 of those 5 lenses that I have are all ‘Best of’ in one way or another, but none is, in all ways, Best.

[EDIT] On second thought, the DFA*50 is.
Exactly! We can only create a ranking if we agree on a single measurable dimension (or specific weighting of a combination of dimensions) for performance.

At a deeper level, even these two 50mm lenses are apples and oranges. The FA50/2.8 Macro can't do f/1.4 and the DFA*50/1.4 can't do macro. Each lens abjectly fails to even complete a test that the other lens easily excels at. The FA50/2.8 Macro probably wins on field flatness and portability. The DFA*50/1.4 probably wins on corner sharpness. Even if we rank the lenses on total resolution, there are almost certainly parts of the operating envelope of aperture and subject distance where the sharpness rankings flip. Then there's whole front & rear bokeh shape, bokeh texture, OOF transition, and rendering aspects.

Despite both being 50mm lenses, they take different pictures and accomplish different photographic purposes. Both lenses belong in the bag. LBA is justifiable!


P.S. This problem of ranking happens in a lot of places such as people voting on anything: lenses, cameras, or presidents. Here, math proves that ranking is a lot harder than it looks! Arrow's impossibility theorem - Wikipedia actually mathematically proves the impossibility of creating ranking systems that obey what seem to be a reasonable set of expectations.
03-28-2019, 09:31 AM - 1 Like   #270
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QuoteQuote:
Oh wait, I pretty much did just that very thing. The D FA* 50/1.4 blew them all away in every metric except portability.
Weight, volume in the camera bag and cost. Those are a lot of metrics.
But, truth be told, if I just bought a K-1ii and had no lenses, I might buy it with the camera. Those of us who survived our first 20 years with just a 50 would have no problem with that. People may not believe it today, but you can do a lot of photography with a decent camera and a fast 50.
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