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04-22-2014, 07:03 PM   #1
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645 FA 120 lens query

I had two questions regarding the P645 FA 120mm lens:

  1. I recently purchased a second FA 120 (prices right now are great) and upon inspection, the rear lens element has a purplish hue whereas my existing 120 has a green hue. Also, one has the inscribed serial on the barrel, and the other has it on the focus ring. Are these differences anything to be concerned about?
  2. Also, the new lens inner barrel is somewhat loose. When fully extended, the inner barrel has a small amount of play in it: Is this something that can be repaired/worth 'fixing'?
Thanks in advance for any help.

04-22-2014, 10:12 PM   #2
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Hopefully someone more authoritative on this lens can respond, but it sounds reminiscent of some K-mount lens(es) that have been in production for a while - it was probably an FA Ltd like the 43. The older lens had a different color to the element. I'll bet you they produce slightly different looking images. Perhaps one has more color. Perhaps you can't decide which you like better.

Try it out. I'm really curious how they compare (and I wish I were building a 645 system - but it's not the right move for me right now, I'm afraid).
04-22-2014, 11:03 PM   #3
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From your description it would seem to me you are describing two different multicoated lens treatments specific to the lens. Many, many lenses of all formats can be said to have glass showing a purple, green, blue or even blue-green hue when held to light. Only if something untoward is shown in the images should you be concerned. A number of very early Pentax lenses used thorium (rear element glass) and this yellows over many years so I doubt very much that's what you are describing.
04-23-2014, 01:15 AM   #4
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I would be very interested in seeing photos of the two lenses, especially the one with the serial number on the barrel. All photos of the FA 120 Macro I've seen have the SN on the focus ring as shown below:


Now, perhaps an obvious question but are both lenses really the FA version? The A-version serial number sort of looks like its on the barrel even though technically it is an the focus ring. See below:


04-23-2014, 02:58 PM   #5
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They're both FA 120s. When I got the new one, all I concentrated on were the optics, cosmetics, etc, but then I noticed one doesn't have the 'Made in Japan' on the focus ring. In fact, it's blank. Here's a photo. The lens without the made in Japan is also the one with the serial number near the aperture ring.
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04-23-2014, 03:08 PM   #6
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Check the new lens - the play in the inner lens barrel - does it affect performance at the edges? Is performance both in the center and at the edges as it should be?
04-23-2014, 03:13 PM   #7
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Unfortunately, I don't have anything to test it with currently. I should have something....let's say in late May....

I just found the 'Assembled in Vietnam' written in the mount itself, so I guess that answers that question. I hadn't seen any of these until now.
04-23-2014, 03:52 PM   #8
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Wow! That's new information for me. There must be some lens guru on this forum who can fill us in... I hope it works well for you!

04-23-2014, 04:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Femtometer Quote
Unfortunately, I don't have anything to test it with currently. I should have something....let's say in late May....

I just found the 'Assembled in Vietnam' written in the mount itself, so I guess that answers that question. I hadn't seen any of these until now.
It looks like your first lens is an original Made in Japan lens, and your second lens is, like most Pentax lenses now a days, Assembled in Vietnam.

There have been many questions about the 645 lenses as to whether they were still in production, or whether Pentax/Ricoh were just selling old stock.

Your second lens seems to suggest that the 645 FA lenses are still in production, but that they are now Assembled in Vietnam rather than made in Japan.

This is good as Ricoh therefore have invested in an assembly line for the 645 FA lenses in Vietnam. Another positive sign of continued Ricoh investment in the Pentax brand.

Regards

Chris
04-23-2014, 04:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Femtometer Quote
I just found the 'Assembled in Vietnam' written in the mount itself, so I guess that answers that question. I hadn't seen any of these until now.
This is good news indeed, as it means they're still making them!


Let's hope they've been making them long enough to get the quality back up to the former standard!
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