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05-21-2015, 09:33 AM   #1
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FA 80-160 versions?

I've been looking into buying the FA 150, but started thinking about the FA 80-160 as an option.

I'm a little confused though, B&H has a used 80-160 for $1500+, the new one is $2k+, but there are a number of used FA 80-160s on ebay in the $500-600 range, many saying "SMC P" - is this the same lens, or are there multiple versions?

Why the big price differences?

05-21-2015, 10:04 AM   #2
Ole
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There is one "A" (manual focus) and one "FA" (autofocus) version. Follow the links for our database entries.

Age and condition plays a role in setting the price.

"SMC P" just means SMC Pentax. Both of the "A" and "FA" versions are SMC coated and have SMC Pentax in their lens name.
05-21-2015, 11:15 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by benr Quote
I've been looking into buying the FA 150, but started thinking about the FA 80-160 as an option.

I'm a little confused though, B&H has a used 80-160 for $1500+, the new one is $2k+, but there are a number of used FA 80-160s on ebay in the $500-600 range, many saying "SMC P" - is this the same lens, or are there multiple versions?

Why the big price differences?
There are only A and FA versions, both are SMC, Super Multi-Coated. Before the release of the 645Z, prices of the 645 lenses, both A and FA, were extremely reasonable. Now that we have 2 very good 645 bodies to choose from, used prices have started to climb. The used lens you see at B&H is rated at 9+, and includes the caps hood and case, so you're getting a near new lens for 1/4 the price of a new one. A year ago I was able to pick up a LN- FA 80-160 for $379 at KEH, and there were several to choose from. I'm afraid those days are gone.

Today, I'd go for the best you can find for the money, which is usually on ebay. Good luck.
05-21-2015, 12:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by benr Quote
Why the big price differences?
Besides the clear difference between the autofocus and manual version lens prices, the fact is that for 9 years from 2001-2010 the Pentax 645 system was "dead" in that there were no digital variants of the camera, and was relevant only to those who still wanted to shoot film; needless to say the lens prices tanked.

Ever since the D and Z gained popularity, though, Pentax began re-releasing their lenses worldwide, which previously were only available in Japan. Of course prices and exchange rates changed quite a bit since ye olde days and so the "new" film-era lenses cost a lot more than the old stock, and on the B&H site you can see that some of the FA lenses can easily cost more than $1000 a piece, whereas they used to be half that or less.

So long story short - the price depends on where/when the lens was originally purchased/built and whether the seller is charging popularity tax. As such it's possible to find the FA 150/2.8 for $800 on eBay as it is for $1,400 at B&H.

Once Pentax rolls out the (rumored) 80-160mm f/4.5 SR, I fully expect it to cost a few grand, as modern lenses usually do.

05-21-2015, 02:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for the clarification!

There are a number of nice looking FA 80-160 from Japanese eBay sellers in the $500 range, I'm going to pick up one of those.
05-21-2015, 02:32 PM   #6
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The japanese sellers are incredible - I ordered my 150/2.8 from one on a Tuesday at about 1pm. It arrived in Australia friday morning and he emailed me to apologise for taking a bit of time to post it!
05-21-2015, 04:41 PM   #7
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I bought my 645D as well as two FA lenses from Japan. I had good experiences, being able to track the shipments through each stage including customs. I recommend it. I had nearly new items for very reasonable prices.
05-24-2015, 08:25 AM   #8
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I cannot add much to other posts, but if you buy a used 9+ lens at $500 less than the new one think about warranty. First, B&H will gladly take back the new lens for up to 30 days. Also a new lens has a one year warranty. So for $500 perhaps the new is better. Of course that is very different if you can obtain one for $500-600 used and well worth a try. I just never know if the serial numbers are truly sequential or not on every lens variety.

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