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09-25-2009, 07:52 AM   #1
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FA 50mm 1:1.4 Production Status?

Just curious:

- When did Pentax move the FA 50mm production to Vietnam?
- Any general quality difference between the Japanese version and the Vietnamese version? Is there a reason to get the Japanese version over the Vietnamese version?
- Are they still in production now? If so, do you think Pentax will cease the FA 50mm some time soon now that the DA* 55mm is available?
- What caused the recent price hike? I noticed Amazon had this at US$699 for a while, but now is down to US$499 - still very expensive.

Btw, this is a lovely lens!

Thanks for the info in advance!

09-25-2009, 08:25 AM   #2
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As I don't know the history I will only give my input for the last two questions:
- The lens is still in production, at least that was informed to the shop I bought mine (though it's still with back order status).
- The price hike is probably due to normal market reasons: low stock, high demand (after K-7 release). It's normal, that vendors try to increase their profit in these situations.

I just hope I get mine before holidays....
09-25-2009, 09:06 AM   #3
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Amazon never had the lens lens at $699 - one of their third party partners did, and tht company basically was runnign a scam. Legitimate dealers (eg, B&H) have been selling this lens for $350 - still more than it was a year ago, but with the exchange rate being what it is, plus supply & demand issues, it is not as entirely out of line as it might appear if one thought the lens was really selling for twice what it actually has been.
09-25-2009, 06:44 PM   #4
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I bought the same lens on B&H for $255 (w/ free shipping) this past August 30th. I guess I got really lucky!

09-25-2009, 10:39 PM   #5
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I remember the days when it was just $200...
09-26-2009, 05:51 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Thanks for the replies so far.

Do anyone know the answer to the first two questions? Thanks.
09-26-2009, 06:59 AM   #7
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I think that production was moved from Japan to Vietnam in late 2007. The lenses are exactly the same, whether assembled in Japan or Vietnam and truthfully, the FA 50 is not a lens that I have heard of a lot of quality issues.

Some people tried to blame QC issues with DA 16-50 on assembly in Vietnam, but I think those issues are ironed out at this point. It is too bad that the price has risen as much as it has. Pentax needs a cheap 50 option, even if it is a 50 f2 for those who want a low light option.

09-26-2009, 09:46 AM   #8
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mine has japan on the side of it, my pal bought one about early 2008 it was vietnam
11-27-2009, 05:41 PM   #9
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Comparing Vietnam version to Japan

Today I snagged an older version used (in pristine condition) for a hundred bucks. It was manufactured in Japan, my version was purchased about 8 months ago from B & H for $200 and was made in Vietnam.

So, an interesting comparison . . .

I'd say that the differences between models is tiny, there are probably versions made in Vietnam better than those made in Japan, and vice versa. In my case:

My Japenese version is a minute amount sharper at F1.4 and F2. By F 2.8 they are almost indistinguishable, though again, if I had to point to one, I'd say the Japanese is sharper. By F4, it switches over to the Vietnamese version.

I wouldn't be hesitant to buy one over the other . . .

Vietnames, F1.4 Name:  viet14.jpg
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Size:  88.2 KB Japanese, F1.4 Name:  japan14.jpg
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Size:  90.9 KB

Vietnamese F2.0 Name:  viet20.jpg
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Size:  95.6 KBJapanese F2.0 Name:  japan20.jpg
Views: 447
Size:  102.3 KB

F4's in next post.
11-27-2009, 05:43 PM   #10
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Here at F4

Vietnamese F4.0 Name:  viet40.jpg
Views: 385
Size:  111.9 KB Japanese F4.0 Name:  japan40.jpg
Views: 428
Size:  107.0 KB
11-27-2009, 11:44 PM   #11
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Yep. Mine's from Vietnam and is just lovely.
11-28-2009, 12:02 AM   #12
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My FA50/1.4 and my FA35/2 are both made in Japan...never looked to see where until I read this thread and checked out of curiosity.


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