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Pentax-FAJ 18-35 mm (Canada only $99)
Posted By: drewski, 08-24-2015, 11:28 AM

I saw a post here from February 2015 about the Pentax-FAJ 18-35 mm being sold in Australia, and out of curiosity went poking around and saw that lensandshutter.com has some (old/new?) stock of this lens, for CAD 99.

https://lensandshutter.com/products/pentax-faj-18-35-mm-bd

I don't really need this lens, but for less than 100, I was thinking this would be a good excuse for me to get a FF Pentax later (when I can afford one!) and have a really cheap UWA lens ready for it. This lens seem to have drawn very strong opinions from both sides of the like vs dislike camp, and the prices on ebay for used copies are much higher than this. From what I can tell, they only ship to Canada.
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08-24-2015, 12:02 PM   #2
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At the time it was considered an entry level wide angel. Basic build construction with reasonably good results overall. If you don't need it I would save and wait to see what Pentax comes out with on the FF lens market. If you feel it necessary I'd consider maybe the FA 24mm. A bit more pricey but a far better lens overall
08-24-2015, 01:35 PM   #3
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At the time of the FAJ, there had been lens offerings of the same focal range (but with an aperture ring!) from Tokina, Cosina, Tamron, Sigma, and Vivitar.
And the Cosina was also available under several different brands.

As far as I remember, all of them were IQ wise considered to be above kit standard.
About 3 years ago, I got the Cosina (new old stock) for something like € 35 (a year earlier, it had been listed €150, six months later €99).

Resolution seems to be at least as good as of my 18-55 WR (corners probably slightly better). It is just more prone to flare.

Unfortunately, with FF it will be a no go for architecture because of the then visible mustache distortion.
And this could be a problem with a lot of these lenses. If someone intends to use such a zoom as a cheap alternative for architecture (on FF), he should first try to find out whether PS profiles for distortion correction do exist.

Last edited by RKKS08; 08-24-2015 at 01:37 PM. Reason: Typing
08-24-2015, 05:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
At the time of the FAJ, there had been lens offerings of the same focal range (but with an aperture ring!) from Tokina, Cosina, Tamron, Sigma, and Vivitar.
And the Cosina was also available under several different brands.

As far as I remember, all of them were IQ wise considered to be above kit standard.
About 3 years ago, I got the Cosina (new old stock) for something like € 35 (a year earlier, it had been listed €150, six months later €99).

Resolution seems to be at least as good as of my 18-55 WR (corners probably slightly better). It is just more prone to flare.

Unfortunately, with FF it will be a no go for architecture because of the then visible mustache distortion.
And this could be a problem with a lot of these lenses. If someone intends to use such a zoom as a cheap alternative for architecture (on FF), he should first try to find out whether PS profiles for distortion correction do exist.
Interesting bit of history there RKKS08, thanks for sharing. I haven't been around the Pentax family that long, and am always intrigued by how far it's come along, and the rest of other brands as well. For what it's worth, I ended up making the impulse purchase on this lens, if only to see what it yields. I always wanted to replace my busted plastic-mount 18-55, but never did. On my last summer road trip a few weeks ago, all I had on me (besides my Q) was a K5 with a Sigma 10-20, and a Pentax-F 50mm. This lens would probably fill in the gaps nicely if I decide to bring it along. Mattox, I already have a Sigma EX DG 28/1.8 and a DA 40 XS 2.8 prime that I hardly use, so I don't see myself buying the 24mm prime, even though I've heard good things about it.

08-25-2015, 01:21 AM   #5
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I have this FAJ 18-35, it's a decent lens.

Compared to the 18-55, the 18-55 is a tad better on the whole range. The 18-35 is a bit softer wide open, and improve more or less like the 18-55 when you stop down.
so on digital body, you are better serve with the 18-55, that is even a tad faster on the range (3.5 instead of f4).

The real insterest of the 18-35 is to use it on a FF camera. On a 35mm film camera it gives you the same field of view as the 12-24 on APS-C. That is to say that's really wide !

Anyway' this will be the cheap wide angle everyone needs on FF
08-25-2015, 03:56 AM   #6
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Yep, got the 18-35 and Tamron 28-75 and 70-200 ready to go one day. Won't have a cent left over for new glass with the FF. :-(
08-25-2015, 02:05 PM   #7
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I've used the 18-35 on film and it is really, really wide! Images were sharp and crisp, especially on good film. No complaints.

On APS digital I would agree that it sits somewhere between the DA 18-55 and 18-135, being closer to the 18-55. This will be an interesting lens to use on the upcoming FF digital body. Keep the aperture at f/8 - f/11 and swallow that field of view in whole!
08-25-2015, 02:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I've used the 18-35 on film and it is really, really wide! Images were sharp and crisp, especially on good film. No complaints.
Here's hoping the copy I am getting turns out good :-) I really love the wideness that the Sigma 10-20 I'm using on the K5 gives me now. The lens is supposedly enroute to me now, and I see that they still have stock on the site. It probably won't unseat my 18-135 on my one-lens-one-camera trips.. but I haven't had an LBA attack in a few months till now :-S

08-25-2015, 03:21 PM   #9
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I ordered one too, this company is known around my house for offering great deals on old stock they haven't been able to move. This will be my one concession to possibly owning a full frame one day. This fits perfectly with my FA 35-80. With the DA 35 ƒ2.4 , FA 50 1.7, Sigma 70 macro, Tamron 90 macro, F-70-210, and A-400, this give me everything I need to see how I might use the camera, without breaking the bank. I really see no reason to use it on APS-c, although, I will include it in image comparison photos.

Mine is supposed to be here Sept.1st, when are you getting yours?
08-25-2015, 03:29 PM   #10
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I went to buy one as I was just wishing I had something wide for future FF but I don't think these guys will do international sales.
Anyone willing to send me one from Canada?
08-25-2015, 03:41 PM   #11
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If you can have one sent to my place, I'll be happy to pass it on.
08-25-2015, 06:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Mine is supposed to be here Sept.1st, when are you getting yours?
I just checked CanadaPost's tracking and it says Expected delivery 2015/08/28.

@Mattb, ditto what @normhead said. I'd be happy to get it and ship it forward to you too.
08-26-2015, 07:58 AM   #13
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Man, with the Canadian dollar falling below 75 cents, this lens is going to cost $80 American even with tax.
08-26-2015, 09:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Man, with the Canadian dollar falling below 75 cents, this lens is going to cost $80 American even with tax.
depressing isn't it? I can't remember a time in recent history that it's sunk to these levels. I took a peek at the Inventory level on the site, they're supposedly down to 2. There were 4 before I ordered it. I think so far it's just me and you :-)
08-26-2015, 09:24 AM   #15
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Maybe I should also stock up on maple syrup while the USD is strong, eh?

---------- Post added 08-26-15 at 10:25 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by drewski Quote
I just checked CanadaPost's tracking and it says Expected delivery 2015/08/28.

@Mattb, ditto what @normhead said. I'd be happy to get it and ship it forward to you too.
Thanks for the offer, I have one on the way to Norm already.
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