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Old Nov 21, 2009, 4:03 PM   #1
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Default Question - Using a FA lens on a K20?

Jumping past the long story, I have just acquired/received a Pentax FA prime lens. I have gone into the K20's custom menu and enabled the aperature ring. The top LCD still reports F-- and when the lens is mounted and camera is then turned on, I do not get the focal length selection menu (like I do on my pure SMC M lens) which I believe is as expected.

I have turned the aperature ring to the "right" so as to select the f22 aperature, but there is no further position past that so as to be in the "A" mode.

Upon taking an image, and loading the images into the PC and using the Pentax Photo Browser, the information on the images is being reported accurately - Lens Name, Focal Length, Shutter Speed, Capture Mode - Aperture Priority Automatic Exposure, the ISO speed is set to 100.

However the Aperture value is always reported to be wide open. I have tried it fully closed down - f22 and at f8, but to not avail. It takes the image but does not adjust the aperture at all. Also the rear wheel on the K20 has no effect. There is the "A" designation on the lens' aperture ring, but the aperture ring does not turn so that it would appear to be in "A"utomatic mode.

So what am I doing wrong?
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 4:07 PM   #2
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Got pics of said lens? FA lenses should be fully automatic, auto-focus lenses...
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 4:16 PM   #3
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I found the "auto" lock button on the lens. By depressing it, the aperture ring now slides into "A", and the top LCD now reports the f value, with the rear wheel selecting the value. I think that is how its suppose to work! - I guess they could have made the little button red, rather than keeping it black. I thought that it was just a finger stop so that you would have some idea as to how the aperture ring was manually set. Auto Focus works just fine!

I think I am going to like this.....

I was not prepared nor expecting an FA lens since I ordered a DA, but the FA was pictured in the description (I figured that they posted the wrong image), and of course the FA actually showed up. Not that I am unhappy, I just need to figure it out.


Thanks!!!...
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 4:19 PM   #4
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FA are full-frame lenses for digital or film, DA are for digital only... There is nothing wrong with an FA lens, they are just as good (or better) than some DA lenses.

So, which prime is it?
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 4:32 PM   #5
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I was looking for a DA 21/3.2 Ltd. The camera store back east had one listed as used but in mint condition, however upon closer inspection (after I ordered) the listing had an image of a FA 31/1.8 AL Ltd. It was delivered and upon unpacking it - it was the 31 Ltd. The reason the used camera site sent the 31 was that they had indicated the serial number in the listing on their site.

It is really an unbelievable precision quality instrument - jewel like mechanical interfaces. The front lens is the smoothest, brightest, most clear lens I have ever seen. All the movements are flawless and silky smooth. The metal machined cap's interior felt is in perfect unused condition. It came without a box, but this lens I am thinking - was not used much, if at all. It is in absolutely perfect mint - better than new condition.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/co...02-05-02.shtml

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Old Nov 21, 2009, 4:47 PM   #6
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Very nice purchase - there's something about the FA Ltd lenses that's special. Granted, it's longer than the 21 you thought you had ordered, but who can argue with getting a faster, beautiful lens like the 31. Be delighted with the store's mistake!
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 11:07 PM   #7
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If you want to use the FA lens out of A position, here's how the camera will function. If in M mode, you can select the aperture using the aperture ring. Note that you will need to press the AE-L button to make the camera stop down to the selected aperture and get an exposure reading, or else your exposure may be incorrect.

If in any other mode with the aperture ring not on "A," the camera will use the widest aperture possible, regardless of the aperture ring setting, and meter accordingly.

- Jason
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 3:49 AM   #8
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Congratulations, IO!
Getting this legendary lens apparently by mistake, I'm utterly curious of how much you paid.

Kjell
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 10:32 AM   #9
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Good Morning - at least here in Tumbleweed country!

Jason - I do have to admit that I have been a very lazy photographer just using the DA line. I had my film Spotmatic II that I have used for 40 years (I still like the viewfinder and the prism). So, I had not taken any time at all to figure things out - especially on the FA with a aperture ring, and stopping down. I do have to say, that the 31 is a slightly different lens. I went out last night for the sunset, and between the 12-24/K20 on the tripod and the 31/K100 hand-held wanting to do everything with both (with the light disappearing quickly), I was not bored. I am going to out again this evening at dusk and run it again - maybe doing a time lapsed series - something I had not done before - but got the idea from looking at last night's images...

Well Kjell - I paid $375 for the lens. I had sat here looking at it for about 6 weeks, just thinking 21mm which has some distortion to it and wondering if I should, since I have all the lenses that I feel I need. I have everything covered, and this was just going to be a specialty lens that I hoped would be even sharper than the 12-24 (which is essentially impossible to do). I never really took note of the actual lens in the picture. Also, I thought that if I were to invest funds in a prime, it would be something like this. I was able to pick up a SMC A 50/1.7 a couple of years ago that I use for night shooting (>30 seconds )for $10 on ebay.

Just as an off comment - in terms of construction, the 10-17 FE has a lot of the qualities of the 31. Comparisons with the rest of the lens - e.g., the 12-24, the 31 is a masterpiece of design and function.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:29 PM   #10
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Very nice price - you were lucky as ebay shows a number of them sold recently between $800-1300. A very good catch!
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