The discontinuation of the FA limiteds is a sure path one day. They have been in production long enough I guess and the FA designationreally meant "film" use. But think about it, most of the world's greatest lenses are discontinued... d:
Its sad when they trim the line but most forget that inspite of the "For The People" approach, they are relatively small and still need to make money to thrive. Hence between catering to the masses and satisfying the much smaller demand for FA lenses, its an obvious choice. If they had the kind of money like C, they can afford to build and sustain a wider range of different product lines.
Based on their limitations, its best for them to focus on their niche areas and it seems they are scoring alot more points with the entry level and mid range APS-C sensor cameras. They have earned enough to divest to the 645 but I think at the end they also do not want to overstretch themselves too much. Without investing in costly new factories, they will have to retool their existing production lines to focus on faster moving products which in this case are the D lenses.
I think there should be sufficient ex-stock out there to cater to near term demand but who knows, maybe if their market share grows more, they can afford to relook at the FA segment.
Actually discontinued or not, it should not really affect current Pentax users. Why? If you want them, you may get them now. If you don't quite have the intention of getting them, so what if they are discontinued? But of cos, sometimes many a times one wouldn't feel the pain until something is lost.
Ah..I stand corrected then. This development means that it appears that Pentax is growing well while having the resources to maintain their older lines. Let's hope that means revival of some of their past gems too ;p