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06-15-2010, 08:54 PM   #1
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Lens buying horrors, anyone?

So I switched from Canon ver to Pentax in December 2009...bought my K7/18-55 WR combo and 50-200 WR from B&H. They all came in perfect condition. Now, for the last 4 months I have been trying to build up the lens collection...but after countless purchases from B&H and Adorama, the only additional lens I have in my bag is a Super-Tak 50/1.4 that I picked up for $40 off of Craigslist.

I have now gone through:
Purchased from Adorama...
3 copies - Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 - A link to my voigtlander woes

Purchased from B&H...
2 copies - DA 35 Limited. One severely front focusing, one with interior elements coated with dust.

B&H says, perhaps you should try a different lens...so I went with

3 copies - FA 43 Limited - All with horribly misaligned blades...like THIS baby at f/2.8:


B&H says, perhaps you should try a different lens...so I went with

D FA 100 Macro WR - This one JUST came in the mail today...and wow!!!

Retarded diaphragm blades...


AND all sorts of junk on internal elements...





I also concurrently purchased from B&H:
4 copies - FA 77 Limited - Each complete with big black chunks of dust on interior elements.

Needless to say, this latest shipment (FA 77 and D FA 100 Macro) is going back tomorrow. Am I the only one experiencing these issues? I can't understand how these things get past QC. The 50 year old lens I purchased off of Craigslist is in better condition than ANY of the new lenses I have recently purchased.

B&H has been patient and helpful in processing my returns, but...are you KIDDING me?!?!? As a Pentax shooter is this something you just have to get used to, since nobody sells lenses locally? I'm so effing frustrated that I'm tempted to dump all of my Pentax gear.

Somebody comfort me PLEASE!!

06-15-2010, 09:11 PM   #2
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Check out the thread "lens buying horrors" by PorterHause (sp ?) started yesterday in this section for similar experiences.
this should NOT be happening.
I'm thinking about taking a $2,000 plunge into a Kx w/ expensive Pentax lenses - I've been doing my research now for a month or so - and these threads give me pause - BIG time ! WHAT is up w/ quality control , Pentax ???
06-15-2010, 09:48 PM   #3
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You are not alone. I have had my share of disappointments the last decade. Of the few Canon EF lenses purchased new, they were all in tip top brand new condition inside out. Pentax brand new lenses are just, not quite brand new, but I got used to it eventually. I had to rearrange the aperture blades of my FA43 & FA77, and the aperture arm of the FA100/2.8 macro, and many more little adjustments I would like to list them here. I guess it's just how much money Pentax have been spending on QC, and it shows, even though many issues might not be a practical concern. As I have said, Pentax Limited lenses have not received better QC, just in metal bodies for higher price tags.
06-15-2010, 09:57 PM   #4
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I will say that "Retarded diaphragm blades" really does not affect image quality as there isn't much of a bokeh at that aperture size anyway.

Try buying used lenses on Ebay. My favorite ones are the sellers who sell me "perfect mint lenses" with fungus. Then tell me it's impossible for fungus to grow in lenses. After showing them photos they still refuse to give a refund because of their no refund policy.

06-15-2010, 10:02 PM   #5
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wow dude that really sux for you!
i have a 30 year old pentax lens which rocks!the m50/f4 macro
and the rest of my lens kit consists of sigma!
the ex line of sigma lenses are quite good maybe you should can the pentax till they sort it out.
save some money aswell.
06-15-2010, 10:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Try buying used lenses on Ebay. My favorite ones are the sellers who sell me "perfect mint lenses" with fungus. Then tell me it's impossible for fungus to grow in lenses. After showing them photos they still refuse to give a refund because of their no refund policy.
Agree this is a common issue. I recently bought a camera and lenses in "Excellent Condition" with "no sign of dust or fungus". One of the lenses was so riddled with fungus that it was totally opaque looking through it. Fortunately I did get a refund for this one.

A big problem with buying gear on the internet, is you don't really see what you are buying until you get it.

As for new lenses with the issues shown, must admit I was a bit surprised. I don't have a budget for these lenses at the moment but I would expect them to be better than that.
06-15-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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@ hangu, the blades were the least of the worries on this 100 Macro, but at near $700, they damn well better be aligned. Of more concern with this particular lens is the fact that a complete Astrology map has been recreated on the internal elements of the lens.

@ wlachan, are you doing those tweaks yourself? Or did you send the lenses back to Pentax?

@ Dandog, going Sigma would negate almost all reason I went Pentax in the first place (excellent primes and WR). I have thought about it though.
06-15-2010, 10:32 PM   #8
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I did all the tweaks myself, including the aperture blades rearrangement like your FA43 (mine was like that too). I can show you how to do it, but the procedure really tests your patience and is not for everyone.

06-15-2010, 10:42 PM   #9
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Yeahhh...dismantling and cleaning up $40 cheapies from craigslist is one thing, to do it to a brand new FA 43 is quite another...and probably voids all warranty? Though it WOULD be a fun project

Thanks for the offer though.
06-16-2010, 01:50 AM   #10
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Wow ... I have never peered so deeply inside the lens ... maybe this goes on to the list of checks for any future lens purchase !!!!
06-16-2010, 03:04 AM   #11
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OMG I've never seen (heard) anything like this before.

Do you ever feel like you have been cursed?

a little too much misfortune
06-16-2010, 05:27 AM   #12
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Of the 5 Pentax lenses I've bought new (FA 31 Ltd, FA 50 1.4, DA* 16-50 and 50-135, version 1 of the kit lens), none of them have had problems like yours have. Granted I haven't bought a new Pentax lens in more than a year and a half. The FA* 85mm I just sold, but bought used, had an asymmetrical aperture(misaligned blades). It never harmed image quality for me though.

I don't plan on buying any new lenses from Pentax any time soon, but if I did this would make me a little weary of doing so.
06-16-2010, 05:42 AM   #13
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Double post. Damn phone.
06-16-2010, 06:08 AM   #14
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I never had such bad luck with my Pentax lenses, except the DA 16-50, which went dead within weeks of its initial purchase (zoom jammed and AF not working...)

There are some lenses with slightly misaligned aperture blades, if closed down. But that has been the case for old lenses, too.

I think, the history of Pentax lacking a good QC is long. For the last two decades the problems with misaligned lens elemts are known and shown in almost any published lens test. This is (to me at least) of more concern, then some dust specs. Though I do wholly understand your dissatisfaction.

As you obviously had the same problems with Voigtländer lenses, I am flabbergasted. I probably would turn my back to Pentax after such an experience, but as I wrote: I only had one flawed lens (repaired under warranty) over the last near thirty years with Pentax.

Ben
06-16-2010, 06:37 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by porterHause Quote
S...after countless purchases from B&H and Adorama, the only additional lens I have in my bag is a Super-Tak 50/1.4 that I picked up for $40 off of Craigslist.
I feel vindicated.
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