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03-16-2011, 07:49 PM   #1
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Loose focus/zoom ring. Should I return it?

hi everyone,

I just received my Pentax A 70-210 that I won for $90 on ebay. but it has a very loose zoom ring that slides from one end to the other without much damping at all (way worse than my takumar bayonet 80 200 which has super tight tolerance). and when i try to focus it sounds like there is some sand inside, but otherwise functional.

Should I return this to the dealer or just take care of it myself or just live with it?

03-16-2011, 08:06 PM   #2
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If I was not described in the ebay Auction I would return it straight away. It will only wear out further. Especially if it has grit in the focus mechanism.

Alternatively if this is not something you want to do then you could get the lens serviced and cleaned, then you will be looking at another $50-100 from what i have read else where.
03-16-2011, 08:07 PM   #3
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It does not sound good. Can you "take care of it" yourself? I'd send it back, unless $90 is a fabulous steal for the lens.
03-16-2011, 11:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cerebrate Quote
hi everyone,

I just received my Pentax A 70-210 that I won for $90 on ebay. but it has a very loose zoom ring that slides from one end to the other without much damping at all (way worse than my takumar bayonet 80 200 which has super tight tolerance). and when i try to focus it sounds like there is some sand inside, but otherwise functional.

Should I return this to the dealer or just take care of it myself or just live with it?
It's called zoom creep and A70-210 is prone to this. My copy (sold) starts to creep if I pointed the lens up or down about 25-30 degrees from horizontal. It's good lens and the price you paid is about average, you might point out the deficiencies to the seller and get a substantial discount for it, instead of returning it and be on the hook for the lens' round trip fare.

Thanks,

03-18-2011, 01:13 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
It's called zoom creep and A70-210 is prone to this. My copy (sold) starts to creep if I pointed the lens up or down about 25-30 degrees from horizontal. It's good lens and the price you paid is about average, you might point out the deficiencies to the seller and get a substantial discount for it, instead of returning it and be on the hook for the lens' round trip fare.

Thanks,
thanks excanonfd,

but sometimes there is some grinding noise when i turn the focus ring as if there is some sand in it, does that matter? the zoom/focus ring also wobbles a lot, is that just a part of the creep symptom?

around how much do you reckon the lens can be discounted
03-18-2011, 08:16 AM   #6
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Discounting is tricky, not all sellers will do it, for understandable reasons. You can ask, of course.
03-18-2011, 11:40 AM   #7
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My little example. The zoom ring of my copy of the lens will slide all the way down in about 12 seconds. If I set the lens upright, holding the zoom ring up and then letting go, it travels downward and rests at 210 in about twelve seconds. An average of three tests and the indoor temperature is 72 F.
There is only a soft noise when I turn the focus ring.
03-18-2011, 06:29 PM   #8
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thanks for input

QuoteOriginally posted by Nowhere Matt Quote
My little example. The zoom ring of my copy of the lens will slide all the way down in about 12 seconds. If I set the lens upright, holding the zoom ring up and then letting go, it travels downward and rests at 210 in about twelve seconds. An average of three tests and the indoor temperature is 72 F.
There is only a soft noise when I turn the focus ring.
hi matt,

thanks a lot for your input

My problem seems a bit more than just simple creeping tho. the focus ring wobbles side-ways, and when i try to push-pull harder than usual, there is a sudden loss of sliding friction at the range of 120-210

do you think this is normal?

03-18-2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Nah, that's not normal. Probably fairly common. (Don't know about that lens in particular) When it comes down to it, it's the photos that matter, but that sounds like the kind of wobble that's actually moving the elements around off kilter, which you could see in the finder.

Zoom 'creep' is typical of that breed of lens, (usually a pretty slow drift, sometimes more than others. Some of those zoom rings are just plain heavy, so don't expect zooms of that sort to not-creep at *all.* )

If you could like make it go clack-clack-clack back and forth, something is probably not good, and if it's grindey and as loose in other directions as you describe, it probably needs help at least, might have some damage from getting grit in there and/or lube gone bad. (It may be the kind of thing that wouldn't be too too hard to fix, though.... I'd have decent chances, I think, as might a few here. You might even try asking for a partial refund and selling it here as a problem lens. )
03-18-2011, 07:12 PM   #10
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My 70-210 f4 has some sideways wobble in zoom/focus ring.
When I zoom "faster than normal" it feels bumpy, almost like skipping ball bearings. My lens has some zoom/focus ring to lens body contact sound (scratchy metal to metal) in couple spots but it is very minor.
Zoom creep is normal with these beasts.
Bought my copy brand new in mid 80`s, it has always behaved like this.
Hard to tell if your lens is good or bad without actually handling it.
03-18-2011, 08:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cerebrate Quote
thanks excanonfd,

but sometimes there is some grinding noise when i turn the focus ring as if there is some sand in it, does that matter? the zoom/focus ring also wobbles a lot, is that just a part of the creep symptom?

around how much do you reckon the lens can be discounted
You say sometimes - throughout focal/zoom range or just in one particular spot? Most older zoom lenses wobble - what you describe as a lot, may be normal to others - mine wobbled somewhat but my buyer had no problem with it.

I have probably bought too much in the past year from eBay and most things look and work as they should. Those few that did not, I have been able to negotiate a partial refund for them for future repair considerations. Describe in detail the problems, the steps you have taken to rectify the situation and if you have any repair estimates submit that to the seller.

Generally, I ask for the repair cost for the item. All of the seller's were willing to work with me to resolve the issue, and no one was confrontational or even questioned me about the problems. I mean, what would be the point - get the merchandise back, issue a full refund, then what - the seller is stuck with a defective item that needs repair at his/her expense and time. Better to issue a partial refund, and part ways amicably and cleanly, leaving positive feedback to each other and move on. That's been my experience so far.

Thanks,
03-22-2011, 04:20 PM   #12
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@Ex Finn: Yeah this is exactly the problem of my lens. Does that mean it's a bad copy? I'm sure optically it's fine just worrying about the mechanical longevity
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