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03-18-2011, 07:21 AM   #1
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How fragile are Pentax lenses?

I recently took a big tumble after not looking where I was going in a darkened church and my 55-300 came out of my bag as I hit the floor and skidded about 20 feet over the marble tiles. It didn't fall as such, just skidded.

It still focuses and it takes shots which don't look any different to me from before the fall but I don't have any directly comparable before/after shots and I don't know how easy, or not, it is to knock a lens element out of alignment.

Does anyone think it would be worth getting it checked (expensive job) or should it be ok after that treatment? What are your experiences?

Thanks,
Old Blind Pew

03-18-2011, 07:38 AM   #2
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If it ain't broke then what is there to fix?
03-18-2011, 09:46 AM   #3
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I would say that unless you notice a problem, I wouldn't worry about it. Lens "damage" seems to be a fairly random thing. Sometimes things go bad when you don't even drop a lens or anything, and other times lenses can survive seemingly traumatic abuse...
03-18-2011, 06:33 PM   #4
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If it's isn't broken physically, the tech will tell you it's fine. If it's broken, the lens won't be worth fixing. Either way, save you dollars and keep shooting.

03-18-2011, 07:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
If it's isn't broken physically, the tech will tell you it's fine. If it's broken, the lens won't be worth fixing. Either way, save you dollars and keep shooting.
I have had a broken ring replaced inside a DAD16-45 for $100 before. Certainly cheaper than getting a new lens, so some cheap lenses are worth fixing But I suspect the one in this case is totally fine.
03-18-2011, 09:50 PM   #6
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The thing with impact is that the optical alignment might be impaired, especially for the zooms. This usually means beyond repair, or too expensive to. Then again, some very expensive lenses might worth a try.
03-18-2011, 10:12 PM   #7
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The thing is, plastic lenses can be actually more bump-resistant than metal ones. If the plastic didn't crack (and it certainly appears from your post that it didn't), then you're most probably going to be just fine. Quite unlike metal, plastic doesn't bend from impact, so your chances of getting misaligned optical elements are rather low.
03-19-2011, 12:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RedPanda Quote
I recently took a big tumble after not looking where I was going in a darkened church and my 55-300 came out of my bag as I hit the floor and skidded about 20 feet over the marble tiles. It didn't fall as such, just skidded.

It still focuses and it takes shots which don't look any different to me from before the fall but I don't have any directly comparable before/after shots and I don't know how easy, or not, it is to knock a lens element out of alignment.

Does anyone think it would be worth getting it checked (expensive job) or should it be ok after that treatment? What are your experiences?

Thanks,
Old Blind Pew
I dropped a DA55-300 and it was clearly not focusing properly afterwards. I had it fixed (not covered by warranty) for a lot of money, but I am not convinced it is as good now as it was originally. All you can do it test it wide open at various focal lengths - if it looks ok it is ok; if it isn't you have to decide if it is worth spending money for an uncertain result.

Later I bought a DAL 55-300 (plastic mount) with a K-x - it performs quite differently from the other lens, so I conclude that the innards of these cheap zooms are relatively fragile, and there is significant variation between examples.

03-19-2011, 02:45 AM   #9
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Dropped my DA* 50-135 from about four feet. Used it for several years. Then it dropped about six inches and the internal element popped loose. The 55-300 went down with the 50-135 on its second fall. Although the 55-300 was on its first bump at six inches, it no longer focuses properly.
03-19-2011, 05:23 PM   #10
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03-19-2011, 10:13 PM   #11
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note to self: never drop a lens regardless of what brand it is.
03-20-2011, 05:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
note to self: never drop a lens regardless of what brand it is.
Well, at least if its a DA* lens, don't drop it twice. :-)
03-21-2011, 06:40 AM   #13
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Thanks one and all for the common sense advice! I'll test the lens out as suggested and it was an interesting point about plastic lenses not deforming the way a metal one might.

I LIKE this forum!
03-21-2011, 08:14 PM   #14
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I took a tumble on the weekend onto hard packed sand (gritty, but hard as concrete). Skin off 3 parts of my body (leg, palm of left hand and elbow of right arm). Camera (K7 with cheapo 50-200 & fake grip) hit (had to dust off sand from several sections) but I'm not sure how hard... based on I had the camera in my right hand I think protected it with my elbow mostly. Camera and lens kept working. Would have been funny if I had of triggered the shutter (it was on) and taken some out of focus picture of the impact zone or sky... I could have called them Art!
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