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10-13-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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Broken DA* 50-135mm - what should I do?

So yesterday I went out to take some photos with my tripod. I hadn't used the tripod in a while, and I was used to it having something on the bottom of the post at the top which would stop it from coming out... When I pulled it up expecting it to stop, it came right out, and I dropped it and my K5 with DA* 50-135mm attached on the pavement. As far as I can tell the K5 is totally fine, but the lens is most definitely broken. No glass is broken, and nothing is actually cracked as far as I can tell, it's just broken open at the seam closest to the camera.

I got the lens (and the camera) from members here when I lived in Ontario. Now I live in Vancouver, and I don't think the lens is under warranty. Do you think it's fixable? My guess is it would probably be worth it if it is, since on here they're going for at least $750. There's a repair shop in Vancouver called Vancam, but according to Pentax they don't repair SLRs or SLR lenses. I emailed them to ask if they could fix it just in case, since it would be much more convenient to bring it in in person.

Anyway, what do you guys think I should do? Here's a picture of it:



10-13-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
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Standard warranty doesn't cover this even if you purchased the lens new today. I would ship it to an authorized repair place like CRIS (in USA) or so. Good luck.
10-13-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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Ouch. I know that sinking feeling when something like this happens. My youngest bowled over my ESII with my K300/4 attached to a tripod, years ago, fortunately with no irreparable damage. These things were not so complex then, though.

You won't get any joy on warranty from this sort of damage. The best thing is that the damage appears to have been done closest to the mount, and that's generally where disassembly commences on modern Pentax lenses. If your local service people are willing to investigate, it possibly isn't going to take a load of cash to do this much. Then you can make an assessment of where to go from there, when they've inspected the damage and identified what's needed. With luck, the impact will only have jolted some fastenings out of place, although it's more likely they've broken. The whole deal may cost a couple of hours labour plus parts, if that's all that's happened, but until they open it up, there's no way of telling for sure.

PS: I'd happily part with a couple of hundred dollars to have mine repaired. It's a definite keeper lens for me.
10-13-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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Or make the first Pentax lens coffee mug, if it's an absurd amount to repair it.

10-13-2012, 03:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
Or make the first Pentax lens coffee mug, if it's an absurd amount to repair it.
If done well, a mug like that could probably be sold on the Marketplace here for more than the broken lens with glass would fetch.

Otherwise, RobA_Oz has the right idea - get the damage investigated. As far as sending it to CRIS in the US, sending it to Pentax HQ in Ontario might be cheaper for you if you can't make it over the border easily. With the right photos and info from a local shop, they could quote it for you. The DA*50-135mm is a great lens and worth repairing, within reason.
10-13-2012, 06:24 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. So I guess I'll wait for Vancam's reply, hopefully take it in there for them to take pictures and such, and then probably send it off to Mississauga. And yes, definitely a great lens and well worth repairing. It sucks, because I was finally going out to take some fall photos, and it has suddenly become rainy, which is partially why I was using this lens. So now it's all rainy and I have no weather sealed lens to use.

By the way, previously I tripped over a line divider in the road (it was dark, I was running, and just didn't see it there), with the same camera and lens on my shoulder. Somehow they both seemed fine after, except I noticed that the sides and especially corners of pictures taken with the lens were looking bad lately. So I suspect it kind of needed repair anyway. Here's one of the last photos I took with the lens before dropping it; looks good in the in focus parts near the middle, but on the edges it looks almost like motion blur... but I don't think it is:
10-13-2012, 06:32 PM   #7
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Nice shot! But yea it looks unreasonably soft towards the edges. Guess some of the elements could have become decentered. Do tell the repair shop to check it out.
10-16-2012, 03:43 PM   #8
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Thanks! And yeah, I'll ask the shop about that for sure. They told me to bring the lens in, but it's gonna be a bit hard for me to get there while they're open.

10-16-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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I did almost the same thing a couple of years ago, dropped my 50-135. Did almost the exact same damage.

It turns out that the screws that hold the lens mount section onto the bulk of the lens are tiny - around 1mm thread, and about 3mm long- and they screw into metal inserts set into plastic. Basically it seems like the lens has been designed to intentionally break at this point - perhaps to protect some more expensive elements inside the lens.

Long story short. We don't have a CRIS or anywhere that repairs Pentax lenses down under, so the lens had to be sent to Japan for repair. It cost me around $400 AUD if I recall correctly. As it was easily my best and favourite lens at that time (I have acquired a few good ones since) I couldn't bear to be without it while it was away being repaired, so I bought a 2nd hand replacement for around $800 that I subsequently sold at a small loss.

It's too good a of piece of equipment not to be repaired.
10-17-2012, 12:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
We don't have a CRIS or anywhere that repairs Pentax lenses down under, so the lens had to be sent to Japan for repair. It cost me around $400 AUD if I recall correctly. As it was easily my best and favourite lens at that time (I have acquired.
So, CR Kennedy don't repair Pentax lenses?
10-17-2012, 01:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
So, CR Kennedy don't repair Pentax lenses?
Rob, I have taken two DA* lenses to them to be repaired. The above, and the 16-50 which I also broke (I'm a big clumsy oaf sometimes )

Both have been sent to Japan for repair. I'm still waiting for the 16-50 to return. Job sheet is dated 27/07/12. Patience is a virtue --- apparently.
10-17-2012, 03:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
Rob, I have taken two DA* lenses to them to be repaired. The above, and the 16-50 which I also broke (I'm a big clumsy oaf sometimes )

Both have been sent to Japan for repair. I'm still waiting for the 16-50 to return. Job sheet is dated 27/07/12. Patience is a virtue --- apparently.
Good grief. I refuse to believe these things can't be repaired here. There's no magic involved - they're only simple, albeit precision mechanisms with a little electronics thrown in.
10-17-2012, 06:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Good grief. I refuse to believe these things can't be repaired here. There's no magic involved - they're only simple, albeit precision mechanisms with a little electronics thrown in.
In Melbourne the only cam/lens retail repair shop I know of is Shutterbox in Camberwell. I tried them with the 50-135, but they said they couldn't get the parts of of Pentax/CRK. I used a local Camera repair fellow in Mooroolbark to fix the SDM problem I had on the 50-135. I didn't try him to fix the break in the lens because I figured if Shutterbox couldn't get parts, neither could he. And besides, he is a Canon specialist.
10-17-2012, 10:21 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info! It always sucks to lose $400 by dropping something (or for any other reason), but I'm glad it'll at least be cheaper to fix it than to get a new (used) one. I did bring the lens in to Vancam yesterday, paid them $38 to look at it (which they'll deduct from fixing it if they do), and they said they'd get back to me probably by tomorrow. So we'll see... The other nice thing is I think they'll send it to Ontario for me if they can't fix. I really hate mailing stuff in general, and especially lenses since I'm not sure how to pack them properly - or at least, I could probably do it just fine, but I don't have a lot of packing materials in my apartment.
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