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07-23-2013, 07:37 PM   #1
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Get a better copy or wait?

Just got a new DA* 60-250 in the mail today, and after taking some test shots with mine and comparing to the images here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/171380-da-60-2...-too-soft.html

Think I might have gotten a similar "bad" copy. I'm now thinking OK, I'll return or exchange it. Exchange for a better copy, that makes sense.

What I thought of after a while, as I already have the DA 18-135 WR, and there is another DA tele-zoom lens (maybe ~120-400?) on the roadmap due for late 2013, would I perhaps be better served by just waiting for that to come out? The reasoning, and maybe I'm not used to it yet (coming from DA 50-200 WR), is both the weight and the price vs. image quality. I know they're in a different category, but if the new lens is not a fixed aperture but the image quality is in the ballpark of the 18-135 (where it's sharpest), I might be inclined to save the extra ~$4-600 for some other purposes, perhaps another camera body!?

Anybody that I haven't lost thus far: your thoughts??

07-23-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipdm16 Quote
Just got a new DA* 60-250 in the mail today, and after taking some test shots with mine and comparing to the images here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/171380-da-60-2...-too-soft.html

Think I might have gotten a similar "bad" copy. I'm now thinking OK, I'll return or exchange it. Exchange for a better copy, that makes sense.

What I thought of after a while, as I already have the DA 18-135 WR, and there is another DA tele-zoom lens (maybe ~120-400?) on the roadmap due for late 2013, would I perhaps be better served by just waiting for that to come out? The reasoning, and maybe I'm not used to it yet (coming from DA 50-200 WR), is both the weight and the price vs. image quality. I know they're in a different category, but if the new lens is not a fixed aperture but the image quality is in the ballpark of the 18-135 (where it's sharpest), I might be inclined to save the extra ~$4-600 for some other purposes, perhaps another camera body!?

Anybody that I haven't lost thus far: your thoughts??
OK, option 2; I think this might be a rhetorical question based on the LBA-biased group on this site, but I also see a DA* wide zoom on the roadmap, should I hang on to the DA* 60-250 and just sell the 18-135 when that comes out?
07-23-2013, 07:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipdm16 Quote
due for late 2013,
I believe it actually says "2013 or later" so you might be waiting a while.
QuoteOriginally posted by slipdm16 Quote
Think I might have gotten a similar "bad" copy.
Did you try a controlled test on tripod with good target? Did you try AF fine tuning?
QuoteOriginally posted by slipdm16 Quote
but if the new lens is not a fixed aperture but the image quality is in the ballpark of the 18-135 (where it's sharpest), I might be inclined to save the extra ~$4-600 for some other purposes
We really have no idea what the possible new lens will be. It might be 120-400 f/4 and weigh a ton. Or a long consumer zoom that compliments the 18-135 but is slow. Or never see the light of day.

If you are not happy with the DA*60-250 I would send it back and try another copy (at least once). I bought mine used here on the forum and despite the weight it would take a lot for me to part with it. If a second copy does not suit then consider other options, just MHO. That's assuming you are comfortable with that weight and size. Another option is to get a DA 55-300 and pair it with your 18-135. Not as fast or as good as the DA*60-250 but a genuinely good lens that doesn't weigh a ton. That's my wife's kit, 18-135 and 55-300.
07-23-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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I think I read (maybe I was hallucinating) a post by a gentleman in Japan, who was inquiring about Pentax repair there. I don't remember the lens. Reader's Digest version was it was a great lens for a few days new out of the box, something went out and he swapped it for another copy, but it came with a problem. He exchanged/repaired it something like 3-5 additional times, each time the new lens was worse. Over the course of 6 months I think he had a lens in his possession for about a month total. He finally request a refund and he was waiting on his check. - I found the post - I wasn't hallucinating.....The reason why I refer to the post, is that sometimes it may be better to get it repaired than replaced. Overall - repair it or replace it, is a decision in and of itself. If the result is good, then it was a great decision. If the result is more bad luck, then you get caught in a Catch-22. Dammed if you do and dammed if you don't. We have seen the Sigma lottery - which takes 2 or 3 exchanges sometimes. I had a soft - way out of calibration NEW Sigma 8-16 that I took to CRIS (who also does Sigma warranty) - 2 days after receiving it from the retailer and they were able to make it perfect.

I am assuming that its a new lens. If so, I would consider sending it to CRIS and have them repair it. You might want to check with the retailer about sending it to CRIS for warranty repair, and if you are not satisfied with the results - would you be able to return it to them?



07-24-2013, 12:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I think I read (maybe I was hallucinating) a post by a gentleman in Japan, who was inquiring about Pentax repair there. I don't remember the lens. Reader's Digest version was it was a great lens for a few days new out of the box, something went out and he swapped it for another copy, but it came with a problem. He exchanged/repaired it something like 3-5 additional times, each time the new lens was worse. Over the course of 6 months I think he had a lens in his possession for about a month total. He finally request a refund and he was waiting on his check. - I found the post - I wasn't hallucinating.....The reason why I refer to the post, is that sometimes it may be better to get it repaired than replaced. Overall - repair it or replace it, is a decision in and of itself. If the result is good, then it was a great decision. If the result is more bad luck, then you get caught in a Catch-22. Dammed if you do and dammed if you don't. We have seen the Sigma lottery - which takes 2 or 3 exchanges sometimes. I had a soft - way out of calibration NEW Sigma 8-16 that I took to CRIS (who also does Sigma warranty) - 2 days after receiving it from the retailer and they were able to make it perfect.

I am assuming that its a new lens. If so, I would consider sending it to CRIS and have them repair it. You might want to check with the retailer about sending it to CRIS for warranty repair, and if you are not satisfied with the results - would you be able to return it to them?

I read that sobering story too, and it really sounds like this gentleman was very very unlucky. That said, I do take such stories with a grain of salt...not that they're not true (they certainly are) but simply that while it's common for someone "getting a dud" to jump on the Internet and post about it (ask for advice, etc.), it's a lot less common for someone not having a problem to do the same (if you don't have a problem, advice on how to not solve the problem you don't have is not needed.... )

Ain't got a copy of the lens in question, but it's on my list of "when I win the lottery" items


07-24-2013, 03:09 AM   #6
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The basic question here is a new copy or wait for perhaps a new design - an altogether different lens, that Pentax may or may not announce at some unknown time in the future. That is somewhat of the age old question. If it's a lens (i.e., design/focal length) that you need/want for some reason, then it becomes either exchanging for a new copy or repair issue. There are horror stories on both sides of the argument - and as observed, along with the never heard ones where everything turned out well either the first or second time around.

In my case, I needed the lens in a couple of weeks, enough time for either an exchange or repair. I also needed that specific lens as there were no other 8-16 lens designs available - it provided a very unique capability. I was going to go the exchange route, until I read a posting here on the forum about someone sending in both the body and lens and CRIS essentially zeroing the fine focus adjustment, and then calibrating and aligning the lens to the camera body. I decided to go the repair route. I might add that in my case with an ultra wide angle lens, there is a point where you need to ask yourself if your expectations are indeed reasonable or are just too high. In my situation, I thought that it was front focusing but at 8mm just how perfectly sharp are things going to actually be? I had applied the maximum 10 units of adjustment and it did get slightly better, so to CRIS it went, where they found that it was at least 45 units out of calibration. They zeroed the body's micro adjustment, aligned and calibrated the lens to the optical standard, and then made sure it was perfect on the body. I could not ask for anything more - and a couple weeks later the lens performed absolutely perfectly, when I went shooting a tall ship up close. Actually, I just remembered this recent post also....So, if the OP does really want the 60-250 lens, I think taking the repair route (with perhaps sending his body along - call CRIS first), may yield a better result than trying the exchange. The design is known to render excellent / superior results. There have been very few complaints about the lens (other than it is expensive). Its one of the best lenses around - * lens and professional grade. The repair outcome should be extremely promising. It might take a couple of weeks, but the result should be a perfectly aligned and calibrated lens to the optical standard, and then tested to his body. In theory, that's about the best you can do. You can't expect anything more.

In terms of a completely different lens design/focal length question - that can only be answered by the OP. It comes down to if this is the best item to spend funds on for his particular need(s). Only he will be able to make that assessment.

07-24-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for everyone's feedback! I will have to contact CRIS to see what they think. I would like to keep the 60-250 - I did like the colors/bokeh on the test shots, even though it seems to be off in the focusing dept.

Another question, I bought the lens on Amazon, which sometimes is considered "gray" market. Will the warranty be questioned with CRIS/Pentax? If it's out of warranty, anybody have an idea of how much it would cost to get the camera/lens calibrated/tested?
07-24-2013, 01:59 PM   #8
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Did you buy from Amazon or from a vendor selling through Amazon? Amazon direct should be no problem, other vendors? I don't know.

07-24-2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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Bought through another vendor on Amazon...it was a good deal so I don't know if it was old stock or what...I'll have to call them too.

To answer your other question, I did try AF fine adjustment, nothing too crazy (+,- 3) to check and it didn't seem to help too much. Took samples at f/4 and 5.6 and around 1/500 and up. I'll have to play around with it more tonight for a final test if I can get some good light...
07-24-2013, 08:11 PM   #10
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You shouldn't have any problems with your warranty. I sent in a K-5 to CRIS a while back - bought from Amazon with Emmy Photo as the vendor. Just included my Amazon receipt and there were no problems at all.
07-24-2013, 08:23 PM   #11
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I took a few more shots with it mounted on a tripod tonight, varying the aperture from f/4 to f/5.6 and also played with the front/back focus some more at f/5.6 to see if I could figure out what the problem is. Although the shots seem inconsistent depending on which AF Fine Correction I apply, I thought the +10 one was closest to what it should be, meaning the lens has a serious front focus? I took more of the woodchips/base of the tree so I could check and I'm pretty sure that's what it is. Do you guys think I could get by at +10? The shots are decent for sharpness, but it's just not what I'm accustomed to seeing based on the shots from this site.

The order of the shots is:
Tree: f/4, f/5.6 (focused on base of tree)
Bush: f/5.6 @ +0, +10, -10 (focused on leaf at dead center of photo - there are 2 leafs jutting out to the right above and below it)
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07-24-2013, 08:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipdm16 Quote
I took a few more shots with it mounted on a tripod tonight, varying the aperture from f/4 to f/5.6 and also played with the front/back focus some more at f/5.6 to see if I could figure out what the problem is. Although the shots seem inconsistent depending on which AF Fine Correction I apply, I thought the +10 one was closest to what it should be, meaning the lens has a serious front focus? I took more of the woodchips/base of the tree so I could check and I'm pretty sure that's what it is. Do you guys think I could get by at +10? The shots are decent for sharpness, but it's just not what I'm accustomed to seeing based on the shots from this site.

The order of the shots is:
Tree: f/4, f/5.6 (focused on base of tree)
Bush: f/5.6 @ +0, +10, -10 (focused on leaf at dead center of photo - there are 2 leafs jutting out to the right above and below it)
PS - I took the shots with a timer and at around 1/320. The sun was going down so the light on the last one might have changed a bit
07-25-2013, 07:41 PM   #13
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Any thoughts?
07-25-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
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Looking at your images and your description, I might suggest more time fine tuning the focus adjustment. It appears the point of fine focus is behind what you describe as what you focused on. The depth of focus at f4 is pretty thin so if you have a good target and a good tripod you should be able to select the right micro adjustment.
07-26-2013, 09:04 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
Looking at your images and your description, I might suggest more time fine tuning the focus adjustment. It appears the point of fine focus is behind what you describe as what you focused on. The depth of focus at f4 is pretty thin so if you have a good target and a good tripod you should be able to select the right micro adjustment.
So you think the lens may be within spec?
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