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10-20-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
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Shock, horror and despair: My DA40s aperture blades fell out

So this weekend I took my DA40 limited out for a walk and took a couple of pictures. I noticed the autofocus was a bit temperamental, took the lens off to ensure it's properly connected, and then I noticed that one of the aperture blades was sitting in the middle of the lens. I thought it had just gotten stuck, so I pushed the aperture lever and let it slide back into the original position - now more blades were "floating" between the lens elements, and by the time I got home, the entire aperture set had been dismembered. A sight I have never seen before, but for those curious-and-not-afraid, have a look.

I have not idea on how this has happened. I handled the lens with care, I did not drop it, it has no dents, no nothing. I bought it second hand on Ebay a few months back, but never had a problem. Unfortunately, because of that it's also out of warranty.

Next week, I will try to go to my local Pentax dealer for an inspection and a quote, but from what I heard, Pentax charges quite hefty fees.

As I'm currently based in Germany, are there any commendable non-official repair shops? A quick google search has returned this one: kameraspezi.de

Has anyone attempted to repair the aperture blades of a DA40 ltd? I have fixed aperture blades on old Carl Zeiss lenses before, but the limiteds are an entirely different kettle of fish, no?

Google has pointed me to these, but there's little detail on which screws to unscrew to get to the aperture as painlessly as possible, e.g. RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: DA40/2.8 Limited Disassembly
and
40 Lim: Pentax DA 40 Limited to be fixed
but:
40 Lim: And again DA40


Also, HOW THE HELL COULD THAT HAPPEN?

10-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #2
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Oh boy!!!! That my friend is a train-wreck!

My advice - don't mess with it - send it to Pentax to get fixed.

How did it happen? How to take apart the lens?

Ask the person you bought it from!
10-20-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Oh boy!!!! That my friend is a train-wreck!

My advice - don't mess with it - send it to Pentax to get fixed.
That would be my preferred route as well, but only if it's not more expensive than a new one...


QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Ask the person you bought it from!
But that was months ago, months that this lens worked perfectly fine + without any problems. That's what's so strange. (And why I won't stand much chance to turn on them)

Still, many thanks for the sympathies...
10-20-2013, 04:12 PM   #4
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That's a very rare problem.

I can't imagine what could have caused it, especially for a lens like the DA40 that is both very light and very strong (all metal), so one would think quite resistant to shock damage.

Perhaps the previous owner took it apart at one stage, and then re-assembled it incorrectly, prior to selling it to you.

10-20-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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What rawr said.
10-20-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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I have a Photosniper. It worked fine for months and had the same issue. Now it's wide open or nothing. Not worth paying to fix and I couldn't fix it myself.

My advice is to take a very careful look at the coatings and decide whether it was disassembled for fungus. If not, send it to Pentax. It is worth the price of repair.
10-20-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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Repair might cost more than replacement. After getting a high repair quote, I'd take it apart and just removal all the aperture blades, then shoot it at ƒ/2.8 (wide open) for the rest of its life.
10-20-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
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Just for I would like to see the bokeh with it as it stands! That's quite a jumble in your image of it.

10-20-2013, 07:16 PM   #9
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From the look of the aperture blades, I'd guess that a spring that holds the blades has come loose or broken. If you can't get some one to fix it at a reasonable price, I'd take the lens apart from the rear to find out what has come loose.

Regards

Chris
10-21-2013, 05:39 AM   #10
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If Pentax charges too much, there might be a repair shop near you that could do it. In my humble town, there's a repair center with competent staff and reasonable prices.
10-21-2013, 10:33 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If Pentax charges too much, there might be a repair shop near you that could do it. In my humble town, there's a repair center with competent staff and reasonable prices.
Hopefully the repair costs are minimal!

I think if we collect these sort of images we can create a photography horror house
10-21-2013, 10:35 AM   #12
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Thanks for the support!

I contacted the original seller, and it seems like it is still under European warranty, and he bought it from Pixmania. Also, says he did not open it up, or had it cleaned, etc, and I'm inclined to believe him. I checked screws and glass for signs of use, but it's all virtually pristine.

So I will try that route first, maybe I can get it repaired without a massive bill attached to it. Let's hope Pixmania deals with it gracefully, and doesn't make a fuss.

seventhdr's interpretation that something like a spring has gotten lose inside makes most sense to me as well, I just can't see how this could have been caused through mishandling the lens (which I did not, as far as I'm aware). Therefore, it's most likely a manufacturing fault, and I hope Pixmania agrees. Let's see...

In the worst case, one of the repair centres I contacted would charge something between 90 - 125 Euros for repair, which is about half the price I paid...
10-21-2013, 10:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Hopefully the repair costs are minimal!

I think if we collect these sort of images we can create a photography horror house
That might be worth a photo project: Owners faces when they drop off a piece of equipment, and then just before and after they receive the bill...
10-21-2013, 08:15 PM   #14
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A few months ago my DA40, bought new in 2008, separated into two parts. Nothing as horrendous as this. The repair man put it back together for a reasonable $AU60.00 and said that the 3 screws holding the lens assembly in the main body had no locking paint on them. I was lucky that it happened at home and the screws, which are tiny were retrieved from the floor after some searching. I hope you can get yours fixed.
10-21-2013, 10:41 PM   #15
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Actually putting the aperture mechanism back together shouldn't be that big of deal to repair -- I wouldn't expect huge costs. In the meantime, just don't use it, don't touch it.
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