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12-15-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
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DA* 200 f/2.8 ED SMD [IF]

Hello to all pentaxians!

I have found the DA* 200 SMD lens second hand rarely used (according to the seller) at a price that I consider a bargain compared to prices found in ebay or herein.
The best part is that is located at my home city so I can see it and check it before the transaction. Seller insists to go together to the service center to check the lens, by the way is out of warranty period. Nevertheless, I would like to know a few things when I will see the lens myself. What to check for, what kind of tests to go through if any. I am aware of the cost of the SDM in case it is faulted. Is there any prior ringing bell to check for SDM failure? Every tip from the experienced forum friends is welcomed. I am only a couple of weeks old in this field!

12-15-2013, 09:19 AM - 1 Like   #2
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This particular lens isn't known for SDM failure, but here, have my copypasta:

Check for rattling (anything loose)
Bring a flashlight, check the lens from one end to the other and reverse to see if there's dust, fungus, scratches, anything that stands out.
Manually move the aperture lever
Flip the AF/MF switch.
Mount it on your camera, check if the aperture stops down, focus from far to near, near to far, focus on random stuff
Move the focus ring manually and see if it's smooth
Check if it's centered, check if the AF is spot on and if it doesn't make whiny or gritty noises.

You can check all of the latter ones while taking pictures.
12-15-2013, 10:04 AM   #3
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Thank you so much.

Could you please elaborate more on the following

QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
....

check if the aperture stops down, ...
Check if it's centered...
check if the AF is spot on...

You can check all of the latter ones while taking pictures.
not sure really how to check these
12-15-2013, 10:15 AM - 1 Like   #4
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1. You can see if the aperture follows the lever manually (as noted above) but you still need to see if it works on a camera. Just set the camera to Av, set the aperture to something other than f/4. If the picture comes out overexposed, the aperture mechanism isn't working properly. (it's worth checking multiple apertures)

2. Shoot something flat (like a wall) at f/4, and be sure to be at a right angle. If one side of the image is softer than the other, it's decentered.

3. Focus on and take a picture of something that is surrounded, but not obscured, by other things. If something else than the thing you were focusing on is sharp, the lens needs to be calibrated.

12-15-2013, 10:47 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
1. You can see if the aperture follows the lever manually (as noted above) but you still need to see if it works on a camera. Just set the camera to Av, set the aperture to something other than f/4. If the picture comes out overexposed, the aperture mechanism isn't working properly. (it's worth checking multiple apertures)
Set the stop down to optical metering and use the power switch to stop down while looking through the viewfinder. It should get progressively darker in there as you stop down. Set the ISO to the lowest and listen to the shutter as you stop down and release indoors. You should be able to hear the difference. This works when you get hooked on film cameras, too.
12-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #6
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Thank you all.
I understood now the stop down and I just did the test with my kit lens (18-55).
I guess any value more than 2.8 should proove the concept, the smaller the apperture the darker the optical preview will be.

What I am finding hard to test is the centered thing with the white wall. At first I am not even sure that the camera has focused right as on a white wall everything seems white and sharp and the focus point changes every time I press the AF button though I am not able to see the difference through the VF (I will do some more practice anyway). When I check the photo at the camer'as lcd I still can't see any difference...well that might means that the kit lens is OK but I doubt I would be able to see the difference if it is only a plain white wall. Obviously any test should be done by using the available means i.e. the camera.
12-15-2013, 11:21 AM - 1 Like   #7
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On your plain white wall, stick a piece of paper with a black X on it to give the camera something to focus on. Note that exposure does change slightly as you focus. Optical stuff sure isn't simple. The closer you focus, the smaller the effective aperture. This is particularly noticeable with macro lenses. There is a full stop difference between exposure at 1:2 and 1:1.
12-15-2013, 11:52 AM - 1 Like   #8
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The optical preview is a great idea. Pasta updated.

To see the centering, I suggested a wall because it's flat. I of course forgot that most interior walls are blank white . A brick wall would be better, but anything sufficently flat would work, it just needs details to help you judge if the lens is worse on one side.

12-15-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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OK got it!!
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