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06-14-2017, 05:05 PM   #1
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DA 16-85: Two duds in a row or just no go with K-x?

I wanted to give my dad a 16-85 for his birthday, he's got a K-5 that sees use with a 16-45 all the time. Reading reviews, I get the feeling that I better check it out to see whether there are any anomalies. So I get it, put it on my K-x, and the focus on the wide end is so far out it's not funny (severe backfocus at infinity). Things look great when focused manually though. Packaging looked a bit banged-up, so I thought maybe it took a bit of a hit, packed it back up and sent it back.

Well, today the replacement came in (packaging not as beat-up looking though hardly luxuriously padded either), and guess what, it does the exact same thing. In fact, LiveView AF has big trouble locking onto anything as well, even though the picture seems decently stabilized and focal length seems to transfer OK.

I have already cleaned the contacts on the lens mount for good measure even though I had already done that recently... that body has seen a fair few lens changes.

Now I'm stumped. Is the K-x just too old for this lens (the 1.03 f/w is from 2012-ish IIRC?), did I get two duds in a row, or was there a whole batch that does not play nice for some reason and needs a firmware upgrade or something?

Unfortunately I can't try the lens on the K-5 right now for obvious reasons.


Last edited by 52mm; 06-14-2017 at 05:13 PM.
06-14-2017, 05:33 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Check the serial number on the lens next time to be sure they are not just sending the same dud back to you.
06-14-2017, 06:53 PM   #3
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The 16-85 has been mostly trouble free, no reports of any issues affecting any particular 'batch' at all. Hardly any reports of issues really. Like @pathdoc, make sure you check the serial numbers to make sure they did not send the same one to you twice.
It is an excellent lens and well worth the time and trouble to get one that works properly. Without seeing your testing process it is hard to say much about that particular lens. But if Liveview is not focusing properly then there is a lens issue. If Liveview is not locking on reliably but gets good focus when it does then, perhaps you need more light? I have been guilty of testing a lens in the office without proper light and being disappointed only to find it works just fine outside with light.
06-14-2017, 07:48 PM   #4
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My first, new da 16-85 could not focus with my new KP and the zooom ring would not pass 35mm.
BH has swapped it promptly and the second copy is flawless.


Last edited by jacek1995; 06-15-2017 at 04:05 AM.
06-14-2017, 10:27 PM   #5
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I had a K-x that could not focus with the kit 18-55mm lens. I think it need some micro focus adjustment which I didn't know how to enable via the debug menu. Maybe you should dig around to find how to do that before buying a new camera. I upgraded from the K-x and have not had problem since newer bodies all have micro focus adjustment feature.
06-15-2017, 04:53 AM   #6
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I know of a guy over here in the UK that has just returned his fourth 16-85, me I tried the 16-50 and have just returned my third due to an issue between it and every KP in SrS's stock.
There do seem to be some problems even with the newer designs, you are not alone here 52mm...
06-15-2017, 05:13 AM   #7
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They definitely were not the same, the replacement was sent out while the first one was still on its way back. Definitely a new unopened one (and seemingly from another distributor, too, as it had an Italian warranty sticker this time - heaven knows where Amazon gets their stuff).

Since said b'day is going to be relatively soon, I guess I'm going to wait until then, try it out on dad's K-5, and if it's just as bad there, it'll see a trip to authorized service, hopefully with no warranty complications.
06-15-2017, 07:02 AM   #8
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My K-x and 16-45 didn't play nice at all, apparently that's a known problem, I can't remember exactly why, but no problem on my k-30 and k5iis...

06-15-2017, 07:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 52mm Quote
I wanted to give my dad a 16-85 for his birthday, he's got a K-5 that sees use with a 16-45 all the time. Reading reviews, I get the feeling that I better check it out to see whether there are any anomalies. So I get it, put it on my K-x, and the focus on the wide end is so far out it's not funny (severe backfocus at infinity). Things look great when focused manually though. Packaging looked a bit banged-up, so I thought maybe it took a bit of a hit, packed it back up and sent it back.

Well, today the replacement came in (packaging not as beat-up looking though hardly luxuriously padded either), and guess what, it does the exact same thing. In fact, LiveView AF has big trouble locking onto anything as well, even though the picture seems decently stabilized and focal length seems to transfer OK.

I have already cleaned the contacts on the lens mount for good measure even though I had already done that recently... that body has seen a fair few lens changes.

Now I'm stumped. Is the K-x just too old for this lens (the 1.03 f/w is from 2012-ish IIRC?), did I get two duds in a row, or was there a whole batch that does not play nice for some reason and needs a firmware upgrade or something?

Unfortunately I can't try the lens on the K-5 right now for obvious reasons.
I have had no problem with the 16 - 85 mm zoom with my K 3 or K 5 II

(if you disregard operator error that is )
06-15-2017, 07:44 AM   #10
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I had back focusing issues w/ my K-x, and the K-x does not have the AF Fine Adjustment like my K-30 and K-3 do. BUT, you can do a general AF adjustment on the K-x using a Debug script. HERE is a tutorial and all the info you need to enable this capability on the K-x.
06-15-2017, 10:19 AM   #11
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My 16-85 doesn't live view focus on my K-x either. It doesn't really bother me because I never use live view anyway. On that body live view is extremely slow, the screen is very poor, and it kills the batteries. The lens focuses very well outside of live view, and it has excellent image quality. If yours isn't auto-focusing properly in any mode then, as you said, try it on the K-5 if possible. Hopefully it works for you. It's a great lens, a huge improvement over the kit.
06-15-2017, 10:58 AM   #12
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A lot of issues in this thread sounds like plain bad luck. However, it's quite possible that live view AF with the 16-85mm on the K-x is just poor. Given the age of the camera and lack of firmware updates following the release of the lens, it's possible that this feature simply hasn't been optimized. I've you've invested in the 16-85mm, it might be a good idea to keep an upgrade to the K-70 in the back of your head- it's a huge jump.

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06-15-2017, 12:41 PM   #13
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I just tried the 16-85 on my K-x. It focuses fine using the viewfinder, but it does not achieve focus using LiveView.
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