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08-11-2017, 06:37 AM   #1
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Has anyone sent their HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mmF4.5-6.3ED PLM WR in for repair?

Please only answer if you have this specific model. In the USA, the only option for repair is the horrible Precision Camera, which uses automated webform processing via their website. You can't actually contact a person. You also can't select the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mmF4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lense from Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation - Service & Repair because it's not in their list of lenses. I contacted Ricoh and they told me to call them.

Hello? It's MY job to enable warranty work on YOUR company's authorized repair website?

Highly annoyed.

08-11-2017, 07:46 AM   #2
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Moved to correct forum
08-11-2017, 08:38 AM   #3
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Had the same issue with my DA 16-85, it needed repair but the Precision web site had no selection for that model. I contacted Ricoh who told me to send it to Precision anyway with a typed note explaining the problem, my address, daytime phone and email as well as a COPY of my proof of purchase.

I still felt a little apprehensive about it so I took pictures of the lens including the serial number, then packed it up, took pictures of the box including the mailing label and sent it off. I also included my business card, two copies of the note explaining the issue (one in the box, the other wrapped around the lens and secured with a rubber band.

Their website showed the lens arriving and then nothing for almost a month. I tried calling Precision but no answer. I talked to Ricoh again who asked for the serial number and then reported that the lens was actually in Japan and that he had asked Precision to contact Japan for a status update. I never heard anything from Precision but did get the lens back repaired eventually.
08-11-2017, 09:30 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Had the same issue with my DA 16-85, it needed repair but the Precision web site had no selection for that model. I contacted Ricoh who told me to send it to Precision anyway with a typed note explaining the problem, my address, daytime phone and email as well as a COPY of my proof of purchase.

I still felt a little apprehensive about it so I took pictures of the lens including the serial number, then packed it up, took pictures of the box including the mailing label and sent it off. I also included my business card, two copies of the note explaining the issue (one in the box, the other wrapped around the lens and secured with a rubber band.

Their website showed the lens arriving and then nothing for almost a month. I tried calling Precision but no answer. I talked to Ricoh again who asked for the serial number and then reported that the lens was actually in Japan and that he had asked Precision to contact Japan for a status update. I never heard anything from Precision but did get the lens back repaired eventually.
I'm happy to hear that you eventually got your lens back - but that's insane. That has to rank as one of the worst cases of non-communication, ever.

At this point I'm very tempted to abandon the lens (sell it cheap on eBay) and get a Sigma 70-300, based on the support alone. I find it hard to believe Pentax can stay in business as a photo retailer with that kind of support.

08-11-2017, 11:38 AM   #5
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Precision is a master at non-communication.

Selling it cheap as broken on ebay is certainly one possibility. However, since it is under warranty you have little to lose by using the method I described. Or calling Precision on the phone to get an answer. They NEVER answer emails, but if you are persistent you can sometimes get someone to answer the phone. They are on eastern time so try 7 or 8am eastern and maybe someone will have not had coffee yet and will answer by mistake.

What is wrong with the lens by the way?

QuoteOriginally posted by Wolfeye Quote
I find it hard to believe Pentax can stay in business as a photo retailer with that kind of support.
Ricoh is not a photo retailer they are global manufacturer. They have a very minor presence in north America as that market, especially the USA, is too small for them to bother with. They engaged Precision to be their warranty repair center and despite them not having any communication skills they (mostly) get things repaired eventually.
08-11-2017, 11:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Precision is a master at non-communication.

What is wrong with the lens by the way?
A minor issue, but annoying. On the lens you press an unlock button to extend the lens, past 55mm, for use. The lens then locks and prevents rotation less than the 55mm position so you can't accidentally "unlock" the lens (which shuts down the viewfinder) and blacking it out. On my lens, this lockout no longer works, so I've zoomed out and right past this 55mm setting, blacking out the viewfinder and missing the picture.
08-11-2017, 12:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
since it is under warranty you have little to lose by using the method I described. Or calling Precision on the phone to get an answer.
...
despite them not having any communication skills they (mostly) get things repaired eventually.
I'm inclined to agree with John. I completely understand your frustration with the lens and, more specifically, Pentax / Precision. But from everything I've heard, it's a really good lens and worth getting fixed.

I've just gone through a seven week marathon to get a brand new Tamron 10-24 lens working as it should, and that was with a service centre whose communication is pretty good. The lens was sent to them new for AF accuracy problems, needed parts from Germany that took a while to materialise, then when I got it back there was a problem with the diaphragm not closing down until around f/5.6, so it had to go back to the service centre. That's by and by... my point is, it has been a pain getting a working lens despite buying a brand new unit, and I'd almost lost interest and confidence in getting a lens I was happy with. But, it's back with me now and working perfectly, and... slowly... I'm warming to it (in fact, it's great - I just need to find some time to shoot with it for a day ).

So, whilst I understand the desire to just dump the lens and get something different, I think it's worth persevering

Good luck with it, whatever you decide to do!
08-11-2017, 02:01 PM   #8
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I bought my 55-300 PLM back in December 2016. Since it is such a new design, I added the extended warranty from Adorama Camera where I bought it. So far, no problem issues with mine. My thought is be persistent with Precision and write an email to Ricoh in the contact us on their website. They seem to respond better to emails than phone calls from my experience. Good luck with yours, hopefully it is a simple repair under warranty. Was there indication of the problem developing before you realized it was broken or did the issue occur suddenly?

08-11-2017, 02:41 PM   #9
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I had a good experience with repair to my 55-300 PLM, through C R Kennedy (Australian distributors for Ricoh Pentax).
What to avoid with your 55-300 PLM lens! - PentaxForums.com
08-11-2017, 05:53 PM   #10
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If you have a genuine U.S. Warranty, a copy of the original receipt which has a name and shipping address that coincides with your name and shipping address, and a serial no. card if it was included with the lens, then you can send it to Precision along with a letter explaining your problem including a phone number and email where they can contact you with information, then they will most likely do the appropriate repair if it falls in the guidelines and time specified by the warranty. Using a carrier like Fedex or UPS, along with appropriate packing/box would be a good idea. Including at least the warranty and receipt I mentioned above most likely would be enough, but if you have a serial no. card or the original product box, then that would be good too. Actually your receipt from a valid dealer should act as proof of warranty if the date of purchase it shows correlates with the warranty timing specified for the product, so that in itself would be appropriate to submit if you do not have a warranty card.

I have had nice experiences with Precision in the past per proper repair and turnaround time, so I have no complaints.

Last edited by C_Jones; 08-11-2017 at 05:58 PM.
08-14-2017, 12:41 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I think what I will do is wait until October to send it in. It's warrantied until November, and it's my long lens I use while boating. By October it'll start to get cold and I won't mind the lens being away for an unknown (and likely LONG) length of time. It'll suck using it near the 55mm setting and I'll miss shots when I zoom out too fast, but at least it's weatherproof. That's the only reason I got it and the K70.
08-14-2017, 01:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wolfeye Quote
but at least it's weatherproof. That's the only reason I got it and the K70.
Can I say "weather-resistant" rather than "weatherproof"? I know you know that, but we have some members who confuse the two - they buy the former and expect the latter!

Sounds like a plan with your lens. But please mark it down in your diary so you don't forget!
08-16-2017, 09:54 AM   #13
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I'm going to have to send in my 55-300PLM as well - it has stopped focusing entirely and is basically a paperweight now. I've only had it since May, but it quickly became my favorite lens to use. :/

Keep us updated on how the repair goes - I've also put in an email request to Ricoh asking guidance due to the lens not being listed on Precision Camera's site.
08-16-2017, 12:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by subtraho Quote
I'm going to have to send in my 55-300PLM as well - it has stopped focusing entirely and is basically a paperweight now. I've only had it since May, but it quickly became my favorite lens to use. :/

Keep us updated on how the repair goes - I've also put in an email request to Ricoh asking guidance due to the lens not being listed on Precision Camera's site.
Ricoh will tell you to call Precision.
08-18-2017, 09:22 AM   #15
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I was just reading some of the horror stories about Ricoh's indifference and Precision Camera's incompetence. While it's true that people complain far more than they compliment, it doesn't bode well when Pentax doesn't even have spare parts for items that are currently produced, let alone discontinued models.

I went ahead and ordered the Sigma 70-300, mainly because I have little confidence that my lens will actually get repaired when I send it in. I'm also officially "out" of the Pentax game from now on. Unless I move to a country where Ricoh actually gives a damn about their customers. It's evident they don't care about the USA market. Remember when we had that guy from Pentax try and help answer questions on this forum? What a joke THAT turned out to be - poor guy was flooded with requests for help, and he got no support himself from Japan.
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