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03-13-2018, 08:00 AM   #1
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Broken HD DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE

All my lenses so far have been Sigma, I buy them on a combination of cost, quality and most importantly they have the lenses I want. Anyway 14 months ago I bought my first Pentax Lens, the HD DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE.

I found it really quite good in use but then it broke a couple of weeks ago. Difficult to describe the fault, but the lens was bent. Where it had broken in the middle and there was about 3mm of movement in this bend. It wasn't worth sending away for reapir so I stripped it down and found the cheapest looking plastic mounting bracket had broken inside. The attached photos shows 3 points where it had broken. When I see how thin and fragile the plastic is I wonder that it didn't break sooner.

This really makes me wonder why I would ever buy another Pentax lens, I couldn't believe the cheap plastic quality of this bracket. Anyway the main reason for posting was that if anyone else has the same problem I can help you if you want to strip it down. I've glued the broken bits together and it's working again, but doubt it will hold long. Now going to buy the Sigma 18-300 instead.

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03-13-2018, 08:38 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Sorry for the bad news.

lenses these days are not built in the way it used to be. Takumars served me >20 year and I believe they will live longer than me.
here are the photos of how a Zeiss FE 24-70mm f/4 that "features a black metal and rubber construction" was broken: only 4 tiny plastic piles hold the mount and the rest part.

My point is, other lens makers are doing the same thing. I am sure the "connection" parts on pentax is much stronger than that. And your photos show that in fact.
They want the lens to last just a few years in average and users are encouraged to "upgrade". As pentaxian, we should be happy to have all these old lenses that we can use.
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Last edited by grahame; 03-13-2018 at 08:44 AM.
03-13-2018, 08:45 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Maybe you could 3d print a replacement?
03-13-2018, 09:58 AM   #4
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I'm curious what happened to the lens to break it?

03-13-2018, 10:13 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
Sorry for the bad news.

lenses these days are not built in the way it used to be. Takumars served me >20 year and I believe they will live longer than me.
here are the photos of how a Zeiss FE 24-70mm f/4 that "features a black metal and rubber construction" was broken: only 4 tiny plastic piles hold the mount and the rest part.

My point is, other lens makers are doing the same thing. I am sure the "connection" parts on pentax is much stronger than that. And your photos show that in fact.
They want the lens to last just a few years in average and users are encouraged to "upgrade". As pentaxian, we should be happy to have all these old lenses that we can use.
yes, you are no doubt correct, unfortunately I never took a shot from above which would have shown how flimsy two of the breaks are...

---------- Post added 03-13-18 at 05:15 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jhankins Quote
I'm curious what happened to the lens to break it?
no idea, it was like that when I took it out of my bag so I must have either dropped my bag and not realised or hit it against something
03-13-2018, 10:42 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by scottmasterton Quote
This really makes me wonder why I would ever buy another Pentax lens
I am sorry for your loss, but wonder why you didn't send the lens in for warranty service. Was it dropped or are you not the original owner (damage done by another)? I have been on this forum for a number of years and rare are the reports of a lens simply fracturing in normal use. I hope your experience is not evidence of a trend for that lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by scottmasterton Quote
no idea, it was like that when I took it out of my bag so I must have either dropped my bag and not realised or hit it against something
You posted while I was composing.
Damage in the bag is something out of a bad dream. Even traditional metal construction is not immune to failure if given a hard knock. Whether the construction you noted constitutes a potential point of failure for normal use is hard to say. Most lenses are pretty flimsy inside.


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Last edited by stevebrot; 03-13-2018 at 10:49 AM.
03-13-2018, 11:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I am sorry for your loss, but wonder why you didn't send the lens in for warranty service. Was it dropped or are you not the original owner (damage done by another)? I have been on this forum for a number of years and rare are the reports of a lens simply fracturing in normal use. I hope your experience is not evidence of a trend for that lens.

Steve
I think in North America you maybe get more of a warranty than us. In the UK we get a 12 month warranty, so it is out of warranty.
03-13-2018, 11:49 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by scottmasterton Quote
I think in North America you maybe get more of a warranty than us. In the UK we get a 12 month warranty, so it is out of warranty.
Same here in the US unless you buy an extended warrantee. I think Canada may get two years if purchased locally from an authorized dealer. Drops aren't covered in either case if that may have happened.

03-13-2018, 12:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by scottmasterton Quote
I think in North America you maybe get more of a warranty than us. In the UK we get a 12 month warranty, so it is out of warranty.
I thought Pentax Pro dealers offered a two year warranty. Clifton Cameras state this on their website.
https://www.cliftoncameras.co.uk/Pentax-Shop


03-13-2018, 12:09 PM   #10
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What really stinks is where a lens is NOT dropped and the internal damage seems to indicate otherwise. Some have had repairs denied in those cases. It is very had to prove you never dropped something - easy to assume you did. I am sorry you suffered this loss.

On the other hand I know first hand how quickly a small drop can kill a lens. I dropped my K-3 with an attached FA 35 inside a padded camera holster by mistake. It rolled off the desk I was working on (unbalanced) and dropped a mere 2' or so to the wood floor while wrapped up in the padding. The lens bent on impact and saved the camera. The lens has been "repaired" but has no AF and no auto-aperture function - it works like an M series or K series lens (green button manual aperture. So I know how hard a short fall or other knock can be even on a tough lens like a short FA prime. I've seen horror stories here in this site of 50-135's broken in half. I even have a 70-210 A series that was shipped to me working (per the owner) and arrived broken (eBay purchase, he gave it to me for free at that point). Plastic is a wonderful material in many ways but it isn't as durable as we wish. In any case, good luck. Maybe someone else can use it for parts at some point or you can find one that gets damaged front or rear elements to mate with it.
03-13-2018, 12:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by slartibartfast01 Quote
I thought Pentax Pro dealers offered a two year warranty. Clifton Cameras state this on their website.
Pentax Shop
Yes they do, so do some others like SRS, which is who I normally order all my kit through, but this one came from Amazon. I think it also may have just been recently that these pro shops started offering this.
03-13-2018, 12:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
Same here in the US unless you buy an extended warrantee. I think Canada may get two years if purchased locally from an authorized dealer. Drops aren't covered in either case if that may have happened.
Feel obligated to mention that if you check out with a credit card, many cards offer an extra year of warranty as a free benefit.

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03-13-2018, 12:22 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
What really stinks is where a lens is NOT dropped and the internal damage seems to indicate otherwise. Some have had repairs denied in those cases. It is very had to prove you never dropped something - easy to assume you did. I am sorry you suffered this loss.

On the other hand I know first hand how quickly a small drop can kill a lens. I dropped my K-3 with an attached FA 35 inside a padded camera holster by mistake. It rolled off the desk I was working on (unbalanced) and dropped a mere 2' or so to the wood floor while wrapped up in the padding. The lens bent on impact and saved the camera. The lens has been "repaired" but has no AF and no auto-aperture function - it works like an M series or K series lens (green button manual aperture. So I know how hard a short fall or other knock can be even on a tough lens like a short FA prime. I've seen horror stories here in this site of 50-135's broken in half. I even have a 70-210 A series that was shipped to me working (per the owner) and arrived broken (eBay purchase, he gave it to me for free at that point). Plastic is a wonderful material in many ways but it isn't as durable as we wish. In any case, good luck. Maybe someone else can use it for parts at some point or you can find one that gets damaged front or rear elements to mate with it.
That's a good point about looking out for another damaged one, I'll do that. I have been able to glue the broken bits and it is working again but I don't think it will hold for long. I've no idea how it was damaged. I'm not the most careful person with my kit but it was in a padded bag cell in a padded bag but I guess I must have knocked it somehow.It certainly looks to me as it it had some force applied to it. Up until I stripped it down I would have said it was a fault but now I think it must have been knocked.
03-13-2018, 12:34 PM   #14
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Wow - thats sad.
I have a SMC Pentax-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED, that has proven itself amazingly tough (even if its got a plastic mount) - 4 years ago it fell out of the side flap of my camera back, still on the camera, and landed (lens pointed down) on the concrete garage floor! Nothing broke (or even noticeably marked) and still use it today. I realise I might have been lucky but still its impressive.

Hopefully this is not a sign that newer models are less durable.
03-13-2018, 12:46 PM   #15
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I have bought too many Pentax lenses over the years to enumerate here, and this is the first time I have seen or known of such shoddy construction. I would send it directly back to Pentax with a letter of complaint. Out of embarrassment they may do something for you.

The thin plastic is very unusual for Pentax lenses, which have been generally known for better quality for the cost factor, compared to the competition. Not that there have not been a few Pentax lenses that are sub-standard, but nothing like this! I think the thin grade was chosen for the purpose of creating a tele zoom lens designed to be as lightweight as possible, but went too far in this case.

I can highly recommend the well-tested, long-standing Pentax DA HD 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR lens, which I have, and is more heavy-duty than the newer PLM version. Independent lab tests have shown it to be superior in performance as well as well-built compared to 55-300mm lenses by the other brands. Its quality will definitely be superior to the Sigma 18-300mm you are contemplating, both in construction and in optical performance.

Last edited by mikesbike; 03-13-2018 at 12:52 PM.
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