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01-06-2020, 03:05 PM   #1
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Pentax DA* 55mm f1.4 SDM auto focus issue

Hi - I am new to the Pentax Forum (and discussion threads in general) - I be grateful for advice on an issue with a Pentax DA* 55mm f1.4 lens - the lens is slow to ‘wake up’ - it takes a couple of minutes of fiddling with it, manually focusing and trying to auto-focus, until eventually the auto focus comes to life and the lens begins to work as it should - do you know if there is a fix for this? - many thanks, Niall

01-06-2020, 04:10 PM - 1 Like   #2
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People have reported that behavior many times. If I remember correctly using the lens on regular basis (whatever that means) made the problem go away for a while. I have had 2 copies of the lens and never had a problem, however.
01-06-2020, 07:00 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I also have this lens and not had any problems with it. I have read about some with the SDM being slow to wake up if not used for a while. I try to use mine at least once every few weeks.
01-07-2020, 10:59 AM - 1 Like   #4
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My copy behaves exactly like this. It’s worse if I don’t use the lens for a while. I put up with it for the wonderful quality of the images.

01-07-2020, 11:29 AM - 1 Like   #5
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My DA* 55 does the same thing. I have to wake it up. It seems to take longer and longer. The last time I used it, it was indoors in a controlled situation and just used it in manual mode. Unfortunately it is not a lens that gets frequent use. I have considered selling it but once in awhile it’s exactly what I think I need.

Last edited by Perfessor5646; 01-07-2020 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Correct sloppy typing.
01-08-2020, 02:10 PM   #6
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Thank you for getting back to me. It is good to know others have had a similar experience. If I discover a solution, I will be sure to share it with you. Best wishes, Niall
01-08-2020, 02:21 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I am the second or third owner of mine and I have not had that issue, so I guess I have been lucky. if it totally gives up you can spend the cost of another used model to repair it or just use it as a manual focus lens. I would go that route if my SDM failed completely.
01-08-2020, 02:36 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
I am the second or third owner of mine and I have not had that issue, so I guess I have been lucky. if it totally gives up you can spend the cost of another used model to repair it or just use it as a manual focus lens. I would go that route if my SDM failed completely.
I have two copies of it and both had properly working SDM to begin with.

I had a second so my son could have one to use on one of my other cameras but he much preferred the HD 50-300 so the original one went unused for several months.
EDIT: Now not so sure on the timeline. Hmmmm....not important I guess)

Some time back I had grabbed it to use since it was more convenient at the moment and discovered the auto-focus wouldn't work. Fiddled with it for a minute or more and it suddenly worked. So I took it out again a few weeks later, same thing, very slow to wake but eventually it did tho somewhat inconsistent. Two weeks ago I tried it again and in a couple minutes of trying it never would wake. Nada. Of course the throw on it makes it super easy for manual focusing which I ended up doing.

I'll probably sell it priced as a manual lens, and who knows maybe with regular use it will come back to life tho I doubt it. Since I have another copy with proper SDM I won't bother holding onto this one. It's a great lens, especially so for portrait use, even if it won't auto-focus.


Last edited by gatorguy; 01-08-2020 at 03:09 PM.
01-08-2020, 02:54 PM - 1 Like   #9
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the OP might want to review this thread:

DA* 55 1.4 SDM Problem - Page 3 - PentaxForums.com
01-08-2020, 07:14 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I was just looking over images from over the holidays and I see that my DA*55 was better at hitting focus than my FA77 Limited which I still love but I think the 55 beats it on the K-1.
01-09-2020, 10:43 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Mine is like a Monte Python lens, it's not dead, just resting. I should probably put it on the camera and sign up for a daily challenge so it gets a solid workout.
01-17-2020, 09:41 AM - 1 Like   #12
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anyone tried getting the problem fixed by official tech team? how much does that cost?
can it be repaired?

really tempted to pick up this lens, but the issue scares me.
01-17-2020, 11:03 AM - 1 Like   #13
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If I could buy the SDM thing part, I'd replace it myself. My impression is that my only US repair option would run $200+ and I don't like that idea at the moment, while the lens still mostly works. If the SDM totally stops, I could look at it as a really great manual focus prime.
07-16-2020, 03:52 PM   #14
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Same

Same here, I haven’t used that lens for about a year, and now the camera won’t recognize it at all, it goes straight into manual lens mode, and in that mode getting the F stop below 2.0 is non existent.
I haven’t gotten mine to “wake”back up yet.

This might be the straw that breaks the camel and forces me to finally look at other brands, I have been loyal to Pentax for decades. Sad really.
07-16-2020, 04:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SLRPhotography Quote
Same here, I haven’t used that lens for about a year, and now the camera won’t recognize it at all, it goes straight into manual lens mode, and in that mode getting the F stop below 2.0 is non existent.
I haven’t gotten mine to “wake”back up yet.

This might be the straw that breaks the camel and forces me to finally look at other brands, I have been loyal to Pentax for decades. Sad really.
AF lenses from other brands are known to fail too FWIW. Certainly not an issue with only certain Pentax lenses.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/370597-dre...rspective.html
autofocus - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 stopped focusing? - Photography Stack Exchange

Last edited by gatorguy; 07-16-2020 at 04:29 PM.
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