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02-17-2020, 02:32 AM   #1
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Zoom Ring Issue on the DA* 60-250

A friend has lent me his 60-250 to see if I like it before buying. Thus far it seems pretty decent. I don't shoot zooms at all really, only a few wide angle ones. My experience with zooms are only the Sigma 10-20, DA 12-24 and HD DA 20-40. All of those zoom rings felt consistent, the DA 60-250 does not. I have noticed the following and want to verify if this is normal and if not what could it mean;

- from 60-85mm or so it feels smooth and consistent, then it starts to get tight when it reaches 135mm. After 135mm it then loosens up again to being the same friction level to turn as it was between 60-85.

- from around 200-250mm the rotation is smooth, however the actual difference of zoom/reach between say 210mm-250mm is very little difference. You can even see it physically on the lens as it is not internal focusing, it shifts out/extends perhaps only 5mm between 200-250mm, whereas the other leaps between the focal lengths feel like they cover more distance.

- I noticed if you tilt the lens upwards and try zooming, all of the above is true with the addition of extra force being required to get things moving. It can actually feel quite stiff to just get from 60-85mm.

So... is the lens suffering somewhat? Wear and tear? Or completely normal for a zoom lens of this kind?


TIA!

BB

02-17-2020, 03:17 AM   #2
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I don't have that particular lens, but I have quite a few zoom :
- Sigma 10-20 like you
- DA 10-17
- DAL 18-50
- HD DA 55-300 PLM
- Tamron 18-250
- Tamron 70-300

Zoom ring stiffness is different between all of these lenses but the amount of stiffness is constant for a given lens, whatever current focal length is.
02-17-2020, 03:26 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bertrand3000 Quote
I don't have that particular lens, but I have quite a few zoom :
- Sigma 10-20 like you
- DA 10-17
- DAL 18-50
- HD DA 55-300 PLM
- Tamron 18-250
- Tamron 70-300

Zoom ring stiffness is different between all of these lenses but the amount of stiffness is constant for a given lens, whatever current focal length is.
I've since learned after posting this that what I am experiencing is pretty normal for the 60-250, on every aspect I posted above. You live and learn!

Thanks!
02-17-2020, 04:43 AM   #4
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mostly it has to do with the mass of the lenses. If the front of the lens shows to the ground zooming feels smoother, if it shows to the sky it feels tighter ...

02-17-2020, 05:18 AM   #5
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It pretty much describes the personality of the lens.
02-17-2020, 05:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
- from around 200-250mm the rotation is smooth, however the actual difference of zoom/reach between say 210mm-250mm is very little difference. You can even see it physically on the lens as it is not internal focusing, it shifts out/extends perhaps only 5mm between 200-250mm, whereas the other leaps between the focal lengths feel like they cover more distance.
Don't read too much into that. There are internal elements moving too, which require force but might not change the length of the lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
- from 60-85mm or so it feels smooth and consistent, then it starts to get tight when it reaches 135mm. After 135mm it then loosens up again to being the same friction level to turn as it was between 60-85.
I never noticed it on my copy.

If you can zoom it, use AF, and the pictures turn out good (or great, as they should) then I wouldn't worry.
02-17-2020, 06:34 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Many of us were concerned with the stiffness around 135 when we first got the lens but it turned out to be normal. Not a problem. I no longer have my 60-250 but it remains one of my favorite Pentax lenses.
02-17-2020, 11:56 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
- from around 200-250mm the rotation is smooth, however the actual difference of zoom/reach between say 210mm-250mm is very little difference. You can even see it physically on the lens as it is not internal focusing, it shifts out/extends perhaps only 5mm between 200-250mm, whereas the other leaps between the focal lengths feel like they cover more distance.
The DA* 60-250 is most certainly internal focus, something that does not affect how much or whether a lens extends to zoom. The fact that it extends on zoom indicates that it is not able to change focal length purely by moving the internals around. With modern two-touch zooms, a change in extension does not directly translate to the change in focal length.* The total extension from 60mm to 250mm being only about 60mm. If you have doubts about the focal length at the 250mm mark, compare FOV at infinity (200m is probably far enough) to a 250mm prime at the same subject distance. Do not compare at closer distance because it is quite likely that your lens may have some degree of focus breathing resulting in wider than expected FOV at moderate to close subject distance with longer focal lengths.

As for the effort required to move the zoom ring, that was noted as a characteristic of the lens in the detailed review here on PF.

Pentax DA* 60-250mm F4 Review - Construction and Handling | PentaxForums.com Reviews


Steve

* In much the same sense, the overall length of a long prime is almost always significantly less than the focal length due to telephoto design.


Last edited by stevebrot; 02-17-2020 at 12:21 PM.
02-17-2020, 04:31 PM   #9
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Thanks for the swift replies and feedback, I am now much the better wiser and stand corrected. Awesome.
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