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04-11-2009, 01:46 PM   #1
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DA 50-135. Have I got a bad one?

This morning my long awaited DA50-135 arrived, and sadly I'm not happy.

I might be doing something wrong, or the lens might have problems. I'm not 100% certain so I'm turning to you guys for advice.

Pentax K10 with Firmware 1.30. I installed this a long time ago, maybe it needs a reinstall?

The problem seems to be that the lens will not focus on anything past 50 feet away, it's slightly better manually but it's marginal.
This first picture shows the Pringles pack at 50 feet, and it's slightly past the maximum focus point. The pillar at the top of the steps is impossible to focus on at all, auto or manual.
This picture was taken at - 1/125sec. f 8. ISO 200. Focus showing infinity. Centre weighted metering, Spot focus, and I tried all three alternatives. K10 mounted on a good tripod and remote release. This is the manual focus picture, the auto is no different.




In this picture the clock is a long way away, and the point of focus.
1/80 sec f 22 ISO 400 Centre weighted metering. Aperture Priority. Auto focus. Tripod and remote release.



This was taken on a very bright late afternoon, and I would have expected those setting to have produced a picture useably sharp from front to back, certainly better than this!
At 100% I can't find anything in focus.

But at closer distances the focus 'seems ok' ( but I have never used one of these lenses before so I don't know exactly what to expect )
This picture is one of a long sequence where I focused on the centre spike of the railings from about 15 - 18 feet away and went through the focal range and apertures leaving the focus set on auto. This is typical, and more or less what I'd expect, but please tell me different if it's crap! I used the black and white tape tag to focus on, and it's not exactly stunning focus?
1/200 sec f 8 ISO 100. Centre weighted metering. Auto focus. Tripod and cable release.



I really would appreciate any advice on this.
My gut feeling is the lens isn't right. But I'm the first to admit that I'm not a good learner and I struggle with this stuff, I have dyscalculia which is dyslexia with numbers and I need simple and comprehensive instructions, so please don't feel afraid of telling me the simple stuff, it's perfectly possible that I have missed something along the way.

04-11-2009, 02:16 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
This morning my long awaited DA50-135 arrived, and sadly I'm not happy.
Bummer. I've made some remarks below.
QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
Pentax K10 with Firmware 1.30. I installed this a long time ago, maybe it needs a reinstall?
If your camera is working, I don't see why you should reinstall. Even if you do, it would only solve a problem if the lens did not focus at all.
QuoteQuote:
The problem seems to be that the lens will not focus on anything past 50 feet away, it's slightly better manually but it's marginal.
This first picture shows the Pringles pack at 50 feet, and it's slightly past the maximum focus point. The pillar at the top of the steps is impossible to focus on at all, auto or manual.
This picture was taken at - 1/125sec. f 8. ISO 200. Focus showing infinity. Centre weighted metering, Spot focus, and I tried all three alternatives. K10 mounted on a good tripod and remote release. This is the manual focus picture, the auto is no different.
Although it is a long shot, dismount and remount the lens several times to clean the contacts. My copy won't focus at all when I mount it sometimes, but a remount will resolve it. I have done everything short of solder to get a better connection, but sometimes ...
QuoteQuote:
This was taken on a very bright late afternoon, and I would have expected those setting to have produced a picture useably sharp from front to back, certainly better than this!
At 100% I can't find anything in focus.

But at closer distances the focus 'seems ok' ( but I have never used one of these lenses before so I don't know exactly what to expect )
This picture is one of a long sequence where I focused on the centre spike of the railings from about 15 - 18 feet away and went through the focal range and apertures leaving the focus set on auto. This is typical, and more or less what I'd expect, but please tell me different if it's crap! I used the black and white tape tag to focus on, and it's not exactly stunning focus?
1/200 sec f 8 ISO 100. Centre weighted metering. Auto focus. Tripod and cable release.

I really would appreciate any advice on this.
My gut feeling is the lens isn't right. But I'm the first to admit that I'm not a good learner and I struggle with this stuff, I have dyscalculia which is dyslexia with numbers and I need simple and comprehensive instructions, so please don't feel afraid of telling me the simple stuff, it's perfectly possible that I have missed something along the way.
If cleaning the contacts does not resolve the problem, it should go back. No questions, no doubt about doing it. These lenses are costly enough that you should be entitled to a good copy. I was lucky enough to hit good copies on both on the first try.
04-11-2009, 02:37 PM   #3
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It doesn't seem to be working properly. Sent it back.

cheers
mike
04-12-2009, 04:39 AM   #4
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I've had another go with it today, and it hasn't healed itself overnight.

I've tried cleaning the contacts and refitting the lens several times and there's no difference.

But I have noticed that the edges of the picturesare badly out of focus, so I've just done these 100% crops from the same picture.

Again the K10 is on a good tripod and I used the shutter timer. ( My cable release has also broken, so I might just take up dominoes ! )

1/2000 sec. F4. ISO 200 Aperture Priority. Centre weighted exp. Spot focus.

Full picture, focused on the furnace towers - yellow ladder.


100% centre crop


100% left side crop. I think this is the worst area and similar problems are on ALL the pictures taken so far.


100% right side crop.


The distortion on the trees to the left and right sides of the picture are different to the trees behind the furnaces in the centre crop.
I know the tree line across the back of the valley isn't square on to the picture plane of the camera, but that shouldn't be enough to cause depth of field issues at this distance.

It's not looking good, I think it's back in the box for this lens.

04-12-2009, 06:18 AM   #5
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If your camera is focusing well with other lenses, definately exchange it. I wasn't happy with my first copy, and Adorama exchanged it, no questions asked. The second copy was better. Since I've done a "focus adjustment" through the K10D Debug mode I'm very happy with the results. That only corrects FF or BF issues. Your lens seems to miss focus completely.
04-12-2009, 02:30 PM   #6
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I have exactly the same symptoms with a Tamron 24-135mm AF that I dropped a while back, it will not AF on the wide end and if I do it manually I get a very bad ghosting effect.
04-12-2009, 03:22 PM   #7
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I suspect this has had some 'hard time' - even tough it was well packed for shipping with no apparent damage to the box.

Good job I've still got it!
04-12-2009, 09:44 PM   #8
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Looks like motion blur. Did you mount on a tripod?

04-12-2009, 11:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Looks like motion blur. Did you mount on a tripod?
Motion blur would not stop the lens focusing past 50 feet.
04-13-2009, 07:28 AM   #10
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Send that back, that is absolutely no good. When my wife and I both got our 50-135s we were blown away by the quality.

What you are showing there is HIGHLY underwhelming.

It's obviously defective.
04-24-2009, 03:59 PM   #11
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the replacement arrived today, but I've only taken a few rough shots with it. Thankfully, it looks like a good one.

But I've got a manic weekend so I won't have much chance to go and try it.
04-24-2009, 07:54 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
the replacement arrived today, but I've only taken a few rough shots with it. Thankfully, it looks like a good one.

But I've got a manic weekend so I won't have much chance to go and try it.
Get your priorities straight, Lloyd! First the new toys, then whatever the wife wants, then work. (Don't let Claire see this. I'm already in enough doo-doo!)
04-24-2009, 09:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Get your priorities straight, Lloyd! First the new toys, then whatever the wife wants, then work. (Don't let Claire see this. I'm already in enough doo-doo!)
But you are completely right!
04-24-2009, 09:42 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaRee Quote
But you are completely right!
Thanks, LaRee - Maybe you can train Claire to our way of thinking. After almost 44 years (July coming) she has trained me more than I have trained her, I'm afraid.
04-24-2009, 10:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Thanks, LaRee - Maybe you can train Claire to our way of thinking. After almost 44 years (July coming) she has trained me more than I have trained her, I'm afraid.
I'm afraid to say, that is as it should be too. Of course I'm speaking from a 30+ years wife's perspective here. LOL
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