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07-13-2009, 09:45 PM   #1
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FA 100 macro problem?

ok I just tried my FA 100 and I hear this distracting noise whenever it tries to focus from short to long or long to short or short/short & long/long or just whenever I turn to focus on another subject which have the same or almost the same distance. it sounded more like a mini version of a jackhammer. I dunno if this sound is normal for the FA 100. mind you that I'm experiencing a lot of focus errors during the whole focus hunting process.

if it's normal, then I guess I would just have to live with my clanky 100. otherwise get the DFA version instead.

07-13-2009, 10:46 PM   #2
Ash
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Have never experienced this 'jackhammer' noise with mine unless you're just referring to basic focus hunt. The closer you get to a subject, the more spot on the focusing has to be, so focus hunt handholding is to be expected - focus won't lock until subject and camera are still enough to do so...

The FA 100 macro is on my top 3 list of the best...
07-13-2009, 11:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Have never experienced this 'jackhammer' noise with mine unless you're just referring to basic focus hunt. The closer you get to a subject, the more spot on the focusing has to be, so focus hunt handholding is to be expected - focus won't lock until subject and camera are still enough to do so...

The FA 100 macro is on my top 3 list of the best...
I tried close and long focus subject. both having the same noise on occasions with steady subject and camera. usually when auto-focusing and focus hunting, it would have this zzzzzzttt sound which is the normal focusing sound. the jackhammer sound occurs when the lens is retracting back into the barrel during focus hunting or having problems locking in on the subject on several occasions. subject is a wall, a closet or anything. distance is not just close focus but normal length as well. is it because it has a long focus throw that when it retracts back in to focus lock on the subject that it makes this annoying noise? is this normal? btw, the focus retraction is quite a bit speedy and the FA 100 is used on the K-7. so it might be that the speedy focusing capability of the K-7 is messing up the focusing process of the lens?

Last edited by Pentaxor; 07-13-2009 at 11:26 PM.
07-13-2009, 11:38 PM   #4
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Never had any problems with my FA 100mm macro that you describe.
Did you set the focus limiter? Anyway the camera will make the usual small focus adjustments if you point to subjects at different distances. If you bought a used lens, maybe it might warrant a visit to a repair shop for them to look at it.

07-14-2009, 12:10 AM   #5
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If it's not just focus hunt (which really shouldn't occur in good lighting and focal distances of over around 70cm or so) I'm not sure what it is - as Denis says, you may have to get it checked out, particularly if it's not locking focus well and giving you sharp images that this lens is well known for.
07-14-2009, 12:13 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Never had any problems with my FA 100mm macro that you describe.
Did you set the focus limiter? Anyway the camera will make the usual small focus adjustments if you point to subjects at different distances. If you bought a used lens, maybe it might warrant a visit to a repair shop for them to look at it.
yes. I tried adjusting the focus limiter. and it solved the jackhammer noise since the focusing distance is limited and didn't have to go the full length focus. my concern is the jackhammer clanking noise during retraction whenever I go longer or full focus.
07-14-2009, 12:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
If it's not just focus hunt (which really shouldn't occur in good lighting and focal distances of over around 70cm or so) I'm not sure what it is - as Denis says, you may have to get it checked out, particularly if it's not locking focus well and giving you sharp images that this lens is well known for.
Sharpness is fine. though I'm really worried about the clacking noise. actually, I'm going out early later on. it's past midnight and can't seem to sleep because of this.
07-14-2009, 12:02 PM   #8
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I had the lens checked out this morning. said that the retracting mechanism inside the barrel is misaligned. they guaranteed that it can be fixed and nothing seriously broken. they are sending it back to Pentax for repair or realignment. it would take from 3 weeks to 2 months before I'll get it back. I hope to get it sooner. this sucks because I'll miss out shooting some macros during the peak of summer.

I was given the option to select another lens for it if I wanted but I opted to keep it instead. I already got some very nice results with it. so it would be a loss for me if I would let go of such a rare lens. I prefer it over the DFA 100 and Sigma 105.

reasons for keeping it are: rarity, built-in hood, solid build, excellent results, focus limiter. no quickshift (so what?).

07-14-2009, 02:31 PM   #9
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Indeed it's a solid lens and performs just as good as the DFA version. It doesn't have a built in hood - it's just its design, though you don't need a hood because of it. And working with this lens for macro stuff, you'd get better focusing doing it manually anyway, so I agree, the quickshift aint all that in a macro.
07-14-2009, 05:19 PM   #10
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"3 weeks to 2 months?!?"

Geez. That doesn't particularly inspire confidence in the system.
07-14-2009, 05:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duck Dodgers Quote
"3 weeks to 2 months?!?"

Geez. That doesn't particularly inspire confidence in the system.
worst case scenario. atleast they won't be bothered by me calling them everyday after the 3 week period. or maybe just counting on not sending them 10 emails everyday !
07-15-2009, 05:19 AM   #12
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Did it make this same noise or exhibit pausing when focusing manually? I have the same lens and often use it in manual, trying to get the perfect shot. It's a very nice lens, only limited by the user.
07-15-2009, 08:57 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Did it make this same noise or exhibit pausing when focusing manually? I have the same lens and often use it in manual, trying to get the perfect shot. It's a very nice lens, only limited by the user.
No, but this is the thing. it's an AF lens and the reason that I bought it is because I need it's AF for telephoto use. I wouldn't mind using manual focus for macros but I need the AF for telephoto. otherwise, I would had bought a cheap 100 MF macro lens instead. I think it's illogical to use a full priced 400 dollar lens that is half functioning. that would be pointless.

anyway, when the camera staff checked the lens themselves, they also noticed the noisy and jittery retraction mechanism. everybody is certain that it was not a simple or common noise. I mean a jackhammer sounding lens is just too weird not to get everybody's attention.
07-15-2009, 09:51 AM   #14
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I agree, it should be fixed and completely usable. It's a nice lens for both 100mm tele use and macro - I take it with me on walks around the neighborhood to survey bees, and whatever else I may find.

Since I own the same lens, I do want to keep an ear open for similar problems should they arise. I wondered whether the problem was in the focusing mechanism or the autofocus drive, and whether you noticed any jerky action during manual focusing.
07-15-2009, 10:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I agree, it should be fixed and completely usable. It's a nice lens for both 100mm tele use and macro - I take it with me on walks around the neighborhood to survey bees, and whatever else I may find.

Since I own the same lens, I do want to keep an ear open for similar problems should they arise. I wondered whether the problem was in the focusing mechanism or the autofocus drive, and whether you noticed any jerky action during manual focusing.
that is quite tricky since I'm experiencing some focusing errors just as well as I suspect the AF drive. the AF drive may had caused the Focus Errors to occur because of the jittery mechanism. IMO, that jittery movement could had hindered the lens from focusing properly or on time.

I didn't feel any jitters during manual focus and it sure is smooth as hell and got no problem with focusing subject. I dont experience any focusing errors nor clanky noises when I set the focus limiter ( obvious reason). as I said, the noise occurs when the lens is fully extended and retracted back in during AF. it's not the usual zzzztttt.....zzzzzzttt noise focus but a drilling noise.

I still have hope for the lens and I'm not letting it go unless it can't be fixed anymore. I hope that I could get it back in 3 weeks.
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