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11-22-2009, 05:12 AM   #1
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Dropped FA 50mm f/1.4 - help fix!

Hello,

Today I dropped my most prized possession, my Pentax SMC FA 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Disappointingly, now the autofocus, auto aperture and stabilization doesn't work - it acts just like an old manual lens. So I obviously assume something happened to the circuitry.

Also disappointingly, the price as tripled since I bought it so I can't buy a new one.

I've seen people post instructions on DIY repair for slr lenses for canon - has anyone had any experience with this for pentax?

The lens wasn't dropped from a great height (about 30cm) and it still looks fine and undamaged. I'm hoping something just came loose which I can put back or solder or something.

I have a k100d. I was just about to sell but keep this lens for better video with the k-x I was going to buy. I was going to change brands reluctantly to canon or nikon until pentax released this fantastic k-x, which suits me perfectly considering I already had a lens collection for pentax, only now it's looks like there's no point since I broke this nifty fifty - the irony!

11-22-2009, 06:36 AM   #2
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It sounds like an electrical problem. Is there any visible damage? The most likely area to look at, based on the faults you describe, is the back of the lens where the electrical contacts are. The contact closest to the bottom of the lens provides all the information to the camera it needs for the AF and stabilization. Post a photo of the back of the lens so we can see if there is any obvious damage.
11-22-2009, 07:25 AM   #3
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Can you turn the focussing ring manually, and does the little coupling on the back of the lens rotate when you do? The lens doesn't have a drive motor for AF, it's driven and controlled by the camera.

Can you move the aperture ring and select "A"? Do the blades open and close inside the lens as expected? Check the little tab that the camera uses to stop down the lens for shooting - there's another thread here where someone had a 50mm manual lens with a bent tab, so it didn't work.

Shake Reduction is handled by the camera body on Pentax DSLRs, so I'd say that providing both of those work then the problem is most likely with the lens electronics.
11-22-2009, 08:21 AM   #4
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Thanks very much for the replies

There is no visable damage that I can see, but is there anything visable to see when the aperture ring is set to A? The aperture blades still work and I can set it to A aperture but the camera doesnt recognise that, just has -- for the aperture info. It also asks what mm the lens is when the stabilisation is selected.

When turning the focus the little part for the af rotates too.

It really seems like something electrical inside it has been knocked out. Has anyone fixed the circuitry of a lens before? I'm assuming microchips shouldn't be damaged as it wasn't a great drop, just maybe something came loose.

The one thing I'm not sure about is that if I turn the aperture ring the full range, around the middle it's a bit stiff. I can't remember if it was like that before.

Apologies for the quality of the photo. The aperture ring is set to A.

Attached Images
 
11-22-2009, 08:33 AM   #5
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Where are you? I would say send this to Eric for repair. He's very good and reasonable in price. Certainly less than replacement. I'd guess that you broke an electrical contac or wire trace inside which is almost impossble to DIY fix without parts.
11-22-2009, 08:42 AM   #6
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Surely, it's toast. That way you can sell it to me cheap for parts, since my FA 50 fell apart in my hands.

FWIW, I sent mine to Eric, and he gave me a very reasonable repair price. But after digging into it, he told me Pentax indicated parts are no longer available and he doesn't have a parts lens lying around ro cannibalize. So I'm trying to track down a parts lens, or even just the contacts, myself.

But perhaps yours doesn't need parts? Or needs a part he might have? (Or perhaps by then I'll have found a replacement F 50 1.7 and sold Eric mine for parts, which he could use to repair yours.) Worth a try sending it to Eric, anyway. Good luck!

Last edited by thirdofthree; 11-22-2009 at 08:49 AM.
11-22-2009, 09:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by thirdofthree Quote
Surely, it's toast. That way you can sell it to me cheap for parts, since my FA 50 fell apart in my hands.

FWIW, I sent mine to Eric, and he gave me a very reasonable repair price. But after digging into it, he told me Pentax indicated parts are no longer available and he doesn't have a parts lens lying around ro cannibalize. So I'm trying to track down a parts lens, or even just the contacts, myself.

But perhaps yours doesn't need parts? Or needs a part he might have? (Or perhaps by then I'll have found a replacement F 50 1.7 and sold Eric mine for parts, which he could use to repair yours.) Worth a try sending it to Eric, anyway. Good luck!
The lens is still listed as available on both the USA and Canadian websites. If your repair shop can't get parts it's not because they aren't available. Pentax has to supply parts for at least the length of the warranty period after discontinuance.
Send the thing to Pentax themselves and get them to fix it, and file a claim with your insurance company.
11-22-2009, 10:31 AM   #8
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Thanks again for the replies.

I'm not in the US. If it can't be fixed I'll have to use it as a manual lens

How long is warranty normally? I've had it for about 15 months.

Could anyone see any damage that I couldn't with the uploaded photo?

Does anyone know if it will still be useable on the k-x during video - setting the aperture manually for example?

11-22-2009, 11:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by fan22 Quote
Thanks again for the replies.

I'm not in the US. If it can't be fixed I'll have to use it as a manual lens

How long is warranty normally? I've had it for about 15 months.

Could anyone see any damage that I couldn't with the uploaded photo?

Does anyone know if it will still be useable on the k-x during video - setting the aperture manually for example?
Warranty depends on where you are. Some places its two years, other places on year.
You would know what your warranty was if you read the warranty card that came with the equipment.
Since the lens is still available, it is still repairable, but don't expect to get warranty repair on a dropped lens. I only mentioned warranty to indicate that since the lens is still current, parts have to be available for it.
If the mighty Eric can't or won't get the parts, then send it to someone who can get the parts.
Like your local official Pentax repair shop.
07-17-2010, 09:35 PM   #10
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I have a broken lens as well...

anyone need the pentax fa 50mm 1.4 lens for parts? i dropped it and now it doesn't work at all (won't even take a photo)..

send me a message if interested!
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