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07-11-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
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Pentax DA L 1:4-5.8 55-300mm ED lens

Hi all... my name is Patricianne ... new to the Pentax DSLR world and need some help please.
Recently, after much research and due to my limited budget, I purchased a really nice Pentax K-x (navy blue), with two lenses, the second one being a DA L 1:4-5.8 55-300mm ED which seems kinda weird to me or there's something not right with it.
I also have a Pentax ZX-30 35mm owner and really enjoyed the camera until processing quality went down and costs went up. Anyway, I have 2 lenses from my ZX-30 that work fine on the K-x, but the 55-300 that came with the K-x blurs everything except at 55mm and even that's not too sharp. Don't know if the lens a dud or I'm the dud!
Can someone please tell me how to use this lens or what I should I expect from it. Only the center turns, not like my other 3 lenses that give me 2 options to focus. Forgive me if I'm not using the correct terminology here but this is all pretty new to me and I haven't really progressed beyond the "I'm intimidated by my K-x Automatic" setting.
My other question is that the camera lenses came with a rear cap that doesn't cover the connectors (photos attached), is it okay to use this type or can the lens connections be damaged from it? My ZX lenses both have the full rear covers.
Any help or advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance for your responses and wish you all a great day.
Kind regards,
Patricianne
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07-11-2014, 10:19 AM   #2
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The best thing would be to post photos with the issue. Does the lens autofocus? Switch into Manual Focus mode (the vertical switch next to the mount). See if you can rotate the focus ring then (the ring forward of the zoom ring and the inscriptions). Try not to move the focus rings on your lenses when AF is engaged, you might damage the motor.

PS those caps are perfectly fine.
07-11-2014, 10:41 AM   #3
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I had a DA-L 55-300 for most of the year, and just upgraded to the DA (old version) because I was going bonkers without quick shift that allows manual focusing while the AF is engaged. Your lens, the DA-L can damage the camera if you attempt to manually focus it, as Giklab points out.

My DA-L 55-300 focused just fine. I was not at all displeased with the results from the lens. You should note that the lens is not parfocal. The focus changes when you zoom, so you must refocus every time you change the framing. This would be the simplest problem to solve, and I hope that it is your problem with the lens.
07-11-2014, 10:51 AM   #4
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I'm not a autofocus person with all that clever technology, so I'll just say welcome to the forum.

07-11-2014, 11:16 AM   #5
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Patricianne,

Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

QuoteOriginally posted by tc7559876 Quote
not like my other 3 lenses that give me 2 options to focus
I may be completely off base here, but you may be confusing zooming and autofocusing, and may possibly not let the camera autofocus. Most zoom lens will have one ring that allows you to zoom in or out (make the image appear bigger or smaller in the view finder). There will be another ring that allow you to focus the lens - making the subject appear sharp/clear in the viewfinder. The latter effect is most evident when the subject is close.

Both your old camera and the K-x allows you to autofocus IF you have auto focus lenses - i.e. the camera will do the focus for you. Maybe your old lenses are manual focus? You will have to post their names for us to know. Or maybe your ZX was set to MF (manual focus) in which case you would always have to do the focus yourself.

Your k-x is set to do autofous by default. Especially the 55-300m lens will show must everything out of focus until you press the shutter buttom half way, in which case what you are pointing at should become focused. Check that the button on the side of the lens mount is set to AF - not MF, and try to slowly press the button - you should see the focusing happening.

If you already know all this I apologize - I only read the line above to mean there might be a lack of understanding around how the focusing work.
07-11-2014, 12:59 PM   #6
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ooops

Hi, don't know how those repeat photos of the camera got incorporated into my response but please accept my apologies.
Thanks so much.
Patricianne

---------- Post added 07-11-14 at 04:01 PM ----------

Hi, thanks very much to everyone who replied. I've already learned so much from each of you...wow!
Sorry, I don't have any photos to post, the lens is just a big fuzzy blur.
No, it doesn't seem to autofocus at all. As you recommended, I tried Manual Focus mode (the vertical switch next to the mount) but can't rotate the forward ring, seems frozen. It seems as though it wants to move when I hold the shutter half way down but it doesn't rotate at all, just kinda sounds like its trying but can't.
I tried each of my other lenses and they allow me to zoom and each seamlessly do autofocus, so I'm leaning toward thinking there may be a problem with the lens motor itself unless any of you have other thoughts on it.
Besides the SMC Pentax-DA L 1:4-5.8 55-300mm ED, my current lenses are:
SMC Pentax-FA 1:4.7-5.6 80-200mm
SMC Pentax-FA 1:3-5-5.6 28-80mm
SMC Pentax-DA L 1:3.5-5.6 18-55MM AL.
There doesn't seem to be any issue with those however.
My personal needs are for taking photos of paintings I've done for reproduction and marketing purposes. I specialize in pet portraits but also do other types of paintings including landscapes, city scenes, etc., so a long-range lens is important when I photograph reference scenes and ease of use of the camera is a necessity. I can handle a paint brush but when it comes to an f stop I'm lost...I soooo envy all of you for your expertise and truly appreciate your generous help. Any comments or suggestions are more than welcome.
Have a beautiful day.
Kind regards,
Patricianne
07-11-2014, 01:47 PM   #7
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Does the focus ring turn when the lens is detached from the camera? If the focus ring isn't rotating at all something is wrong with the lens.
07-11-2014, 03:07 PM   #8
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+1 to broken lens. There should be a small round pin on the mount with a straight indent. Try moving that with a screwdriver. I'm under the impression the mechanism which connects the camera motor to the lens AF gearing is stuck.

07-11-2014, 04:09 PM   #9
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FYI to the OP - there is no motor in the lens. The motor is in the camera body, and connects with a tiny straight slot screw pin in the lens mount.
07-12-2014, 03:07 AM   #10
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Hi again and thanks so much for everyone's help, and I apologize for not being too familiar with how to post things but sooner or later I hope to get the hang of it! (Probably should ask my grandchildren for help there.)
From all your input it appears the lens is defective so I've contacted the person I purchased it from and they're going to replace it. Aside from all else, I've learned so much from all your posts and can't begin to thank you all enough.
Wish you all a wonderful weekend and a great week to follow.
Kind regards,
Patricianne
07-12-2014, 06:16 AM   #11
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Welcome to the Pentaxfoums! Lots of helpful people here, and a great resource
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