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07-30-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
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SMC-A 1.7; Photos and Question

I'm posting a few images here to share how impressed I am with my recently acquired SMC-A 1.7 and to ask a question about the mechanics of the lens. I'm new to the DSLR world and used my 18-55 kit lens exclusively for several weeks after my K-x puchase. The 1.7 is my first dip in the prime pool and I'm hooked! I've taken about 7 million shots so far, but this was one of my first and (although a bit on the boring side) it showcases what I love best about the lens: the sharp focal area that fades into OOF perfection.

All in all, I'm very happy with my purchase. There's a small issue with the aperture ring, though. It doesn't like to go past f11 or so. It will...sometimes. I've been able to set the aperture and capture images at every click, including 'A' - just not consistently. It's odd, sometimes she'll (are lenses "she"?) refuse, and other times capitulate. The lens is in exceptional condition otherwise, so I'm wary of using brute force to dial the aperture up. I'd hate to break it and take my chances on another copy. Any advice on how to gently loosen the aperture ring? Or should I just live with it? Suggestions and opinion welcome! TIA!

f/1.7 1/6000 ISO200 (original and crop)

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07-30-2010, 12:56 PM   #2
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If it works properly to f22 when in "A" setting then I am not sure its worth any chance of hosing it just so you can play around with setting the aperature manually. The A series was designed so you could always set it in-camera.
07-30-2010, 01:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
If it works properly to f22 when in "A" setting then I am not sure its worth any chance of hosing it just so you can play around with setting the aperature manually. The A series was designed so you could always set it in-camera.

I discovered the issue with the aperture ring whilst learning the lens and checking it over (like a kid with a new toy!). You're right of course about the 'A' setting - the problem is that I can't seem to get back to 'A' as of my post.

I'm sure I'll be able to return the lens to the Auto setting at some point. As I mentioned, the resistance in the ring is completely and totally random.

Once I get there, I'll just leave it (which is what you're suggesting, I think) and be thankful I scored an *almost* perfect 1.7 for about $30.

I appreciate the response!
07-30-2010, 02:05 PM   #4
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Good luck, hope that little ball bearing drops into place for you. I have an A50/1.4 and assuming its very similar to yours, understand your pleasure in using the lens as much hands on as possible. It was my first prime also and hooked? Yes, I have spent far too much money on primes the last year but its all I shoot with anymore. Enjoy.

07-30-2010, 02:48 PM   #5
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Just keep your eyes open for another 50mm while your using this one, just in case it doesn't comply one day, welcome to LBA.
07-30-2010, 03:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PointLookout Quote
I'm posting a few images here to share how impressed I am with my recently acquired SMC-A 1.7 and to ask a question about the mechanics of the lens. I'm new to the DSLR world and used my 18-55 kit lens exclusively for several weeks after my K-x puchase. The 1.7 is my first dip in the prime pool and I'm hooked! I've taken about 7 million shots so far, but this was one of my first and (although a bit on the boring side) it showcases what I love best about the lens: the sharp focal area that fades into OOF perfection.

All in all, I'm very happy with my purchase. There's a small issue with the aperture ring, though. It doesn't like to go past f11 or so. It will...sometimes. I've been able to set the aperture and capture images at every click, including 'A' - just not consistently. It's odd, sometimes she'll (are lenses "she"?) refuse, and other times capitulate. The lens is in exceptional condition otherwise, so I'm wary of using brute force to dial the aperture up. I'd hate to break it and take my chances on another copy. Any advice on how to gently loosen the aperture ring? Or should I just live with it? Suggestions and opinion welcome! TIA!

f/1.7 1/6000 ISO200 (original and crop)
Yes, all lenses are "shes", just like cars and WOW, 7,000,000 shots. Thats a very good shutter life for a Kx, haha, just kidding.

Just like everyone suggested, once you get it back to "A", leave it there and never touch it, there is no need to set it manually.

IF (and this is a big IF) you really want to loosen it, you can remove the rear mount and see if there is something hindering the ring. I have done this on a "M" lens with returning everything to normal.

I highly suggest you DO NOT try that though, I am a mechanical engineer and am use to taking things apart and making sure they are put back together in a very specific manner.
07-31-2010, 10:15 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by KxBlaze Quote
Yes, all lenses are "shes", just like cars and WOW, 7,000,000 shots. Thats a very good shutter life for a Kx, haha, just kidding.

Just like everyone suggested, once you get it back to "A", leave it there and never touch it, there is no need to set it manually.

IF (and this is a big IF) you really want to loosen it, you can remove the rear mount and see if there is something hindering the ring. I have done this on a "M" lens with returning everything to normal.

I highly suggest you DO NOT try that though, I am a mechanical engineer and am use to taking things apart and making sure they are put back together in a very specific manner.

That 7 mil's impressive, huh? And all on a single charge of the eneloops! Who knew it was possible?

And no worries, she will not undergo surgery at my hands. I'll just wait for the next 'Auto' stop and park it for all eternity...
08-01-2010, 11:26 AM   #8
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The A50/1.7 is notorious for this weak aperture mechanism, but if you leave it on A you'd be fine. Why would you want to move it around anyway? in body-aperture is superior to use on dslr. Cheers


Last edited by Andi Lo; 08-01-2010 at 12:04 PM.
08-01-2010, 11:55 AM   #9
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How to fix it!

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/88051-pentax-50mm-f1...ng-repair.html
08-02-2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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Lens back on 'A' setting as of today. Thanks, everyone!

QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
The A50/1.7 is notorious for this weak aperture mechanism, but if you leave it on A you'd be fine. Why would you want to move it around anyway? in body-aperture is superior to use on dslr. Cheers
Indeed; the ring is back to 'A' and it's never leaving. Ever, ever, ever...


Fantastic reference; fortunately, I don't have to muster the nerve to attempt a fix.
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