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01-11-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
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How much play is normal for a focus ring?

I just got a Pentax Smc-A 50mm /f1.4 which at first sight does a very good job taking pictures. The focus ring, however, appears a little loose to me. The front element can be moved slightly forth and back (~0.5mm). I don't have so much experience with old manual focus lenses but my old Minolta lenses never showed such play. So do I have to worry? How much play is normal for a manual focus lens ?
(I could sent the lens back, but optically it is fine, so I don't now if I am just too cautious.)

01-11-2011, 12:46 PM   #2
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Check the small screw on the lens barrel (you are able to see it when the barrel is full extended). Use an appropriate screw driver to tight it up if it has become loose. It may cause the problem you are reporting.
01-11-2011, 01:35 PM   #3
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Most MF lenses shouldn't have any play in them.
So tighten those screws referred to above and see how you go.
01-12-2011, 09:36 AM   #4
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Hello friend, the front lens element should not move at all - to and fro. It means the front lens ring is loose and not sitting snugly against the lens. Some lenses have rings with diametrically opposite slots and these can be tightened with a pair of calipers or lens wrench. Others have a broad ring driven by friction. You can use a truck tube and a piece of hard plastic large diameter water pipe to tighten such a ring. Or if you are not a DIY type, take it to a camera repair guy.
You have a truly great lens. Happy shooting.

01-17-2011, 12:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by FH_le Quote
but my old Minolta lenses never showed such play
Howdy, how's playing your Pentax 50mm? Don't forget to come back and tell us... I'm sustaining my breath.. and a simple thanks to us may help your future inquires (LOL). Cheers.
01-17-2011, 01:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
Howdy, how's playing your Pentax 50mm? Don't forget to come back and tell us... I'm sustaining my breath.. and a simple thanks to us may help your future inquires (LOL). Cheers.
Thanks (and sorry for not posting earlier)!
Fixing the lens was not possible with the easily accesible screws. So today I finally sent the lens back. So no detailed reports on the 50mm so far...

Last edited by FH_le; 01-17-2011 at 01:17 PM.
01-17-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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I'm again late to the party with a comment, but for future reference:

I have an SMC A 28mm 2.8 that has a detectable wiggle in the focus ring. You can feel it, and you can see it if you are looking at the lens. Honestly, I was going to return the lens for refund until I took some test shots and really looked at them ... damned sharpest lens of this type I've ever owned.

I decided that if the lens came apart in my hands someday, so be it ... and I've used the lens many times since ... getting wonderful images with it.

I would agree that there shouldn't be a wiggle in the lens, but I think you missed the point .... how did the lens actually shoot? Unless you simply can't sleep at night because of the wiggle, I would make a call like this on the quality of images you got. If it's a killer copy, what's a little wiggle?

Just my very late .02. Good luck with your search for a better copy.
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