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10-10-2013, 05:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Gorham, Maine USA
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K-5 kit lens barrel looseness


I recently purchased my first new Pentax, a K5 with the DA 18-55 WR kit lens. This is the first non Minolta/Sony camera I have ever bought and I left behind a bunch of minolta and sony lenses. I feel like I did my homework on this purchase and could have gone several routes after deciding to leave the Sony platform. Ultimately I decided on the K-5 based on reviews, low light IQ, weather sealing and the fierce user loyalty.

The lens I received as part of the K-5 kit displays some looseness in the barrel portion that extends when zoomed. This looseness is more than any of my minolta maxxum, tamron or sony lenses. The sharpness of images is acceptable but the lens rattles a bit (a small bit!) and I just expect it to be a bit tighter for a weather sealed unit. Is this normal for this lens? If the end of the barrel is gripped at the filter ring it might display 1-2mm of play to either side.

If this is normal for this lens I can get over the rattle as the images rock! But I would want to get a replacement while the camera is under warranty if others with experience this lens felt it was not normal.

I appreciate your comments.

Best, Dave

10-10-2013, 07:28 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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My copy has some play as well. The inner barrel can be rocked a tiny bit from side to side, but it is way below 1 mm sideways. With front and rear caps mounted and gripping the lens firmly by these two caps, I hear no rattling.
10-12-2013, 07:58 PM   #3

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,502
It's alarming how much of a problem this is with at least several Pentax lenses. The 16-45 is probably the worst that I've personally experienced, but my other DA lenses (none WR) are all worse than my consumer-grade Takumar or Canon FD lenses. It's not close - it's a night and day difference, and it's disappointing. At least with the 16-45, once I tested on a >6mp body, the barrel wobble could be demonstrated to affect performance of this otherwise good-performing lens.

10-17-2013, 04:25 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Gorham, Maine USA
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I'm going to have my dealer submit this under warrantee. At least he will bring in another lens and I can have my pick of the two. I am hoping to stick with weather sealed lenses for this camera and may be investigating other brands if this is the quality level I should expect.

I must say... I just returned from four days of shooting on Mount Desert Island (Acadia & Bar Harbor) and points Downeast. After downloading these to my Mac I am pretty satisfied with the sharpness of the images. See this pic I put up on 500px last night...

500px / Shores of Long Pond by David Hill

Best, Dave

Last edited by Tom S.; 10-17-2013 at 05:02 AM.
10-17-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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Its not normal and almost impossible with the WR version. However there is some slop if you push it with your hands. But less than ~1mm total. I did a teardown of the DA18-55mm WR and studied the design and weather resistant seals. The front is the weakest seal becuase its the only one directly exposed to the weather with a moving part (the barrel) going through it. The rear seal is just a contact silicone seal. This is the seal the zoom barrel slides in. But there is very little slop. Its not possible for the lens to move much at all. As you can see in the pics the seal would have to be missing for it to move that much! Get it checked before going out in bad weather. And if in bad weather do not move your lens barrel around. IMO without having your lens in my hands I think your seeing the normal slop of just less than or about ~1mm total. If not and there is much more than ~1mm total. There is a problem.

The lens is well made even with that normal amount of slight movement up front, and all plastic design (except the metal mount) The lens does not move unless you push it with your hands.

Last edited by jamesm007; 10-19-2013 at 06:42 AM.

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