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12-16-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
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Can my Pentax DA* 60-250 lens be saved?

A sad story fellow Pentaxians - looking for your input.

I recently picked up a second-hand Pentax 60-250 and have spent a few days experimenting. Quite liking the flexibility and trying to figure out how to get the best quality from it. Had it set up on a tripod to see how good of a pic I could get of the full moon with max zoom (since the K3 gives me a lot of MPs to crop down, pretty decent it turns out!)

To make a long story short, the (IMO badly designed) quick release plate wasn't seated quite right and when I moved the tripod the camera and lens fell on to a brick path.
The result is a bent barrel (the "extending" zoom portion), a crack in the top of that barrel and a bent and cracked filter that I cannot remove (did not try too hard yet).

Question is: is it worth sending to Pentax to see if they can fix it? At first I thought it was hopeless but upon further inspection, the zoom portion of the barrel where the crack is seems to be basically just a plastic tube. Now I'm thinking they may be able to replace that if none of the rest of the glass inside is damaged.

Thoughts? Similar experiences?

On a side note, I am ditching my Manfrotto 390 asap since that is what I consider to be the root cause of this tragedy.

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12-16-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by carolina_sky Quote
The result is a bent barrel (the "extending" zoom portion), a crack in the top of that barrel and a bent and cracked filter that I cannot remove (did not try too hard yet)....I am ditching my Manfrotto 390 asap
Ouch. You can get a repair quote from C.R.I.S. in Arizona (they contract repair for Pentax), but something tells me that it will be $$$.

As for the QR plate...the risk of improper seating sort of comes with the territory. I use the Arca-Swiss style plates as a way of avoiding the problem, though even those are not completely idiot-proof. You might want to consider replacement of just the head or QR platform rather than the whole tripod. Edit: I just looked up the Manfrotto 390 and it is not designed for that heavy lens/camera combo. A sturdier tripod might well be in order. End edit

Oh...BTW...Welcome to the Pentax Forums. Wish it was under happier circumstances.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-16-2013 at 05:53 PM.
12-16-2013, 05:51 PM   #3
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Ooooowww. I do not have this lens but I would imagine that it would be well worth getting a repair quote. The lens is of reasonable value so it may be viable to fix.

Sorry to hear of the accident - how long did it take for you to stop cursing?
12-16-2013, 06:15 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Long-time lurker, now officially "outed" here, so thanks for the welcome.

Yes, the Manfrotto was out of its depth and that was an expensive lesson for me. This was my first time using the lens on it and I was really just "playing around" in the yard so didn't think it through very deeply. Ironically, I had been researching better travel tripods just that morning. It handled my DA* 200 well enough, and while the 60-250 is bigger, it didn't strike me as *that* much bigger but it's certainly less balanced when zoomed out. I suspect that if it hadn't been zoomed out, the lens may well have survived the fall.

@stevebrot, thanks for suggestion on C.R.I.S. I will contact them. Even if a repair costs several hundred $ that would still be better than junking the lens.

@kiwi_jono, I had to keep the cursing to a minimum since my mother-in-law happens to be visiting, but I couldn't stop myself from moping around for several hours afterward! (where's the crying smilie?)

On the bright side, the K-3 proved tough enough to handle the fall with no visible damage. Tried some test photos and can't see any issues but I'll do some more rigorous testing before I pronounce that safe. But, that is why I went Pentax in the first place and I've bumped and slopped my previous K10 and K5 over many miles and many cities without any issues, ever.

12-16-2013, 06:25 PM   #5
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Those pictures should be labeled NSFP (Not Safe For Photographers.). I actually got chills down my spine.... That is just horrible, so sorry for your loss.

As Steve said it's time to contact CRIS. Here is their website: https://www.criscam.com/ I've dealt with them and had a good experience. I'm afraid that is going to be expensive, but at least they will give you a quote first.

Manfrotto 390 was my first tripod, nice little tripod but not IMHO up to a DSLR and big glass. My DIL has mine now.
12-16-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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My Pentax 50-135 looked about the same way when I dropped it last month. It was bent and would not focus. But no crack. In any case, I got it back from CRIS last week. Seems ok except that the focusing barrel is not as smooth as it used to be. Here is the work order detailing what was done.

C.R.I.S. Camera Services
250 North 54th Street
Chandler, AZ 85226
Phone: 480-940-1103
Fax: 480-940-1329
customerservice@criscam.com

Problem Reported:
LENS FELL DOWN ONTO TABLE AND FLOOR; NOT ABLE TO FOCUS; LENS APPEARS BENT IN THE BODY; PIECE OF RUBBER
SEALING CAME OFF
Details of Service:
ESTIMATE TO REPLACE REAR MOUNTING FRAME
REPLACE FRONT FRAME
REPLACE O-RING PACKING
REPLACE SDM UNIT
REPLACE MAIN PCB
ADJUST TO MANUFACTURERS SPECIFICATIONS
GENERAL CHECK AND CLEAN
REPAIR COMES WITH A 6 MONTH SERVICE WARRANTY
347.00-includes shipping
12-16-2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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Psychdocs 50-135 sounds like mine after the cat knocked it off the dresser a number of years ago. Cost about the same to get it fixed too. Definitely worth getting a quote.


03-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #8
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For anyone who is interested in the outcome, I did end up sending it to CRIS, and they repaired it for ~$400 (after a lengthy wait for a part from Pentax). So it was definitely worthwhile pursuing this. Initial tests suggest it is as good as new. so big thanks to CRIS and to those who pointed me in the right direction here (@Stevebrot, @jatrax, @psychdoc - thanks all!)

03-03-2014, 04:01 PM   #9
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I didn't catch this first time through, great to hear the result, well not the $400 pat, but the part where you get it fixed. I use a similar tripod and have actually caught a long lens coming off a number of times, so I know how easy that could happen. It easily could have been me.
03-03-2014, 08:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by carolina_sky Quote
A sad story fellow Pentaxians - looking for your input.

I recently picked up a second-hand Pentax 60-250 and have spent a few days experimenting. Quite liking the flexibility and trying to figure out how to get the best quality from it. Had it set up on a tripod to see how good of a pic I could get of the full moon with max zoom (since the K3 gives me a lot of MPs to crop down, pretty decent it turns out!)

To make a long story short, the (IMO badly designed) quick release plate wasn't seated quite right and when I moved the tripod the camera and lens fell on to a brick path.
The result is a bent barrel (the "extending" zoom portion), a crack in the top of that barrel and a bent and cracked filter that I cannot remove (did not try too hard yet).

Question is: is it worth sending to Pentax to see if they can fix it? At first I thought it was hopeless but upon further inspection, the zoom portion of the barrel where the crack is seems to be basically just a plastic tube. Now I'm thinking they may be able to replace that if none of the rest of the glass inside is damaged.

Thoughts? Similar experiences?

On a side note, I am ditching my Manfrotto 390 asap since that is what I consider to be the root cause of this tragedy.


I agree on the tube...


Have to look at the positives to feel a tad better. The extended barrel saved your K-3 from any damage. First the filter took a lot of the hit and bent, like a car bumper absorbing energy (a good bit!), then the barrel hit the ground as well and bent up and cracked because I think the DA* have a lot of metal like the main zoom housing. That took just about all the energy from the fall away from parts further down the line. You seem to know how there are a lot of simple large parts in a zoom; but there are small cam rollers... but all can be changed. You probably only need a new barrel and maybe a new front group if its damaged in any way. You may need a few small parts (not expensive) as well. I would for sure send it in for a quote. You may be very surprised.


Anyway you look at it, I see a strongly built lens that took the blow and saved your camera. Could you imagine if your K-3 broke as well! I would feel half bad and half good that I did not break everything. I broke the front element of my Sigma 17-70mm once. C.R.I.S did a fantastic job and made my lens like new. They ordered a new front lens group form Sigma, trim ring and other parts to make it like new again for $200. Still solid and takes tack sharp pics. I can't speak high enough about C.R.I.S. BTW C.R.I.S is Pentax only camera repair center in the USA. That's where your camera goes when you send it to Pentax.


And to give you an idea of how many parts are in a zoom lens here is a tear down of the small kit lens - DA18-55mm WR I did for fun. You can see the many plastic parts. But don't let that fool you its strong stuff! Moreover you can see even in a small simple zoom most parts can be changed no problem. The optics are changeable from the factory in groups then its calibrated. However you may simple need only the zoom barrel. Send it in and let us know. Good Luck. Don't feel bad.


I agree you may only need that tube, no lens elements, that strong outer housing for the barrel and plastic tube took the full hit.


03-07-2014, 07:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesm007 Quote
I agree on the tube...


Have to look at the positives to feel a tad better. The extended barrel saved your K-3 from any damage. First the filter took a lot of the hit and bent, like a car bumper absorbing energy (a good bit!), then the barrel hit the ground as well and bent up and cracked because I think the DA* have a lot of metal like the main zoom housing. That took just about all the energy from the fall away from parts further down the line. You seem to know how there are a lot of simple large parts in a zoom; but there are small cam rollers... but all can be changed. You probably only need a new barrel and maybe a new front group if its damaged in any way. You may need a few small parts (not expensive) as well. I would for sure send it in for a quote. You may be very surprised.


Anyway you look at it, I see a strongly built lens that took the blow and saved your camera. Could you imagine if your K-3 broke as well! I would feel half bad and half good that I did not break everything. I broke the front element of my Sigma 17-70mm once. C.R.I.S did a fantastic job and made my lens like new. They ordered a new front lens group form Sigma, trim ring and other parts to make it like new again for $200. Still solid and takes tack sharp pics. I can't speak high enough about C.R.I.S. BTW C.R.I.S is Pentax only camera repair center in the USA. That's where your camera goes when you send it to Pentax.


And to give you an idea of how many parts are in a zoom lens here is a tear down of the small kit lens - DA18-55mm WR I did for fun. You can see the many plastic parts. But don't let that fool you its strong stuff! Moreover you can see even in a small simple zoom most parts can be changed no problem. The optics are changeable from the factory in groups then its calibrated. However you may simple need only the zoom barrel. Send it in and let us know. Good Luck. Don't feel bad.


I agree you may only need that tube, no lens elements, that strong outer housing for the barrel and plastic tube took the full hit.

Thanks James, yes I agree with your view that the lens may have saved the camera from getting damaged. Also, CRIS service was excellent, and I will certainly turn to them again with any Pentax equipment issues.

I got some appreciation for how complex the inner workings of lenses are at CES where the Canon display had a couple of cut-away lenses on display which was really cool to see.
Cut-away of large Canon zoom lens:
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03-07-2014, 10:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by carolina_sky Quote

I got some appreciation for how complex the inner workings of lenses are at CES where the Canon display had a couple of cut-away lenses on display which was really cool to see.
Cut-away of large Canon zoom lens:
Wow....
03-07-2014, 02:43 PM   #13
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Does your home insurance cover it? Could be worth checking.

I feel for you. I have the same lens and would be gutted if it happened to me.
03-12-2014, 06:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by carolina_sky Quote
Thanks James, yes I agree with your view that the lens may have saved the camera from getting damaged. Also, CRIS service was excellent, and I will certainly turn to them again with any Pentax equipment issues.

I got some appreciation for how complex the inner workings of lenses are at CES where the Canon display had a couple of cut-away lenses on display which was really cool to see.
Cut-away of large Canon zoom lens:
Glad all went well. That Canon looks complicated and expensive. Lensrental does tear downs of lens now and then. The owner does it for fun and other reasons he can think of . My type of guy! Looking at the Canon and thinking about Pentax DA* lens and how they are much better built than the WR kit lens its easy to understand why they are rated for higher protection against foreign substance. Tolerance!
03-12-2014, 08:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by carolina_sky Quote
For anyone who is interested in the outcome, I did end up sending it to CRIS, and they repaired it for ~$400 (after a lengthy wait for a part from Pentax). So it was definitely worthwhile pursuing this. Initial tests suggest it is as good as new. so big thanks to CRIS and to those who pointed me in the right direction here (@Stevebrot, @jatrax, @psychdoc - thanks all!)
400 is a bitter pill...but honestly considering the price of the lens, its not too bad. Now get yourself a Gitzo
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