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04-11-2015, 08:23 AM   #1
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Pentax 1.4x HD Sudden Fail

Yesterday afternoon, my 1.4x teleconverter that has worked flawlessly for a year suddenly stopped working. I was using it with my K-3 and Pentax SMC 300 ED when after removing the combination of the camera (to try out some digi-scoping in combination with the FLU card -- another fiasco, but I'll ask about that in another topic).

I made a pig's ear of transferring the lens and managed to drop it in the mud.

The lens itself has survived this ordeal with no problems but the 1.4x is now not working. It appears to be stuck in a stopped-down state so the camera can't auto-focus nor get the light right.

I've also been using the 1.4x with my Sigma 150-500 lens and it is having the same problem with that lens.

So, the problem is with the 1.4x and none of the other components.

There is no sign of any physical damage on the 1.4x and no sign of any mud on any of the connectors.

I expect all I can do is take it in for service somewhere, but in case anyone else has experienced anything like this, I thought I'd start by appealing for help here.

Thanks,

Dave

04-11-2015, 08:44 AM   #2
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The only moving parts on the 1.4 are the aperture transfer lever mechanism so check to make sure it moves freely.
Otherwise it's possible the electronic contact circuit or a chip may have broken loose.
Don't think it is DIY fixable.
Send it in.
04-11-2015, 02:46 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by davesofnj Quote
I've also been using the 1.4x with my Sigma 150-500 lens and it is having the same problem with that lens.

I'm sorry to hear that your TC has a problem now...


This will be an off-topic question: what is your experience with this combo (1.4x TC + Sigma 150-500)? Has AF been working? And could you possibly share some shots made with this combo?
04-11-2015, 05:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
I'm sorry to hear that your TC has a problem now...


This will be an off-topic question: what is your experience with this combo (1.4x TC + Sigma 150-500)? Has AF been working? And could you possibly share some shots made with this combo?
Yes, the 1.4x TC + Sigma 150-500 works very well on my K-3. Autofocus has been better than I expected and almost as fast as with the lens just by itself. The images are a tad soft compared to using it with the Pentax 300, but still pretty good.

Here's an image I took last summer of a Spotted Sandpiper.

https://flic.kr/p/oNie6f

Here's a Yellow-rumped Warbler from October 2014.

https://flic.kr/p/ptEct7

In both cases, I've done some post-processing and scaled the image to 2560 x 1440 to simplify publishing to my AppleTV.

Dave

PS: I attempted to insert the images and it didn't work, so I've just put the URLs in the message.

04-17-2015, 08:23 AM   #5
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I can hardly believe it, but I fixed it. If Pentax/Ricoh support had been a bit more responsive, I might have sent it to them, but this morning I compared the camera-end of the 1.4x with the camera-end of the 300 mm lens and I realized that the lever that adjusts the aperture on the 1.4x was slightly out of position. When I dropped the lens last week, it must have landed on the lever bending it slightly. A little pressure with my fingernail has put it back where it belongs and it's working again.

Dave
04-17-2015, 09:27 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by davesofnj Quote
I can hardly believe it, but I fixed it. If Pentax/Ricoh support had been a bit more responsive, I might have sent it to them, but this morning I compared the camera-end of the 1.4x with the camera-end of the 300 mm lens and I realized that the lever that adjusts the aperture on the 1.4x was slightly out of position. When I dropped the lens last week, it must have landed on the lever bending it slightly. A little pressure with my fingernail has put it back where it belongs and it's working again.

Dave
Look at that, it was DIY fixable! Glad you got it sorted
04-17-2015, 10:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by davesofnj Quote
I can hardly believe it, but I fixed it. If Pentax/Ricoh support had been a bit more responsive, I might have sent it to them, but this morning I compared the camera-end of the 1.4x with the camera-end of the 300 mm lens and I realized that the lever that adjusts the aperture on the 1.4x was slightly out of position. When I dropped the lens last week, it must have landed on the lever bending it slightly. A little pressure with my fingernail has put it back where it belongs and it's working again.

Dave
I had that happen to me once when I dropped a new lens right after unpacking it. I thought it was broken but it was a bent aperture lever.
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