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03-06-2016, 04:59 PM   #1
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DA* 55mm autofocus problem

My DA* 55mm has been my #1 portrait lens since I bought it new about 3.5 years ago. However, lately it exhibits strange behavior whenever I first mount it to my K-3 after a few days of sitting on the shelf. AF does not work at all for the first 3-5 minutes after it is mounted and turned on, and then it suddenly begins working just fine...as if it needed to "warm-up" before functioning properly. It then works great until I put it away and try it again (several days later) when the cycle begins again. I don't have this problem with any other lens, but the DA* 55mm is my only SDM lens...all of my other lenses are screwdrive.

I am hoping that there is some kind of simple explanation for this that I can fix. Does anyone know what might be causing this and how I can fix it?

Thanks in advance for your help!!

03-06-2016, 05:16 PM   #2
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Hi Terry,

Here is what I had mentioned about in DPR regarding the capacitor comment:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/313500-hitl...m-horrors.html
03-06-2016, 05:29 PM   #3
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SDM lenses tend to behave like that. I have read many posts like this.
It may also be an indicator of SDM failure.


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/282688-ques...dm-lenses.html
03-06-2016, 05:49 PM   #4
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DA* 55mm is not known as being the most problematic SDM lens, but it still has SDM. I think there are other threads about the symptoms of imminent SDM failure. I assume you have no more warranty, since it has been so long? Think about sending it in for repairs or converting to screw drive (if that is possible, please check forum threads about SDM conversion)
Hope you get it sorted out. That DA* 55mm seems like a stunning lens

03-06-2016, 06:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaylorRiverGuy Quote
My DA* 55mm has been my #1 portrait lens since I bought it new about 3.5 years ago. However, lately it exhibits strange behavior whenever I first mount it to my K-3 after a few days of sitting on the shelf. AF does not work at all for the first 3-5 minutes after it is mounted and turned on, and then it suddenly begins working just fine...as if it needed to "warm-up" before functioning properly. It then works great until I put it away and try it again (several days later) when the cycle begins again. I don't have this problem with any other lens, but the DA* 55mm is my only SDM lens...all of my other lenses are screwdrive.

I am hoping that there is some kind of simple explanation for this that I can fix. Does anyone know what might be causing this and how I can fix it?

Thanks in advance for your help!!
in my SDM lenses this indicated imminent failure. they would wake up for awhile then go totally out.
03-07-2016, 04:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sergysergy Quote
SDM lenses tend to behave like that. I have read many posts like this.
It may also be an indicator of SDM failure.


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/282688-ques...dm-lenses.html
Since I started my thread back in December 2014 the status of my 2 SDM lenses DA 17-70 and DA*200 remains the same. I exercise the DA 17-70 once a week and the DA 200 once every 2 months. Also I read that there is a capacitor in the lens that needs to recharge after a period of non-use. Before I use or exercise the lenses I turn on the camera and let it sit for a minute or two before I use the autofocus. For whatever all of this is worth, the SDM on both lenses works and I have not needed to repair the lenses in the 5 or 6 years that I have owned them.
03-07-2016, 09:47 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
... Think about sending it in for repairs or converting to screw drive (if that is possible, please check forum threads about SDM conversion)
The DA* 55/1.4 is SDM only, so there is no screw drive on the lens. So if SDM goes, it's either repair or manual focus.

Mine has done this since I got it a couple of years ago. But... mine probably came from a Pentax warehouse when they swapped repair centers. I don't know if it's brand new or a return or something else. I paid a price that (I think) is fair for a great manual focus equivalent, like a Voigtlander 58/1.4. The SDM still works fine after it wakes up.
03-07-2016, 10:31 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for your responses. Will follow the "wake up period" advice and hope for the best that it does not become a bigger problem.

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