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01-21-2018, 05:53 AM   #1
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Unable to focus DA 55-300 WR PLM on K3

Hi everyone!

I have a brand new DA 55-300 WR PLM lens that was working perfectly up until today. My K3 is up to date. I took the lens out today for the first time since I tested everything the day I bought it (about a month ago) and foubd the lens to be completely unresponsive. I can’t even focus manually. Just... nothing.

Are there any troubleshooting steps I can take? I’m away from home at the moment on holiday... this was supposed to be my travel lens. I’m in Dubai for one more day, then heading to Tanzania tomorrow to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. To say I’ll be disappointed if I have to use my iPhone instead will be an understatement!! The only other lens I have with me is my Helios 55mm, which isn’t really going to cut it for wildlife photos.

Argh. I’m so upset!!

Thank you in advance for your help!!

** edit to add: Yes- the lens is unlocked and extended. The only point in focus is around 85mm, swhich I suppose is where I had it for the last test photo I took. I am unable to manually focus at ANy focal point. The contacts appear to be clean. There is no visible dust on the sensor. Firmware version is 1.30. The lens worked perfectly when I bought it.


Last edited by trip; 01-21-2018 at 06:22 AM. Reason: Further info
01-21-2018, 07:27 AM   #2
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MAJOR BUMMER

have you reviewed this??

https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/hd-pentax-da-55-300mm-f45-63-ed-plm-wr/....html?src=lrdb
01-21-2018, 07:42 AM   #3
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So sorry. If your K-3 firmware is fully up to date, it should work fine. My only suggestion is to clean the lens and body contacts to make sure communication between lens and body is working.
01-21-2018, 08:20 AM   #4
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I just tried manual focus on mine with the camera off and it focuses. Does the focus ring turn? Is it stuck? Closest focus is supposed to be 93cm. Sounds like it got stuck at the near end. Don't know what to do but this might give you or another member some ideas. Good luck.

01-21-2018, 08:59 AM   #5
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Thanks Aslyfox, I had a read through that review link but couldn’t find anything to help.

It’s so bizarre Pentaz Syntax- the lens literally sat on a shelf from when I bought (and successfully tested) it, to today! The only outing it has had was on the plane with me, in my camera bag, which came with me as habd luggage on the plane. Gah! Cleaning the contacts again hasn’t helped

Swanlefitte the focus ring turns freely, but does absolutely nothing. This wasn’t the case a few weeks back when I bought it- I tried it out using both autofocus and manually focussing, then got busy at work and didn’t touch the camera again until today. You’re right I think- it definitely seems “stuck” at the point of focus from the last shot I took. :/

---------- Post added 22-01-18 at 02:16 ----------

If it helps, Iíve also tried with live view and video- unable to focus there either. :/ Iím running out of ideas and am starting to think the lens is faulty! Might be iPhone and Helios 55 for the Kilimanjaro ckimb, and maybe I can find an old M42 zoom somewhere in Nairobi at the end for some wildlife photos? Hmm. At least I should be able to get it replaced under earranty... when I get back? Haha...
01-21-2018, 09:18 AM   #6
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Wow! That sucks. Ask around maybe someone has a lens they can loan for the climb.
01-21-2018, 09:35 AM   #7
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Don't forget to clean the power zoom contacts inside the lens mount throat, and the two inside the lens mount, as I think it's these that the camera uses to power the lens motor.

@Swanlefitte: the PLM lens has 'focus-by-wire' so that with the camera turned off and the lens mounted, the focus ring does nothing...
01-21-2018, 09:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by microlight Quote
Don't forget to clean the power zoom contacts inside the lens mount throat, and the two inside the lens mount, as I think it's these that the camera uses to power the lens motor.

@Swanlefitte: the PLM lens has 'focus-by-wire' so that with the camera turned off and the lens mounted, the focus ring does nothing...
@microlight I thought it might be a problem with those contacts, as there’s no indication that any power is going to the lens (even for a quiet lens, there was still some noise while focussing when it was working)... but... shouldn’t I be able to focus manually?

01-21-2018, 10:10 AM   #9
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This is one of the flaws of focus-by-wire lenses: you can't focus manually without power, as microlight said before.
01-21-2018, 11:42 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by trip Quote
Hi everyone!

I have a brand new DA 55-300 WR PLM lens that was working perfectly up until today. My K3 is up to date. I took the lens out today for the first time since I tested everything the day I bought it (about a month ago) and foubd the lens to be completely unresponsive. I can’t even focus manually. Just... nothing.

Are there any troubleshooting steps I can take? I’m away from home at the moment on holiday... this was supposed to be my travel lens. I’m in Dubai for one more day, then heading to Tanzania tomorrow to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. To say I’ll be disappointed if I have to use my iPhone instead will be an understatement!! The only other lens I have with me is my Helios 55mm, which isn’t really going to cut it for wildlife photos.

Argh. I’m so upset!!

Thank you in advance for your help!!

** edit to add: Yes- the lens is unlocked and extended. The only point in focus is around 85mm, swhich I suppose is where I had it for the last test photo I took. I am unable to manually focus at ANy focal point. The contacts appear to be clean. There is no visible dust on the sensor. Firmware version is 1.30. The lens worked perfectly when I bought it.
You'd need another body or lens to rule out mechanical failure in either the camera or the lens. If other SDM/DC lenses work fine, then it's most likely the lens though.

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01-21-2018, 12:46 PM   #11
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This is a real shot in the dark. Be sure you are fully mounting the lens - fully turn it - so the two rectangular power contacts are properly aligned. I once had your issue with my Q7 and 06. Dismounting and remounting the len fully solved the problem.
01-21-2018, 12:56 PM   #12
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My suggestion is trying factory-default on the body. Forget about focusing take some pictures and see if sensor captures the image.
01-21-2018, 05:22 PM   #13
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@microlight
Yeah i turned the zoom until it focused being a prime guy and before morning coffee.
01-21-2018, 09:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
This is a real shot in the dark. Be sure you are fully mounting the lens - fully turn it - so the two rectangular power contacts are properly aligned. I once had your issue with my Q7 and 06. Dismounting and remounting the len fully solved the problem.
It’s turned as far as it can go- until it clicks/locks into place. I’ve remoubted the thing about a hundred times by now haha... I really wish I had another af lens with me to test and rule out a fault with the camera!! :/

---------- Post added 22-01-18 at 14:49 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxfall Quote
My suggestion is trying factory-default on the body. Forget about focusing take some pictures and see if sensor captures the image.
The sensor is definitely capturing images; I can take photos- the lens jusy makes no attempt to focus, and Iím unable to focus manually. Power issue I guess? Or the lens has somehow jammed since its last use?
01-22-2018, 06:37 PM   #15
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afraid to ask, but is the camera in mf or is the switch not fully on mf or af?
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