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12-27-2019, 04:39 AM   #1
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How much play on DA limited lens barrel is acceptable?

There is quite a bit of wobble on the lensbarrel of some of my DA limiteds.
Particularly the DA 20mm 3.2.

If I look through the viewfinder and hold the inner barrel, I can wiggle it around and see the image shift in my viewfinder.
Is this normal? Or is there a lot of difference depending on the copy?

All my limiteds are second hand, so I'm also wondering if this is something that occurs over time due to wear and tear?
Any easy ways to fix this yourself?

12-27-2019, 04:44 AM   #2
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Do you mean the DA 21m mm?
12-27-2019, 04:47 AM   #3
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I used to have a 15 ltd and it wobbles. but my current 21 is not wobble at all.
12-27-2019, 05:07 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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You are probably about to have this problem

Need HELP DA21 Self-Disassembled! - PentaxForums.com

I suggest tightening those screws now rather than later.

12-27-2019, 07:19 AM   #5
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I had to send mine in for repair a few years ago as the barrel had separated from the mount. It was quick and the lens performed much better after. I think itís a common issue with the 21/3.2.
12-27-2019, 08:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
I think it’s a common issue with the 21/3.2.
I thought the general wisdom was that this problem had been fixed and only affected early iterations of the DA21. Is this not the
case?

OP, how old is your DA21?
12-27-2019, 08:40 AM   #7
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It is indeed a DA 21mm 3.2, not a DA 20mm, made a misake there.

The lens is second hand, so no idea how old it is, but it has wat seems like a low serial number: 0011245

Was the repair expensive Matt?
12-27-2019, 11:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by -JW- Quote
It is indeed a DA 21mm 3.2, not a DA 20mm, made a misake there.

The lens is second hand, so no idea how old it is, but it has wat seems like a low serial number: 0011245

Was the repair expensive Matt?
I cant recall if that is any indication...

12-27-2019, 11:41 AM   #9
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I have SMC DA 15, 21, 35 macro and 70 Limiteds and the HD 40 Limited. There is varying degrees of inner barrel wobble with my copies. The 15, 21 and 40 have a very slight inner wobble and the 70 has a more significant wobble. The 35 macro is tight and has no wobble. It would seem that some wobble is characteristic of these lenses. None of mine, including the 70 is as bad as yours. I tried wobbling the inner barrel of the 70 while looking through the viewfinder and there was no effect. The lens does take beautiful pictures so the wobble probably is not a serious problem with mine.
What is surprising is that there is any wobble with these more expensive lenses. My two plastic zooms; DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM have absolutely no inner barrel wobble, even when fully extended. If they can be built with no wobble, why can't the more expensive limiteds?
12-27-2019, 01:23 PM   #10
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All my limiteds wobble a bit. As you describe you can see the image shift if you view through the viewfinder and focus. I've not been able to prove any optical problem due to this. I can't understand how it doesn't affect iq however...
12-27-2019, 07:28 PM   #11
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Whoops, I've noticed my 21mm wobble a little bit, I'd better check it out now.
12-27-2019, 08:27 PM   #12
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Now I am paranoid, but only have my FA 77 and DA 40 with me so I can't check the 21 and 15. I will have to pull out the JIS screwdrivers and check them all when I get home next week.
12-27-2019, 10:46 PM   #13
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Yes, a bit of wobble seems to be common to the DA Limiteds. I too have found it in all but the 35mm, but most pronounced in the the 70 and the 21. I've owned multiple copies of each - the HD and SMC versions and those two focal lengths tended to be the worst. I had to return a used SMC copy of the 21 back to the store that I bought it from because the amount of barrel play was so pronounced. So much so that it would shift focus if I pointed the camera downward and the inner lens barrel slid forward, or if I made a focus correction using manual focus and accidentally pulled the focus ring forward with my fingers ... made some nasty sounds too. Replaced it with a minty HD version that also developed the slightest hint of loose barrel.


I figure its in their nature to become wobbly over time which is a little disappointing, especially when all my heavily used vintage lenses are as tight as the day they were sold (except the shoddy made Zenitar), and like jddwoods said, even many cheaper lenses don't exhibit this problem.


...I guess over time the DA Limiteds need some servicing to keep 'em tight.
12-28-2019, 03:15 AM   #14
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My early SMC DA21 (green metallic ring) wobbles now more than I think it should, I had read all those links supplied in this thread in the last weeks and opening the lens (with all this wonderful guidance) is going to happen soon. A friend has an almost new DA21 ED which has some wobble as well but not quite as much as my early SMC DA21. My DA15 ltd. is free of wobble, as is my DA20-40 and my FA43

If you can, DIY!
It is pretty straight forward.
12-28-2019, 05:27 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
My early SMC DA21 (green metallic ring) wobbles now more than I think it should, I had read all those links supplied in this thread in the last weeks and opening the lens (with all this wonderful guidance) is going to happen soon. A friend has an almost new DA21 ED which has some wobble as well but not quite as much as my early SMC DA21. My DA15 ltd. is free of wobble, as is my DA20-40 and my FA43

If you can, DIY!
It is pretty straight forward.
Please report back with your results! My SMC 21mm has a little bit of play, and while I've never noticed any IQ issues stemming from the wobble, I'd like to know if the DIY tightening actually solves it before I make my own attempt.
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