FA 77 manual focus jammed

Started Oct 3, 2016 | Discussions
KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,999
FA 77 manual focus jammed

Heh there,

has anyone else experienced the focus mechanism of their FA 77 jamming? I can move the manual focus ring about a centimeter in either direction, but there is a hard stop on either side of that range of motion. Attached to a camera it will AF but with a bumpy, clicking noise at about those 1 cm intervals. If I AF to the near focal range, that is where I'll have the 1 cm of manual focus range with the focus ring. If I focus it to infinity via camera AF, that is where the MF focus range stays.

Just curious if anyone else has experienced this. If it's a repair I could theoretically do myself I would instead of sending it away, but since this is a Made-in-Japan FA 77, I'm probably just gonna send it in and pay the price.

Is my best bet in Germany to send it in to Pentax? Or are there better/cheaper private repair shops?

Matt

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edhannon
edhannon Senior Member • Posts: 1,761
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed
3

KL Matt wrote:

Heh there,

has anyone else experienced the focus mechanism of their FA 77 jamming? I can move the manual focus ring about a centimeter in either direction, but there is a hard stop on either side of that range of motion. Attached to a camera it will AF but with a bumpy, clicking noise at about those 1 cm intervals. If I AF to the near focal range, that is where I'll have the 1 cm of manual focus range with the focus ring. If I focus it to infinity via camera AF, that is where the MF focus range stays.

Just curious if anyone else has experienced this. If it's a repair I could theoretically do myself I would instead of sending it away, but since this is a Made-in-Japan FA 77, I'm probably just gonna send it in and pay the price.

Is my best bet in Germany to send it in to Pentax? Or are there better/cheaper private repair shops?

Matt

I have repair a few lenses - but only cheaper prime lenses - never a really good lens or a zoom.

The biggest problem with self repair is getting the contact springs back into their slots. Can be done - but not easy.

For a 77, I would definitely recommend professional repair.

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MightyMike Forum Pro • Posts: 41,614
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

Sounds like a screw came lose inside

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OP KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,999
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

Could very well be that simple. I certainly did not drop or bump the lens to my knowledge, it's in mint condition.

How difficult is it to open up a lens like this and take a look?

MightyMike wrote:

Sounds like a screw came lose inside

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MightyMike Forum Pro • Posts: 41,614
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

KL Matt wrote:

Could very well be that simple. I certainly did not drop or bump the lens to my knowledge, it's in mint condition.

How difficult is it to open up a lens like this and take a look?

MightyMike wrote:

Sounds like a screw came lose inside

Couldn't say, but check into Eric Hendrickson in Tennessee, or DCshooter who does silvering of lenses, or KEH for service... either of them probably could service it for you

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Mike from Canada
"I am not a great photographer! God is a great creator! All I do is capture His creation with the tools He has provided me."
'I like to think so far outside the box that it would require a telephoto lens just to see the box!' ~ 'My Quote :)'
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edhannon
edhannon Senior Member • Posts: 1,761
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed
1

As I said above, it is not advisable to try to self service a high quality Pentax lens.

You would have to open the back of the lens.  When you remove the back the contact pins, which have springs, will tend to come out.  It can be a pain to get them back in again.

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RBellavance Senior Member • Posts: 1,236
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed
1

The same thing happened to my FA77 last august. I had it repaired by Eric Hendrickson at Pentax Repairs (http://www.pentaxs.com/), he had to replace the "AF block" in my case. I highly recommend his services.

awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,271
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

Should have stuck to SDM safe and reliable

Seriously though I agree with both the diagnosis and warnings

It's probably the barrel screws loose or a weakness of 77 the AF clutch , Having a 'quick look' without the knowledge and appropriate tools will probably destroy the lens beyond economic repair.

If it is the barrel screws you may be able to 'fix' it unless the screws missing, If the AF block then you wont get parts.

Personally I wouldn't have my first foray into lens repair on such an expensive item.

But if you want to ignore warnings

http://www.pentax-manuals.com/manuals/service/77mm_parts.pdf

Password = Pentax

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OP KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,999
Thanks everyone

edhannon wrote:

As I said above, it is not advisable to try to self service a high quality Pentax lens.

You would have to open the back of the lens. When you remove the back the contact pins, which have springs, will tend to come out. It can be a pain to get them back in again.

This is an original Made in Japan 77 Limited and I have zero lens repair experience. I think I'm going to take your advice and bring it to the German Pentax repair facility in Hamburg. I'm there on business often enough and it's just a stroll from the main train station. The shop that does the repairs gets rave reviews so I think I can trust them.

Thanks Ed and everyone! Great advice!

Matt

chruztoph New Member • Posts: 2
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

Hey Matt, I have the same problem with my 77mm, could you please tell me how much money Maerz in Hamburg wanted to have for the repair? Thanks.

doch22009
doch22009 Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

Mine did this too after only a few months. Went back to B&H under their used warranty for a replacement, no questions asked. Definitely not a repair to try yourself. I am halfway through trying to unstick the focus on a 50mm lens off an old Praktica and the number of tiny screws and interlocking bits in even that “simple” lens is startling. Get it done professionally.

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chruztoph New Member • Posts: 2
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

No question that I will let it repair professionally, but I bought it used and if the repair is to expensive then I won't let it have repaired and get another one...

OP KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,999
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

chruztoph wrote:

Hey Matt, I have the same problem with my 77mm, could you please tell me how much money Maerz in Hamburg wanted to have for the repair? Thanks.

Heh, did you get yours fixed yet?

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OP KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,999
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

nothing to see here

lowerCamelCase Regular Member • Posts: 351
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

A rather common thing to happen to this lens. I had this with my second copy too.

The issue is often a couple of screws inside that loosen themselves and block the turning. At some point it will loose stability and you can pull the focus ring a bit towards the front lense and af will stop working too.

If you are very good in repairing, you can screw them back in, but I'd rather have it done by somebody professional, even if only for a clean room to work in without getting dust inside the lense. After all, the lense is not exactly cheap.

The Fa77 is often reffered to as build like a tank, but my honestly, it is the only lense I managed to break and that needed repair too on the second copy. The screw issue is very very easy to fix, but it is known to occour in both the Japanese as well the Vietnamese limiteds. An easy to fix mistake in the lineup that is one of Pentax' last defensive lines.

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OP KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,999
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

I might attempt to fix it myself, but I can't get the mount screws to budge at all. Hitting them with a soldering iron or applying acetone seem risky to me. I wish someone could tell me the approved procedure for whatever threadlock Pentax used for the mount (and unfortunately not on whatever screws came loose inside)

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lowerCamelCase Regular Member • Posts: 351
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

KL Matt wrote:

I might attempt to fix it myself, but I can't get the mount screws to budge at all. Hitting them with a soldering iron or applying acetone seem risky to me. I wish someone could tell me the approved procedure for whatever threadlock Pentax used for the mount (and unfortunately not on whatever screws came loose inside)

There are screws that are not ment to get loosened at the outside. Unfortunally I did not take photos of my disassamble of my first FA77. Try to unscrew those where it is possible and see if the mount already comes loose.

I would keep the soldering iron far from the lense. I am not sure what the coatings will do if they get hot and to heat a complete screw in a metal body you will put lots of thermal energy in the lense.

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OP KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,999
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

lowerCamelCase wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

I might attempt to fix it myself, but I can't get the mount screws to budge at all. Hitting them with a soldering iron or applying acetone seem risky to me. I wish someone could tell me the approved procedure for whatever threadlock Pentax used for the mount (and unfortunately not on whatever screws came loose inside)

There are screws that are not ment to get loosened at the outside. Unfortunally I did not take photos of my disassamble of my first FA77. Try to unscrew those where it is possible and see if the mount already comes loose.

Yeah, none of the lens mount screws will budge at all.  How did you loosen them?

I would keep the soldering iron far from the lense. I am not sure what the coatings will do if they get hot and to heat a complete screw in a metal body you will put lots of thermal energy in the lense.

Not to mention all the lubricants that could become liquid and go somewhere they're not supposed to or outgas.

M

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lowerCamelCase Regular Member • Posts: 351
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

I needed a bit of torque to loosem them, but nothing critical. Yours seems to be different in that matter, I am sorry, but I got no idea what to do in your case other than sending it in for repair.

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OP KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,999
Re: FA 77 manual focus jammed

Thanks anyway. I may just do that. It bugs me though to think that the only problem is that there is a screw loose and I have all the tools to fix it but can't get past the lens mount screws. Did you notice if there was thread locking compound on the mount screws? What kind of screwdriver did you use, normal precision JIS screwdrivers like I have, or a T-shaped driver?

Best,

Matt

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