Manual focus problems with my FA limited lenses

Started Oct 19, 2021 | Discussions
mark dimo
mark dimo Senior Member • Posts: 2,006
Manual focus problems with my FA limited lenses

Hello pentaxian family,

I have the three highly coveted pentax FA limiteds, which in today’s modern tech world are more engaging and unique for their aesthetics and vintage value.

7 years ago my FA 77 had frozen focus barrel and I had to ship it to Precision Camera to have it fixed, and it wasn’t cheap. Apparently a small gear either breaks or freezes from age and makes it difficult to MF.

Well just today, I noticed the same thing happened to my FA 43 Ltd. I’m assuming because of minimal use the gearing is prone to failure. It works in AF but it seems to strain the AF motor and it’s the exact same symptoms as my FA 77 failure.

Now I fear the FA31 is next. Anyone else experience these problem?

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Program Coordinator for SAUSD / Engage 360
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 mark dimo's gear list:mark dimo's gear list
Pentax K-3 HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C
Phil A Martin
Phil A Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 8,363
Re: Manual focus problems with my FA limited lenses

After some years of use, last year my 43mm ltd suddenly jammed but as I bought it the last century for use on an MZ5n, I thought that was a fair amount of use before a service was required.

Having said that, I also bought a mint 70mm ltd on eBay and used it twice and then it jammed.

Both lenses were sent off to John Pye Technical, who repaired both at a very reasonable price.

KPM2 Senior Member • Posts: 2,027
Re: Manual focus problems with my FA limited lenses

Hello mark dimo

I just opened my LTD bag and wake up my FA LTD's....all is ok.

Ok, hands down, I don't think it has something to do that you do not use them for a long time.

I had with one of them, the FA 77 this trouble: I had my KP in LV and I focused to a very close object....too close for the min. focus distance of the lens. The AF in LV send the lens to it's hard stop...again and again and the motor did stop not at once. After that, I had to send in my FA 77, because the manual focus ring got sticky near the min. focus distance.

After the last update for my KP and K1, I noticed that both cameras are now much more careful, when a lens reach it's hard-stop (min. focus /infinity). An other example is with my FA* 28-70mm f2.8. My K1 did expedite/stop it's heavy lens group  that fast, so that I can feel that the camera in my hands moves. After the update all this is much more smooth in it's beginning and it's end.

On the other hand, maybe I put to much interpretation into that what happens, maybe my lens was since a longer time not that ok and this running to the hard stop was only the 'now it's too much' moment.

best regards. KPM2

akzz New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Manual focus problems with my FA limited lenses

Yes, most likely a broken gear. I had the gear fixed in my FA77 earlier this year by NSK Tekunos and documented at pentaxforums in the warranty and repair section.  The gearset availability may be better now with the introduction of the HD FA models...

Might be able to get repaired at a local watchmaker as I believe it is a standard gear- undoubtedly a couple still exist in SoCal!

 akzz's gear list:akzz's gear list
Pentax K-5 Pentax KP Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited +22 more
mark dimo
OP mark dimo Senior Member • Posts: 2,006
Re: Manual focus problems with my FA limited lenses

akzz wrote:

The gearset availability may be better now with the introduction of the HD FA models...

I believe you may be right about the ease of repair with Ricoh doing a refresh of the FA limiteds with the new coatings because the overall design is still the same.

also I noticed at Precision, it’s like a refurbish price range. I checked and it’s a little over 200$ to refresh the FA 43 back to specifications.

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Program Coordinator for SAUSD / Engage 360
Therapeutic Art Coordinator for OCCTAC
http://www.pentaxph.com/mark-dimalanta/
Photographer / Features Writer for Lonely Planet Magazine, Digital Photographer & Mabuhay Magazine
Life is too short, surf waves, own a convertible, and marry for love!

 mark dimo's gear list:mark dimo's gear list
Pentax K-3 HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C
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