Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
JawaT Regular Member • Posts: 182
Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF

Got my hands on what appeared to be a good copy of Pentax FA* 85mm lens.

I think it had not been used for a long time. Would not operate in AF mode. Lens has a setting for AF. So I used it in the manual mode for a while, and kept on going back to AF. Now AF is working intermittently. May need to be serviced I guess.

Has anybody experienced this before? I would assume not, since why would anybody leave such a lens unused for any length of time!

JawaT

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Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS | C +3 more
KPM2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
Re: Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

Got my hands on what appeared to be a good copy of Pentax FA* 85mm lens.

I think it had not been used for a long time. Would not operate in AF mode. Lens has a setting for AF. So I used it in the manual mode for a while, and kept on going back to AF. Now AF is working intermittently. May need to be serviced I guess.

Has anybody experienced this before? I would assume not, since why would anybody leave such a lens unused for any length of time!

JawaT

That is sad to hear.

When you set the lens clutch from manual to AF, do your camera show than also instead MF now AF in the OFV or info screen. If not and the camera still show MF, the first thing I would try is to clean the pin's on the bayonet.

When you pull the clutch from manual focus to AF, you can turn the clutch ring a little until it arrested, I do that always, but it is not a must to do, the AF is already at once active with my FA*85 when I did pull the clutch.

best regards KPM2

OP JawaT Regular Member • Posts: 182
Re: Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF

KPM2 wrote:

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

Got my hands on what appeared to be a good copy of Pentax FA* 85mm lens.

I think it had not been used for a long time. Would not operate in AF mode. Lens has a setting for AF. So I used it in the manual mode for a while, and kept on going back to AF. Now AF is working intermittently. May need to be serviced I guess.

Has anybody experienced this before? I would assume not, since why would anybody leave such a lens unused for any length of time!

JawaT

That is sad to hear.

When you set the lens clutch from manual to AF, do your camera show than also instead MF now AF in the OFV or info screen. If not and the camera still show MF, the first thing I would try is to clean the pin's on the bayonet.

When you pull the clutch from manual focus to AF, you can turn the clutch ring a little until it arrested, I do that always, but it is not a must to do, the AF is already at once active with my FA*85 when I did pull the clutch.

best regards KPM2

Sorry, I did forget to mention that I did clean the contacts on both the lens and the camera. The latter was probably not needed. I could hear the camera engage with the focusing mechanism but not be able to focus. The "focused" green square would continue to blink.

 JawaT's gear list:JawaT's gear list
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Kerusker
Kerusker Senior Member • Posts: 1,397
Re: Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF
1

JawaT wrote:

Now AF is working intermittently. May need to be serviced I guess.

I don't own this lens. You may try this:

When the AF is working intermittently, try to focus on an object such that the camera can't focus (no object contrast). Then the camera may start to hunt focus over the full focusing range. Do this several times - maybe this helps (maybe not).

Good luck

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][.Kerusker
we don't see that we don't see (eye's blind spot)

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ogl
ogl Senior Member • Posts: 1,987
Re: Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF

JawaT wrote:

Got my hands on what appeared to be a good copy of Pentax FA* 85mm lens.

I think it had not been used for a long time. Would not operate in AF mode. Lens has a setting for AF. So I used it in the manual mode for a while, and kept on going back to AF. Now AF is working intermittently. May need to be serviced I guess.

Has anybody experienced this before? I would assume not, since why would anybody leave such a lens unused for any length of time!

JawaT

Hot did you switch AF of FA*85 ?

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OP JawaT Regular Member • Posts: 182
Re: Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF

ogl wrote:

JawaT wrote:

Got my hands on what appeared to be a good copy of Pentax FA* 85mm lens.

I think it had not been used for a long time. Would not operate in AF mode. Lens has a setting for AF. So I used it in the manual mode for a while, and kept on going back to AF. Now AF is working intermittently. May need to be serviced I guess.

Has anybody experienced this before? I would assume not, since why would anybody leave such a lens unused for any length of time!

JawaT

Hot did you switch AF of FA*85 ?

There is a push/pull mechanism on the body of the lens, between the manual focus ring and aperture setting ring.

JawaT

 JawaT's gear list:JawaT's gear list
Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS | C +3 more
KPM2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
Re: Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF

Hello again JawaT

JawaT wrote:

KPM2 wrote:

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

Got my hands on what appeared to be a good copy of Pentax FA* 85mm lens.

I think it had not been used for a long time. Would not operate in AF mode. Lens has a setting for AF. So I used it in the manual mode for a while, and kept on going back to AF. Now AF is working intermittently. May need to be serviced I guess.

Has anybody experienced this before? I would assume not, since why would anybody leave such a lens unused for any length of time!

JawaT

That is sad to hear.

When you set the lens clutch from manual to AF, do your camera show than also instead MF now AF in the OFV or info screen. If not and the camera still show MF, the first thing I would try is to clean the pin's on the bayonet.

When you pull the clutch from manual focus to AF, you can turn the clutch ring a little until it arrested, I do that always, but it is not a must to do, the AF is already at once active with my FA*85 when I did pull the clutch.

best regards KPM2

Ok, no problem

Sorry, I did forget to mention that I did clean the contacts on both the lens and the camera. The latter was probably not needed. I could hear the camera engage with the focusing mechanism but not be able to focus.

about this:

I understand it like this: you hear and you also can see in the OFV, that the lens groups are moving for the focusing.

The "focused" green square would continue to blink.

The green square continue to blink normally , when I focus to an object which is closer than the min. focus distance of the lens. I also fine adjust my FA 43mm LTD so that later it could not focused to infinity and than the green square did also not stoped to blink.😀 .

Therefore, maybe go to the fine adjust menu and look what setting this lens has. If you use a global adjustment, set it back to 0 and try out the lens. But if in your case it doesn't mater to what distance you focus (between infinity and the min. focus distance) and you get always this blinking square, than I don't know what to do and if it would be my lens, I would send it back or let it repair.

best regards. KPM2

KPM2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
A question

Hello again

My question is are you use AF-C or AF-S ?

In AF-C it do happens with my K1 and KP, that even when my object is static but it's contrast is not so good, my FA* 85mm do very often than find the focus but start short after this repetitive with the focusing on my static object. That can sometimes be so extreme, that I think than that the camera will never find the focus. Meanwhile in AF-S it focus snappy to this static object.

best regards. KPM2

OP JawaT Regular Member • Posts: 182
Re: A question

I am using AF-S.

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Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS | C +3 more
OP JawaT Regular Member • Posts: 182
Re: Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF

KPM2 wrote:

Hello again JawaT

JawaT wrote:

KPM2 wrote:

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

Got my hands on what appeared to be a good copy of Pentax FA* 85mm lens.

I think it had not been used for a long time. Would not operate in AF mode. Lens has a setting for AF. So I used it in the manual mode for a while, and kept on going back to AF. Now AF is working intermittently. May need to be serviced I guess.

Has anybody experienced this before? I would assume not, since why would anybody leave such a lens unused for any length of time!

JawaT

That is sad to hear.

When you set the lens clutch from manual to AF, do your camera show than also instead MF now AF in the OFV or info screen. If not and the camera still show MF, the first thing I would try is to clean the pin's on the bayonet.

When you pull the clutch from manual focus to AF, you can turn the clutch ring a little until it arrested, I do that always, but it is not a must to do, the AF is already at once active with my FA*85 when I did pull the clutch.

best regards KPM2

Ok, no problem

Sorry, I did forget to mention that I did clean the contacts on both the lens and the camera. The latter was probably not needed. I could hear the camera engage with the focusing mechanism but not be able to focus.

about this:

I understand it like this: you hear and you also can see in the OFV, that the lens groups are moving for the focusing.

The "focused" green square would continue to blink.

The green square continue to blink normally , when I focus to an object which is closer than the min. focus distance of the lens. I also fine adjust my FA 43mm LTD so that later it could not focused to infinity and than the green square did also not stoped to blink.😀 .

Therefore, maybe go to the fine adjust menu and look what setting this lens has. If you use a global adjustment, set it back to 0 and try out the lens. But if in your case it doesn't mater to what distance you focus (between infinity and the min. focus distance) and you get always this blinking square, than I don't know what to do and if it would be my lens, I would send it back or let it repair.

best regards. KPM2

Your suggestions are much appreciated.

JawaT

 JawaT's gear list:JawaT's gear list
Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS | C +3 more
KPM2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
last try of a maybe

Hello again JawaT

JawaT wrote:

I am using AF-S.

That is such a nice lens, therefore my last try:

What happens in AF-S and LV AF ?.

This lens is at full open not very sharp and it has also a little focus shift and has at full open beside the main maxima focus point also beside maxima...and that is not so easy to handle for the AF of the camera. Of cause, my FA* 85 focus snappy in AF-S, but, and this is my last maybe: is the front lens or the back lens a little dirty, like a fine film is on it. That could irritate the phase AF, but a contrast AF in LV could live with it.

best regards KPM2

OP JawaT Regular Member • Posts: 182
Re: last try of a maybe

KPM2 wrote:

Hello again JawaT

JawaT wrote:

I am using AF-S.

That is such a nice lens, therefore my last try:

What happens in AF-S and LV AF ?.

This lens is at full open not very sharp and it has also a little focus shift and has at full open beside the main maxima focus point also beside maxima...and that is not so easy to handle for the AF of the camera. Of cause, my FA* 85 focus snappy in AF-S, but, and this is my last maybe: is the front lens or the back lens a little dirty, like a fine film is on it. That could irritate the phase AF, but a contrast AF in LV could live with it.

best regards KPM2

Well, AF was intermittent for a while, but now has stopped working completely. Regardless of whether I am using the viewfinder or Live View, it does not focus when set to Auto Focus.

When the trigger is pressed halfway, I can hear something whirring in the lens, but the lens focusing mechanism does nothing. Manual focusing works beautifully.

I guess I have to get it serviced. Very likely, one or motor in the lens has failed.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

JawaT

 JawaT's gear list:JawaT's gear list
Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS | C +3 more
KPM2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
Re: last try of a maybe

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

KPM2 wrote:

Hello again JawaT

JawaT wrote:

I am using AF-S.

That is such a nice lens, therefore my last try:

What happens in AF-S and LV AF ?.

This lens is at full open not very sharp and it has also a little focus shift and has at full open beside the main maxima focus point also beside maxima...and that is not so easy to handle for the AF of the camera. Of cause, my FA* 85 focus snappy in AF-S, but, and this is my last maybe: is the front lens or the back lens a little dirty, like a fine film is on it. That could irritate the phase AF, but a contrast AF in LV could live with it.

best regards KPM2

Well, AF was intermittent for a while, but now has stopped working completely. Regardless of whether I am using the viewfinder or Live View, it does not focus when set to Auto Focus.

When the trigger is pressed halfway, I can hear something whirring in the lens, but the lens focusing mechanism does nothing. Manual focusing works beautifully.

about this

I guess I have to get it serviced. Very likely, one or motor in the lens has failed.

The lens has no motor inside for the focus. It look's like that the mechanical clutch mechanism is defect (maybe some screw is loosely)  and do not couple to the AF gear.

I only send you this two pictures, for that you can compare the position of the pull and push ring:

manual focus position:

AF position:

The ring must reach this position, else the intern clutch do not couple to the AF gear.

Before you send your lens in, maybe look if your push and pull ring do can reach this AF position fully.

Sometimes I turne a very little and push the ring to get to this AF position. You hear a click sound than.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

JawaT

good luck and

best regards KPM2

OP JawaT Regular Member • Posts: 182
Re: last try of a maybe

KPM2 wrote:

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

KPM2 wrote:

Hello again JawaT

JawaT wrote:

I am using AF-S.

That is such a nice lens, therefore my last try:

What happens in AF-S and LV AF ?.

This lens is at full open not very sharp and it has also a little focus shift and has at full open beside the main maxima focus point also beside maxima...and that is not so easy to handle for the AF of the camera. Of cause, my FA* 85 focus snappy in AF-S, but, and this is my last maybe: is the front lens or the back lens a little dirty, like a fine film is on it. That could irritate the phase AF, but a contrast AF in LV could live with it.

best regards KPM2

Well, AF was intermittent for a while, but now has stopped working completely. Regardless of whether I am using the viewfinder or Live View, it does not focus when set to Auto Focus.

When the trigger is pressed halfway, I can hear something whirring in the lens, but the lens focusing mechanism does nothing. Manual focusing works beautifully.

about this

I guess I have to get it serviced. Very likely, one or motor in the lens has failed.

The lens has no motor inside for the focus. It look's like that the mechanical clutch mechanism is defect (maybe some screw is loosely) and do not couple to the AF gear.

I only send you this two pictures, for that you can compare the position of the pull and push ring:

manual focus position:

AF position:

The ring must reach this position, else the intern clutch do not couple to the AF gear.

Before you send your lens in, maybe look if your push and pull ring do can reach this AF position fully.

Sometimes I turne a very little and push the ring to get to this AF position. You hear a click sound than.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

JawaT

good luck and

best regards KPM2

Thanks for the info that the lens does not have a motor for AF.

When I push the lens in Auto Focus position, I can turn the focusing ring slightly in either direction and then I hear it click into place. After that it cannot be turned manually. So it would seem that it has engaged with the clutch. But AF does not work.

You may be right that there is a screw loose somewhere, which is preventing the clutch gear from engaging completely. Do you know how much of the lens I would need to open up to confirm this?

Another possibility is that the electronic contacts are the culprit, and opening up the rear assembly would allow me to clean these out more thoroughly.

I hesitate given how expensive the lens is.

Any advice?

 JawaT's gear list:JawaT's gear list
Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS | C +3 more
KPM2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
Re: last try of a maybe

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

KPM2 wrote:

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

KPM2 wrote:

Hello again JawaT

JawaT wrote:

I am using AF-S.

That is such a nice lens, therefore my last try:

What happens in AF-S and LV AF ?.

This lens is at full open not very sharp and it has also a little focus shift and has at full open beside the main maxima focus point also beside maxima...and that is not so easy to handle for the AF of the camera. Of cause, my FA* 85 focus snappy in AF-S, but, and this is my last maybe: is the front lens or the back lens a little dirty, like a fine film is on it. That could irritate the phase AF, but a contrast AF in LV could live with it.

best regards KPM2

Well, AF was intermittent for a while, but now has stopped working completely. Regardless of whether I am using the viewfinder or Live View, it does not focus when set to Auto Focus.

When the trigger is pressed halfway, I can hear something whirring in the lens, but the lens focusing mechanism does nothing. Manual focusing works beautifully.

about this

I guess I have to get it serviced. Very likely, one or motor in the lens has failed.

The lens has no motor inside for the focus. It look's like that the mechanical clutch mechanism is defect (maybe some screw is loosely) and do not couple to the AF gear.

I only send you this two pictures, for that you can compare the position of the pull and push ring:

manual focus position:

AF position:

The ring must reach this position, else the intern clutch do not couple to the AF gear.

Before you send your lens in, maybe look if your push and pull ring do can reach this AF position fully.

Sometimes I turne a very little and push the ring to get to this AF position. You hear a click sound than.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

JawaT

good luck and

best regards KPM2

Thanks for the info that the lens does not have a motor for AF.

About this

When I push the lens in Auto Focus position, I can turn the focusing ring slightly in either direction and then I hear it click into place. After that it cannot be turned manually. So it would seem that it has engaged with the clutch. But AF does not work.

so, I think your ring get into it's correct position, but because your AF still do not work, I would let it repair.

You may be right that there is a screw loose somewhere, which is preventing the clutch gear from engaging completely. Do you know how much of the lens I would need to open up to confirm this?

I have no idea how to open the lens like Pentax would do it and without good tools I would not try it out. For example, under the rubber of the ring there are for sure some screws....and so on.

Another possibility is that the electronic contacts are the culprit, and opening up the rear assembly would allow me to clean these out more thoroughly.

When you push the ring into it's AF position, this mechanism close also an electrical contact, so that the camera do show you at once in the Info screen and in the OFV that you are in AF now. And because that seems to be the case with your lens too (because you can hear a little the AF motor of the camera when you try to focus), I don't think you have a contact problem of this contact. When this contact would be not good, your camera would show that you are still in the manual focus mode and when you try to focus, the cameras AF motor would do nothing. Other electrical contact infos are the distance scale and the two end positions. When your lens do have here a contact problem, so that the camera do not know where the position in the focus range is at the moment, it can be that the camera hesitate than to let move it's AF motor and that's why you see the blinking square. This contact you don't see when you open the rear assembly.

I hesitate given how expensive the lens is.

I would not try it too. Maybe, when you let it repair, they even have to send it to Japan.

Any advice?

This makes no sense, when a screw is loosely, but when your lens has a problem with the focus position contacts, I would try out to set the lens to manual focus and would move the focus ring quite often from infinity to the min. focus distance. Such a movement can clean also the focus position contacts.

best regards KPM2

OP JawaT Regular Member • Posts: 182
Re: last try of a maybe

KPM2 wrote:

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

KPM2 wrote:

Hello JawaT

JawaT wrote:

KPM2 wrote:

Hello again JawaT

JawaT wrote:

I am using AF-S.

That is such a nice lens, therefore my last try:

What happens in AF-S and LV AF ?.

This lens is at full open not very sharp and it has also a little focus shift and has at full open beside the main maxima focus point also beside maxima...and that is not so easy to handle for the AF of the camera. Of cause, my FA* 85 focus snappy in AF-S, but, and this is my last maybe: is the front lens or the back lens a little dirty, like a fine film is on it. That could irritate the phase AF, but a contrast AF in LV could live with it.

best regards KPM2

Well, AF was intermittent for a while, but now has stopped working completely. Regardless of whether I am using the viewfinder or Live View, it does not focus when set to Auto Focus.

When the trigger is pressed halfway, I can hear something whirring in the lens, but the lens focusing mechanism does nothing. Manual focusing works beautifully.

about this

I guess I have to get it serviced. Very likely, one or motor in the lens has failed.

The lens has no motor inside for the focus. It look's like that the mechanical clutch mechanism is defect (maybe some screw is loosely) and do not couple to the AF gear.

I only send you this two pictures, for that you can compare the position of the pull and push ring:

manual focus position:

AF position:

The ring must reach this position, else the intern clutch do not couple to the AF gear.

Before you send your lens in, maybe look if your push and pull ring do can reach this AF position fully.

Sometimes I turne a very little and push the ring to get to this AF position. You hear a click sound than.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

JawaT

good luck and

best regards KPM2

Thanks for the info that the lens does not have a motor for AF.

About this

When I push the lens in Auto Focus position, I can turn the focusing ring slightly in either direction and then I hear it click into place. After that it cannot be turned manually. So it would seem that it has engaged with the clutch. But AF does not work.

so, I think your ring get into it's correct position, but because your AF still do not work, I would let it repair.

You may be right that there is a screw loose somewhere, which is preventing the clutch gear from engaging completely. Do you know how much of the lens I would need to open up to confirm this?

I have no idea how to open the lens like Pentax would do it and without good tools I would not try it out. For example, under the rubber of the ring there are for sure some screws....and so on.

Another possibility is that the electronic contacts are the culprit, and opening up the rear assembly would allow me to clean these out more thoroughly.

When you push the ring into it's AF position, this mechanism close also an electrical contact, so that the camera do show you at once in the Info screen and in the OFV that you are in AF now. And because that seems to be the case with your lens too (because you can hear a little the AF motor of the camera when you try to focus), I don't think you have a contact problem of this contact. When this contact would be not good, your camera would show that you are still in the manual focus mode and when you try to focus, the cameras AF motor would do nothing. Other electrical contact infos are the distance scale and the two end positions. When your lens do have here a contact problem, so that the camera do not know where the position in the focus range is at the moment, it can be that the camera hesitate than to let move it's AF motor and that's why you see the blinking square. This contact you don't see when you open the rear assembly.

I hesitate given how expensive the lens is.

I would not try it too. Maybe, when you let it repair, they even have to send it to Japan.

Any advice?

This makes no sense, when a screw is loosely, but when your lens has a problem with the focus position contacts, I would try out to set the lens to manual focus and would move the focus ring quite often from infinity to the min. focus distance. Such a movement can clean also the focus position contacts.

best regards KPM2

Yes, if I put the lens in manual focus mode and move the focus from minimum to infinity many times over, and then switch to Auto Focus, the AF will occasionally work. But this is hit and miss. SO there is something to what you are saying above. I have to decide whether to continue to use it in MF mode or send it in for repairs.

Thanks again,

JawaT

 JawaT's gear list:JawaT's gear list
Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Sigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS | C +3 more
KPM2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
Re: last try of a maybe

Hello JawaT

With a little luck maybe a workaround is possible until you let it repair. It can be that the position contacts are in some focus range still ok, but in others not. Therefore I would try out to set the lens manually to infinity, than switch to AF and focus to an infinity object and than step by step to a closer object. It can be that at a specific distance the position contact get bad and the AF do stop to work. The camera also can not go out of this focus position via the AF, so that you must first bring the focus manually back into the working range. Same I would try beginning at the min. focus position. Maybe with a little luck, you can use the AF in a useful range than and when the lens run into the bad contact area, you set it manually back into the 'good' range.

best regards. KPM2

epfler Regular Member • Posts: 311
Re: Pentax FA* 85mm - sticky AF
1

JawaT wrote:

Got my hands on what appeared to be a good copy of Pentax FA* 85mm lens.

I think it had not been used for a long time. Would not operate in AF mode. Lens has a setting for AF. So I used it in the manual mode for a while, and kept on going back to AF. Now AF is working intermittently. May need to be serviced I guess.

Had a strange behaviour with the DFA50 Macro, the other day it suddenly could not be focused any more, had retried several times. I set it aside and after some few weeks I was decided to send it in for repair, but double-checked, once more. Oops ... the defect was gone. So, no more questions, just used it again (but not vey often).

Now for the FA*85, as I see (with mine), it behaves quite a bit different, if used with OVF, or with live view. With OVF it is much faster and more precise. With live view it goes hunting a lot.

When you say, sometimes AF works, I'd think first of appplication of some training, maybe things look different after some weeks of steady use But points have been better brought up here, than I could.

As I do a lot with manual focussing now, I can assure, one may easily get used to it, with much help by the feedback from the camera (with half pressed shutter release if necessary) - maybe this helps for patience with experimenting

(oh, and for manual exposure settings, it cost me a steep learning curve with finger gymnastics kind of like with an Emacs editor on those buttons ... before finally finding the green button ...).

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