My 150-450 DFA is a bit of a dud


Link Posted 23/06/2015 - 23:10
I have had my Pentax 150-450 for less than a month and so far I have not got beyond the testing stage, I have yet to produce a satisfactorily sharp image. I've not owned anything this long (or heavy!) before so I expected a steep learning curve.

After trying every combination of tripod/hand held, Live View focus peaking/Optical, Stabilisation On/Off, Cable release/Remote I tried calibration which I have never needed before on my collection of forgiving wide angles.

The 150-450 needed +10 and a bit more would have been useful. I have a K3 and a K3ii - both the same but at least things looked more promising.

Then as I carefully placed the lens on an armchair I noticed a bit of plastic on the carpet. The lock switch had just fallen off. I'd not even tried to lock it, then or at any time during the day.

Lucky it fell off when it did because it had been out and about all morning.

As you can see, the switch is flimsy/delicate to say the least and although it can be pushed back into position it soon falls of again.

So another boring train ride to Watford is in prospect.


Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 02:46
The train ride might be boring but be sure to pop into Tarboush, the Lebanese Cafe/restaurant, in the lower high street pretty much opposite Waterstones.

The food was to die for way back when I lived there and I am assured by friends that the quality and service are still high


Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 10:39
malcolmk wrote:

So another boring train ride to Watford is in prospect.

Take a few sample photos with you and ask them to try the lens out on your camera to see if they can do any better. If you aren't getting sharp shots on a stable tripod with live view then there is something definitely wrong. Mine needed -4 on AF adjustment on my K-5IIs to get it 100% but if it needs more than 10 either way then that would be unacceptable IMO.
. My Flickr



Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 11:41
Thanks Mike. I am going to give it one last chance with +10 this afternoon and if I still can't get anything approaching what was posted yesterday by truckerathome on the Your Photo section it will have to go back to SRS in the morning.

I have managed to get the switch back together and operational but now I will have to watch it like a hawk for ever more and carry sellotape in the bag on every outing.

Also, I don't mind paying early adopter prices when I get good use out of something before the price drops but on this occasion the price dropped £300 within days of me buying it and I have yet to see an acceptable shot.

I think I shall cancel my pre-order of the 70-200.

Not having much luck with lenses this month. My DA* 16-50 failed a few weeks ago. Not SDM! Internals had fallen apart. Fixed very quickly under warranty by SRS and Johnsons. Went 35 years without a single Pentax failure (K5 sensor stain apart) and now two in four weeks.


Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 11:54
To be honest I would be asking them to change it just because of the switch never mind the adjustment needed.

Here is my 150-450mm folder on Flickr ... these were all taken hand held and before I did the -4 adjustment (first dozen or so are with the 1.4x). As I said previously if you can't match those on your K-3 on a tripod with live view then you have a serious problem IMO.
. My Flickr
Last Edited by Mike-P on 24/06/2015 - 11:56


Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 12:05
I'd get a full refund then repurchase especially if you could get it for £300 less, but tempus fugit.

SRS are only around 1hr 40mins away by rail from Bexley. The return journey based on the £300 saving is close to £100 an hour!
Last Edited by JohnX on 24/06/2015 - 12:09


Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 12:30
SRS have always been more than fair to me, I don't suppose it will be any different this time. I've had the lens for 26 days and I shall ask for an exchange, I have totally lost confidence in it. As for the big price drop, well you win some you lose some, I wouldn't have complained if the lens was a good one so if it is swapped I still have no reason to complain.

It may teach me not to be in such a hurry to buy in future though.

As for the journey, as an old codger with a London Freedom Pass it always takes a full two hours to get to Watford because the 50 minute Overground is free and the main line isn't. And with a 20 minute interval service it ain't quick.


Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 13:37
The plus 10 lens adjustment is a huge improvement but resultant image still marginally less good than what I see in LV x10.

Tried manual focus via LV and cable release also set focus well off and just shoot - tripod and cable release again. No obvious difference. Not bad but maybe could be just a bit better.

Fortunately SRS have seen comments here and emailed to say they have reserved a replacement for me. You cannot really expect better than that.

Trying to work out economics of it. If SRS bought mine from Pentax at a high price and return it to them they should get a high price in return. Then I take one from their new lower priced stock. Will they have made a profit from my misfortune and Pentax's possibly poor quality control? I'm sure SRS will explain all.

It will be a relief not to have to watch the loose switch all the time, it would have been like that silly flash socket cover on the LX. Always going AWOL. At least that didn't stop the camera working. A locked 150-450 is a 150mm prime!


Link Posted 24/06/2015 - 14:12
Good for SRS anyway.

I would have bought mine off them had they reduced the price a week earlier but a £440 saving at the time was hard to resist. Saying that I bought a Benro CF Gimbal for the lens off their Ebay store last week and they probably made more profit on that anyway.

Mind you, fingers crossed I don't have any problems with it ... I see there has been a problem with a couple of them on Pentaxforums, something to do with the zoom jamming at around 250mm.
. My Flickr
Last Edited by Mike-P on 24/06/2015 - 14:16


Link Posted 26/06/2015 - 14:38
This won't come as a surprise but SRS reserved me a new lens as soon as I told them I was unhappy with mine. Just as well because by the time I got there it was their last one.

Swapped without a quibble and a quick test in the street suggested it was going to be a big improvement.

The same calibration tests have shown that +4 may be an improvement on zero on two bodies, a far cry from the estimated +13 the old lens may have needed. And so far the Lock Switch has not fallen off.

Well worth the trek to Watford.

You may not have noticed but the price has gone back to £1,999.


Link Posted 26/06/2015 - 15:00
Nice one, hopefully you will get a lot more enjoyment out of the lens now.

Saw the price had gone back up, must have been a special offer more than a permanent reduction which is a surprise as Chris normally comes on the forum to let us know about things like that,
. My Flickr


Link Posted 26/06/2015 - 15:11
Sure to. No enjoyment before as I saw no point in lugging it around when simple tests in and around the garden and pot shots at aircraft dropping into City Airport all made me think I lacked the necessary skills for a long lens.

The switch fell apart again the evening before trip to Watford, wasted 20 minutes looking for the bits but new lens has put a big grin on my face!

Re your location. Lived 40 years in Hampshire. Married in the Fleet church that some moron burned down last week.


Link Posted 26/06/2015 - 16:40
£1,580 delivered from Germany on Ebay
BIN price
Item : 141699091141

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff



Link Posted 26/06/2015 - 23:01
Good on SRS for sorting you out Malcolm. Iím not much of a long FL guy but the shots I have seen with the 150-450 here and on Dutch forums certainly have been impressive and tempting. Hope you get to enjoy the lens now, as it is supposed to be.
Pentax K-1| Pentax K-01 | D-FA 28-105mm | FA 28mm F2.8 | FA 35mm F2.0 | FA 43mm F1.9 Ltd | FA 50mm F1.4 | FA 50mm F2.8 Macro | FA* 85mm F1.4 | FA 100mm F2.8 Macro | DA* 200mm F2.8 | Pentax AF 540FGZ


Link Posted 27/06/2015 - 04:54
Good to see SRS taking the extra effort.

On the flip side... Not specifically that given "switch assembly", but... This is the third exact copy of this lens that I've seen with such scale defects. That a number of lenses seem to be missing any type of trivial quality control. Best part yet, we're not mentioning an entry level lens here, but one of their higher priced aiming towards flagship models.

Interestingly enough, I've also heard similar quality control misses which have caused the delays of the new full-frame 70-200

Hoping Pentax pulls it together in the next six months or so, especially with release of a full-frame body (also imminently delayed, most likely not seeing the retail shelves this year). Imagine the first digital Pentax full-frame body hitting the shelves with defects?
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.