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My 60-250 Journey.

Posted 26/12/2022 - 10:19 Link
Hello everyone, how we all doing?
I've just been given a quote from John Pye of 420 to repair my 60-250, is that a lot? And do you lads think it's worth it? I only paid 160 ish for the "mint" boxed lens off eBay. It was sold as not working. When I got it and fitted to the K1 it worked perfect in live view, did nothing when used "normally" it also worked perfectly on all my film bodies and the K10. I know all those are screw drive. The SDM motor works perfect in live view, snappy and quick, so I was perplexed as to why it wouldn't work through the viewfinder on the K1. Tried all the fixes I could find, left it attached to the body to charge the capacitor and all that with, obviously, no joy :/
Now I've read a few reviews and reports on this lens on the K1, but is it really as good as all that Lads? And is it worth removing the baffle or not? I don't mind a bit of vignette so had planned in leaving it in place.
One day you'll find, 10yrs have got behind you.
Posted 26/12/2022 - 12:30 - Helpful Comment Link
Not worth the 420 to 'maybe' get it working again. Definitely worth the 160 for silent Live View AF.

The issue sounds really intriguing, maybe something wrong with the circuitry or EEPROM.

I'd look to buy a cheap one with a dead SDM in order to swap the PCB. You could end up with one fully working lens.

And regarding compatibility with the K-1, if you remove the baffle you get a sizeable reduction in vignetting. It's not a difficult process (remove three screws on the mount, pull the flocked cylinder off from the rest of the baffle (it's glued on), then reinstall.

I wouldn't go for the dremel option for marginal gains as it's a permanent change.
All the gear with no idea
Posted 26/12/2022 - 14:13 - Helpful Comment Link
If everything else is working fine and the pictures give you the resolution, contrast and sharpness you expect from the lens, then it's worth the money. Just to put it in perspective, I paid C$487.00 + taxes (4% federal and 9% provincial) to have the AF repaired on my 50-135. Considering I would pay over C$1000.00 + tx. for a new one, for me, it was worth the investment.
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)
Posted 27/12/2022 - 02:25 - Helpful Comment Link
My view...420 is too much for a repair that may not last.... The 60-250 comes from a generation of lenses that had more than their fair share of AF motor issues, although this lens was better than most.

As far as IQ goes it is a stellar performer. You have got yourself a bargain.
Edited by pschlute: 27/12/2022 - 02:26
Posted 27/12/2022 - 10:30 - Helpful Comment Link
Even if you pay to repair it the SDM motor will probably fail and that's another cost later on.

This is why I don't touch 1st gen Pentax SDM lenses.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X and Panasonic L digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses
Posted 27/12/2022 - 11:12 Link
Thanx everyone.

Now am I right in thinking the SDM motor is good as it works perfectly in live view? It's only through the viewfinder that the lens won't focus.
Anyone know how long jps guarantee their repairs for?
One day you'll find, 10yrs have got behind you.
Posted 27/12/2022 - 12:24 - Helpful Comment Link
Not sure on either of the questions I am afraid.

I also think the screwdrive conversion does not work with the 60-250, which is a shame.

What do you intend to use the lens for ? Even when working normally the SDM AF is not very quick, and probably unsuitable for sports action or moving wildlife. If you are going to use it for still subjects I would suggest saving your 420, and use the VF in manual focus mode or the LV in AF.

Out of interest, in VF mode do you get the focus confirmation hexagon/beep ?
Posted 27/12/2022 - 14:23 Link
Intended use is hard to say really, a walkabout lens for any and everything I suppose. AF speed doesn't really bother Me if I'm honest, as long as it works I can work round it's limitations.
Screw drive conversion is not possible on this lens, just My luck as it worked perfect on the film bodies.

In VF it did nothing at all, didn't move. When focused through the VF there was nothing, no confirmation from anything. In LV it worked perfectly, just a shame I don't really like or enjoy LV, plus the 60-250 is to big to be used handheld in LV.

Once repaired I have options, to use or to sell on. If I don't get it fixed it will just end up under the bed never to be used again, which is a waste. I'm confident I can get My money back. The thing is in real good condition and the current cheapest copy on ebay is for sale above what I'll have in it so the cost isn't really much of a concern. Don't misunderstand that, I still see it as a hell of a lot of money!
One day you'll find, 10yrs have got behind you.
Posted 27/12/2022 - 14:29 - Helpful Comment Link
420 for the repair plus 160 to buy = 600 ... I sold my mint one for a lot less (and that took a lot longer than I thought it would)

Personally I would look for a used 70-210mm, just as sharp (maybe a touch sharper) internal zoom, FF ready, much faster AF speed. May take a while but worth it in the end.
Edited by Mike-P: 27/12/2022 - 14:31
Posted 27/12/2022 - 14:47 Link
Hiya Mike, I don't have that kind of money kicking about spare at this moment in time.
The cheapest 60-250 on ebay at the moment is 649 and that has bits missing and no box or papers. There are some cheaper but they have faults mentioned plus they would be subject to import duty. So for a freshly serviced copy with a 12mth warranty 600 is about right I'd say. From what I've read sdm failure rates in the 60-250 don't seem as bad as the rest of the range, unless anyone knows differently.

Plus from SDM working perfectly in LV are we all sure its the SDM that is at fault?
One day you'll find, 10yrs have got behind you.
Edited by bettyswolloks: 27/12/2022 - 14:55
Posted 27/12/2022 - 15:52 - Helpful Comment Link
I've had the 16-50, 50-135 and 60-250 for quite a while (over ten years), and the only one I've had SDM failure is the 50-135, twice. The 60-250 and 16-50 have both been reliable. As for wildlife, I've used the 60-250 extensively before getting the 150-450, and, prefocusing to about the distance you think your "subject" will be gave me a good percentage of keepers. I still use it for wildlife, as the 150-450 is a beast to carry around for a long time, especially when using it hand held. However, the focus speed of the 150-450 is not much faster than the 60-250. But, the focus limiter does help as it keeps the lens from going back to minimum focus before reversing. The one thing that really helps with the 150-450 is the AF preset feature. It works with the AF controls on the lens body to bring the focus at a predetermined distance at any time, then the AF on the camera body doesn't have to hunt as much. Unfortunately, the 150-450 also took a big chunk of my savings.
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)
Posted 27/12/2022 - 16:36 - Helpful Comment Link
An interesting thread for someone who likes puzzles, albeit not for the owner of the lens!
bettyswolloks wrote:
Plus from SDM working perfectly in LV are we all sure its the SDM that is at fault?

I would be very, very surprised if the SDM motor is at fault. This sounds like a problem with information that the phase detection AF system (i.e. 'through the viewfinder' AF) needs from or sends to an SDM lens not being dealt with correctly (or at all) by the lens. Goodness knows what the cause might be, but 420 does sound a lot to pay for getting it fixed. Just out of interest, do you know what the seller meant by 'not working'? Is it the same as what you have found?

Good luck

Posted 27/12/2022 - 17:31 - Helpful Comment Link
I love my 60-250mm. I bought from Johnsons (I think it was) a replacement rear baffle which I took a file to and removed the lip. Once it has been filed away and the shiny metal dulled down with a matte black sharpie I swapped them over. You can if you want just remove the rear baffle and use it 'missing' but as you can see the lens gubbings such as the circuit boards this didn't appeal to me. Now I can use it wide open and there is a slight vignette that can be removed in post to make it disappear.

My SDM works but 95% of the time I use it in manual focus so if my AF packed in, it wouldn't bother me. In life view I press the ok button to zoom the rear screen in, use the 4 way controls to alter where I'm zoomed in and looking and then manual focus the lens, pressing Ok again to return to 100% on the rear screen.

I suppose you have to weigh it up as repaired 'all in' the lens owes you 580 and the repair should come with a time period warranty. Currently new, its a 1300 lens
Gareth Williams ARPS

My outfit: K1ii - Pentax D FA 24-70mm f2.8 - Pentax DA* 300mm f4 - Pentax modified DA* 60-250mm f4 - Irix 15mm Firefly - Pentax FA 35mm - FA 50mm f1.4 - Tamron SP 90mm macro - Pentax AF 540 FGZ II

Welsh Photographer
Foundation NFT
Posted 27/12/2022 - 17:31 Link
What the seller meant by not working was......

He had pulled it out if his wardrobe about 18mths after putting it there, it wouldn't focus. He put it straight back and pulled out his 2nd copy and went about his day. After a good few years and a complete system change he found the lens again. As he didn't have a Pentax body to test it on it was sold as not working. Never tried to get it repaired, just put it on eBay.
One day you'll find, 10yrs have got behind you.
Posted 27/12/2022 - 17:35 Link
Hiya Gareth How bad is the vignette when the lens is unmodified?
One day you'll find, 10yrs have got behind you.

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