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05-22-2010, 11:46 AM   #1
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My DA* 50-135mm just died and i have a question

My da*50-135 just died yesterday (SDM failure, what else) after 11 months (still in warranty) but my favorite da*300 still works just fine after 2 years of constant use and i want to ask is there differences between varius lenses SDM?
The da*300 SDM was always quieter, faster and better performer than da*50-135 SDM does anyone know something?

05-22-2010, 11:56 AM   #2
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Help me understand what happens when your SDM failed... and now your lens is dead. Does dead mean you can no longer use the lens at all? or does dead mean that just the auto focus no longer works and you can use it as a manual lens?
05-22-2010, 12:02 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by 41ants Quote
or does dead mean that just the auto focus no longer works and you can use it as a manual lens?
Exactly, excuse me for not been precise enough with my description
05-22-2010, 12:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by gdog Quote
My da*50-135 just died yesterday (SDM failure, what else) after 11 months (still in warranty) but my favorite da*300 still works just fine after 2 years of constant use and i want to ask is there differences between varius lenses SDM?
The da*300 SDM was always quieter, faster and better performer than da*50-135 SDM does anyone know something?
I've never read a post from anyone that knows. Somehow i had the impression that one of the advantages of an SDM system was that the lens motor could be sized to the lens that it was designed to focus, but who knows.

What we do know from those that have posted serveral polls, is that the failures are primarily associated with the 50-135 and 16-50. Very very few reports, if any in some cases have been associated with DA 300, 200, and 60-250.

I have the DA 50-135 and 300, love them both. Knock on wood that they keep operating fine.

Hope you've done all the usual things like cleaning the the lens SDM contacts, manipulating the manual focus several times, tried different batteries,etc.

sorry to hear about it, i'd probably get mine repaired if it failed.

05-22-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
I've never read a post from anyone that knows. Somehow i had the impression that one of the advantages of an SDM system was that the lens motor could be sized to the lens that it was designed to focus, but who knows.

What we do know from those that have posted serveral polls, is that the failures are primarily associated with the 50-135 and 16-50. Very very few reports, if any in some cases have been associated with DA 300, 200, and 60-250.

I have the DA 50-135 and 300, love them both. Knock on wood that they keep operating fine.

Hope you've done all the usual things like cleaning the the lens SDM contacts, manipulating the manual focus several times, tried different batteries,etc.

sorry to hear about it, i'd probably get mine repaired if it failed.
Thank you, yes i have done everything you mentioned and no luck, da 50-135 is a fine lens and i hope that the problem will be fixed.
05-22-2010, 01:17 PM   #6
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One question, my Pentax 16-50 f2.8 has two mechanism of AF: The SDM and the old one. Can you use your 50-135 lens with the old AF mechanism?
05-22-2010, 01:26 PM   #7
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This is another commonly asked question, and one that has had users petition for a firmware update for the choice of using SDM or screwdrive AF, which would be handy if SDM failed. No such luck as yet.

The 50-135 and 16-50, despite having the screwdrive facility, can only be operated by screwdrive if the camera body lacks the SDM contacts. So any camera with SDM capabilities cannot operate these lenses with their screwdrive mechanisms unless somehow the camera body's own SDM system has failed, which effectively renders the camera body as lacking SDM.
05-22-2010, 01:37 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
What we do know from those that have posted serveral polls, is that the failures are primarily associated with the 50-135 and 16-50. Very very few reports, if any in some cases have been associated with DA 300, 200, and 60-250.
Unfortunately, for all we know, the reason that the failure rate is higher on the 50-135 and 16-50 is because they have been in production longer. It is possible that we will start reading about SDM failures on the newer lenses like the ones you mention, as they age. Wheatfield already had SDM go out on his DA* 60-250 as he reported on this forum.

Also, problems appear to already be starting with the newer DA 17-70 SDM:
Pentax Blog: Focusing Issue with the DA 17-70/4 SDM




Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-22-2010 at 01:43 PM.
05-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gdog Quote
My da*50-135 just died yesterday (SDM failure, what else) after 11 months (still in warranty) but my favorite da*300 still works just fine after 2 years of constant use and i want to ask is there differences between varius lenses SDM?
The da*300 SDM was always quieter, faster and better performer than da*50-135 SDM does anyone know something?
Pentax are aware of this problem and should replace the motor. I had both of my motors changed, 16-50 & 50-135 before they failed. Much faster and more accurate.
05-22-2010, 10:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Pentax are aware of this problem and should replace the motor. I had both of my motors changed, 16-50 & 50-135 before they failed. Much faster and more accurate.
Ben: Have you heard of anyone having the motors replaced and then have the new motors subsequently fail? I wonder if the replacement parts are more durable. Your comment about being faster and more accurate suggests perhaps a modified/ improved replacement motor.
05-22-2010, 11:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
Have you heard of anyone having the motors replaced and then have the new motors subsequently fail?
I bought a used copy of the DA* 16-50. The previous owner stated that the lens had gone through 2 motor replacements. The first motor replacement went bad right after he got it back from Pentax warranty service, within the first 30 minutes of use. It could be a part failure or a shoddy replacement job.

The lens is currently working fine.
05-22-2010, 11:38 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Unfortunately, for all we know, the reason that the failure rate is higher on the 50-135 and 16-50 is because they have been in production longer. It is possible that we will start reading about SDM failures on the newer lenses like the ones you mention, as they age. Wheatfield already had SDM go out on his DA* 60-250 as he reported on this forum.

Also, problems appear to already be starting with the newer DA 17-70 SDM:
Pentax Blog: Focusing Issue with the DA 17-70/4 SDM

Maybe the da* zooms are more prone to failure, because the 200 and 300 are about 2 years in production and we do not hear much about them having problems with SDM.

QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Pentax are aware of this problem and should replace the motor. I had both of my motors changed, 16-50 & 50-135 before they failed. Much faster and more accurate.
Thank you Ben, i want yo be optimistic also.

QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
I bought a used copy of the DA* 16-50. The previous owner stated that the lens had gone through 2 motor replacements. The first motor replacement went bad right after he got it back from Pentax warranty service, within the first 30 minutes of use. It could be a part failure or a shoddy replacement job.

The lens is currently working fine.
I believe when you (Pentax) know that there is something wrong with your parts you do something to improve it, there is no "this is impossible" in engineering.
05-23-2010, 12:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
Ben: Have you heard of anyone having the motors replaced and then have the new motors subsequently fail? I wonder if the replacement parts are more durable. Your comment about being faster and more accurate suggests perhaps a modified/ improved replacement motor.
I was told that they are revised motors and I haven't heard of any failures since. Just make sure they change yours for the newest versions.
05-23-2010, 12:58 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by gdog Quote
Maybe the da* zooms are more prone to failure, because the 200 and 300 are about 2 years in production and we do not hear much about them having problems with SDM.
Nevertheless, I think that the number of 16-50 and 50-135 is much higher than 200 and 300.
05-23-2010, 02:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Unfortunately, for all we know, the reason that the failure rate is higher on the 50-135 and 16-50 is because they have been in production longer. It is possible that we will start reading about SDM failures on the newer lenses like the ones you mention, as they age. Wheatfield already had SDM go out on his DA* 60-250 as he reported on this forum.

Also, problems appear to already be starting with the newer DA 17-70 SDM:
Pentax Blog: Focusing Issue with the DA 17-70/4 SDM

And it's not so simple that the lenses with a higher failure rate are the Tokina cooperation ones and that maybe they get some other motor in them with the same functionallity? Which still wouldn't be an excuse considering the price ..
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