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06-17-2010, 04:25 AM   #1
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Second SDM failure for DA*16-50mm lens

Hi all:

As some of you know, I was about to buy a new lens, possibly a DA*60-250. Yesterday my 16-50 DA* began behaving like it did when the auto focus died last year. Again this morning--same thing: slow, jerky and that is only when focus is near; if focus is not close the auto focus just sits there.

I am very frustrated. Last time it took 7 weeks to get my lens back. All was forgiven when it worked and I figured it must have been fixed correctly given the number of SDM failures. I spoke with CRIS repair yesterday and it is 3 weeks out of their 6 month repair waranty. I was told to send it in to see what could be done, but no promises regarding whether I would be charged. I purchased with American Express so I should be fine with their extended warranty, but Amex should not have to pay either.

Since returning I used the 16-50 DA* infrequently, perhaps 3 or 4 times, as I find the 55 DA* and the 50-135 DA* are my walk around and studio lenses.

Anyway, very dissapointed and frustrated.

I know Pentax is not the only company with quality control issues, but I did not buy a budget lens. Maybe not a Leica, but this really has made Pentax even less appealing to me. The limited accessory and lens line-up is balanced by the great user community and the (once) high quality. Cameras and lenses, however, are becoming like computers--there is little to differentiate build quality and reliability.

Gregg

06-17-2010, 05:37 AM   #2
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Unfortunately Pentax should wrap-up their approach on the few pro Pentax shooters left. This SDM issue is such a drawback on their image that it should have been addressed much more vigorously, maybe by offering free SDM repairs for all lenses within some serial ranges or something similar and also doing some PR to calm down all the bad talk.

I am a hobbist so I will do fine with the FA Limited trio I am planning to get but seriously, if I would have been contemplating the option of becaming pro - Nikon would be my choice because of the greater reliability of their pro gear.
06-17-2010, 10:32 AM   #3
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I will be sending the 16-50 DA* lens out today for repair. I will update you on what happens. I have been very happy with the optics of all of my DA* lens so this is disappointing.

I love the K7 and I hope nothing further happens. I have thousands invested in Pentax, as do others...anyway, just venting.

Gregg
06-17-2010, 10:38 AM   #4
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That really stinks. Hope they do right by you. I'm leaving Monday for an assignment with the DA*16-50 and 50-135. I'll probably throw the DA21 and D35 in the bag as backup...

06-17-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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waiting for Tamron to come out with their own high speed motor lens as they give 6 years of warranty.
06-18-2010, 04:09 AM   #6
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Follow-up

Hi all:

Just to follow-up. I contacted Pentax and the same gentleman who was quick to get me a K7 3 year warranty card, responded just as quickly. The lens will be covered in warranty. I sent it back yesterday.

The frustration is still there as this is a second failure, but I wanted to make sure everyone knew how quickly Pentax responded to my e-mail (less than 24 hours with confirmation of warranty coverage) and the action Pentax took.

So...I miss my lens, but am very happy with the customer service.

Gregg
06-18-2010, 04:29 AM   #7
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Hopefully they fix it right this time. I had my 16-50 have the SDM burn out on it and CRIS replaced the SDM motor. I guess that was 10 months ago. Anyway, it is still working really well, so I think there is a chance that if the fix is done right that it can last. On a positive note, I have a 50-135 that has had no trouble with SDM and is about 2 years old. Hopefully things are improving with regard to SDM.
06-18-2010, 11:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Hopefully they fix it right this time. I had my 16-50 have the SDM burn out on it and CRIS replaced the SDM motor. I guess that was 10 months ago. Anyway, it is still working really well, so I think there is a chance that if the fix is done right that it can last. On a positive note, I have a 50-135 that has had no trouble with SDM and is about 2 years old. Hopefully things are improving with regard to SDM.
They probably didn't fix it wrong the first time. Many people have had multiple failures on the same lens.

06-19-2010, 03:42 AM   #9
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Yes, but there have been reports as well that Pentax has "updated" the motors on this lens recently to something that holds up better. Of course since that comes from a rep talking off the cuff, who really knows?
06-19-2010, 07:35 PM   #10
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proactive communication w/ Pentax by a prospective buyer:

QuoteOriginally posted by lawjbm Quote
Hi all:

Just to follow-up. I contacted Pentax and the same gentleman who was quick to get me a K7 3 year warranty card, responded just as quickly. The lens will be covered in warranty. I sent it back yesterday.

The frustration is still there as this is a second failure, but I wanted to make sure everyone knew how quickly Pentax responded to my e-mail (less than 24 hours with confirmation of warranty coverage) and the action Pentax took.

So...I miss my lens, but am very happy with the customer service.

Gregg
Your experience w/ Pentax customer service this week is instructive. I have been communicating (or, to be precise, trying to communicate) w/ Pentax now for a week trying to get some assurances before I plunk down $2,000 on a camera and expensive lenses that they are aware of the recurring quality control problems with some of their lenses - specifically the DA* 16-50 - which I explicitly mentioned as one of the lenses I wish to buy.
Other than a cursory response -- to the effect of 'yes, there was an SDM problem early on due to a subcontractor, which was resolved, and there are no residual issues' (I am paraphrasing from memory, but this is the gist of it) -- I have heard nothing in response to several follow up email messages.
In these messages I essentially said 'yes, but, there are plenty of other issues; I cannot believe you are not aware of them'. Response from Pentax: silence.
Oh yes: in the sole response I received, the Pentax employee added, after indicating there are no residual issues b/c the SDM problem was fixed two years ago, that he personally has a DA* 16-50 which he uses nearly exclusively and of course it is problem free.
My own situation is I have saved up my shekels, done my research, and was all set to join the ranks of what I thought was deliriously happy Pentaxians by mid-June - - when I happened upon this wonderful community a week ago and began to learn about these nutty, nutty quality control problems and an essentially-unresponsive manufacturer that seems not to care about its loyal base. (Gregg, from what I read here, your positive experience with Pentax this week is the exception that proves the rule. I hope I'm wrong !)
06-19-2010, 07:40 PM   #11
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lawjbm: I feel you, just had my DA* 50-135 SDM fail today outright. It's been making slight, disturbing squeaking sounds while focusing for the last little while, but now it's plain kaput.

Very frustrating that Pentax denies the problem even exists, much less address it.
06-21-2010, 06:43 PM   #12
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this is something that has me worried since i just recently bought a k7 and DA* 16-50. Does SDM failure happen regardless of the model of camera used? I was reading some other pages about this issue and some people seemed to think that it may be due to some sort of "legacy" design issue (not sure if it was camera or lens related).

Last edited by Mr. Ben; 06-22-2010 at 04:04 AM. Reason: spelling
06-21-2010, 06:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by habsfanusa Quote
Your experience w/ Pentax customer service this week is instructive. I have been communicating (or, to be precise, trying to communicate) w/ Pentax now for a week trying to get some assurances before I plunk down $2,000 on a camera and expensive lenses that they are aware of the recurring quality control problems with some of their lenses - specifically the DA* 16-50 - which I explicitly mentioned as one of the lenses I wish to buy.
Other than a cursory response -- to the effect of 'yes, there was an SDM problem early on due to a subcontractor, which was resolved, and there are no residual issues' (I am paraphrasing from memory, but this is the gist of it) -- I have heard nothing in response to several follow up email messages.
In these messages I essentially said 'yes, but, there are plenty of other issues; I cannot believe you are not aware of them'. Response from Pentax: silence.
Oh yes: in the sole response I received, the Pentax employee added, after indicating there are no residual issues b/c the SDM problem was fixed two years ago, that he personally has a DA* 16-50 which he uses nearly exclusively and of course it is problem free.
My own situation is I have saved up my shekels, done my research, and was all set to join the ranks of what I thought was deliriously happy Pentaxians by mid-June - - when I happened upon this wonderful community a week ago and began to learn about these nutty, nutty quality control problems and an essentially-unresponsive manufacturer that seems not to care about its loyal base. (Gregg, from what I read here, your positive experience with Pentax this week is the exception that proves the rule. I hope I'm wrong !)
What do you really expect them to say?
06-22-2010, 02:05 AM   #14
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GREAT news from Pentax !

Hello all !
i just heard back from Pentax - WONDERFUL news, i'm sure everyone will be relieved:

"there is no known issue with the DA* 16-50mm SDM lens at this time".

So, there you have it, right from the source, official pronouncement, June 21, 2010, 11:21 AM.
Now we can all sleep so much more soundly.

I will be posting a thread of my correspondence w/ Pentax on this Forum this week, but in the meantime I just couldn't wait to share.
06-22-2010, 12:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by habsfanusa Quote
Hello all !
i just heard back from Pentax - WONDERFUL news, i'm sure everyone will be relieved:

"there is no known issue with the DA* 16-50mm SDM lens at this time".

So, there you have it, right from the source, official pronouncement, June 21, 2010, 11:21 AM.
Now we can all sleep so much more soundly.

I will be posting a thread of my correspondence w/ Pentax on this Forum this week, but in the meantime I just couldn't wait to share.
Fantastic news! That is great.....
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