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11-21-2010, 08:00 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by mfdesalas Quote
Well, add another SDM failure on the 16-50 to the list.
I bought mine secondhand but pretty much as new. It worked beautifully at the beginning. Then one day it just would not even show the slightest signs of life. With a bit of coaxing I noticed the lens started to struggle to focus (the scale distance would shake a little). It struggled slowly back to life eventually, to work it's usual snappy self.
Since then the lens is almost completely dead when first attached to the camera. I have to take it through a warmup routine of coaxing it to focus on something close, then infinity, then close, and repeat a few times. It is painfully sluggish for a while and then suddenly it's as if something in the lens wakes up, and then it works well again.
I know I'm going to have to take it in for repairs, and the shit thing is I'm off to Antarctica, and I have just about no chance of getting it back in time. Plus I'll have to fork out whatever it costs to fix.
NOT A HAPPY CUSTOMER.
My 16-50 lens acts exactly the same. Mine was bought new about a year and half ago and started acting up about 4 months ago. I have also noticed that using the lens daily makes it work fine for the duration of the daily usage. The quoted failure returns after a week or two of non-usage. Since repairing my lens is non practical in my case (due to the high costs of the need of sending it to the US for repairs), I'm still debating on what to do with it when the SDM will give up completely.

11-21-2010, 08:39 AM   #17
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When the SDM fails, can they still be manually focused? That would certainly impact the resale value, but if it functions otherwise, it's still a fine lens.
11-21-2010, 08:50 AM   #18
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Pentax should consider an "SDM Upgrade" program. Send your DA* in, get it cleaned and calibrated and have upgraded (stronger, faster) SDM motors installed. Get it returned in a week. They can follow the service models established by computer manufacturers - they ship you an empty box, you put your product in, and ship it back with pre-paid postage.

The price has to be right, of course, and if necessary Pentax should consider subsidizing the cost to make it palatable. It would be a PR coup and show that Pentax stands behind their products.

Pentax needs the financial stability to make this happen, so the faster you buy the K-5, K-5 and 645D and associated lenses in droves, the more likely they'll do this!
11-21-2010, 09:01 AM   #19
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Pentax should consider an "SDM Upgrade" program. Send your DA* in, get it cleaned and calibrated and have upgraded (stronger, faster) SDM motors installed. Get it returned in a week. They can follow the service models established by computer manufacturers - they ship you an empty box, you put your product in, and ship it back with pre-paid postage.

The price has to be right, of course, and if necessary Pentax should consider subsidizing the cost to make it palatable. It would be a PR coup and show that Pentax stands behind their products.

Pentax needs the financial stability to make this happen, so the faster you buy the K-5, K-5 and 645D and associated lenses in droves, the more likely they'll do this!

11-21-2010, 09:14 AM   #20
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One of the members on a different forum mentioned talking to a Pentax tecc in germany about SDM.
He was told that there is something in the lens that can "discharge" if the lens is left sitting for too long and that mounting a dead lens to a camera and leaving the camera turned on for a few minutes (disable auto shutoff) will rectify the problem.
To me it smacks of nonsense, but it would certainly be worth trying if you have an SDM failure.
11-21-2010, 11:12 AM   #21
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Mine was having the exact same prob as mfdesalas. I sent it off for repair (still under warranty) about 3 weeks ago. Hope to have it back before the holidays. Love the optics, hate the crap SDM. Pentax really should fess up to the problem and address. I won't buy another SDM lens until I'm convinced it has been....amazing optics or not.
11-21-2010, 06:09 PM   #22
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Who knows. I left it on the camera (with the camera on) for a while yesterday, as I had read something along these lines. No difference, still struggling to wake up.

I got it secondhand at an unbeatable price, and I'll still have paid less than half price after repairs, but I'd certainly be too scared to buy ANY Pentax SDM lenses after this. I was planning to upgrade to the K-5, but now I'm seriously considering switching to Nikon.

I am astounded that Pentax aren't proactive in doing something about it, if I (who have been using Pentax for 20 years) am too scared to buy top-of-the-range Pentax lenses, what next?

M

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
One of the members on a different forum mentioned talking to a Pentax tecc in germany about SDM.
He was told that there is something in the lens that can "discharge" if the lens is left sitting for too long and that mounting a dead lens to a camera and leaving the camera turned on for a few minutes (disable auto shutoff) will rectify the problem.
To me it smacks of nonsense, but it would certainly be worth trying if you have an SDM failure.
02-22-2011, 06:58 AM   #23
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Just received my DA*16-50 back from Pentax via the local Pentax repairshop and it works fine as well as focusing perfectly...
This is the second incident involving AF, not the SDM. The first one was fixed under warranty, this one, 6 months after it ran out and after writing to Pentax Canada I was offered a 50% discount on the $400 cost of repair - they also said there are no service advisories at this time. It seems they had to replace the gears.

02-22-2011, 07:40 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rnovo Quote
Just received my DA*16-50 back from Pentax via the local Pentax repairshop and it works fine as well as focusing perfectly...
This is the second incident involving AF, not the SDM. The first one was fixed under warranty, this one, 6 months after it ran out and after writing to Pentax Canada I was offered a 50% discount on the $400 cost of repair - they also said there are no service advisories at this time. It seems they had to replace the gears.
Did they replace the lens (with different serial number) or just the SDM motor/gear?
02-22-2011, 12:04 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
In either case, see if you can find out if the "upgraded motor" that benjikan talks about in France was used to repair your lens the first time around. Find out if they can tell whether the motor used was one of the upgraded ones. According to benjikan's account, the lens had faster focus times after the new motor was installed in 2 of his lenses, indicating i think, that it is a more powerful motor.
Did you read the latest thread from benjikan regarding his DA* that was repaired with the "upgraded motor?" That motor failed. I think the "upgraded motor" is a myth.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/130049-darn-16...aar-shoot.html

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 02-22-2011 at 01:35 PM.
02-22-2011, 04:31 PM   #26
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Have you tried what's suggested in this thread?
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/130429-diy-sup...or-repair.html
02-24-2011, 12:26 PM   #27
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Welcome to the Club
02-24-2011, 08:47 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by adrianpglover Quote
It's a shame that people have to resort to "do-it-yourself" repairs on an expensive lens. The DA* lens family would be better off without SDM.
02-25-2011, 10:44 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Did you read the latest thread from benjikan regarding his DA* that was repaired with the "upgraded motor?" That motor failed. I think the "upgraded motor" is a myth.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/130049-darn-16...aar-shoot.html
Dang, i hadn't read that till now. Sorry to hear that for sure. I guess that if one has a working SDM, just don't mess with it at all. I had my 50-135 and K20 out in a snowstorm yesterday, rare for me to see those conditions, and it worked flawlessly - and great pics.
02-25-2011, 04:43 PM   #30
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I have posted numerous places on the SDM debacle. It is astounding that Pentax is ignoring this obvious problem. All my upgrades have been canceled including the K5, 18-125 and the 35 2.4. If Pentax does not acknowledge this issue, I will be forced to buy into another system. I cannot in good conscious shoot or recommend a system that has such a flaw.
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