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07-09-2010, 05:10 AM   #1
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Another SDM Failure - 16-50mm f/2.8

I am just posting this for another data point for the SDM issues that some have had here. My 16-50 SDM was repaired around March/April of 2010. I use a two month time period as it took that long to fix it. The thing is still under warranty, so it shouldn't cost any out of pocket, but the SDM failed for a second time this morning. So now the landscape/versitile lens that I use constantly (two times a week or more) has to be sent out again for the 2nd time in 5 months. I haven't called Pentax yet, as it is too early in the A.M. But jeez the AF motor lasted less than 3 months on this one. I'm lucky it didn't fail at 100 days, as I would be shelling out more money. I'll keep this thread posted on how it goes this time. Last time, I talked to them, I recommended to the rep that thay push firmware to use screw drive on bodies that can't revert back to it when a SDM lens is mounted (K7). The money even if it wasn't under warranty isn't the issue, it is the loss of my most used lens.

My question is, do we need an official SDM failure thread? I see we have a petition thread, and the serial # thread, but I don't necessarily want to have an official thread for SDM failures where people are posting serial #'s. Just what model, # of failures, time in between failure (if it has done it more than once), whether Pentax warrantied it, and turnaround time. I searched, and I didn't find one. Then sticky the thing, so it has visability, and people can start to put some numbers together for how much this is actually occuring.

-Andy

07-09-2010, 05:23 AM   #2
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Very unfortunate to hear, Andy, particularly since Pentax has implied/claimed that there have been key improvements to improve reliability. You would think that repaired models would receive those improvements.

Hope that the second time is a charm..
07-09-2010, 06:35 AM   #3
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there are more such threads here, unfortunately...that is the reason keeping me from buying any SDM lenses (especially because the price new from the store, thus under warranty, is huge in Romania)
07-09-2010, 07:52 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kytra Quote
there are more such threads here, unfortunately...that is the reason keeping me from buying any SDM lenses (especially because the price new from the store, thus under warranty, is huge in Romania)
Yeah, the problem is the optics are amazing. That is the one thing that drove me to get that lens over say the 16-45, and it is probably marginally better than the 16-45. The other thing was weathersealing, and it's focal length fit better into my kit at the time I bought it. I didn't want to go sigma 17-50, as I wanted to get as wide as possible, and still get something that zoomed up to around 50. The 16-50 fit that bill.

I do think we should do a thread though that documents it all though (but I am sure someone with tell me that we already have a serial # thread or something of the sort). I just called the Pentax Authorized Repair Center (Precision Camera Repair), and they said it is still under their warranty, but I am going to call Pentax. One to tell them that it failed, and that they should seriously consider a good fix, or a firmware update that allows screw drive or SDM. And two, tell them that they should really be documenting numbers of SDM lenses they get in for repair, and what the issue is when it comes in.

-Andy

07-09-2010, 08:02 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Donkeypunch Quote
I am just posting this for another data point for the SDM issues that some have had here. My 16-50 SDM was repaired around March/April of 2010. I use a two month time period as it took that long to fix it. The thing is still under warranty, so it shouldn't cost any out of pocket, but the SDM failed for a second time this morning. So now the landscape/versitile lens that I use constantly (two times a week or more) has to be sent out again for the 2nd time in 5 months. I haven't called Pentax yet, as it is too early in the A.M. But jeez the AF motor lasted less than 3 months on this one. . I'll keep this thread posted on how it goes this time. ....

My question is, do we need an official SDM failure thread? I see we have a petition thread, and the serial # thread, but I don't necessarily want to have an official thread for SDM failures where people are posting serial #'s. Just what model, # of failures, time in between failure (if it has done it more than once), whether Pentax warrantied it, and turnaround time. I searched...
-Andy
Andy, i don't know if you can actually make an appointment to drop off this repaired lens for re-repair, but one might gain more information talking to a real person than doing it over a phone. People naturally seem to open up when they are talking to a real person than over a phone.

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.

Also find out if you can, when the new upgraded motors came out into the field repair shops for use.

I suggest that the kind of thread you are talking about be limited to NEW UPGRADED MOTOR REPAIRS IN 2010. As the owner of 2 SDM lenses that are both about 1 year old, both of which are working fine (50-135 and 300), I'm more interested in what's happening to the newer repairs, rather than older history. My opinion for what its worth.

Will look forward to any additional information you might uncover and hope that they get it repaired for you expeditiously.
07-09-2010, 08:14 AM   #6
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What surprises me is that an official representative from Pentax (I am sure they read this forum) has never thought enough of their reputation to post anything regarding the problem, the solution, their regrets, assurances etc. I would have thought at this point that would be a prime part of their customer service and promotion.

A simple statement saying that models made prioor to a date had this problem and it was corrected so models after a date ( or serial number ) do not, ( if true) would make many of us much more likely to purchase the lenses
07-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestion, and I will reference those points when I call them this afternoon.

Thanks Phil.
07-09-2010, 08:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by houstonmacgregor Quote
What surprises me is that an official representative from Pentax (I am sure they read this forum) has never thought enough of their reputation to post anything regarding the problem, the solution, their regrets, assurances etc. I would have thought at this point that would be a prime part of their customer service and promotion.

A simple statement saying that models made prioor to a date had this problem and it was corrected so models after a date ( or serial number ) do not, ( if true) would make many of us much more likely to purchase the lenses
Problem is that those people can get into trouble with the company making statements about products, in regards to reliability or as far as recalls/warranty issues. If something is taken out of context, or mis-construed by someone that isn't an actual public or customer affairs rep for the company, it could be taken as an official position, and cost the company a good deal of money, or reputation. My take on it I guess. It also leaves them open in saying that models made after a certain date have such and such motor, and shouldn't fail, then when does fail, a customer is going to cry foul.

Also my OPINION, I think SDM is a piece of crap in general, the accuracy and speed aren't as fast as screw drive in most cases. At least of what I have seen from my 16-50, and the 300* lens I rented. I don't need SDM for landscapes, and they should re-engineer the 16-50 lens, and just put screw drive in it, and put SDM in the can.


Last edited by Donkeypunch; 07-09-2010 at 09:04 AM.
07-09-2010, 09:00 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by houstonmacgregor Quote
What surprises me is that an official representative from Pentax (I am sure they read this forum) has never thought enough of their reputation to post anything regarding the problem, the solution, their regrets, assurances etc.
I remember reading somewhere on these forums that the official response people have gotten when contacting Pentax is that there is no SDM problem.

Found it: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/104972-second-...ml#post1084821
07-09-2010, 09:01 AM   #10
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Count me in as one of those potential consumers who is frightened off by the apparent high SDM failure rate, and the lack of a "pro" extended warranty like Nikon. It's $$$ Pentax does not get from me. Some of it has gone to 3rd parties.
07-09-2010, 09:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Count me in as one of those potential consumers who is frightened off by the apparent high SDM failure rate, and the lack of a "pro" extended warranty like Nikon. It's $$$ Pentax does not get from me. Some of it has gone to 3rd parties.
Trust me, it's another thing that bugs me is lack of extended warranties on "pro" level glass. And why when I have the $$ I will be switching to the other brand you mentioned in your post. Not because of the warranty thing alone, but many other reasons, both company and gear wise.
07-09-2010, 09:22 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Count me in as one of those potential consumers who is frightened off by the apparent high SDM failure rate, and the lack of a "pro" extended warranty like Nikon. It's $$$ Pentax does not get from me. Some of it has gone to 3rd parties.
Ditto.
07-09-2010, 09:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Donkeypunch Quote
Trust me, it's another thing that bugs me is lack of extended warranties on "pro" level glass. And why when I have the $$ I will be switching to the other brand you mentioned in your post. Not because of the warranty thing alone, but many other reasons, both company and gear wise.
I had my issues with Nikon, and it was a wrestling match, but the item did get fixed. The warranty shop accused me of dropping the lens. It was OOF right out of the box, new, verified by the retailer who ordered it in!

But yes, the Nikon 5 year warranty is a big draw. Pentax doesn't stand behind their engineering and customers like Nikon does.

The Tamron 17-50 was what I bought over the Pentax 16-50.
11-21-2010, 02:16 AM   #14
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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.
11-21-2010, 03:17 AM   #15
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have you tried cleaning the SDM contacts?
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