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07-14-2010, 12:06 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
This is why statistical analyses are required for these kinds of issues. You represent 1 data point for 5 lens models.

My point exactly.

I know it must be very annoying if your SDM lens fails (and yes I would be upset as well) but Pentax have no doubt sold many thousands of these things. You only get to hear from the people that have problems .. that's just how things are.

I am just balancing it out a little .. or is it wrong if I shout out just as loudly that my SDM lenses are working fine (have probably jinxed them now and I will be on here tomorrow morning having a right go at Pentax)

There is no doubt that there is a SDM problem with certain lenses but it seems based around the 16-50mm and 50-135mm more than the rest .. the few failures I have seen from the other models could easily be put down to normal failure rates.

As for age, my 16-50mm is a couple of years old, and the rest were all bought approx 12-18 months ago (apart from the 55mm and if the SDM failed on that I probably wouldn't even notice as the focusing is that slow).

07-14-2010, 12:44 PM   #17
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Well good for you Mike. You know as they say; "There are only two kinds of DA* owners: Those that have had an SDM failure, and those that will..."

Make sure you keep those original boxes.
07-15-2010, 08:20 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Well good for you Mike. You know as they say; "There are only two kinds of DA* owners: Those that have had an SDM failure, and those that will..."

Make sure you keep those original boxes.
But no lens lasts forever. I am sure this was an argument back when auto focus was introduced into lenses. "Well, that's just another thing to break, I'd stick to manual focus lenses myself. Now, those will last forever..." The question isn't whether something will eventually break but, a) Will it have a reasonable life span based on useage and b) will it be repaired/ tuned up for a reasonable price if it breaks.

Canon and Nikon both have failure rates on their in lens motors, the problem is that we have no data to compare Pentax's failure rates to them. We don't even have any idea if all of the lenses with SDM are problematic. It is easy to pick on the DA 16-50 and 50-135, but considering that they are selling significantly more of these than the DA *300, I'm not sure what the difference in the numbers means.
07-15-2010, 09:18 AM   #19
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I wouldn't call 6 months "Forever". I have a 21 year old FA* and another 18 year old one that still works like the day it was built. How many FA or FA Limited owners have had a lens AF failure? I've owned 31,40,43,70 and 77mm's never a hitch with any and countless FA's an f's. Not a screw drive issue ever and no in body motor issues.

In 18 months, I've replaced my DA*16-50 twice. The current one is working well and I assume they have upgraded the motors somewhat as Ben K reported. This one has lasted longer than the first 2 together did.

But how many times does this come up? It's a premium lens and should have the lowest failure rates of any lens series. Not the most. In fact with all my years shooting Pentax, I'd never hear of a lens drive issue till DA* came out.

Sure th others have issues but lets look at the scale, Pentax has a 6% market share and the big 2 have around 35% each. they don't have 6-7x the number of issues.

For a lens, I consider a reasonable life span (with good care and use) to be at least 40 years. Sounds excessive but this is not a complicated mechanical unit. You will not find repeated thread like this one and others on other forums about the same issue over and over again. Issues are there but fewer.

I hope that the motor issue is resolved and I think it may be in current versions. Be that as it may, the DA*16-50mm is a slow focusing lens in low light. It's great most of the time but the kit lens can out perform it indoors for AF lock and speed.

07-15-2010, 09:29 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I wouldn't call 6 months "Forever". I have a 21 year old FA* and another 18 year old one that still works like the day it was built. How many FA or FA Limited owners have had a lens AF failure? I've owned 31,40,43,70 and 77mm's never a hitch with any and countless FA's an f's. Not a screw drive issue ever and no in body motor issues.

In 18 months, I've replaced my DA*16-50 twice. The current one is working well and I assume they have upgraded the motors somewhat as Ben K reported. This one has lasted longer than the first 2 together did.

But how many times does this come up? It's a premium lens and should have the lowest failure rates of any lens series. Not the most. In fact with all my years shooting Pentax, I'd never hear of a lens drive issue till DA* came out.

Sure th others have issues but lets look at the scale, Pentax has a 6% market share and the big 2 have around 35% each. they don't have 6-7x the number of issues.

For a lens, I consider a reasonable life span (with good care and use) to be at least 40 years. Sounds excessive but this is not a complicated mechanical unit. You will not find repeated thread like this one and others on other forums about the same issue over and over again. Issues are there but fewer.

I hope that the motor issue is resolved and I think it may be in current versions. Be that as it may, the DA*16-50mm is a slow focusing lens in low light. It's great most of the time but the kit lens can out perform it indoors for AF lock and speed.
That's another interesting statistical question. What is the probability of someone having multiple failures for a given model of an SDM lens? There are several cases reported here of that very thing. The occasional failure wouldn't raise my attention that much. It has been the cases of back to back and even a few back to back to back failure of these things.
07-15-2010, 09:30 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
But no lens lasts forever. I am sure this was an argument back when auto focus was introduced into lenses. "Well, that's just another thing to break, I'd stick to manual focus lenses myself. Now, those will last forever..." The question isn't whether something will eventually break but, a) Will it have a reasonable life span based on useage and b) will it be repaired/ tuned up for a reasonable price if it breaks.

Canon and Nikon both have failure rates on their in lens motors, the problem is that we have no data to compare Pentax's failure rates to them. We don't even have any idea if all of the lenses with SDM are problematic. It is easy to pick on the DA 16-50 and 50-135, but considering that they are selling significantly more of these than the DA *300, I'm not sure what the difference in the numbers means.
How long is a premium $1000-1500 lens supposed to last? Apparently given the 1 year Pentax warranty, it is 1 year and 5 minutes.
07-15-2010, 10:07 AM   #22
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I agree that they should have longer warranties, but the 16-50 isn't a 1000 dollar lens. It is a 750 dollar lens (I got mine for 600 dollars).
07-15-2010, 10:19 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I agree that they should have longer warranties, but the 16-50 isn't a 1000 dollar lens. It is a 750 dollar lens (I got mine for 600 dollars).
Maybe the 16-50mm and 50-135mm lenses are cheap throw away(750-800), but the DA*200mm, 300mm, 55mm, 60-250mm in the range I quoted.

sarcasm

07-15-2010, 10:35 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Maybe the 16-50mm and 50-135mm lenses are cheap throw away(750-800), but the DA*200mm, 300mm, 55mm, 60-250mm in the range I quoted.
And how many of those have reported SDM failures on this forum?

As I see it the 16-50mm and 50-135mm are the offenders .. I presume because they were the earlier lenses before Pentax (hopefully) put things right.

In the UK Pentax lenses come wth a 2 year warranty if purchased from a authorised dealer.
07-15-2010, 10:51 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
And how many of those have reported SDM failures on this forum?

As I see it the 16-50mm and 50-135mm are the offenders .. I presume because they were the earlier lenses before Pentax (hopefully) put things right.

In the UK Pentax lenses come wth a 2 year warranty if purchased from a authorised dealer.
Of the aforementioned throw away DA* zooms, quite a few. Its hard to presume anything when Pentax has never acknowledged one way or another that there was or was not an issue with the SDM. Its also hard to know when the presumed improvement was made per serial # etc. As far as the warranty goes, Pentax Imaging and the UK are different regions. I also don't know how sales in the 2 compare. The only warranty more than a year here was with the 3-year promo on the bodies a while back. A 2 year warranty would definitely make a difference in people confidence and a 3-year one even more so.

For example, the DA* 55mm is currently $639.95 shipped and has a 1-yr Pentax USA Warranty. The price is down on it. The DA* 60-250mm is $1200 shipped with a 1-yr warranty. I think the price is down a little on it also since January because I was considering it over the 300. I hedged my bets on the 300 and paid $59 for a 3 year Mack Warranty.
07-15-2010, 12:09 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Of the aforementioned throw away DA* zooms, quite a few.
I agreed with the "throw away zooms" having problems, as per your previous quote I was asking how many 60-250mm, 200mm, 55mm and 300mm lenses you had seen on this forum with SDM problems.

I don't come here that often and certainly dont read every post so was wondering what proportion of those lenses are reported as faulty.

Maybe we should have the extra years warranty anyway .. we certainly seem to be paying for it.

Equivilent UK prices in $ : DA* 55m: $846, 60-250mm: $1540

On second thoughts, maybe thats why mine are all ok .. we get the good ones because we pay through the nose.
07-15-2010, 12:22 PM   #27
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We see more failures of the 16-50 and the 50-135 because they are more popular with the people here.

There have been SDM failures in the other DA* lenses too.

I have noticed that ebay vendor ProDigital2000 is offering an extra 7 year 3rd party warranty included with their already good prices on the DA* lenses. I wonder why...
07-15-2010, 01:58 PM - 1 Like   #28
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I think a lens that can barely focus is a problem. I've tried the DA*55mm in a store. I was seriously interested in this to upgrade from the FA50mm. Beautiful lens that was on the top of my wish list. Well I never bought one because it would be a complete waste of money. I'd read from almost all owners who posted that it's slow to lock on. Even you say that MikeP. So I'd put this lens in the category of being a poor design that is a failure.

Adding warranty is not a solution, designing a correct lens in the first place is what should have been done.

Why do I feel this way? I have been around long enough to remember that Pentax lenses were the pride of the industry. We could brag that a Pentax lens could out resolve even a Leica. Users of other brands would switch or envy Pentax because of the great glass.

Look at the Takumar thread. The old Taks can produce a photo as good as a Limited. That's impressive. If it's a matter of cost, then raise the price to design it right or don't build it. Have a look at the top end Canon, Nikon and Sony lenses. They don't give the stuff away. Sure we are all bargin hunters but I'd much rather pay $999 vs $799 for a lens that will knock my socks off for the next 30 years than a peice of **** that makes me swear after every shot I miss.

Something is broken and they better fix it fast and friggin tell us. If the motor has been upgraded in the DA*'s then tell us. We're a loyal bunch that have suffered plenty. Remember when all the other brands had DSLR's and we were sitting there for 3+ years waiting?
07-15-2010, 02:05 PM   #29
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you're spot on, Peter!
07-15-2010, 02:37 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote

Something is broken and they better fix it fast and friggin tell us. If the motor has been upgraded in the DA*'s then tell us. We're a loyal bunch that have suffered plenty. Remember when all the other brands had DSLR's and we were sitting there for 3+ years waiting?
I doubt they would advertise the fact they have changed the motors due to a fault, I would be first in the queue demanding all mine were changed free of charge ... even though they are fine.
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