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11-01-2010, 01:52 PM   #1
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Are SDM Failures a Thing of the Past?

For a while, this was one of the hottest topics on the forum. I don't see much about it any more. Have the issues been resolved ? I'm starting to get that LBA itch.

11-01-2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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I've not seen any indication that anything has changed on this issue. Certainly there has been no fix by Pentax and I still see occasional treads on this on various forums. I keep an eye on my to SDM driven lenses and make sure they get plenty of exercise. So far, so good. I still intend to by other SDM lenses when the time and finances are permitting. Honestly, the superior image quality of a * lens is worth (to me) the potential of having to fix it sometime in the future. YMMV
11-01-2010, 02:56 PM   #3
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Careful of response bias. People don't have around forums and tell the world that their product still works.
11-01-2010, 03:17 PM   #4
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I have two SDM lenses. One is two years old (50-135) and has worked well since I got it (albeit quite slowly due focus throw). The other is 16-50 and the SDM burned out on it 4 months after I got it. Pentax fixed it and I have had it back for a year without a sign of the problems it had before.

I can't tell you that the lenses are fixed or that my SDM won't burn out tomorrow, but my lenses seem pretty stable at present and I wouldn't hesitate to get another lens with SDM if I wanted it.

11-01-2010, 03:36 PM   #5
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I have the situation similar to Rondec, the warranty on my 50-135mm lens just expired last month (few days ago). I was hoping that it had failed so I can at least get a replacement SDM motor, but it didn't. I just used it this month for a wedding shoot. The lens seems to like the k-7 better than the k10D as I remember at some point, it was kind of sluggish (may be more of battery power issue). Anyway, I am now hoping that if the SDM motor is burnt after the warranty, the replacement cost post warranty period would not be that great.... well, just can't worry too much for now.

My other DA*16-50mm was replaced last year as soon as I got the copy from the original owner; the copy I got him has been replaced once. When I got this replacement copy, I also got issues with metering (not sure how and why) - quickly replaced by Pentax Canada. I am waiting for this one to fail as well so I can get SDM motor replaced. Hopefully, it fails before the 2-yr warranty expires (this month).

If it does not fail, I am hoping that it will never fail; is there such a thing?
11-01-2010, 03:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
For a while, this was one of the hottest topics on the forum. I don't see much about it any more. Have the issues been resolved ? I'm starting to get that LBA itch.
Since the issues almost always seem to be with just the 16-50 and 50-135, IMO your LBA should be fed with no worries if its any of the other SDM lenses. But if you need one of the oft mentioned two, how much does a 3 year warranty cost these days?
11-01-2010, 04:02 PM   #7
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Lee, it's actually the 55 f1.4 that is starting to interest me, though I'm not sure why.
11-01-2010, 04:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Lee, it's actually the 55 f1.4 that is starting to interest me, though I'm not sure why.
As I am only interested in your welfare, I heartily recommend you click on the B&H banner and order a 55/1.4 TONIGHT. There may only be one left and now you have me thinking about it. If you don't like it, you know b&h will be happy to send you a free UPS sticker to return it so they can resell it to me.

Of course if you are not SURE of your LBA, CameraLensRentals will be happy to loan you one for a week.

True LBA requires you to order or rent tonight! lets see...buy/rent tonight, get it by Thursday, so we can look for your first posted shots Thursday night.

11-01-2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Since the issues almost always seem to be with just the 16-50 and 50-135, IMO your LBA should be fed with no worries if its any of the other SDM lenses. But if you need one of the oft mentioned two, how much does a 3 year warranty cost these days?
I just think those two lenses are much mroe common than other SDM lenses. I had a 17-70 SDM go out on me when it was only a few months old. I sold the lens as soon as it came back repaired. The person I sold it to knew this when buying, and the SDM went out again just recently.

But to answer the OP's question: Yes, SDM failures are the thing of my past because I won't own another. But I did hear the SDM primes were much more reliable than the zooms.
11-01-2010, 04:53 PM   #10
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many people have commented on how the other camera makers were able to get reliability of the lens motor... but have they consider that both DA* zooms are WR? I looked at the DA* 50-135mm, the rear component does not move - is there such a thing as air tight (or at least not easy to turn)? If that is the case, I would agree that DA* prime lens would be less prone to SDM failure.
11-01-2010, 05:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
As I am only interested in your welfare,...........
Your concern is touching.
11-01-2010, 06:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Your concern is touching.
Ok, I'm busted. I really just want everybody to spend as much as I have this last year.
11-01-2010, 06:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I would agree that DA* prime lens would be less prone to SDM failure.
I can vouch for that. My da*300 is still humming after 16 months of daily use and a tumble off the camera from standing height tripod to floor.
11-01-2010, 06:46 PM   #14
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Issue is still alive and well in my camp. Dropped of my 16-50mm for repair, just last week. Hope to have it back in time for Christmas, if I'm lucky. 13 months old, started having SDM issues about 4 months in....but it was manageable until recently, as it would come back to life with coaxing.

I only hope that the replacement motor Pentax is now using, is better than the original. Fingers crossed...but glad I bought it with my MasterCard, and got the 2yr warranty extended to 4yr.

For the record, I do love this lens. Image quality is stunning thru the whole range.
11-01-2010, 07:00 PM   #15
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I think people just gave up with the idea of getting the DA* zooms and it's not worth talking about anymore. people simply moved on and look for better alternatives.
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