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11-27-2010, 08:04 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by cameraboy Quote
sorry my friend but pentax has never been a failure just slow on the uptake look back in pentax history the first metering camera ETC ETC ETC.
List of Pentax firsts: First SLR made in Japan (Asahiflex 1952), First quick-return mirror (Asahiflex IIB 1954), First SLR with TTL metering (Spotmatic 1964), Super Multi Coating (1971), SLR available in 200 colors (2009).

Pentax hasn't exactly been a leader for the last 40 years.

11-27-2010, 08:58 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
List of Pentax firsts: First SLR made in Japan (Asahiflex 1952), First quick-return mirror (Asahiflex IIB 1954), First SLR with TTL metering (Spotmatic 1964), Super Multi Coating (1971), SLR available in 200 colors (2009).

Pentax hasn't exactly been a leader for the last 40 years.
You forgot the first electronic controlled shutter (Av) in an SLR with the ES in 1971. The first AF SLR with the ME-F in 1981. The first SLR with built in flash in 1987 with the SFX. These are things now common in all cameras that we take them for granted....
11-27-2010, 09:40 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
You forgot the first electronic controlled shutter (Av) in an SLR with the ES in 1971. The first AF SLR with the ME-F in 1981. The first SLR with built in flash in 1987 with the SFX. These are things now common in all cameras that we take them for granted....
I'll give you the ES as the first electronic shutter but the ME-F was not the first AF SLR. It was the first 35mm SLR with AF. Polaroid had the SX-70 Sonar in 1978. Minolta had the first integrated AF. The Hanimex Reflex Flash 35 was the first SLR with built-in flash in 1979.


11-27-2010, 10:13 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Minolta had the first integrated AF.
Integrated? The Minolta 7000 was no more integrated than the Pentax. The only difference was that the batteries was in the camera, not the lens. The Pentax motor was in the lens but so is Canon EOS. Minolta was late on the AF bandwagon but the first sucessful one comercially...

...and Pentax made the worlds first AF MF SLR as well...

11-27-2010, 10:56 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Integrated? The Minolta 7000 was no more integrated than the Pentax. The only difference was that the batteries was in the camera, not the lens. The Pentax motor was in the lens but so is Canon EOS. Minolta was late on the AF bandwagon but the first sucessful one comercially...

...and Pentax made the worlds first AF MF SLR as well...
Integrated phase comparison AF that actually worked. The ME F used contrast detection and needed a brightly lit, high contrast, stationary target to work at all. Of course Minolta stole the technology from Honeywell, but they were first to market.

Last edited by boriscleto; 11-27-2010 at 11:02 AM.
11-27-2010, 02:06 PM   #21
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Hi Ash,

I didn't say SDM was a flop, I said it was a failure. How many of the current crop do you expect to see still around in 10 years time? Perhaps we're talking planned obsolescence within 2 years, in which case the lens is a resounding commercial success! A cursory look for info on the SDM lenses on Google unearths a plethora of stories of SDM motor failure and warnings not to waste your money on it. There are nowhere near comparable amounts of reports of Canon or Nikon failures.

What did I think? That the reports are exaggerated, the vast, silent majority are happy with their copy, it won't happen to me...

Well it did. Now, after having to pay for a new motor, I'm suddendly given to worrying about the ubiquitous reports of multiple motor failures in the same lens. So in my books SDM is most definetly a failure, I expect a Pentax pro grade lens to not fall apart of its own accord, and I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation. Part of the Pentax brand is the longevity of its products, I am still using the K30mm f2.8!

Finally, why the hell sell a lens with screwdrive autofocus, which cannot be used even when the SDM motor fails?
11-27-2010, 03:39 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by mfdesalas Quote
Finally, why the hell sell a lens with screwdrive autofocus, which cannot be used even when the SDM motor fails?
The screw drive can't be used when SDM fails? Before I had decided against the DA* 50-135mm (due to SDM), I had figured that worst case scenario I could always use the screw drive if SDM failed.
11-27-2010, 05:59 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
The screw drive can't be used when SDM fails? Before I had decided against the DA* 50-135mm (due to SDM), I had figured that worst case scenario I could always use the screw drive if SDM failed.
Well, I tried even taping over the electrical contacts so the camera (K-2000) would not recognise the SDM lens. No joy: the contacts are pressure-sensitive. The lens is recognised as SDM - and the screw drive motor does not engage - even when the electrical contacts have been taped.

11-27-2010, 06:22 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mfdesalas Quote
Well, I tried even taping over the electrical contacts so the camera (K-2000) would not recognise the SDM lens. No joy: the contacts are pressure-sensitive. The lens is recognised as SDM - and the screw drive motor does not engage - even when the electrical contacts have been taped.
It seems like I remember seeing someone say that there was a setting in the camera to not use SDM. I'm not sure what model(s) might have that capability, and I don't have my K-x with me now to check.
11-27-2010, 07:49 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by mfdesalas Quote
I noticed the new Pentax DA 18-135 F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR lens sports a new focusing motor, called DC, which is supposedly an improvement on SDM. I hope it proves more reliable.

Is this Pentax admitting SDM was a failure?

I struggle to understand what possessed them to wait this long to address the appalling failure rate of the SDM lenses (though of course not officially, not in the open), and I fervently hope they bring out a successor to the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 lenses soon.
Do all improvements imply admission of previous failure?
11-27-2010, 08:20 PM   #26
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You can forget about K10D and later cameras being able to "switch" to screwdrive on SDM lenses. Has been discussed here ad nauseum with nothing from Pentax to even suggest a firmware upgrade to permit this.

Lenses are never planned obsolescence - it's camera bodies that are.
11-27-2010, 09:41 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
Do all improvements imply admission of previous failure?
Not necessarily. Sometimes it is instead the "improvement" itself which proves to be a failure. Best laid plans of mice and men, road to hell paved with good intentions, if it ain't broke don't fix it, etc etc etc.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote

Lenses are never planned obsolescence - it's camera bodies that are.
That's why I prefer that focus and aperture selection be done on the lens. I have never understood the hoopla over being "able" to control aperture via a superfluous wheel on the camera body. Shutter controls belong on camera bodies. Aperture controls belong on lenses.
11-27-2010, 09:43 PM   #28
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For the majority of us who *never* had an SDM problem, we'd say that it was far from a failure. And when paired with gems like the DA* 50-135, possibly the best thing since sliced bread.

I feel as if Pentax has had a marketing and brand problem with SDM. Too many folks with megaphones claiming that SDM was a failure and poor implementation. Assuming Pentax isn't going to run the three drive systems simultaneously for available lenses (I'd prefer SDM and screwdrive integrated any day over exclusive DC), Pentax is probably eager to leave the stigma associated with SDM behind if they can do so effectively.
11-27-2010, 10:24 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by mfdesalas Quote
I noticed the new Pentax DA 18-135 F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR lens sports a new focusing motor, called DC, which is supposedly an improvement on SDM. I hope it proves more reliable.

Is this Pentax admitting SDM was a failure?

I struggle to understand what possessed them to wait this long to address the appalling failure rate of the SDM lenses (though of course not officially, not in the open), and I fervently hope they bring out a successor to the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 lenses soon.
Is the K-5 an admission from Pentax that the K-7 was a failure?
Was the K-7 an admission from Pentax that the K20d was a failure?
Was the K20d an admission from Pentax that the K10d was a failure?

I've yet to see any statistical evidence that failure rate of SDM lenses is any higher than similar lenses from other brands. Until then, this is just the spreading of FUD.
11-28-2010, 01:15 AM   #30
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The only statistic users can be sure of is whether their own copy is a failure or not.

The couple of polls on the rates of SDM failures had relatively low response rates with high likelihood of responder bias (users with failed lenses tending to respond more than those with working ones).

So in the absence of accurate data there can only be speculation. But it's no fun when you're a statistic.
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