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12-22-2010, 01:23 PM - 1 Like   #1
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My 16-50mm returned from repair (SDM)

hi All,

After allmost 3 years my 16-50 died completely. Before that I have to wake up the lens by using MF a few times and then it worked for the whole day. Once I have to use my IstDS to waken the 16-50 (screwdriven) and then again it worked at the same as before. As reported many times on this forum so I was not the only one.
Repair was now needed and because I hoped that there should be a little bit of ” Coulance” I contacted first Pentax Benelux “de Beukelaar”

There website shows 2 prices : € 120,- for little and € 380,- for normal repairs. Is the SDM a normal repair? I asked them a normal SDM replacement with some coulance.
De Beukelear responded: “ € 265,- ex BTW = incl. € 320,65 . I asked them if this was “Coulance”? , They responded: “No coulance and they realized that is was a high price”
I could not believe my eyes.

I asked ( found this on dpreview) Asahi Photo Ltd for advice. There answer was about 125,- pounds ( € 150,-)
I asked Pentax Germany Servicepoint Maerz (also a good name on dpreview) and they come up wit €130,- +Tax and delivery.

I sent my lens to Asahi Photo Ltd , the lens was there in 2 days. I get an answer that:
“We have received your lens, I have run out of the SDM Motors, although they are on order. I am expecting them to come in in a weeks time. I will keep you informed as soon as the lens has been repaired.”

I have my lens back now and it works perfect. I asked them there espectations about the new SDM. There Answer:

“I am glade to hear that the lens has arrived safely.On the SDM Motors problem, it is only the first production motors which may
had the problem, the new batches , I have had no problems. “

The feeling I’ve got , in the contacts (mail en telefone) from them was about the same as Pentax Breda many years ago, friendly and realistic and very good service.

The bill shows: “ Replaced SDm motors, overhauled Zoom Mech and check cost 125,- included VAT and delivery

My ‘personal’ conclusions:
1) It was the SDM in the first batches DA 16-50 and DA 50-135 ‘s that was the weak point.

2) Pentax haved changed this in a new and stronger SDM. May be this was the reason why the DA 60-250 was a long time delayed and explained why the new lenses has very little problems and new repaired lenses has very little problems.

3) The SDM-problems had nothing to do with the doubledrive AF

4) In my view it is normal that there is a sort of “Coulance” by Pentax when is comes to replacing the first and to weak motor.

5) It seems that Pentax Benelux ( de Beukelaer) translate that by using a “Double pencil “

6) When repair is needed after the guarantee-periode , my advice is use Asahi Photo Ltd in the UK or Pentax Germany , that will leads to realistic prices

7) And last and not least: “ There is no reason to avoid the SDM-lenses now”

12-22-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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Welcome here.
This is one of the first statements I've heard of any kind of admission from someone at Pentax that the first batch of SDM motors were more prone to failure. We've speculated this for some time but hearing it confirms that. Congrats on getting your new SDM motor.

Good advice also on places to go to for repair.
Thanks for sharing this experience.
12-22-2010, 03:52 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for reporting this!

My 16-50's SDM has been dead for a while now, although it works now in screw driver mode in my K10D. I have to consider sending it in to one of the services you have kindly reviewed for us.

It is good to know that the weak SDM's could be limited to early patches only, hopefully!
12-24-2010, 02:50 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dick eduard Quote
And last and not least: “ There is no reason to avoid the SDM-lenses now”
Except when people get brand new 60-250 and 50-135 lenses with dead SDM in the shop...

12-24-2010, 05:05 AM   #5
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another satisfied user of asahi photo here, fixed my dead gx20 & very good service, good to hear the repair is a reasonable amount. when they repaired my camera they also gave it a full clean & lube, excellent...
12-24-2010, 05:06 AM   #6
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oh did the new motor speed up the af at all???
12-25-2010, 10:42 AM   #7
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I'm a bit skeptical, but this probably means that PENTAX has addressed, or at least tried to address, the SDM problem...

12-28-2010, 01:46 PM   #8
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Can the screw-driven mode be used with this lens on a K-7? Does anyone know? I'm considering this lens, but I don't feel like playing craps with SDM failure, when the fact is the SDM is not the major attraction of the lens for me anyway.

12-28-2010, 01:54 PM   #9
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No. The lens will only use SDM when the camera has SDM capability, only screwdrive when the camera has no SDM.
12-28-2010, 02:22 PM   #10
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Can you cover of the contacts to trick it into using screw-drive?
12-29-2010, 03:57 AM   #11

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QuoteOriginally posted by GregX999 Quote
Can you cover of the contacts to trick it into using screw-drive?
No, you can't .

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