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01-09-2011, 01:43 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Maybe it's just me, but I don't want to drop almost $1000 on a lens when I'm not guaranteed to get more than one good year out of it. Why is Pentax only willing to stand behind their lenses for one year?

I bought the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 over the Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8. The Sigma has comparable image quality to the 50-135mm, but it beats it hands down in focusing speed. So I did NOT settle for an inferior product. But what really tipped the scales in the Sigma's favor was the 4-year warranty.

Photography is a hobby for me. I'm raising a family on one salary, so any money I spend on photography comes from money I'm able to raise on the side by working extra or buying and reselling things. So when I spend $800 or $900 on a lens, I need to have some confidence that the lens is still going to be working more than a year later. With a Sigma, I KNOW that I will get at least four years out of it. And with Tamron, you're guaranteed six years. But Pentax will only stand by their product for ONE year.

So Pentax charges more for their lenses, but gives you MUCH less warranty.

And I'm just not seeing reports of people experiencing MULTIPLE failures on the Sigma HSM lenses. Same thing for the Canon and Nikon lenses. So I don't completely believe that the SDM issues are just a lot of belly aching by a few dissatisfied customers.

As others have pointed out, the one-year warranty IS costing Pentax customers. I gave my $800 to Sigma rather than Pentax. But despite this, Pentax has made a business decision to only stand by their lenses for one year. One can only assume that it would cost them too much to warranty their lenses for four years or six years.

Pentax doesn't need people apologizing for them. They need to step up and address the issue. And then I'll start buying their lenses.
The issue you are talking about really isn't the length of the warranty. FA limiteds have the same 1 year warranty, but no one has a problem with them, even though they cost more than some of the SDM lenses.

Canon charges more for their comparative zoom lenses and has a one year warranty as well. Nikon charges even more than Canon does, but has a four year warranty.

The issue is the durability or, the lack of durability of these lenses. A longer warranty doesn't really help if you have to send in the lens every six months to get it serviced and therefore don't have it.

A Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS costs over 2000 dollars. In comparison, the 50-135 f2.8 costs 819 dollars. Assuming a repair cost of 200 dollars for SDM, you could repair it more than five times and still come out ahead.

01-09-2011, 02:34 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
And don't forget folks, for every rant you read in this forum, there's a hundred shooters who are out there with this same gear ... and we never hear from them because they have nothing to complain about.
Apologists like you are the reason why I fell into the SDM trap a year ago. If I hadn't been swayed by such baseless arguments ("mine works, therefore everyone else is wrong!"), I wouldn't have wasted my money on a 50-135mm that broke twice within a month, and is likely to fail again in the future. As far as I'm concerned, apologists like you have lost all credibility for supporting a failure-prone product and trying to convince unknowing consumers to purchase it despite the widely-available evidence.

edit: your whole argument is a complete fallacy. You have no clue how many of these lenses were sold over the years. You have no way to know that everyone who's ever suffered a failure came here to this specific forum to complain about it. You don't even know if everyone who's suffered a failure has complained at all! For all we know, countless numbers of people have just dutifully sent in their lens for repair and never made a peep about it. So really, all you have to go on is your own experience and some unfounded random guesses. All while ignoring the masses who DID report a failure. And I might point out, those who complained about a 50-135mm SDM failure really are "the masses".

Last edited by Hound Tooth; 01-09-2011 at 03:08 PM.
01-09-2011, 03:07 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
A Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS costs over 2000 dollars. In comparison, the 50-135 f2.8 costs 819 dollars. Assuming a repair cost of 200 dollars for SDM, you could repair it more than five times and still come out ahead.
Seriously? You're going to compare a DA* 50-135mm to a Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS?!?

The 50-135 doesn't have the same focal length
The 50-135 has NO built-in IS
The 50-135 weighs LESS than HALF as much
The 50-135 is more than 2" shorter
The 50-135 doesn't have a focus limiter
The 50-135's auto-focus mechanism is a joke compared to the Canon 70-200's

These lenses aren't even in the same class! Even if you compare it to the older 70-200mm IS that costs "only" $2000!

Last edited by Hound Tooth; 01-09-2011 at 03:44 PM.
01-09-2011, 03:13 PM   #34
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I have had the 50-135mm lens for well over a year. Like many people, I had read the reports of SDM failure but still went ahead and bought the lens anyway... I did get a 3 year Mack Extended Warranty though; as it was pretty cheap. Not had a problem so far but that in itself does not mean much either way.

Why did I buy this lens despite all the reports?

The main reason is that I had rented this lens for 2 weeks and really liked it as I got pretty nice shots of my kids in dances, sports etc. It was much lighter and smaller than some of the 70-200 lenses that were alternatives. I never thought of the sigma 50-150 because I never knew about it and still dont know if it is good or not. My final reason was that I just decided to 'gamble'. I thought to myself, "The kids are growing up quickly, if I can get 3-4 years out of this lens for $750, I will not complain! By that time, the kids are not going to do much of these events anymore and I may not need this lens if it conks out". This is not a great argument but that is how I rationalized it to my wife: 'We replaced our $1000 computer in 3 years and gave it to charity for nothing, I am going to get some permanent memories for much less" Well, what can I say, she bought it! I am not saying anyone should buy this lens with this argument. But...so far so good with my copy enjoying this lens BUT keeping my fingers crossed!

Should pentax users have to put up with all this stress? No. Should pentax offer better warranties for sdm lenses. Yes. But that is neither here nor there. At the end of the day, from all the reports out there, I think anyone who buys the sdm lenses maybe taking a risk. How big that risk is unfortunately cannot be quantified becuase there is not the kind of data available that one can use to make such an educated guess.

Anyway that is my 2 cents.

01-09-2011, 03:19 PM   #35
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It would be interesting to see some real stats on repairs of the DA* lenses. Too bad lensrentals.com don't rent out Pentax equipment. LensRentals.com - Lens Repair Data 4.0 as you can see a lot of other manufacturers also have problems, including AF motors, with their expensive lenses.

I'm planning on buying a 50-135 in the coming months and might very well be bitten by a SDM failure. However, what I don't expect is any acknowledgement from Pentax about the problem just as no other CE company would own up to their more or less defective products (clouding on TFTs, bad caps on mobos etc).
01-09-2011, 03:26 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by joakimfors Quote
It would be interesting to see some real stats on repairs of the DA* lenses.
The only way we'll ever see those is by complaining loudly enough to your local consumer protection agency (whatever it's called in your region) until they decide to investigate. Pentax will never willingly release any such information. They've been sitting idly by for years and doing nothing about it. No apologies, no statement, nothing.
01-09-2011, 03:26 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
Apologists like you are the reason why I fell into the SDM trap a year ago ... apologists like you have lost all credibility for supporting a failure-prone product and trying to convince unknowing consumers to purchase it despite the widely-available evidence.
The registry database here at Pentax Forums has 37 registered 16-50s. Only 2 people indicated to avoid the lens. Hmmm.... yeah, a sea of unhappy owners there.

DA* 16-50 Database

The registry database shows 45 owners. Another 2 are marked as "avoid." Wow, I'd better dump my lens asap before the word gets out.

DA* 50-135 Database

Sorry, Houndstooth, your rant doesn't extend to everyone else here. There are lots of owners who are happy with their DA * lenses.

If that doesn't work for you ... I apologize.
01-09-2011, 03:33 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
The registry database here at Pentax Forums has 37 registered 16-50s. Only 2 people indicated to avoid the lens. Hmmm.... yeah, a sea of unhappy owners there.

DA* 16-50 Database

The registry database shows 45 owners. Another 2 are marked as "avoid." Wow, I'd better dump my lens asap before the word gets out.

DA* 50-135 Database

Sorry, Houndstooth, your rant doesn't extend to everyone else here. There are lots of owners who are happy with their DA * lenses.

If that doesn't work for you ... I apologize.
Those databases are incomplete. I had 2 16-50s that were decentered and one SDM failure. I also had TWO SDM failures of 50-135. I dont see my data on that database.
I also had a k-20D e-dial failure and a K-7 e-dial failure. The only Pentax DSLR that didn't give me any QC problems was my k-10D.

Lets stop making excuses for Pentax poor QC.

01-09-2011, 03:43 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
Sorry, Houndstooth, your rant doesn't extend to everyone else here. There are lots of owners who are happy with their DA * lenses.
Funny, I remember the same statements from apologists back when wiser members tried to warn me away from the 50-135mm. You're definitely filling that role perfectly. History just repeats itself over and over again, but with different actors. The apologizers, the dissenters, and then the poor suckers who fall for the apologizers' baseless arguments.

Please note, I never made any mention of other SDM lenses. Only the 50-135mm. While failures of other SDM lenses have been mentioned frequently, the 50-135mm has received a vastly disproportionate number of complaints compared to all the others.
01-09-2011, 03:49 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
Funny, I remember the same statements from apologists back when wiser members tried to warn me away from the 50-135mm. You're definitely filling that role perfectly. History just repeats itself over and over again, but with different actors.

Please note, I never made any mention of other SDM lenses. Only the 50-135mm. While failures of other SDM lenses have been mentioned frequently, the 50-135mm has received a vastly disproportionate number of complaints compared to all the others.
I disagree. Of all the lenses, the 16-50 has significantly more issues associated with it than any of the other lenses that Pentax currently produces. I understand that you are angry about this. The question really is one of whether you are interested in the products that Pentax offers. Smaller lenses, sometimes with under powered motors that occasionally fail, specifically designed for APS-C. This is it. There is no magical full frame camera waiting in the wings, no magical 80-200 f2.8 lens with ring motors. Just a company interested in producing small lenses, often weather sealed with great optics. This is their niche and no amount of ranting will turn them into Canon or Nikon (thank goodness).
01-09-2011, 03:59 PM   #41
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Just so we're clear that I'm not making this up, a very quick search for "50-135mm sdm failure" yielded the following threads within the first 3 pages:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/70552-sent-my-...r-failure.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/70758-50-135-s...-question.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/94001-i-guess-...otor-dead.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/115870-50-135m...-not-myth.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/109202-da*-50-...or-squeak.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/84963-fed-up-s...ip-thread.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/81296-superson...e-rates-2.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/107165-officia...-thread-3.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/120657-superso...hing-past.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/88680-lenses-k...or-fail-2.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/81128-more-sup...-problems.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/52922-da*50-13...ce-center.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/124594-superso...tly-fixed.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/73555-superson...-failures.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/81128-more-sup...roblems-3.html

I ignored threads that specifically mentioned only other SDM lenses. And I stopped after 3 pages because I figured this was more than enough. There's actually dozens of pages of results, and I'm finding relevant ones even on page 20 and beyond. There's literally hundreds upon hundreds of reports from individual users. And that's just on this forum!!! It doesn't include DPR, or PW, or any other sources. Nor does it take into account the ones who kept their complaints to the retailer where they bought the lens. Or those who didn't complain at all and just had the lens fixed silently. Or those who got disgusted with the lens and just sold it on eBay as a defective product (there's a few of those regularly).

P.S. I didn't contribute to any of those threads.

Last edited by Hound Tooth; 01-09-2011 at 04:07 PM.
01-09-2011, 04:46 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
edit: your whole argument is a complete fallacy. You have no clue how many of these lenses were sold over the years. You have no way to know that everyone who's ever suffered a failure came here to this specific forum to complain about it. You don't even know if everyone who's suffered a failure has complained at all! For all we know, countless numbers of people have just dutifully sent in their lens for repair and never made a peep about it. So really, all you have to go on is your own experience and some unfounded random guesses.
I'm sorry, but this is the most ironic rant I've read here in a while! The author uses the same faulty logic of generalization to argue that... a generalization is a faulty logic!

Nothing to add to the ageless debate on SDM for lenses, but had to laugh and point at that one! Hard to imagine it was intentional...
01-09-2011, 04:49 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I'm sorry, but this is the most ironic rant I've read here in a while! The author uses the same faulty logic of generalization to argue that... a generalization is a faulty logic!
Sorry, I don't get your point. I'm pointing out that there are tons of documented complaints about SDM failures, while apologists contend that there must be tons of secret, unreported instances of blissful SDM ownership based on their own limited experience and random guesses.

Last edited by Hound Tooth; 01-09-2011 at 05:10 PM.
01-09-2011, 05:09 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
Sorry, I don't get your point. I'm pointing out that there are tons of documented complaints about SDM failures, while apologists contend that there must be tons of secret, unreported reports of blissful SDM ownership based on their own limited experience.
Here's my point: unless you happen to have access to some CRIS or Pentax Service Network powerpoint specifically outlining the number of SDM units sold against the number returned for failure, you are just like "the apologists" or anyone else in these threads. You have had your individual experience, which may be similar or different to others experiences, but your experience (or as many as you can dig up from this forum) doesn't make you any more of an expert on the scope of the issue and Pentaxes response than anyone else posting on the subject.

The fact that I have to explain the irony means you might profit from a rhetorical question - did you complain about your SDM before it failed on you?
01-09-2011, 05:56 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
The fact that I have to explain the irony means you might profit from a rhetorical question - did you complain about your SDM before it failed on you?
Actually in a way I did. About 6 months after I bought my 50-135mm, when the apologists who convinced me to buy this lens in the first place started suffering SDM failures of their own, that's when I started to wonder if I'd made a mistake. Those apologists turned into realists. I started advocating against SDM at that time (long before my own failed). My own fears got confirmed just a few months later.

Like I said: history repeats itself over and over again. It's inevitable, any 50-135mm will fail within a short time span. Doesn't matter if it's 1 month or 3 years. And the repaired copy will fail too, within that same span.
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