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01-11-2011, 07:07 AM   #61
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As I have said before, the problem is Pentax saying nothing on the issue. Deny it, admit it, or acknowledge there are a few with the problem. But say something. The silence is deafening.

01-11-2011, 07:18 AM   #62
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I guess we'll get an official response on the state of SDM at the same time Canon responds about the Err 01 problems on their EF 24-105 L. That is: never.
01-11-2011, 08:19 AM   #63
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Just found this interview with a Pentax representative where SDM is discussed without a single word about the problems, real or imagined. Imaging Resource Interview: John Carlson, Pentax Imaging I am an unrepentant Pentax booster who thinks their cameras are the best bang for the buck on the planet, but dear Pentax, you must respond.
01-11-2011, 08:34 AM   #64
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I am not going to rant against anyone, but I still don't get how people can ignore the hundreds of posts about SDM failures, on this and other forums, and claim that it is just the loud few owners who have had bum lenses. Seriously, how often have you read about a DA 35 Macro, or FA 43, or 18-250, or whatever other lens, that have had virtually any mechanical problems where they just stopped working.

This SDM stuff has been reported for years, from many different users, and it has been persistent. I sent in my 50-135 to CRIS a couple of months ago due to consistent SDM problems, where my lens would need several minutes to wake up, and then performed slowly and inconsistently. It cost me about $200 to get the SDM replaced, which considering I had gotten a steal on my lens a few years ago ($450 US lightly used), it was worth it to me. But if I had paid full price, I would have been really annoyed. The lack of any response from Pentax has been real, and generally unacceptable imho. But I keep buying Pentax gear, so I guess it hasn't turned me away.

Bottom line though, I hate to say it, but just because some of you have not had any problems with your 50-135, which is great for you, is simply not relevant to the overall SDM issue. It merely shows that there are people who have had no problems with their 50-135. But if 200, or 500, or 1500, or 10,000 people have had problems with their 50-135, then that is all that matters. The issue is real (I know first hand), and Pentax's lack of response is real--after that, anyone can make their own choices. The 50-135 is a fantastic lens, and is worth the trouble for me, enough that I spent an additional $200 to bring it back to life.

01-11-2011, 08:48 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
The problem with SDM products is you never know what the final cost of ownership will be. If they came with a 5 year warranty, I'd be inclined to give the 50-135 and the 60-250 a go, but now as it stands, I much prefer third party options... and there are some very good ones... and they all offer more peace of mind and value than Pentax products.
Same here. I'm a big fan of Pentax, and I hope they succeed and continue to produce new cameras and lenses for years to come. And I would love to support them with my dollars when I'm purchasing equipment. But with my limited budget, I can't afford to take the risk when Tamron and Sigma are offering similar (and sometimes superior) products for less money, and with 4x and 6x the warranty. It just doesn't make basic economic sense for me to buy expensive Pentax lenses with short warranties when there is such a cloud of uncertainty hanging over them.

And Pentax has yet to do anything to debunk the issue, or to inspire confidence by extending the warranty. So for now I'll stick with Sigma and Tamron when they have an equivalent product.

And I just gave Sigma $750 for the 50-150mm f/2.8, and I will probably be giving them another $670 for their new 17-50mm f/2.8 and/or another $450 for the 10-20mm. And I've already given Tamron $450 for my 28-75mm f/2.8. So this issue IS costing Pentax money. But they have apparently run the numbers and have concluded that it would cost them more to stand behind their lenses for an extended period of time than the lost sales are costing. That, to me, is telling.

And for the person who pointed out that everything, including expensive cars, fail and breakdown, consider this: When Chrysler had a reputation for unreliable cars and that reputation was affecting their sales, they responded by offering lifetime warranties.

And for those apologists who will point out that Canon only offers one year warranties, I used to have a Canon DSLR so I was involved in the Canon community, and I did not see any aversion to Canon users buying Canon lenses. It's quite the opposite--Canon lenses have a reputation for being the highest quality option for Canon cameras. So it's not an equivalent comparison because Canon is not dealing the same issues of uncertainty and mistrust.

The bottom line is that Pentax needs to do something. Either prove there is not a widespread problem with SDM, or extend the warranties to inspire buyer confidence. Until then, my money will go to their competitors in the lens business.
01-11-2011, 08:56 AM   #66
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Hound Tooth, I feel your pain, man. I raise bloody hell whenever a product that I buy doesn't perform as expected. Just ask customer service at Apple ;-)

But your tone suggests that every DA* 50-135 will not perform and will eventually break.

Isn't that as bad as the so-called apologists claiming that every DA* 50-135 will be fine?

This is not a black and white issue, there are middle greys.
01-11-2011, 09:02 AM   #67
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The only reliable SDM pentax glass so far is the DA* 300 and DA* 60-250 there has only been a very few issues with either one. The DA 18-135 is a DC focus so I don't think you can consider it a full SDM lens, Mine has work flawlessly since it was released in Nov.
01-11-2011, 10:26 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Same here. I'm a big fan of Pentax, and I hope they succeed and continue to produce new cameras and lenses for years to come. And I would love to support them with my dollars when I'm purchasing equipment. But with my limited budget, I can't afford to take the risk when Tamron and Sigma are offering similar (and sometimes superior) products for less money, and with 4x and 6x the warranty. It just doesn't make basic economic sense for me to buy expensive Pentax lenses with short warranties when there is such a cloud of uncertainty hanging over them.

And Pentax has yet to do anything to debunk the issue, or to inspire confidence by extending the warranty. So for now I'll stick with Sigma and Tamron when they have an equivalent product.

And I just gave Sigma $750 for the 50-150mm f/2.8, and I will probably be giving them another $670 for their new 17-50mm f/2.8 and/or another $450 for the 10-20mm. And I've already given Tamron $450 for my 28-75mm f/2.8. So this issue IS costing Pentax money. But they have apparently run the numbers and have concluded that it would cost them more to stand behind their lenses for an extended period of time than the lost sales are costing. That, to me, is telling.

And for the person who pointed out that everything, including expensive cars, fail and breakdown, consider this: When Chrysler had a reputation for unreliable cars and that reputation was affecting their sales, they responded by offering lifetime warranties.

And for those apologists who will point out that Canon only offers one year warranties, I used to have a Canon DSLR so I was involved in the Canon community, and I did not see any aversion to Canon users buying Canon lenses. It's quite the opposite--Canon lenses have a reputation for being the highest quality option for Canon cameras. So it's not an equivalent comparison because Canon is not dealing the same issues of uncertainty and mistrust.

The bottom line is that Pentax needs to do something. Either prove there is not a widespread problem with SDM, or extend the warranties to inspire buyer confidence. Until then, my money will go to their competitors in the lens business.
There have been periodic reports of Pentax repair personnel saying (a) that there is not a problem or, (b) that the problem has been fixed. No one believes them, so why would another statement from Pentax saying: "OK, there was an initial problem with SDM lenses, but it is fixed now," help anything?

The only solution I can see from a user standpoint is an extended warranty. Those are available from third party sources, in fact, Prodigital 2000 threw one in for free on my 16-50. They are reasonably priced, so if that is the only issue, buy one.

As to the DC motors, who knows how they will do? They have been out for two and a half months. My understanding is that DC motors are to be used on lower end lenses, which doesn't seem to bode well for long term sturdiness, but then again, who knows?

01-11-2011, 04:20 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
There have been periodic reports of Pentax repair personnel saying (a) that there is not a problem or, (b) that the problem has been fixed. No one believes them, so why would another statement from Pentax saying: "OK, there was an initial problem with SDM lenses, but it is fixed now," help anything?
I don't consider anecdotal, unconfirmed, off-the-cuff comments by individual Pentax employees to really be "addressing" the issue. Pentax needs to issue some kind of official statement explaining why it is not and has never actually been a problem, or why it is no longer going to be a problem going forward.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The only solution I can see from a user standpoint is an extended warranty. Those are available from third party sources, in fact, Prodigital 2000 threw one in for free on my 16-50. They are reasonably priced, so if that is the only issue, buy one.
I understand that you're trying to be practical, and the suggestion has some merit, but when Pentax is already charging a premium for their lenses, it's not really acceptable that people have to spend even more on top of the premium in order to have some peace of mind. And I have some experience with 3rd party warranties, and the process is usually not as quick or easy as a manufacturer warranty.

I just hope that people from Pentax pay attention to these forums and see that potential customers are being discouraged by the current state of affairs.
01-11-2011, 04:31 PM   #70
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Currently, the Pentax DA 16-50 f2.8 is available from Amazon for 744 dollars. The Canon 17-55 f2.8 is available for 1060 dollars and the Nikon 17-55 f2.8 is available for 1348 dollars. A Mack warranty is only 37 dollars on a the Pentax, for six years additional coverage. As far as I can see, that still puts you below the price of the comparable Canon/Nikon lenses, but I could be wrong.
01-11-2011, 04:48 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Currently, the Pentax DA 16-50 f2.8 is available from Amazon for 744 dollars. The Canon 17-55 f2.8 is available for 1060 dollars and the Nikon 17-55 f2.8 is available for 1348 dollars. A Mack warranty is only 37 dollars on a the Pentax, for six years additional coverage. As far as I can see, that still puts you below the price of the comparable Canon/Nikon lenses, but I could be wrong.
A practical thing to do for Pentax is to increase the warranty for DA* lenses only from one to three years, AND raise the list price correspondingly. This would give people a piece of mind, and also make it more clear that DA* means top-drawer glass.
01-11-2011, 05:05 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Currently, the Pentax DA 16-50 f2.8 is available from Amazon for 744 dollars. The Canon 17-55 f2.8 is available for 1060 dollars and the Nikon 17-55 f2.8 is available for 1348 dollars. A Mack warranty is only 37 dollars on a the Pentax, for six years additional coverage. As far as I can see, that still puts you below the price of the comparable Canon/Nikon lenses, but I could be wrong.
...or you could buy a Tamron 17-50 for half the price which has superior IQ and comes with 6 year warranty.
01-11-2011, 05:16 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The only solution I can see from a user standpoint is an extended warranty. Those are available from third party sources, in fact, Prodigital 2000 threw one in for free on my 16-50. They are reasonably priced, so if that is the only issue, buy one.
HA! HA! Now that's too funny... At least Prodigital recognizes the futility of selling a shoddy product without any back up. Smart move on their part!

BUT you should know nothing comes for free. I'm sure their price would be in line with B&H and Adorama if with were not for the "FREE" extended warranty. So there you have it... A retailer that knows it's prudent not to sell an SDM product without supplementing the warranty!

If more retailers thought along the lines of Prodigital, that would mitigate some of the complaints - for a while anyhow.
01-11-2011, 05:27 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kammerer Quote
A practical thing to do for Pentax is to increase the warranty for DA* lenses only from one to three years, AND raise the list price correspondingly. This would give people a piece of mind, and also make it more clear that DA* means top-drawer glass.
A more practical thing to do would be for Pentax to nip the fricken problem in the bud. Merely including a Band Aid isn't enough; the onus is on Pentax to solve the problem.
01-11-2011, 06:19 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
HA! HA! Now that's too funny... At least Prodigital recognizes the futility of selling a shoddy product without any back up. Smart move on their part!

BUT you should know nothing comes for free. I'm sure their price would be in line with B&H and Adorama if with were not for the "FREE" extended warranty. So there you have it... A retailer that knows it's prudent not to sell an SDM product without supplementing the warranty!

If more retailers thought along the lines of Prodigital, that would mitigate some of the complaints - for a while anyhow.
Prodigital throws it in on international purchases only. I live in the US and was buying from Canada, hence the Mack Warranty. Nothing particularly silly there.

As far as price goes, it was considerably cheaper at that time than any similar lens in the US. I got it for 600 dollars and at that time Adorama/B and H had it for about 700 dollars. Clearly you haven't purchased from Prodigital, so your ignorance is pardoned.
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