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01-13-2011, 02:29 PM   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
the notion that I, or anyone else, "encourage unknowing dupes to buy a flawed product" is baseless and inflammatory.
I'm sorry you're inflamed

01-13-2011, 03:10 PM   #122
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It's kind of discouraging to have the whole thread dominate by a few folks who have had problems.
You've got it backwards. I just took a few minutes to look back through the thread, and I took a quick tally of posters and whether each of their comments were negative toward SDM, positive, or neutral.

The results? There's about twice as many dissatisfied SDM posters as there are satisfied that have posted to the thread so far. So I guess if anything, you would have to bemoan the fact that "the whole thread is being dominated by a few folks who haven't had problems".

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
After reading this thread I'm becoming a fan of the some paraphrased old Quaker advice...Don't try to dominate a conversation. Speaking more than once is to be discouraged...
I take it that most conversations between Quakers must be fairly short-lived then.

I do consider this to be a conversation, and just like any conversation between two people, it goes back and forth. I've personally enjoyed the discussion, and I've even learned a thing or two. So I guess I don't see the problem.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 01-13-2011 at 03:46 PM.
01-13-2011, 04:13 PM   #123
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You Convinced Yourself...

QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
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.
Nobody convinced you. You found people who agreed with what you wanted to hear.
If you, me, everyone, did the required research, checked all the facts, & gathered the information to make an intelligent decision, then none of us would have anyone to blame. But, that's what we like to do. It makes us feel better if it's someone else who is at fault.
Unless, someone held a gun to your head, then the buck has returned to it's rightful owner.
Everything in life is a gamble. Everything, sooner or later will fail. I think you've stated your story enough with the way you see it.
However, you speak in absolute certainty about information which at times is dubious. You seem to exasperate yourself with situations which are out of your control.

Here is some of the things which would be great to have the facts about before making a purchase.

1. How many were made?
2. How many failed out of the box?
3. How many failed within 1 month, 2 months, & so on?
4. What is the average cost for repair outside of warranty.
5. How long does the average repair take to replace.
6. Which reseller stands behind the products they sell?
7. What types of added protection are available to extent the warranty?
A. What are the costs of each?
8. Are they still in production?

There are, I'm sure a host of other questions from those who have better knowledge then myself at this point in time. However, in the end, I think it's far better to try and be part of the solution, then to continue to scream about the problem.

Even if I had answers to all of my questions, then I'm still responsible for my decision. If it turns out wrong, then I take it from there.
01-13-2011, 05:23 PM   #124
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Pentax's silence reminds me of when my son's Xbox 360 failed. Microsoft was originally silent. As the reports continued to come in, with a reported 54 percent failure rate, they then denied it. As more reports flowed in, they admitted there were a few and extended the warranty on certain machines. With a potential class action lawsuit on the horizon, they finally admitted there was a solder problem and set up an entire division to fix for free any and all of the original Xbox 360s. SDM is a flawed design. Pentax is being stupid in their silent denial. I bought a Sigma 18-125 rather than the Pentax 18-135. Dear Pentax, you must say something.

01-13-2011, 05:51 PM   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by tarsus Quote
Pentax's silence reminds me of when my son's Xbox 360 failed. Microsoft was originally silent. As the reports continued to come in, with a reported 54 percent failure rate, they then denied it. As more reports flowed in, they admitted there were a few and extended the warranty on certain machines. With a potential class action lawsuit on the horizon, they finally admitted there was a solder problem and set up an entire division to fix for free any and all of the original Xbox 360s. SDM is a flawed design. Pentax is being stupid in their silent denial. I bought a Sigma 18-125 rather than the Pentax 18-135. Dear Pentax, you must say something.
I think most people (myself included) would agree that the SDM motors fail at a rate higher than what should be considered acceptable. I also think most people feel (again, myself included) that Pentax's silence over the past several years on the issue is both frustrating and disappointing. I for one would like to see the issue directly addressed. However, in the meantime, fully acknowledging the risk, I chose to purchase and use SDM lenses. If they fail (or when they fail if you accept the POV of the people who insist that they "all" fail at some point), I'll have to cough up the $200 and get the motor replaced.

Last edited by dgaies; 01-13-2011 at 06:18 PM.
01-13-2011, 06:13 PM   #126
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Hopefully they keep making SDM motors for a long time.
01-13-2011, 06:15 PM   #127
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I feel that Pentax decided to keep silent on the matter of SDM issue due to the following reasons:

1.> if Pentax were to admit or publicly announce the existence of such quality control issue, this could scare away potential customers of an already small Pentax market.

2.> if Pentax were to admit such SDM issue, this would mean that Pentax needs to make a massive product recall that would cost Pentax millions of dollars and would deem the company bankrupt due to it's already difficult financial status. I would guess that Pentax had already invested a lot on their DA* lenses and recalling and fixing it would increase the costs without having any significant income gain yet.

3.> what Pentax is probably doing is that they hope that the issue would die down and leave it to their loyal fans to their dirty work for them and say that SDM failure is a myth.

4.> Pentax silence on confirming or denying such an issue, is an admission in itself that such issue does exist. otherwise, it would be easy for them to say or deny such false rumor if it was indeed. what's an honest man got to lose?


I think this is the reason why a DC lens came out, probably as a prototype for a new type of fast and silent AF mechanism replacing the SDM mechanism.

the SDM mechanism on the 645D camera, would probably work out fine due to lens size, thereby not constricting any silent AF mechanism that it is made of. the APS-C lens design for the SDM is just possibly not that efficient due to crammed space. makes you wonder why HSM lenses are bigger and efficient?
01-14-2011, 07:33 AM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I'll have to cough up the $200 and get the motor replaced.
$280 USD at last report
...each time

01-14-2011, 07:38 AM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
$280 USD at last report
...each time
You'd think for that kind of money it would be one hell of a motor.
01-14-2011, 07:40 AM   #130
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What Microsoft ultimately did was offer a fix on machines within certain serial numbers whether they had failed or not. A phone call got you a packaging box in the mail, and 10 days later you got your machine back with the flaw fixed. Simple and the right thing to do. Dear Pentax, you must respond.
01-14-2011, 07:51 AM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
$280 USD at last report
...each time
...or $140 USD. It depends where you send it in for repair. Might depend on the lens too, this was for a DA17-70.

Last edited by dgaies; 01-14-2011 at 07:59 AM.
01-14-2011, 08:08 AM   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
You'd think for that kind of money it would be one hell of a motor.
I would assume you're getting the exact same motor that was in there to begin with. Some people have suggested that the replacement motors are "better", although I tend to think the best case is they had better QC than the ones originally in the lenses. I have doubts that the replacement motors asre actually different in any substantial way.

And, yes, I realize that in no way addresses what you were really getting at with your comment about the price of the motor. I'm guessing a good portion, if the not the majority, of the repair cost is the labor to install the motor. Don't think they break it down like that on the invoice, but I can't imagine the SDM motors cost anywhere near that price. It would be nice, at the very least, if the replacement motors were offered at cost for repairs, and perhaps a more nominal fee for installation. Yes, I know better yet would be free replacements for the life of the lens, but as that is very unlikely to happen I would take something over nothing.
01-20-2011, 09:56 PM   #133
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Well, $200 later my 50-135 is on its way back... not thrilled with the whole thing...
01-20-2011, 10:09 PM   #134
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The question remains, how long before it fails again?
01-20-2011, 10:15 PM   #135
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It seems the conclusion is pretty clear:

-although QC might be better the same motors are being used, and they are not sufficient to power the DA* zooms, hence the continued and repeated failures of the 16-50, 50-135, and 60-250
-it is likely an issue of the torque required to power the zooms, as none of the primes have had any issues

I am picking up a 55 tomorrow, but won't touch a zoom until there is a public update/fix
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