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View Poll Results: DA* lens owners experience
Own 1 DA*- no problems 3350.00%
Own 2+ DA* - no problems 2030.30%
Own 1 DA* - needed service 34.55%
Own 2+ DA* - 1 needed service 69.09%
Own 2+ DA* - multiple needed service. 46.06%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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01-21-2011, 01:58 AM   #1
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DA* owners

So I was about to pull the trigger on a new DA* 50-135 that I have been thinking about for a while. I had been going back and forth since reading some of the threads here. Until today, when I read this thread and decided I would put it off.

I wanted to start a thread for people who own DA* lenses with a poll so other users like myself can try and get an idea of the scope of the SDM problem.

I would hope that users that have never had problems respond so the numbers will represent things more evenly.


01-21-2011, 03:12 AM   #2
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We've had a number of similar polls before:,,,,,,,, and the list goes on...

I had a DA* 16-50, probably the most problematic DA* in terms of QC and SDM failures, and unfortunately to the person I sold it to, it eventually did develop an SDM failure and disappoint the purchaser. It's hard to advise in this context, as I absolutely loved the lens - everything about it, but then when it fails, it's a real downer...
01-21-2011, 03:45 AM   #3
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Just my opinion:
The way the poll is set up will not allow you to draw any conclusions from the poll.

Get a K100D (or older) camera or a K10D with older firmware and you don't have to worry about SDM failures
01-21-2011, 07:02 AM   #4
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I used to have the 16-50, 50-135 and the 55. Only the 16-50 was repaired once under warranty and has been working fine since.

01-21-2011, 11:09 AM   #5
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I used to have 50-135, sold it before it had the chance to fail. For now I steer clear of SDM lenses. Unfortunately the zooms still do fail now and then. I haven't heard much bad about primes failing though...
01-21-2011, 11:18 AM   #6
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I've never had my SDM fail on me for my DA*16-50 or DA*200, and I've put both lenses through quite a bit of use over the last year. The only way this has affected me so far is I've considered selling my DA*16-50 to fund other purchases, but I really don't want to sell the lens and then have the SDM fail for that next person. At least if the SDM fails for me, while annoying to replace, it will still be cheaper than Canon or Nikon counterparts based on the price I bought my lenses for.

Pentax SDM reminds me of the PCs versus Mac laptop debate. Mac's are generally more dependable, but they almost always cost more for similar performance. With PCs you can expect to pay to have it fixed at some point, possibly at a really inconvenient time (mine failed right as I was working on photos for a wedding. Thank goodness for portable hard drives), but you roll the dice to get the performance at a really good price.

Last edited by Urkeldaedalus; 01-21-2011 at 11:24 AM.
01-21-2011, 11:37 AM   #7
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I have a 16-50 that will wake up groggy about once a quarter and a new 50-135 that has yet be anything else than perfect. The 16-50 seems to come right back after a twist of the focus ring. Both continue to give me truly stellar image quality.

Interesting poll, and some very thoughtful responses either way! I wonder how long it will take before the "Why doesn't Pentax come clean on SDM?" rant begins here. Hmmm ... let me look at my watch ....
01-21-2011, 04:48 PM   #8
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Someday I will have enough money to branch out from my happy little island of ancient MF prime lenses and purchase a modern quality zoom. I watch the story of the DA* 50-135 unfold most keenly, because that is a very useful range for me. I refuse to believe the SDM lenses are all ticking time bombs, but naturally the more moving parts and electronics you jam into a small object the more likely it is that something is going to break over the lifetime of your shiny toy. Hopefully the nails of this coffin are hammered in sooner rather than later, be that by recall and replacement of shoddy parts; successor lenses with identical optics but more reliable parts; or some official statement on Pentax's parts using actual numbers that show the problem is actually way, waaaay overblown.

I won't speculate as to whether it is or not. All I know is that most of my lenses are 35+ years old, and they still work fine! Simpler days...

01-21-2011, 05:07 PM   #9
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My DA experience doesn't quite fit the options, I bought a 50-135 and the lens wouldn't focus, but it wasn't SDM, it was the glass. I suspect an element was badly out of place. ( dropped ? )

It was changed without question and the second lens has been perfect.
01-21-2011, 07:29 PM   #10
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I've had a DA* 60-250 for 24 hours now and it's still working ok

And honestly it cost enough bloody money that I hope it keeps working fine for a long long time!

01-21-2011, 10:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
I've had a DA* 60-250 for 24 hours now and it's still working ok

And honestly it cost enough bloody money that I hope it keeps working fine for a long long time!

Did you buy it from a Canadian dealer? I'm asking because I can't find a reasonability priced 60-250 in Canada right now. Prodigital and 123easy have had them back ordered for several weeks now. I wonder how much much duty and tax I'd have to pay for one shipped from the US. Sorry to go off topic.
01-21-2011, 11:18 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by xinu Quote
Did you buy it from a Canadian dealer?
I got mine from Prodigital, delivery took around a month. I didn't mind waiting as nobody else local had any in stock, and the few Canadian retailers who did were a lot more expensive.

01-22-2011, 05:58 AM   #13
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DA*300 ~ No problems in 3 yrs use...

My DA*300 has worked perfectly for three seasons. It's my 'walk-around' field lens (birds, butterlies, bugs, plants, etc.) and it goes out with me everyday during Spring, Summer and Fall. Paired to my K20D and now, K-7, (if I don't get in the way ) it's a stellar performer.

Cheers... M
01-22-2011, 02:14 PM   #14
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Looks like the number of failures is approaching 100 percent.
01-22-2011, 02:40 PM   #15
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I haven't had them that long...but I have 4 DA* lenses (16-50, 50-135, 55, and 200) and have had no problems. The one I've used the most is the 16-50, followed by the 55.

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