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05-23-2011, 07:23 AM   #1
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Ahhh...the DA* dilemma..

I own most of the limited series lenses but always wanted the 16-50 and the 50-135. Now since I have a K5, I really feel compelled to buy them. I have the lenses sitting in my shopping cart from 3 different websites, hesitating to click the 'Place order' button. The SDM failures really scare me. Pentax should be ashamed of themselves not to resolve this long known issue. How ridiculous of them to offer a 1 year warranty, when Sigma and Tamrons are known to offer over 5 years, even the new Nikons come with 5 year warranty. I dont know if I should wait another year or so or just thrash the whole idea...its so tempting....

05-23-2011, 07:27 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sagiboy Quote
I own most of the limited series lenses but always wanted the 16-50 and the 50-135. Now since I have a K5, I really feel compelled to buy them. I have the lenses sitting in my shopping cart from 3 different websites, hesitating to click the 'Place order' button. The SDM failures really scare me. Pentax should be ashamed of themselves not to resolve this long known issue. How ridiculous of them to offer a 1 year warranty, when Sigma and Tamrons are known to offer over 5 years, even the new Nikons come with 5 year warranty. I dont know if I should wait another year or so or just thrash the whole idea...its so tempting....
Well, waiting another year is not going to change anything. I don't see Pentax extending the time period of their warranty, nor do I think they will address the issue in any respect.

If the possibility of an SDM failure is going to hamper your enjoyment of the lenses, I would trash the whole idea and find alternatives. If you can live with a certain amount of risk, a risk which is probably smaller than you think it is, then buy the lenses and enjoy them.
05-23-2011, 07:54 AM   #3
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I just bought a brand new Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 APO EX DC for $790. It came with a 10 year manufactures warranty. And if that's not compelling enough consider this... the HSM is FAST! Like DA40 fast. Even in low light it locks on and snaps into focus without hunting. This type of responsiveness will allow you to take action shots impossible to get with the DA*50-135 because SDM by comparison is very slow. So slow that if a DSLR if it had a shutter lag with the equivalent responsiveness of SDM, nobody would want it even if it were free.
05-23-2011, 08:04 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
I just bought a brand new Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 APO EX DC for $790. It came with a 10 year manufactures warranty. And if that's not compelling enough consider this... the HSM is FAST! Like DA40 fast. Even in low light it locks on and snaps into focus without hunting. This type of responsiveness will allow you to take action shots impossible to get with the DA*50-135 because SDM by comparison is very slow. So slow that if a DSLR if it had a shutter lag with the equivalent responsiveness of SDM, nobody would want it even if it were free.
Too bad that lens is no longer being made...


Steve

05-23-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
I just bought a brand new Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 APO EX DC for $790. It came with a 10 year manufactures warranty. And if that's not compelling enough consider this... the HSM is FAST! Like DA40 fast. Even in low light it locks on and snaps into focus without hunting. This type of responsiveness will allow you to take action shots impossible to get with the DA*50-135 because SDM by comparison is very slow. So slow that if a DSLR if it had a shutter lag with the equivalent responsiveness of SDM, nobody would want it even if it were free.
The 50-150 would be a good alternative to the 50-135 (and the Tamron 17-50 a good alternative to the 16-50). Though as Steve said, the 50-150 is no longer made and the warranty is not transferable if you buy a used model (in the US anyway).

I've haven't specifically used the 50-150, but from all accounts the AF is very, very fast. No doubt it's much faster than the 50-135, which is certainly on the slow side. Now, I won't go so far as to say it's impossible to take action shots, because that's simply not true, but it does make it more difficult than it should be and there is no doubt you would have an easier time with a lens like the 50-150 in this respect.
05-23-2011, 08:32 AM   #6
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I own two DA* lenses (16-50 & 50-135) and a DA 17-70. All have SDM. I've had them for several years now. I had one failure of the 16-50 (not SDM related, it was a contact replacement), which was a $200 repair bill. These are my three best lenses and the get a lot of use. I get great image quality from them and I happen to like SDM. I don't shoot sports and don't do a lot of low light work. I've read a lot of the postings about SDM failure and sure, I'd like to see some solution or acknowledgment of it by Pentax but for me it all works and if it breaks I'll get it fixed, because what I get from these lenses is well worth the risk and potential cost.

Every time it's wet out and I want to shoot, I know which lenses I'm reaching for. Every time I'm doing a serious shoot, I know what lens I want on my camera and I have a lot of lenses to choose from too.

Down the road, I'll get a few more. I'm looking hard at the DA*55 now.

$0.02
05-23-2011, 08:51 AM   #7
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Have the same dilemma, SDM failure, and also FF dilemma regarding DA* lenses.

with the K-5, it begin looking even strange to not get quality weather sealed lenses.... so I gave in and bought the 50-135 and 16-50.

I did the same thing.... put the lenses in the cart for many days.... LOL

Lee
05-23-2011, 08:54 AM   #8
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Well, DA * (or any SDM lenses for that matter) aren't for people who fret a lot about their lenses. The reality is that the more electronics in the lens, the more likely that some component will malfunction and require repair. I think the warranty on Sigma EX lenses is only six years in the United States (not sure where the OP is based).

Of course, you do give up weather sealing, but gain faster auto focus with Sigma HSM lenses. I personally like the DA *lenses, in particular they are quite a bit smaller than comparable Sigma lenses.

05-23-2011, 08:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I own two DA* lenses (16-50 & 50-135) and a DA 17-70. All have SDM. I've had them for several years now. I had one failure of the 16-50 (not SDM related, it was a contact replacement), which was a $200 repair bill. These are my three best lenses and the get a lot of use. I get great image quality from them and I happen to like SDM. I don't shoot sports and don't do a lot of low light work. I've read a lot of the postings about SDM failure and sure, I'd like to see some solution or acknowledgment of it by Pentax but for me it all works and if it breaks I'll get it fixed, because what I get from these lenses is well worth the risk and potential cost.

Every time it's wet out and I want to shoot, I know which lenses I'm reaching for. Every time I'm doing a serious shoot, I know what lens I want on my camera and I have a lot of lenses to choose from too.

Down the road, I'll get a few more. I'm looking hard at the DA*55 now.

$0.02
I had the 16-50, and wasn't too impressed with it optically, but the 50-135 is a real winner. I'm always surprised at the images it produces - I've never had a zoom that made such sharp, contrasty images.

The Sigma 50-150 may be fast focusing, but it's not the lens the DA* 50-135 is. Not saying it's bad, at all; Just saying the 50-135 is something special. If it breaks, I'll get it fixed, and If I couldn't get it fixed, I would keep it and use it as a manual focus lens, it's that good.
05-23-2011, 09:12 AM   #10
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FWIW, I've owned both the DA* 16-50 and 50-135, sold them, and replaced them with the Tamron 28-75/2.8 and 70-200/2.8. I have no regrets. While the DA*s have excellent build quality, I never liked the 16-50. The center sharpness was outstanding at f/4-5.6 but was soft at the corners with noticeable PF and barrel distortion. The 50-135 was a different story - I really enjoyed that lens but needed the sale and the extra reach of the 70-200.

I really like both my Tamrons - the IQ is outstanding. AF speed matches the DA* albeit somewhat noisy. Sigma equivalents seem to have faster and more quiet performance.

I require zooms for live performance work when stuck in one position. If it weren't for my pair of Tamrons to go with the K5, I would have switched brands. I don't care for Pentax zooms.

Last edited by MrPetkus; 05-23-2011 at 09:18 AM.
05-23-2011, 09:20 AM   #11
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One last thing - are there any stores local where you can try the lenses? I love stuffing my B&H shopping cart like the next guy but feel much more confident purchasing when I can mount all the equivalents on my own camera.

On LI, Berger Bros. in Amityville carries Pentax.
05-23-2011, 01:34 PM   #12
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I've got them both. Never had a problem with my 50-135 but the 16-50 has been in twice, both time under warranty, and no problems since.

It's worth noting that somone recently said the out of warranty repair was $175 or so. The last time I took my car to get its oil changed the total was more than this, so I figure I can live with it if it happens, but I will hope it doesn't. The glass is simply amazing.
05-23-2011, 01:48 PM   #13
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Well I had two copy's off 16-50 but one was dead (not SDM) and the other one I sold due to poor performance (compared to DA21mm, DA40mm and DA*55mm) in a relative strong competition. The 50-135mm is a great lens. I own 60-250 since two weeks and that is even a bigger performer in optical terms, only just a little bigger.

When you have those little jewels from Ltd series then I don't think the 16-50 will be a good purchase.
05-23-2011, 03:46 PM   #14
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I've got the 50-135 and love it, it's an incredible lens. I tried 2 copies of 16-50 but returned both after they severely back focused. The IQ was "OK" when focused right, but never as good as my 50-135. I'm now looking to buy a Tam 17-50 as much as I'd love the silent focus and weather sealing of a DA*, I just can't justify that much money for only an average performer.
05-23-2011, 03:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrPetkus Quote
One last thing - are there any stores local where you can try the lenses? I love stuffing my B&H shopping cart like the next guy but feel much more confident purchasing when I can mount all the equivalents on my own camera.

On LI, Berger Bros. in Amityville carries Pentax.

I bought my K5 from Berger Bros in Syossett..im in LI so it was like 10 mins drive. Also I wanted to keep the local store in business, I paid a lot more for the body but didn't mind it.
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