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View Poll Results: What would you do if you experience a SDM failure of a $800+ lens?
I have experienced it, still with Pentax 1633.33%
I have experienced it, left Pentax 24.17%
I will stay with Pentax 1429.17%
I do not know what I would do 1327.08%
I left Pentax because of fear in SDM failure 36.25%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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08-03-2012, 02:53 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Data and evidence seem to have little impact on many peoples love for Pentax, even the SDM lenses. It might be more convincing if your post wasn't just snide and actually included anything resembling information on the data that has been collected.
I apologize that my tone was not to your liking. I do enjoy working with Pentax but I am far from blinded by my "love" for Pentax gear. Although I do own a couple of digital Pentax cameras most of my gear is from the film era, and I use that film gear far more often than I use my digital gear. And well over half of that gear has brand names on it that do not say Pentax. However, to your point of not providing additional information.

A few quick data points for everyone's enjoyment.

1. First, when I do a quick google search on SDM failures the first 4 results on the list come from the PentaxForum. Hmmm, imagine that.

2. Second, when I do locate additional data I find that some other sites report that Pentax lens are tops in reliability, despite the reported SDM failures. Canon is pretty close but Pentax is still tops.

3. Third, I opened and read seven other google results on SDM failure. In six of the seven guess what I read. "As reported in Pentaxforums"!!

4. Another small point. The general consensus at PentaxUser is that, although the problem is well-documented because of the internet, the actual number of reported failures is still pretty low when compared to the total number of Pentax SDM lenses sold. This opinion also agrees with the data reported in Steve's Digicam. Unfortunately though, I cannot locate any reliable lens sales data.

5. Finally, when you count the numbers reported here and those reported in the PentaxUser forum the total comes to 1,311 lenses reported on in the forums that I am able to tally. That really is not a large number of reports.

I have no doubt that SDM lens motors do fail, that much I agree with. So do Sigma HSM motors and Canon USM motors, etc. In fact, based on the data from Lens Rentals, it is probably more likely that your Sigma HSM zoom will fail than your Pentax SDM. I also agree that SDM lens motors fail more frequently than the screw drive lenses. But since those lenses are dependent on the camera's focus motor, and Pentax has been building those in-camera focus motors for a long time now, I would expect that to be true. It also seems that zoom lenses with SDM fail more frequently then do prime lenses with SDM. But that is also consistent with data available from other brands. It seems that Sigma zooms with HSM and Canon zooms with USM fail more frequently than their corresponding prime lenses with the same technology. Makes sense since a zoom is arguably a lot more complex than a prime is. However, I do not agree that SDM is any more failure prone then any other manufacturer's in-lens focus motors. And until Pentax decides to provide us with their actual data on sales and repair, I doubt that any of us will really know.

Now, I do agree wiith you that we can rehash this issue over and over with absolutely no resolution. Some people do believe there is a problem. Others do not consider the issue enough of a hassle to prevent them from enjoying some of the newer lenses that Pentax has available. Both opinions are right for each person.

As I stated originally, if I experience an SDM failure in a lens I own, I will send it in for repair but I would not leave Pentax because of it. I can even take that a step further, if I run across a nice Pentax prime lens that has SDM at the right price, I would likely buy it if I decided I wanted it. The fact that it does or does not have SDM on board would not be the deciding factor for me. For some it would be. To each his own.

08-03-2012, 03:01 PM   #32
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The fact that it does or does not have SDM on board would not be the deciding factor for me. For some it would be. To each his own.

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