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01-30-2008, 02:55 PM   #1
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50-135mm SDM Motor dies

So I go put my beloved 50-135mm on my K10D to go out and take some shots of my doggie in the backyard. I go outside, half-press the shutter button, whhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
What is that? Oh, the freakin' screw-drive focus If that isn't bad enough, my K10D can't lock focus outside in good light, it just whirls back and forth. You can sorta hear the SDM motor try to start up, but it seems like the camera senses this failure and kicks off the screw drive.
Ughhhhhhh......

I've cleaned the contacts, verified I am still using V1.3 of the firmware, the M/A switch on the lens does work as it puts the body into manual focus so I'm not sure if it's the contacts. Last thing I'm going to try is a freshly charged battery (in the charger now)

At least I bought it at a nice local camera shop, so I'm going to bring it there tommorow along with my body; that way I can rule out the body by trying another DA* lens in the shop (maybe I'll give the 16-50mm a try?) If it does have to go back to Pentax, I hope they get it back to me quickly; maybe the shop will give me a loaner

Any other "Death of SDM" stories out there? Any words to console me? At least it's a somewhat slow time for photography for me; thank god it didn't happen during the holidays last month!

01-30-2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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my power zoom 28-105 fell off a table one time and i got a focal length of something like 16mm ... never was the same after that....
01-30-2008, 02:59 PM   #3
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That's what was reported (16mm), or that was the FOV you got? If the latter, that's not too bad

No dropped my 50-135mm, I used it last week, and then took it off and stuck it in my Lowepro backpack where it rested until this afternoon.
01-30-2008, 03:04 PM   #4
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basicaly what happened when it fell is the zooming mechanism got stuck at some magical focal length below the minimum of 28

in fact the number slider bar (which is hidden beneath a plastic window on all the typical "plastic fantastic" FA lenses) turned into a line with a big black DOT on the end...

i ended up taking the stupid thing apart

i lost 1 screw and 2 copper cylinders for the contacts, but i put it all back together

i got the thing zooming through brute force, it made the most horrible grinding noises ever, then i realized i got some dust specs in one of the lens elements, so i just gave up and shoved it into the back of my shelf

maybe one day i'll build something cool out of it...

01-30-2008, 05:50 PM   #5
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Well I'm not as bummed now because of the Sigma announcement......
01-30-2008, 05:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
So I go put my beloved 50-135mm on my K10D to go out and take some shots of my doggie in the backyard. I go outside, half-press the shutter button, whhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
What is that? Oh, the freakin' screw-drive focus If that isn't bad enough, my K10D can't lock focus outside in good light, it just whirls back and forth. You can sorta hear the SDM motor try to start up, but it seems like the camera senses this failure and kicks off the screw drive.
Ughhhhhhh......

I've cleaned the contacts, verified I am still using V1.3 of the firmware, the M/A switch on the lens does work as it puts the body into manual focus so I'm not sure if it's the contacts. Last thing I'm going to try is a freshly charged battery (in the charger now)

At least I bought it at a nice local camera shop, so I'm going to bring it there tommorow along with my body; that way I can rule out the body by trying another DA* lens in the shop (maybe I'll give the 16-50mm a try?) If it does have to go back to Pentax, I hope they get it back to me quickly; maybe the shop will give me a loaner

Any other "Death of SDM" stories out there? Any words to console me? At least it's a somewhat slow time for photography for me; thank god it didn't happen during the holidays last month!

Sorry to hear about your troubles with the SDM. Hopefully, this is not the beginning of a trend, based on cheap internal plastic parts that wear out prematurely.

Ted
01-30-2008, 09:36 PM   #7
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Ya Ha......... your are right, plastic combine with high speed motor, the life cycle maybe become a big concern. ^_^
don't know penatx has this kind of test report or MTBF information or not. ^_^
01-31-2008, 07:00 AM   #8
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Here's hoping for the best, egordon. So far, mine's been a sweetie, and I haven't heard of other 50-135 owners with the problem you've encountered.

01-31-2008, 08:28 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tbear Quote
Sorry to hear about your troubles with the SDM. Hopefully, this is not the beginning of a trend, based on cheap internal plastic parts that wear out prematurely.

Ted
I sort of disagree with you here Ted,

If Pentax has a serious QC problem with these lenses I'd like to see the problems fixed before they pump too many out.

It'll either cost them a couple million now, or big time later
01-31-2008, 08:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
I sort of disagree with you here Ted,

If Pentax has a serious QC problem with these lenses I'd like to see the problems fixed before they pump too many out.

It'll either cost them a couple million now, or big time later
Stu, where did I say or imply that Pentax should pump out a bunch of garbage before fixing the QC problems?

Ted
01-31-2008, 08:45 AM   #11
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I guess that you didn't, I've just seen too many companies continue to pump out garbage apparently thinking that no-one would find the problem. Or they could fix it at a later date.
I've lost faith in some of these companies, and refuse to give them any more of my $

If there's going to be a string of problems I'd sure like to see them happen now. And hopefully see Pentax do the right thing.

I'm actually surprised at their problems with these lenses. They know how to build a lens that'll last, and they should stick with that practice. Especially when they're their more or less top $ lenses.
01-31-2008, 09:10 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
I guess that you didn't, I've just seen too many companies continue to pump out garbage apparently thinking that no-one would find the problem. Or they could fix it at a later date.
I've lost faith in some of these companies, and refuse to give them any more of my $

If there's going to be a string of problems I'd sure like to see them happen now. And hopefully see Pentax do the right thing.

I'm actually surprised at their problems with these lenses. They know how to build a lens that'll last, and they should stick with that practice. Especially when they're their more or less top $ lenses.
I couldn't agree more with you, Stu.

Ted
01-31-2008, 10:14 AM   #13
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Well I thought I'd come back and update everyone.....First off, it seems to be the body (I wished it was the lens) that is busted. I went to the camera store, and we put the lens on a K100D Super, and it focused fast and silent. We also put it on another K10D (after upgrading it to 1.3) and it was fine. We tried cleaning the contacts on my body mount, as well as re-install 1.3, no dice. Not only does it use the screw drive, but it also has lot of problems locking focus/hunting.

So back to Pentax my K10D goes......I tried out a used D200 they had ($999) and man that thing was blazingly fast (they put a 24-120mm VR SWM on it), so I'm going to seriously look inside my soul and (yikes, please forgive me) consider switching to Nikon, as much as I LOVE the optics of my Pentax kit, for the type of work I'm getting into (weddings/events) it seems like the Nikon would be much better.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts during my moment of crisis.....
01-31-2008, 11:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
it seems like the Nikon would be much better.
Put the emphasis on "it seems".
I work with the D200 a lot and I can assure you that in practice it is not any better.
The only thing I like on the D200 and which I love to get implemented into the K10D or a later model is that you can set the shutter time at which Auto-ISO jumps.
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