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09-11-2012, 11:43 AM   #16
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I think the price is a bigger problem. $800US for a consumer super-zoom? I really feel like $550 is the upper limit on this type of lens, as apparently does Tamron, which is why they're offering a rebate on theirs to get it down to that. I know it'll probably come down pretty soon, but it needs to come down a bunch, IMO.

09-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #17
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SDM = branding
DC = branding
PZD = branding
USM = branding

Just because something is called SDM doesn't mean it's not the same motor that is called PZD when sold by Tamron.
09-11-2012, 12:39 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I think the price is a bigger problem. $800US for a consumer super-zoom? I really feel like $550 is the upper limit on this type of lens, as apparently does Tamron, which is why they're offering a rebate on theirs to get it down to that. I know it'll probably come down pretty soon, but it needs to come down a bunch, IMO.
That is less than we expected. $900 was thrown around but I see that Adorama has it up as $799 now.
Pentax SMCP-DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 ED SDM Telephoto Zoom Lens
09-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #19
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Also consider the difference in the warranty period. Tamron provides a 6 year limited warranty, alas they don't have it for a Pentax mount.

09-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #20
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If it's $800, they should have weathersealed it. It's not going to affect the 18-135, considering that's a completely different price range.
09-11-2012, 01:40 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Catalana Quote
Also consider the difference in the warranty period. Tamron provides a 6 year limited warranty, alas they don't have it for a Pentax mount.
Agreed. Tamron is a far better value with their warranty.

QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
If it's $800, they should have weathersealed it. It's not going to affect the 18-135, considering that's a completely different price range.
Agreed. WR would make it a huge hit - particularly because Pentax does not offer a non-WR dSLR any more with no entry-level camera. Given that they only have the K-30 and K-5mkII's it would make sense for more of their lenses to be WR going forward.
09-11-2012, 01:48 PM   #22
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Yes - and the concept of a WR superzoom makes perfect sense as people who use superzooms don't want to change lenses when it's raining.
09-11-2012, 01:50 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Yes - and the concept of a WR superzoom makes perfect sense as people who use superzooms don't want to change lenses when it's raining.
Or ever for that matter.

09-11-2012, 01:57 PM   #24
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As others have suggested, I can see no reason why Pentax would change out Tamron's PZD drive for their own. That would defeat the purpose of saving development costs by re-branding this already well-regarded lens. They just call it SDM because it's being sold as a Pentax now. Pentax is wisely allocating most of their development resources to other areas, such as better quality lenses that often can't be matched by anything from third parties. With the exception of a premium brand like Zeiss, all the DSLR manufacturers' own lenses (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus) are superior to third-party offerings. Pentax does this just as well as the other brands, and should continue on that course.

Too bad about the price. Otherwise, this is a good move.

Last edited by DSims; 09-11-2012 at 02:06 PM.
09-11-2012, 02:01 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
As others have suggested, I can see no reason why Pentax would change out Tamron's PZD drive for their own. That would defeat the purpose of re-branding this already well-regarded lens. They just call it SDM because it's being sold as a Pentax now.

Too bad about the price. Otherwise, this is a good move.
Not sure how you can assert that so assuredly without any information. Pentax UK's website, which is worlds better than Pentax USA's site, states this about the 18-270:

Thanks to the incorporation of the PENTAX-original SDM autofocus system driven by a built-in supersonic motor, this zoom lens offers exceptionally smooth and quiet autofocus operation. When mounted on an SDM-compatible PENTAX K-mount lens-interchangeable digital camera body,* the focus mode is automatically switched to SDM-assisted autofocusing to ensure dependable, flawless AF operation.
** This lens is compatible with the K-5 II, K-5 II s, K-30, K-01, K-5, K-r, K-7, K-x, K-m, K20D, K200D, K100D Super and K10D camera bodies (with Ver. 1.30 or later firmware installed). When mounted on other camera bodies, the focus mode is automatically switched to manual.
http://www.pentax.co.uk/en/k-mount/DA-18-270mm-F3.5-6.3.html
09-11-2012, 02:11 PM   #26
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There is nothing original about Pentax SDM and Pentax don't make the ultrasonic motors either, it's like saying the sensor in the D7000 is made by Nikon while we all know it's from Sony, also Pentax won't officially say they use Sony sensor in the K5.
It's very likely that in the DA* lenses there are different ultrasonic motors and that the same motors are use by other brands as well, they are off the self products.

Same with the processor, the Prime II is just a Fujitsu Milbeaut that also Nikon use....


It's the same with Apple A4 processor in the iPhone 4, the chip is for the most part designed and fully manufactured by Samsung...


Could very well be that in one of the lenses their Ultrasonic Engine is used http://www.fukoku-rubber.co.jp/english/product/ultrasonic_motor.html

Canon, Fukoku, Asmo, SII, Canon Precision, Shinsei, Kyocera, Olympus and Mitsuba or the ones in Japan making these motors.

Last edited by Anvh; 09-11-2012 at 02:31 PM.
09-11-2012, 02:12 PM   #27
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It'd be weird though - if it is a Tamron lens, they have their own factory. Rebranding the exterior isn't as big a deal as the AF motor, since the motor most likely have to be calibrated for the lens AF element's weight and travel.

Or maybe that's why it's so expensive... lol...
09-11-2012, 02:39 PM   #28
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agree. if Pentax want offer something different from canon and nikon. pentax should make every lens that they going to release be weather sealed.
and advertise this aspect hugely.
I think that can help pentax gain market.
09-11-2012, 02:43 PM   #29
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Tamron's description on Amazon ( Amazon.com: Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD LD Aspherical IF Macro Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras: Camera & Photo ) :

"Piezo Drive (PZD) Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor

Ultrasonic motors are divided into two categories depending on the principle that generates the energy to move the drive: traveling wave motors and standing wave motors. Traveling wave motors include the ring type ultrasonic motor used in the recently launched 70-300mm F/4-5.6 VC USD as well as other lenses, but this lens employs a newer technology, the PZD (Piezo Drive), which functions on the standing wave principle.

A standing wave ultrasonic motor utilizes high-frequency voltage to extend and turn the piezoelectric (piezoceramic) element, thus moving the entire element in a standing wave movement. The metal tip is the contact point of the element to the rotor, and moves in an elliptic motion from the swiveling motion of the moving element, and the friction from this motion turns the rotor. Standing wave ultrasonic motors have the distinct advantage of being smaller than their traveling wave counterparts, and therefore allow a more compact SLR lens size."


So, was Pentax able to replace Tamrons' PZD design with its own SDM (meaning it was small enough to fit the space constraints), or have they just renamed the PZD to SDM. In the latter case, it would mean that Pentax is able to control "Standing Wave" technology at the interface of lens and body, but it is not at all clear if SDM uses "Traveling Wave" or "Standing Wave" principles. It could be, that either principle is independent of the signal received from the autofocus sensor or Pentax added a different interface chip to the lens, so that it could correctly interpret the focus data from the body. Quite ambiguous...
09-11-2012, 03:18 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Catalana Quote
Tamron's description on Amazon ( Amazon.com: Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD LD Aspherical IF Macro Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras: Camera & Photo ) :

"Piezo Drive (PZD) Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor

Ultrasonic motors are divided into two categories depending on the principle that generates the energy to move the drive: traveling wave motors and standing wave motors. Traveling wave motors include the ring type ultrasonic motor used in the recently launched 70-300mm F/4-5.6 VC USD as well as other lenses, but this lens employs a newer technology, the PZD (Piezo Drive), which functions on the standing wave principle.

A standing wave ultrasonic motor utilizes high-frequency voltage to extend and turn the piezoelectric (piezoceramic) element, thus moving the entire element in a standing wave movement. The metal tip is the contact point of the element to the rotor, and moves in an elliptic motion from the swiveling motion of the moving element, and the friction from this motion turns the rotor. Standing wave ultrasonic motors have the distinct advantage of being smaller than their traveling wave counterparts, and therefore allow a more compact SLR lens size."


So, was Pentax able to replace Tamrons' PZD design with its own SDM (meaning it was small enough to fit the space constraints), or have they just renamed the PZD to SDM. In the latter case, it would mean that Pentax is able to control "Standing Wave" technology at the interface of lens and body, but it is not at all clear if SDM uses "Traveling Wave" or "Standing Wave" principles. It could be, that either principle is independent of the signal received from the autofocus sensor or Pentax added a different interface chip to the lens, so that it could correctly interpret the focus data from the body. Quite ambiguous...

It is an interesting question. The problem for me is that Pentax has 2 silent motor technologies already, and use both currently. While the motors may well be the same, their implementation in the lens itself is different. We know this from BOTH Pentax's own statements about SDM and DC being different in their implementation and the fact that we have multiple, and embarrassingly frequent, failures of SDM in zooms and absolutely no reported failures of the DC design/technology. So, even if SDM, DC, and PZD are all the same technology (Standing or Traveling wave) the implementation via engineering and design is decidedly different. So, if its all the same (or they are really using the PZD motors and just relabeling them) why choose to say they are SDM and make a big deal out of it in their marketing?

Remember, their own marketing copy says:
"Thanks to the incorporation of the PENTAX-original SDM autofocus system driven by a built-in supersonic motor, this zoom lens offers exceptionally smooth and quiet autofocus operation. When mounted on an SDM-compatible PENTAX K-mount lens-interchangeable digital camera body,* the focus mode is automatically switched to SDM-assisted autofocusing to ensure dependable, flawless AF operation."
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