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09-11-2012, 09:56 AM   #1
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DA18-270 - What were they thinking?

Ok, I have argued that Pentax needs a superzoom in their lineup to attract the casual dSLR user like the Soccer Moms and such. I think that having an 18-270 available in K-mount is a great idea, in theory.

Now, we get one from Pentax. Good.

They license the well thought of Tamron 18-270. Good.

Great, but Pentax decides to change the Tamron.

Ok, but how - better coatings? Yes, that's great.

What other changes other than cosmetic? Change out the silent focusing motor, what? The Tamron lens has their own, very well thought of, silent motor technology the PZD Piezo Drive Ultrasonic Motor in it.

So, descent superzoom with nice ratings that already had a reliable and well thought of silent motor system is licensed by Pentax and they put their unreliable and poorly regarded silent motor (and they do have a reliable one in their DC system) into it, plus they charge $351 more for it.

Pentax at its most impaired IMHO.

09-11-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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PZD Piezo Drive Ultrasonic Motor = SDM Supersonic Drive Motor
This only shows what kind of bad name SDM has, for all we know there is actually the PZD in it but they are the same type of engines.
There is no reason why one would be better or worse at least.

Last edited by Anvh; 09-11-2012 at 10:15 AM.
09-11-2012, 10:17 AM   #3
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But does the Piezo have such a bad reputation? Though, it is possible that it is the exact same motor, but Pentax simply cannot call it "Piezo Drive" so they just say its a HSM motor..
09-11-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
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Weathersealing?

09-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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We know that there are different silent motor systems - Pentax as 2 now, the SDM which has a bad reputation and the DC that does not. So, why tell us it has SDM in it unless they put SDM in it? If it has Tamron's PZD in it then are they telling us SDM to justify the huge price jump?
09-11-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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But some of the SDMs are quite reliable -- does it actually have anything to do with the motor or some other design flaw of certain lenses?
09-11-2012, 10:26 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
Weathersealing?
The 18-270 doesn't have it. Not surprising, as I doubt they'd want to completely devalue the 18-135 WR.(As I have read, the IQ difference between the two is minor at best. Superzoom Vs. Hyperzoom=Roughly the same if they're made on the same level. Heck, the 18-270 even has rounded blades)
09-11-2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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I think the bad reputation mainly from 16-50 and 50-135. seems those prime like 55mm, 200mm, 300mm or 60-250 do not have bad reputation.

09-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
We know that there are different silent motor systems - Pentax as 2 now, the SDM which has a bad reputation and the DC that does not. So, why tell us it has SDM in it unless they put SDM in it? If it has Tamron's PZD in it then are they telling us SDM to justify the huge price jump?
I conclude that Pentax thinks SDM now works just fine and won't hurt the sales of this lens. The 18-270 is a mass-market lens and they plan to sell a lot of them. If they didn't think SDM would work, they face massive warranty return and repair costs. If they thought consumers would be scared off by the SDM label, they already had an alternate technology and label to use, but they didn't. Pentax has always acted like SDM issues were solvable and wouldn't hurt sales. Are they right? I have no idea. They are the only ones who know.
09-11-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I conclude that Pentax thinks SDM now works just fine and won't hurt the sales of this lens. The 18-270 is a mass-market lens and they plan to sell a lot of them. If they didn't think SDM would work, they face massive warranty return and repair costs. If they thought consumers would be scared off by the SDM label, they already had an alternate technology and label to use, but they didn't. Pentax has always acted like SDM issues were solvable and wouldn't hurt sales. Are they right? I have no idea. They are the only ones who know.
I agree that they are acting as if its not a problem. What we do know, from the data here, is that zooms are more likely than primes to have a problem with SDM.
09-11-2012, 11:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
We know that there are different silent motor systems - Pentax as 2 now, the SDM which has a bad reputation and the DC that does not. So, why tell us it has SDM in it unless they put SDM in it? If it has Tamron's PZD in it then are they telling us SDM to justify the huge price jump?
SDM and PZD are the same type of motor, same like Mazda MZR-CD, Peugot HDi and Ford TDCi are basically the same engine they simply call it differently.
Ultrasonic motor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

DC is a different type of motor, Nikon and canon use these in their very low end budget lenses and it isn't a silent type of engine but a brush-less DC engine, very different.

Last edited by Anvh; 09-11-2012 at 11:28 AM.
09-11-2012, 11:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
But does the Piezo have such a bad reputation? Though, it is possible that it is the exact same motor, but Pentax simply cannot call it "Piezo Drive" so they just say its a HSM motor..
The Piezo Drive in the tamron is Ultrasonic so the same type of engine as HSM, USM, SDM, SWM, ect.

And like you said PZD is how Tamron calls them, Pentax simply call this engines SDM.
09-11-2012, 11:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I agree that they are acting as if its not a problem. What we do know, from the data here, is that zooms are more likely than primes to have a problem with SDM.
When you look also at data from other companies you will conclude that fast zooms have the most problems, it's the same with Nikon, Canon, Sony and Sigma some have about 30% failure rate....
09-11-2012, 11:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I conclude that Pentax thinks SDM now works just fine and won't hurt the sales of this lens. The 18-270 is a mass-market lens and they plan to sell a lot of them. If they didn't think SDM would work, they face massive warranty return and repair costs. If they thought consumers would be scared off by the SDM label, they already had an alternate technology and label to use, but they didn't. Pentax has always acted like SDM issues were solvable and wouldn't hurt sales. Are they right? I have no idea. They are the only ones who know.
Nonsense that they work fine, as evidenced by lord knows how many people on their third and fourth 250+ dollar/euro repair.

Pentax is playing the Mercedes game and throwing parts at the problem and using the repair business to subsidize the company.

I always wonder who the people are on every forum, no matter the language, that tells everyone that there are new, improved parts that aren't as failure-prone, but when pushed for proof, they vanish. Even on the German forums, they've concluded that they're using the same, failure-prone parts, with people giving up after their fourth repair, meaning about 1,200 euros in repairs to keep them running.
09-11-2012, 11:35 AM   #15
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As far as we known most problems are due to a design fault.
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