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10-31-2012, 01:06 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by 7samurai Quote
Glad to hear they replaced the lense. From your conversation with Pentax, are they confirming that they actually have re-designed SDM parts (newer design)? but couldn't or wouldn't put the new designed parts into your lens?
That's what I was told by the person I spoke to but he also told me that Pentax would not replace my lens... So take his statements for what they are worth...

10-31-2012, 01:18 PM   #17
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It's no surprise that the DA*16-50 continues to attract problems, and will do until every lens has been repaired. Pentax has been remiss in not acknowledging the defect and instituting a program for rectification. I suspect that the previous ownership wanted to keep a lid on it until the sale to Ricoh was completed, but a proper due diligence process by Ricoh should have revealed it, regardless.

Regardless of that, I don't believe the repair process should be too difficult or costly. The reports from some failures indicate there is either a group of failure reasons, or the description of the common failure has been varied and misleading. I suspect the latter. Some people have reported that the SDM motor has "burnt out", which is clearly nonsense in a piezo-electric drive. My own experience of my early second-hand copy is that the drive motor jams, but can be revived by the procedure outlined here in the Forums. I have done this twice with mine, but it still takes a while each time I use it, to start working. Obviously, I would prefer not to have to do this, but it indicates that the drive mechanism is not the problem - it is the drive motor itself that is at fault. However, replacement of the motor, including strip down and testing, shouldn't take more than an hour's labour by a knowledgable technician.

Pentax really should admit the problem and set up a process to replace drive motors at a reasonable cost. I really like the lens, in spite of the naysaying by some here, and it should not be an issue for the company after all this time. Both the customers and the brand itself deserve better than the current situation.
10-31-2012, 01:25 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
It's no surprise that the DA*16-50 continues to attract problems, and will do until every lens has been repaired. Pentax has been remiss in not acknowledging the defect and instituting a program for rectification. I suspect that the previous ownership wanted to keep a lid on it until the sale to Ricoh was completed, but a proper due diligence process by Ricoh should have revealed it, regardless.

Regardless of that, I don't believe the repair process should be too difficult or costly. The reports from some failures indicate there is either a group of failure reasons, or the description of the common failure has been varied and misleading. I suspect the latter. Some people have reported that the SDM motor has "burnt out", which is clearly nonsense in a piezo-electric drive. My own experience of my early second-hand copy is that the drive motor jams, but can be revived by the procedure outlined here in the Forums. I have done this twice with mine, but it still takes a while each time I use it, to start working. Obviously, I would prefer not to have to do this, but it indicates that the drive mechanism is not the problem - it is the drive motor itself that is at fault. However, replacement of the motor, including strip down and testing, shouldn't take more than an hour's labour by a knowledgable technician.

Pentax really should admit the problem and set up a process to replace drive motors at a reasonable cost. I really like the lens, in spite of the naysaying by some here, and it should not be an issue for the company after all this time. Both the customers and the brand itself deserve better than the current situation.

The repair estimate including shipping both ways for the SDM failure on my 16-50mm was aprox $220 USD. That's a pretty hefty price tag for an end user to pay for a product defect.
10-31-2012, 02:22 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Hyde Quote
The repair estimate including shipping both ways for the SDM failure on my 16-50mm was aprox $220 USD. That's a pretty hefty price tag for an end user to pay for a product defect.
Shipping probably accounts for a fair portion of that total cost, but is unavoidable to some extent if there is no local repair shop. Nonetheless, a discounted shipping arrangement could be part of a proper repair program. First owners of just out-of-warranty lenses should have the cost of repair covered by the company, but the rest of us should expect some cost. An hour's labour at $80 plus a replacement motor at $20 would be my estimate of the cost for the repair itself. Pentax, or more likely their supplier, should provide the replacement motor without markup.

10-31-2012, 08:00 PM   #20
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I wonder how much this problem has cost (and continues to cost) Pentax in lost sales. If you look at the lenses in my signature, that is money I would have been happy to spend on Pentax lenses, if only I could trust them. And I know there's a lot of people on here who have chosen third-party alternatives for the same reason.
10-31-2012, 08:08 PM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
I wonder how much this problem has cost (and continues to cost) Pentax in lost sales.
I got my DA*60-250 after trying three different Sigma Lenses, none of which performed as advertised. So I guess another question would be how much sales have third party guys lost because of their issues. I'm guessing more people ditch 3rd party glass for quality control issues than ditch Pentax glass. If you read the report in the forum on the Tammy 70-200 , 10% who buy that lens have problems with it. Pentax could have done better. But let's not assume it's cost them a lot of sales. After all, people are going to buy something, and your odds are no better buying something else. I checked out a 16-50. I didn't buy it because compared to the other lenses I tried, my own 18-135, the Pentax 15, the Pentax 31 and the Pentax 10-17, it just didn't have any pop, and for a lens of that cost, the barrel distortion was rather distressing, not because of the SDM issue.
10-31-2012, 08:52 PM   #22
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I haven't followed any threads on the Tamron 70-200, but generally speaking I think that many of the complaints about 3rd-party glass would be resolved with a proper calibration where the lens is calibrated to the specific body. I did that with all of my Sigma lenses, and they've all performed beautifully on my K-x and and now my K-30.

But that aside, Pentax charges a lot more for their lenses, so it's reasonable to expect more out of them. This is the same reason that Canon and Nikon users will pay a hefty premium for their lenses. I would be happy to pay extra for a Pentax lens if it really out-performed cheaper lenses and I didn't have to worry about the long term reliability and future repair costs.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 10-31-2012 at 08:58 PM.
11-01-2012, 05:21 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I checked out a 16-50. I didn't buy it because compared to the other lenses I tried, my own 18-135, the Pentax 15, the Pentax 31 and the Pentax 10-17, it just didn't have any pop, and for a lens of that cost, the barrel distortion was rather distressing, not because of the SDM issue.
Interesting. I've got each of those lenses except the 10-17, and I wouldn't have described the 18-135 as having much "pop", certainly not in the same way as the 16-50. Don't get me wrong, I quite like the 18-135 for its versatility, but I like the colour and contrast of the 16-50 more. I can't help but think you tried a crook one.

05-11-2013, 05:39 PM   #24
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Hi I have just got a used 50-135mm yesterday and everything was perfect. just an hour ago though i notice that there's a sorta rough bumpy sound/feel when moving the focus ring from minimum to inifinity. you can also hear it when the autofocus is doing it. strangely enough when the lens isn't attached to the camera it doesn't make the noise nor do i feel the bumps. any ideas? is this my SDM dying?
07-24-2013, 07:33 PM   #25
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i just sent my 16-50 to CRIS in arizona but prior to that had an interesting conversation with an engineer there. he told me that they were replacing the SDM with a heavier motor due to the repeated failures of the original design. i am going to call pentax USA in colorado tomorrow and see if they will help with the cost any. has anyone tried this and if so have you had any luck ?
it gave me no warning at all i was shooting a friend if my wife's wedding and it just quit and i had to go to the 18-55 kit lens which i had never used but it worked.
07-24-2013, 09:28 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeH Quote
I bought the lens on the Marketplace August 2010. The SDM failed in Feb 2011, out of warranty. I paid to have it replaced by Pentax Canada. As of yesterday (October 2012), the lens AF has failed again. I called Pentax Canada, explained the situation, and they looked up my previous repair. They gave me a UPS authorization to ship it back at their cost, and they will take a look to see what the issue is, and will keep in mind the previous repair.

I really like this lens, but I'm getting frustrated with it!
I bought my 16-50 from the second batch to hit the US after it was released. SDM failed fairly quickly and at the time Pentax had no parts available, so they replaced it under warranty. It never failed again and I used it for thousands of shots after that.

My 50-135 was purchased about the same time as the 16-50, and it never failed, but it was squeaking when I got rid of it last year, so I suspect it will fail at some point. It was used far less than the 16-50.

My biggest frustration was how slow the SDM lenses focused, so I gave them to my daughter-in-law and bought the Sigma 17-50 and 50-150 f2.8 lenses.

I no longer have WR, which is regrettable, but the focus on both lenses is much faster and just as silent. The IQ of the 17-50 is better than the 16-50 I think, especially at the wide end (albeit at 17mm versus 16mm, but I always thought 16mm was a bit too wide and compromised the design). The 50-150 might not have that special quality that the 50-135 does, but it is very sharp and compares very favorably, I think.

So, unless you need WR, I would advise shopping for the Sigma equivalent lenses to replace the DA* Pentax lenses and end your frustrations. Note that the 50-150 is no longer in production but they come up regularly in the marketplace and on Ebay. Life is too short to let SDM spoil your enjoyment of photography.

We can only hope that Ricoh will update these lenses in the next year or two and introduce a new and more robust AF drive so we can all go back to using Pentax glass for our main fast zooms.After all, the designs are getting a bit old.

Ray
07-29-2013, 02:12 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by nitehntr Quote
i just sent my 16-50 to CRIS in arizona but prior to that had an interesting conversation with an engineer there. he told me that they were replacing the SDM with a heavier motor due to the repeated failures of the original design.
Just got off the phone with a technician from CRIS. Have never had SDM problems with my DA* 16-50 that I purchased used in 2011. Sent it in with my K-5 that lost its lens release button. The 16-50 had once been stuck at 50mm so I figured I might as well get it checked out, especially as I am considering selling it. The repair estimate included replacing the SDM motor and board, so I talked to the technician. He said they had started to replace the SDM motors with stronger versions, and he had not seen any of these come back. They also replace the board, as the new motor required changes to the voltage (not sure if I recall that correctly). I told him I had not experienced ny issues, and he said the AF showed slowness when first started, and then sped up, and it could be an early sign of issues. Repairing this and the zoom issue was $232 total, so I said to go ahead with it.

Still not sure if i'll keep it, as I have pretty much switched to primes. Will have to decide between this and the 18-135 WR, but now I less worried about the SDM issue...
07-31-2013, 02:47 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by nitehntr Quote
i just sent my 16-50 to CRIS in arizona but prior to that had an interesting conversation with an engineer there. he told me that they were replacing the SDM with a heavier motor due to the repeated failures of the original design. i am going to call pentax USA in colorado tomorrow and see if they will help with the cost any. has anyone tried this and if so have you had any luck ?
it gave me no warning at all i was shooting a friend if my wife's wedding and it just quit and i had to go to the 18-55 kit lens which i had never used but it worked.
Mine has been at CRIS since 7/10/13 on PARTS HOLD BACKORDER. They say that Pentax does not know when they will get the parts to send CRIS
07-31-2013, 04:21 PM   #29
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Don't forget that it is possible to force the DA*16-50 to focus with the screw drive. There is a thread detailing the process HERE

I have just done it to one of my DA*16-50's and I'm so happy with the result I'm considering selling the other newer copy with still-functioning SDM.
02-05-2014, 09:29 PM   #30
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I'm sorry for not introducing myself first, I just found this thread after I unhappily noticed a problem with my (brand new! from December 2013) lens. The auto focussing is extremely slow and doesn't always work anymore, I just send Pentax an e-mail hoping to get an appropriate solution e-mailed back to me including that this will be fixed on their costs. We'll see..
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