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10-03-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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DA* 16-50 SDM problems...

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!

10-03-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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Hopefully their second repair will take care of the problem. If you check our homepage, there's an article from photokina explaining some of the issues with SDM.

If not, you can always get a Sigma!
10-03-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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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!
Mike, sorry about your troubles with that lens.

I too have been plagued with a couple of problems with that same lens: once, the SDM totally failed ... replaced by Pentax under warranty. (They actually replaced the lens, not just epaired it).
Now, this "new" lens, about 2 years old, has started to show signs of imminent failure: the lens just won't lock focus unless I move the focus ring !!?

It isn't under warranty anymore so I will be sending it to Service Camera Pro in Québec City, along with my K7 which needs some TLC.

I hope Pentax will re-repair it for you FREE - you've paid for the repair already and that should be the least they can do for you.

Cheers.

JP
10-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
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The failure of SDM is the main reason why I totally abandoned the DA* zoom lens.

10-04-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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I was going to start a thread but it would seem that my comments will fit nicely under this topic.

I bought my DA* 16-50mm sometime in 2009. Unfortunately by Febuary of 2010 I had to send the lens in for repair for a zoom ring issue. My lens was repaired by CRIS and returned to me. In June of 2010 I had to return the lens once again for warranty repair for an SDM failure. The lens worked fine for nearly a year before it had to be returned again in June of 2011 for another SDM failure. Neraly a year later, the SDM motor failed again. My lens was returned to CRIS for a 4th time in 3 years. My Lens is now currently sitting at the CRIS repair facility. I contacted Pentax hoping to get a replacement for an obviously defective lens. After several hours on the phone with numerous CSR's I finally wound up talking to Derek at Pentax. After a lenghtly conversation with Derek, Pentax's resolution was to cover half the cost of the repair. I guess that's better than nothing but I think its appaling that Pentax would take this stance after the lens being returned 3 times for the same issue. I even asked if the newly designed SDM parts would be used in the repair or if they would use the older "faulty" parts. He assured me that my lens could not be retrofitted with the new parts and they would be replacing the old parts with "New" parts of the old design. When I asked about the obvious longevity issue of the older design parts, I was reminded that the warranty on repairs is 90 days.

Needless to say I'm a bit aggravated. I have a boatload of Pentax gear. I'm not one to whine and complain about every little issue but this one really has me stoked. I think that its horrible business practice to expect a customer to incur the cost of a repair for an obvious manufacturer defect.

I have never complained before about my repairs needed for my Pentax gear but I think I should list my "History" so others reading this may make an informed buying decision when deciding to invest into a Pentax camera system

K10D - Returned and replaced for a defective sensor
K-7 - Returned for a string of pearls sensor stain, Sensor was replaced (Yes my K-7 had the same problem that the K-5's had)
K-5 - Returned for a string of pearls sensor stain, Camera was replaced
DA* 16-50mm f2.8 - Returned for service 4 times in 3 years (Once for Zoom Ring and 3 times for SDM failure)
DA* 200mm - Returned for service for SDM failure

So how much do I have invested in my Pentax system? I have a K10D, K20D, K-7, two K-5's, DA* 16-50mm, DA* 50-135mm, DA* 200mm, DA 35mm Macro Ltd, DA 40mm Ltd, FA 50mm, FA 77mm Ltd, DA 10-17mm Fish Eye, Two AF 540 Flashes, and both kit lenses. Did Pentax care? NO!

I hope this helps someone who is on the fence regarding purchasing Pentax products.
10-04-2012, 12:11 PM   #6
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My own 16-50 failed under warranty, just a year after I bought it. It was a double failure: the zoom mechanism got stuck around the 35mm setting and then SDM died. The repair by the authorized repair workshop in Germany took a couple of weeks, but at least the lens worked fine for another two years. Recently the zoom got stuck again. This time I excerted some more force, because I felt, that I can hardly do more damage than was already done and got the zoom ring back (it was stuck at the long end) to work. It felt as whether the zoom mechanism was at the end of its travel and the stopper failed. SDM still works, but I have abandoned this expensive lens to the cupboard and gone back to my trusted Sigma 18-50/2.8. It's screwdriver AF and works fine and is very sharp...
10-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear about the problems so many seem to be having with this lens. I'm really sorry as I have one myself. So far so good. No SDM issues or issues of any kind. I don't want to sound like an appologist for Pentax as it's probably just a matter of time. Maybe I just got lucky.

Tom G
10-17-2012, 09:00 AM   #8
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I sent the lens to Pentax in Mississauga on Friday, on their UPS tab. It is has been repaired, at no cost to me, and will be shipped back tomorrow (less than 1 week after I shipped it). Regardless of the design issue, Pentax Canada has really done what's necessary for me.

I'm not sure if I should keep the lens or move on to a Sigma or the 17-70. Gotta do some more research on that.

Mike

10-18-2012, 09:06 AM   #9
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Well, I received the lens back today, less than 1 week after I sent it to them. They returned it Priority Overnight FedEx. I'm impressed.

Now if the focus motor will hold out. It does seem faster than previously, though I can't do a direct comparison.
10-18-2012, 04:57 PM   #10
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Glad to hear you got your lens back so quickly. I'm been sitting on the fence primary due to the SDM issue. That statistics on SDM failure that Adam collected didn't seem to indicate any improvement over time. I just don't understand why Pentax doesn't address this. The bad press alone would send new potential shooters to other camera systems.
10-18-2012, 06:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeH Quote
I sent the lens to Pentax in Mississauga on Friday, on their UPS tab. It is has been repaired, at no cost to me, and will be shipped back tomorrow (less than 1 week after I shipped it). Regardless of the design issue, Pentax Canada has really done what's necessary for me.

I'm not sure if I should keep the lens or move on to a Sigma or the 17-70. Gotta do some more research on that.

Mike
Mike, I'm glad Pentax CA handled things for you they way they did. Unfortunately my experience with Pentax USA was not so friendly or painless. I'm happy things worked out for you.
10-19-2012, 11:06 PM   #12
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Aside from falling apart, do the Limited's screwdrive mechanism fail?
10-20-2012, 04:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeH Quote
I'm not sure if I should keep the lens or move on to a Sigma
My advise would be to dump it while it's still working and still has the 90-day repair warranty. You have two excellent alternatives in the Sigma 17-50 or 17-70. I would personally go with the 17-50mm f/2.8 since a lens can never have too much speed.
10-31-2012, 12:16 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Hyde Quote
I was going to start a thread but it would seem that my comments will fit nicely under this topic.

I bought my DA* 16-50mm sometime in 2009. Unfortunately by Febuary of 2010 I had to send the lens in for repair for a zoom ring issue. My lens was repaired by CRIS and returned to me. In June of 2010 I had to return the lens once again for warranty repair for an SDM failure. The lens worked fine for nearly a year before it had to be returned again in June of 2011 for another SDM failure. Neraly a year later, the SDM motor failed again. My lens was returned to CRIS for a 4th time in 3 years. My Lens is now currently sitting at the CRIS repair facility. I contacted Pentax hoping to get a replacement for an obviously defective lens. After several hours on the phone with numerous CSR's I finally wound up talking to Derek at Pentax. After a lenghtly conversation with Derek, Pentax's resolution was to cover half the cost of the repair. I guess that's better than nothing but I think its appaling that Pentax would take this stance after the lens being returned 3 times for the same issue. I even asked if the newly designed SDM parts would be used in the repair or if they would use the older "faulty" parts. He assured me that my lens could not be retrofitted with the new parts and they would be replacing the old parts with "New" parts of the old design. When I asked about the obvious longevity issue of the older design parts, I was reminded that the warranty on repairs is 90 days.

Needless to say I'm a bit aggravated. I have a boatload of Pentax gear. I'm not one to whine and complain about every little issue but this one really has me stoked. I think that its horrible business practice to expect a customer to incur the cost of a repair for an obvious manufacturer defect.

I have never complained before about my repairs needed for my Pentax gear but I think I should list my "History" so others reading this may make an informed buying decision when deciding to invest into a Pentax camera system

K10D - Returned and replaced for a defective sensor
K-7 - Returned for a string of pearls sensor stain, Sensor was replaced (Yes my K-7 had the same problem that the K-5's had)
K-5 - Returned for a string of pearls sensor stain, Camera was replaced
DA* 16-50mm f2.8 - Returned for service 4 times in 3 years (Once for Zoom Ring and 3 times for SDM failure)
DA* 200mm - Returned for service for SDM failure

So how much do I have invested in my Pentax system? I have a K10D, K20D, K-7, two K-5's, DA* 16-50mm, DA* 50-135mm, DA* 200mm, DA 35mm Macro Ltd, DA 40mm Ltd, FA 50mm, FA 77mm Ltd, DA 10-17mm Fish Eye, Two AF 540 Flashes, and both kit lenses. Did Pentax care? NO!

I hope this helps someone who is on the fence regarding purchasing Pentax products.

Just an update on my situation. I received my lens back from CRIS today. Pentax opted to just replace the lens instead of repairing it but I was still charged for the "repair". I'm happy that the lens was replaced but I"m still a bit angry that I had to pay since the lens was obviously defective.
10-31-2012, 12:39 PM   #15
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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?
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