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01-30-2013, 01:01 AM   #1
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SDM on my DA* 16-50mm died

Hey all,

Following in the foot steps of the long line of SDM failure discussions, my 16-50 (purchased in 2009) gave up the AF ghost recently, after a long long on again/off again period of intermittent AF. Now it's just dead. (I know it's the lens and not the camera as the screw drive AF works just fine on my ist but is completely non responsive on both my K-5 and K20d).

So... the questions of the inquiring mind is what are people experiencing for repair costs from CRIS these days for this type of failure? What kind of longevity should I expect to get from the repair? And should I think about not repairing the lens but looking at purchasing another similar lens, like the Sigma 17-50?

I've seen many posts discussing SDM issues and possible repair solutions but haven't seen too many posts that address the value of the repair in regards to longevity.

Thanks,

DAVE

01-30-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
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Forgive my ignorance as I have never owned premium lenses. Is there a possibility to override SDM and use the screw instead?
01-30-2013, 01:23 AM   #3
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Unfortunately not. With the older firmware on a K10d you can but not with the K20d and newer. There are loads of discussions on the PF regarding all sorts of possible work arounds, including DYI repairs but no solid solution has been found.
01-30-2013, 01:34 AM   #4
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Hi David,

How about this solution. My friend have already tried it and it worked.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/208353-how-dea...ml#post2258790

01-30-2013, 04:18 AM   #5
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To David; although you mentioned how exactly the point in which you purchased the lens in 2009; one thing that cannot be factored in by anyone but yourself is also how often you happened to use the lens. In addition to recollection of about how frequently the lens was used one can also go back and view the picture count through the camera body.

Also strongly consider the following factors... I've seen a large number of Pentax 16-50's fail well within the warranty period; and due to at least three seperate issues; one being the sdm failure, the next being a type of mechanical zoom lock. I have also personally noticed (basically attest to) the fact that the lens was not made <or rarely made> to be able to go through a cycle of about 1ok pics. Considering that the Pentax 16-50 is one of the Pentax flagship lens, is above average in optical quality, and also tends to cost a fair share - it is also one on the worst lens in the PK mount.

I would personally much rather have a plastic lensbaby as opposed to the 16-50.

...And now the repair options. To have it fully brought back to life?? I've also seen those items fail as well. As a matter off act a close college of mine had theirs fail three seperate times. Also to pay that much for a lens and then only have partial functionality is just plain unacceptable.

Then there's the worst part. That Pentax as a type of conglomerate company with better than average resources is unwilling to step up to the plate on this one. Makes one wonder what type of business Pentax is really running. I'm also quite frankly surprised that Pentax isn't facing some type of legal issue over issues such as sdm and numerous other issues that Pentax has failed to address.

The alternatives... I'd go with a third party PK option such as Sigma; either the Sigma 17-50 as you mentioned; or even better yet the Sigma 24-70 (constant starting aperature of) f2.8. Both are considerably better than anything that Pentax is able to offer - which also speaks volumes.

I personally have run the 24-70 through quite the variety of use and even demanding types of conditions. It works the same today that it did directly from the box - perfectly. Sigma also runs a considerably better business model and also has better consumer practices and aims to address customer concerns.
01-30-2013, 10:49 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.
Salagibang - I have seen that thread and thought about it but the last thing I need is one more project, so I put that idea aside (at least for now).

Medium FormatPro - I agree that for Pentax to have a top end flagship lens that can't hold up does not speak well the the company's business model, which of course begs the question as whether to stay with them or not. On the other hand, I don't think Pentax is unique with it's business model quirks or with their Quality Assurance control. From personal experience, my wife, a few years ago, purchased a Canon Rebel to be her daily driver (she got a Canon because her friends had Canon's). I must say, after seeing that camera in action, and seeing it fail primarily because of poor design, I would never purchase a Canon camera. What a POS. And I have a good friend who is a very passionate Nikon guy and he's had his issues too, and has questioned his allegiance to "his" brand. So I suppose we're all in good company.

I'm still on the fence about what way to go in regards to lens repair, I appreciate your input about the Sigma. (I've bought my wife a few Sigma's lenses for her Canon, I have to say I've been impressed with them as a second party lens).
02-21-2013, 11:18 PM   #7
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So I bit the bullet and sent my lens off to C.R.I.S. to be repaired. $213 plus shipping, took just over 2 weeks for there and back (pretty fast, I was expecting longer). Got it back today and it's happily attached to my K5 again. I'll run it through it's paces tomorrow just from playing with it this evening, it seems to be working perfectly. The focus is spot on. I figured for $213, it was a good long term investment. I really love that lens and have been missing it for a long time. Good to have it back in working order again.
02-22-2013, 06:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by david94903 Quote
So I bit the bullet and sent my lens off to C.R.I.S. to be repaired. $213 plus shipping, took just over 2 weeks for there and back (pretty fast, I was expecting longer). Got it back today and it's happily attached to my K5 again. I'll run it through it's paces tomorrow just from playing with it this evening, it seems to be working perfectly. The focus is spot on. I figured for $213, it was a good long term investment. I really love that lens and have been missing it for a long time. Good to have it back in working order again.
Glad to hear you have it working again. In another thread discussing SDM failure, I had said that I would convert mine to screw drive it any of mine ever failed, but now I don't know. For $213 it doesn't sound so bad and hopefully they are now using updated parts that will last. I don't know if I would be able to stand the screw drive noise after using these silent DA* lenses for a while!

02-23-2013, 12:48 AM   #9
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It's worth the $213. Just shooting with the lens today convinced me of that. My wife has spent more than double that repairing her Canon lenses (which fail/fall apart for all sorts of reasons), which in my opinion are garbage. At least the this lens, the problem is known and the fix appears to have a longevity. So I feel good about it.
02-23-2013, 07:05 PM   #10
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I sent my 16-50 to C.R.I.S in december for the same issue. Just got it back and the cost was $330. This included a trip to Japan because C.R.I.S was not able to fix it here. For that amount I think it's better than switching lens brands. I love my 16-50
02-23-2013, 07:09 PM   #11
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I just sent my 16-50 to United Camera repair in chicago for SDM failure. They did a great job, it was back to me in about 2.5 weeks and it cost around $200. Very professional service over the phone and the return shipping packaging was great.
02-23-2013, 08:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmort Quote
I just sent my 16-50 to United Camera repair in chicago for SDM failure. They did a great job, it was back to me in about 2.5 weeks and it cost around $200. Very professional service over the phone and the return shipping packaging was great.
That's good to know - for some reason I just automatically think of CRIS for any Pentax repair. Nice to have options.
02-24-2013, 06:00 AM   #13
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yeah my father in law used United Camera Repair for some fujifilm point and shoot and it went well for him so I figured I'd give them a call. They sounded good over the phone so I did it. The ended up replacing the sdm motor assembly as well as the second lens group. Calibration as well, etc.
06-25-2013, 07:07 PM   #14
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FYI - the focusing motor on my 16-50mm failed AGAIN. But, it was within the 6 months of United Camera Repair's initial replacement. So it was covered by their warranty and off it went today for service. They already opened up a new order, based on an email, so I was able to sneak in under the deadline but just a few days. Good communication on their part.
06-26-2013, 05:32 AM   #15
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Glad to hear you are getting it fixed under their warranty - my luck it would have been a couple days after it ran out.
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