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03-06-2008, 02:50 AM   #1
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DA* 16-50 SDM not working on K10D

Hi everyone!

Before people tell me to upgrade my firmware, it's been undated on my camera since it was issued and until today I never had any issues with SDM on my K10D.

About a month and a half ago I sent both the 16-50 and the K10D body to Pentax Canada to fix some auto-focus issues. I got the camera back 2 days before I left to work in Mongolia for two months (third week now). When I got the camera and the lens back I did a few quick tests 5 pictures to check if the issue had been fixed. Everything worked fine, so I packed my camera in my bag and didn't touch it until today. I took the camera in my hand then I tried to turn the zoom wheel and it was locked. So I decided to put a little more force to it and I head a "clock"ing sound. Ok no big deal... well apparently it was. SDM isn't working at all with the camera anymore, and if the camera is mounted on the body and I try either "menu", "Fn" or "Info" the menu appears for 0.5s and disappears. Oh and in the viewfinder the MF is flashing like crazy no matter which focus setting I put it on. So I tried the 18-250, which now I'm so happy to have bought just in case, and the auto focus is working perfectly. I tried the 16-50 lens on the K100D body of a co-worker and the "old fashion" focus is also working.

So now I assume the SDM motor is either busted in the lens or there's another issue.
Anyone had a similar problem... ideas???

I will send it to Pentax as soon as I get home in April.

03-06-2008, 03:53 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by CapitaineAbitibi Quote
I tried to turn the zoom wheel and it was locked.
Do you mean the zoom or the focus ring?

I have no idea.
Sounds like a defective motor perhaps.
Just in case check all contacts on the lens.
There were reports of the Powerzoom contacts coming loose.
03-06-2008, 04:08 AM   #3
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SDM vs Old Fashioned system

QuoteOriginally posted by CapitaineAbitibi Quote
I tried the 16-50 lens on the K100D body of a co-worker and the "old fashion" focus is also working.

So now I assume the SDM motor is either busted in the lens or there's another issue.
I always assumed that if the SDM focus on these lenses stopped working for any reason, that the old style focus drive would continue to autofocus the lens. Is this an incorrect assumption?
This is one reason why I have not openned my eyes to the Sigma 50-150. Sigma openly states that if the camera does not support SDM, autofocus will not work. With the DA` lenses being "backwards compatable" I figured it would continue to work, albeit slower and noisier.
Brian
03-06-2008, 06:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by calicojack Quote
I always assumed that if the SDM focus on these lenses stopped working for any reason, that the old style focus drive would continue to autofocus the lens. Is this an incorrect assumption?
This is one reason why I have not openned my eyes to the Sigma 50-150. Sigma openly states that if the camera does not support SDM, autofocus will not work. With the DA` lenses being "backwards compatable" I figured it would continue to work, albeit slower and noisier.
Brian
That's what I was thinking too but apparently no. The only solution I see would be to revert back to a previous version of the firmware but I don't even know if that's possible.

03-06-2008, 07:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by calicojack Quote
I always assumed that if the SDM focus on these lenses stopped working for any reason, that the old style focus drive would continue to autofocus the lens. Is this an incorrect assumption?
This is one reason why I have not openned my eyes to the Sigma 50-150. Sigma openly states that if the camera does not support SDM, autofocus will not work. With the DA` lenses being "backwards compatable" I figured it would continue to work, albeit slower and noisier.
Brian
If the motor in the lens is stuck it will probably block focusing altogether, so the motor in the camera can't turn the shaft. Perhaps the box was dropped or something on it's way back from Pentax and the motor or gears in the lens didn't survive or got misaligned?
03-06-2008, 07:31 AM   #6
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me too..

Hy there.. last week i sent in my k10d wit the da* 16-50 for fixing the backfocus.
this monday it arrived, after the first zoom it had blocked.. like yours ..
but i didnt tried it more powerfull.
after talking with pentax they promised me to fix it fast.
now the told me, someting in the lens has loosed. a steering rail .
if they cant fix it they will send me a new one
03-06-2008, 08:19 AM   #7
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Are we becoming photographic hypocondriacs?

For all those reading this, please take no offence, but I have to wonder if we are fixated on perfection, or misunderstanding photographic realities, and bringing a whole host of problems upon ourselves.

Are we becoming photographic hypocondriacs?

By this, I mean we are now, with the thanks of instant results, incredible resolution, and general curiosity, able to conduct tests, and make assessments (some times poorly) about problems with our equipment. Are we looking and wishing for our cameras and lenses to be ill

I have seen an increasing number of tests, where I would have to question the method, over the past weeks, where people are decalring equipment faulty. Others have also commented as to what this does to the suppliers and manufacturers and the cost to mitigate these problems.

While I can't comment in the cases quoted here because I have seen no results, I am very suspicious of the back focus issue, and have asked the question multiple times, never getting a good answer, so I will ask it again.

Is everyone aware that within the hyperfocal distance of a lens (i.e. the range of things within acceptible focus) that the focus point is not in the middle, but that the focus point is 1/3 from the front edge and 2/3 from the back edge of the hyper focal range.

This will give the general impression that there is back focus when there is not, but it is not a flaw of the lens only a property of optics.

By sending lenses and cameras in, they will be adjusted, disassembled etc, which leads to the potential for things coming loose afterwards. No one is perfect, and the more things are taken apart etc. the more chance for filiures like what is reported here.
03-06-2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
For all those reading this, please take no offence, but I have to wonder if we are fixated on perfection, or misunderstanding photographic realities, and bringing a whole host of problems upon ourselves.

Are we becoming photographic hypocondriacs?

By this, I mean we are now, with the thanks of instant results, incredible resolution, and general curiosity, able to conduct tests, and make assessments (some times poorly) about problems with our equipment. Are we looking and wishing for our cameras and lenses to be ill

I have seen an increasing number of tests, where I would have to question the method, over the past weeks, where people are decalring equipment faulty. Others have also commented as to what this does to the suppliers and manufacturers and the cost to mitigate these problems.

While I can't comment in the cases quoted here because I have seen no results, I am very suspicious of the back focus issue, and have asked the question multiple times, never getting a good answer, so I will ask it again.

Is everyone aware that within the hyperfocal distance of a lens (i.e. the range of things within acceptible focus) that the focus point is not in the middle, but that the focus point is 1/3 from the front edge and 2/3 from the back edge of the hyper focal range.

This will give the general impression that there is back focus when there is not, but it is not a flaw of the lens only a property of optics.

By sending lenses and cameras in, they will be adjusted, disassembled etc, which leads to the potential for things coming loose afterwards. No one is perfect, and the more things are taken apart etc. the more chance for filiures like what is reported here.
Lowell,

You have a legitimate concern on the poor modalities of FF and BF issues. The variables in imaging are staggering from one tester to another. Further, you are correct in that most people have the assumption that when you focus into an object, 50% before and 50% aft of the object should be in focus. Of course that is not true with 1/3 the DOF beign in front of the obect and 2/3rds being behind the object. This is one fo the fundamental principles that they teach in early phiotography training.... for very profound reasons BTW

However, with respect to mechanical problems that seem to be encountered, I think there is very legitimate concern on the aprt of owners. These are the first SDM problems that I have heard of so more than likely not a serious issue most likely but still there is a need to inform the Pentax Community at large.

When I look back at a history of runnning photography programs and departments throughout my career I have to admit that I am amused by the chronicity of complaints from AF, to noise to ISO/ASA ratings. Photography output has gotten to be so easy with automation that the product of output, quality wise, has largley become a reciprocal function of ease. Current sensor (higher end) is so much more flexable than film and the output is nothing short of outstanding under most conditions. Perhaps the medium of the internet and forums is responsible for so much carping and blowing out of proportion the problems that do exist.

PErhaps part fo the problem is that the new genration of DSLR (SLR) users never learned the primitive modality of manual focusing or dealing with color variable batches of film.

Stephen

03-06-2008, 10:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
Lowell,
However, with respect to mechanical problems that seem to be encountered, I think there is very legitimate concern on the aprt of owners. These are the first SDM problems that I have heard of so more than likely not a serious issue most likely but still there is a need to inform the Pentax Community at large.
Stephen

My concern is not that there have been failures, I can't dispute that what is reported here did not happen and is not a true failure.

What I am wondering is, have these failures been brought on by, or in part contributed to, an unnecessary disassembly of the lens because someone thought they had a BF issue?

Not that I am criticizing either the individuals (who may have had a legitimate complaint, I just don't know), or pentax service (for a poor quality repair job, again I don't know if they took the lens apart as part of the service), but to me it seemed very interesting, beyond the point of co-incidence, that 2 people had the same failure of the lens after sending both lens and camera back with the same complaint. This is, of course, something for Pentax's QA department to assess, but it got me thinking, especially after seeing the number of people discussing getting lucky with the third lens, and others who have sent lenses back thinking there is a problem when in fact there isn't.

As for your other comments, if you look at some of my posts and responses, I think you will find I whole heartidly agree. The number of people who had any exposure to film is rapidly falling, and with it, knowledge of the practical limits some of us use as a comparison.
03-06-2008, 11:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Stephen

My concern is not that there have been failures, I can't dispute that what is reported here did not happen and is not a true failure.

What I am wondering is, have these failures been brought on by, or in part contributed to, an unnecessary disassembly of the lens because someone thought they had a BF issue?

Not that I am criticizing either the individuals (who may have had a legitimate complaint, I just don't know), or pentax service (for a poor quality repair job, again I don't know if they took the lens apart as part of the service), but to me it seemed very interesting, beyond the point of co-incidence, that 2 people had the same failure of the lens after sending both lens and camera back with the same complaint. This is, of course, something for Pentax's QA department to assess, but it got me thinking, especially after seeing the number of people discussing getting lucky with the third lens, and others who have sent lenses back thinking there is a problem when in fact there isn't.

As for your other comments, if you look at some of my posts and responses, I think you will find I whole heartidly agree. The number of people who had any exposure to film is rapidly falling, and with it, knowledge of the practical limits some of us use as a comparison.
Lowell,

There is no doubt about it, there is a change afoot in many industries and the expectations in digitial imaging probably exceed and always will exceed, at any given point in time, digitals ability to produce whatever the current generation of users expectations are.

The straddle here is that there are those that pine away for the film days. There are those that see nothing short of the limitations in the digital field. I have worked with film in every concievable way (including making it myself) from processing to making massive 30 foot printed murals. I have done 8X10, 4X5, 6X7, 645, 35mm and always found film to be a problem in one form or another somewhere along the line. But what it did do was force one to be exceedingly knowledgable about film, pre image color correction, cameras (manual modality of course) and lighting ratio's. With all the complaining about digital on the various forums, I have to say that it's ability to capture and migitgate the problems of film is staggering. To that point the constant harping on AF (which ALL camera prioducers admit... cannot be perfected) is due to the fact that many people simply can't focus a camera by hand. It is as though the evolution of photography seems to be paralleling our lives... things have gotten so easy that we have gotten lazy and fat. So it appears with even photography.

As to the QC of repairs.. ahh same place? same problem MMMM

Stephen
03-07-2008, 03:32 AM   #11
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Just to ad a little something The combination of the lens and the K10D was catastrophic in the end before I sent it for repairs. I had no good photos and it was more than a slight back-front focus issue.

I regularly shoot rock concerts, with my (now sold) Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and the last ones I did I had to manual focus half the shows to make sure I had some good pictures. With the 16-50 in the end I had no good pictures, even though the first ones I took with it were just amazing.



David
03-07-2008, 06:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CapitaineAbitibi Quote
Just to ad a little something The combination of the lens and the K10D was catastrophic in the end before I sent it for repairs. I had no good photos and it was more than a slight back-front focus issue.

I regularly shoot rock concerts, with my (now sold) Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and the last ones I did I had to manual focus half the shows to make sure I had some good pictures.
do you mean the last ones with the sigma or the pentax
QuoteQuote:
With the 16-50 in the end I had no good pictures, even though the first ones I took with it were just amazing.



David
Your last statement contridicts the first, where you say you had no good photos.

Note I am not picking on you here just trying to make sure I understand.

If I interpret what you say correctly, I believe it goes like this.

You used to use your sigma 70-200 but sold it and got the pentax 16-50. I woun't even go into why you sold the 70-200 because I absolutely love mine and use it for photographing stage performances when I can't get close enough for my 50mm.

At first, the 16-50 images were great, but they degraded badly over time (how much time you don't say) to the point where at the end, you have no good images, and the lens could not autofocus, to get anything at all you manually focused.

Am I close?

If so, it does sound like a justified complaint, and I guess the question is, what did pentax do to repair it, and did they a) mis something else that now failed? or b) fail to put everything back to gether and tighten everything?
03-07-2008, 02:05 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
do you mean the last ones with the sigma or the pentax

Your last statement contridicts the first, where you say you had no good photos.

Note I am not picking on you here just trying to make sure I understand.

If I interpret what you say correctly, I believe it goes like this.

You used to use your sigma 70-200 but sold it and got the pentax 16-50. I woun't even go into why you sold the 70-200 because I absolutely love mine and use it for photographing stage performances when I can't get close enough for my 50mm.

At first, the 16-50 images were great, but they degraded badly over time (how much time you don't say) to the point where at the end, you have no good images, and the lens could not autofocus, to get anything at all you manually focused.

Am I close?

If so, it does sound like a justified complaint, and I guess the question is, what did pentax do to repair it, and did they a) mis something else that now failed? or b) fail to put everything back to gether and tighten everything?
You're terribly close to the truth, the only diffrence is I was dumb enough to sell my 70-200 which I loved a lot to get the 70-200 HSM which I'm still waiting for. The issue with the 70-200 was something with the K10D body, slight FF/BF issue.

As for the 16-50 what you say is exactly what happened.

I will know the answer about the 16-50 sometime in April when I'll send it back to Pentax once again... but I'm at the point (lots of diffrent issues I didn't mention here) that I'm really considering switching to C or N
03-08-2008, 04:07 AM   #14
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Well I just downgraded to firmware v1.2, which is pre-SDM lenses and oh wonder my lens is working fine again and the focus is bang on...

Sadly I took the decision, unless I change my mind within the next month when I'll be back to Canada, to switch to Nikon. I'm just tired of all these issues I had over the years with Pentax and especially my K10D even though it took spectacular pictures.
03-08-2008, 04:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by CapitaineAbitibi Quote
Well I just downgraded to firmware v1.2, which is pre-SDM lenses and oh wonder my lens is working fine again and the focus is bang on...

Sadly I took the decision, unless I change my mind within the next month when I'll be back to Canada, to switch to Nikon. I'm just tired of all these issues I had over the years with Pentax and especially my K10D even though it took spectacular pictures.
Does this mean that your 16-50 is now focusing through the body mounted screw as opposed to the SDM motor?
Brian
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