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06-05-2013, 09:49 AM   #1
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Pentax SDM Motor

My beloved DA * 50-135mm failed when I needed it the most - at an event that I had to cover.
I sent it to CRIS and I was told that it will cost ~$300 to replace the motor and the circuit board as well since they are replacing the motor with a newer design.
I firmly believe that Pentax should fix this free of cost since they admitted that the previous design was flawed and are replacing it with a newly designed motor. My requests to Pentax were not heard and I am contacting BBB as well as starting online petitions. I will post the links here once the petitions are created.

06-05-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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It looks like you can update the lens to use screw-drive. At least you'll still have a lens to use that way.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/208353-how-dea...m-f-2-8-a.html
06-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #3
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Anyone knows this "newer design" is just more reliable or have a faster AF as well?
06-05-2013, 11:06 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by manishved Quote
My beloved DA * 50-135mm failed when I needed it the most - at an event that I had to cover.
I sent it to CRIS and I was told that it will cost ~$300 to replace the motor and the circuit board as well since they are replacing the motor with a newer design.
I firmly believe that Pentax should fix this free of cost since they admitted that the previous design was flawed and are replacing it with a newly designed motor. My requests to Pentax were not heard and I am contacting BBB as well as starting online petitions. I will post the links here once the petitions are created.
I don't mean to be unkind (I own both the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 myself) but how old is your lens? If it's not still under warranty, I'm not sure how effective your BBB action or petition is going to be. I understand your point about the previous design but don't get your hopes up too high. Remember, Pentax had different owners when the original design came out and Pentax USA had nothing to do with its creation. I'm still not clear on whether there was an official admission that the first design was flawed. Maybe Adam can keep us honest here.

06-05-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
I don't mean to be unkind (I own both the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 myself) but how old is your lens? If it's not still under warranty, I'm not sure how effective your BBB action or petition is going to be. I understand your point about the previous design but don't get your hopes up too high. Remember, Pentax had different owners when the original design came out and Pentax USA had nothing to do with its creation. I'm still not clear on whether there was an official admission that the first design was flawed. Maybe Adam can keep us honest here.
My lens would not work right away after a period of non-use. I found that if I jiggled the focus ring a bit while pressing the AF button, it would suddenly come alive. Hence I am aware that this is not an electronic issue and the motor appeared to be jammed/not capable to handle the load. So when CRIS sent me a quote for the repair, they included the cost of the motor and the control circuit board. I spoke with Pentax support about not wanting a new circuit board to save repair costs. Thats when the Pentax rep told me that the re-designed motor needs a different board. This itself is the admission of the design flaw with the original design.
06-05-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by manishved Quote
My lens would not work right away after a period of non-use. I found that if I jiggled the focus ring a bit while pressing the AF button, it would suddenly come alive. Hence I am aware that this is not an electronic issue and the motor appeared to be jammed/not capable to handle the load. So when CRIS sent me a quote for the repair, they included the cost of the motor and the control circuit board. I spoke with Pentax support about not wanting a new circuit board to save repair costs. Thats when the Pentax rep told me that the re-designed motor needs a different board. This itself is the admission of the design flaw with the original design.
Interesting. My experience with the 16-50 has been similar to yours. I've now become reasonably adept at taking the mount off and un-sticking the motor, so it's almost routine maintenance for me. Nonetheless, if what the rep said is true, I'd be happy to sign your petition, although, given the age of my lens, I'd also be happy enough to pay a smaller amount for this modification.
06-05-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
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Frankly, the BBB is useless, frequented by complainers in my experience.

If you are out of warranty Pentax is under no obligation to help you even if their previous product was crap.
06-05-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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This is very unfortunate of course, and it confronts us with the question if lenses with motors (including the required electronics) are such a good idea. I decided to buy an FA43 Limited instead of a DA*55mm because of size and weight, but it seems that reliability and lifespan are also suffering.

06-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kobayashi.K Quote
This is very unfortunate of course, and it confronts us with the question if lenses with motors (including the required electronics) are such a good idea. I decided to buy an FA43 Limited instead of a DA*55mm because of size and weight, but it seems that reliability and lifespan are also suffering.
More components always means greater opportunities for failure, but failure also provides an opportunity for improvement. This improvement cycle, however, has been somewhat over-long.
06-05-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
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Sorry to hear about your lens issue and I agree that Pentax needs to step up and address this issue instead of hiding behind their short warranty. Despite their excellent reviews and apparent outstanding IQ I own no SDM lenses because of Pentax's steadfast refusal to even acknowledge they have a problem. I have, and will continue to buy, Tamron and Sigma lenses that come with significantly better warranty coverage and have silent motors that are not consistently showing design faults. I'll sign a petition to Pentax about this issue.
01-01-2017, 12:12 AM   #11
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Pentax SDM motors are a complete failure and they have not fixed the issues

I have had 3 SDM motor failures with my DA* 16-50. I paid full repair costs each time with no help or even a care by Pentax / Ricoh. They have not solved the problem (last fix lasted 3 month and only was used twice). Ask the repair center how many lenses they repair. Look at the lengths loyal Pentax users have to go to be able to use their lenses, like conversion tricks. Funny how Pentax only offers a 1 year warranty of their lenses....... while Tamron & Sigma offer 6 & 7 respectively if purchased in Canada.
01-05-2017, 10:28 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Converted my 16-50 today. Got it used from KEH a year ago, DOA from the SDM not being used in a while. Immediately returned for free SDM replacement, They sent me the old one in a little bag with the same lens, so I know it was a new motor. That one got me through a conference I had to shoot and a trip to Yellowstone, then kaput. I'd love to get the Sigma, but losing full time manual is a big pain for me. Granted that may be because the SDM focus was inaccurate for me. Never a consistent front or back focus, it was all over the place. Screw drive is dead on now, it's just an assault on my ears after getting used to not having it.
01-05-2017, 06:27 PM   #13
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Fixed

I said in another tread Originally posted by Bophoto Quote
"And why donīt Pentax fixes the problem with SDM, i sending in my DA16-50 for repair 1 1/2 years ago, 3500€ and after some months itīs the same problem again, as others users."
(It was 350€. not 3500€. ...)
Monochrome said:
Fixed.
So if we send the lens in again, the lens iis ok,
If Monochrome are right.
But we have to pay again.
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