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12-02-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
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When was my new 16-50 manufactured?

I just received my Black Friday 16-50 from B&H. The box and papers inside say Hoya, no mention of Ricoh, and the newest year on any of the papers is 2010. The lens serial number falls between 2 other lenses that were purchased over a year ago. The rumor is that newer lenses have upgraded SDM parts that are less prone to fail so I want to make sure I have something recent.

The manuals could just be old stock while the lens is newer, but how can I tell? Are Pentax lens serial numbers sequential?

12-03-2013, 03:11 AM   #2
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Same curiosity here as I have also ordered the same.
12-03-2013, 03:54 AM   #3
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If there's no mention of Ricoh on the box or paperwork the lens should be older stock. Having said that, nobody knows when 16-50s were actually revised.
12-03-2013, 03:58 AM   #4
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Having an "older stock" 16-50 doesn't mean impending doom. Perhaps spring for the 3 year warranty for peice of mind.

12-03-2013, 07:08 AM   #5
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I already get an extended warranty via my credit card. I am trying to figure out whether a quick exchange with B&H now drastically lessens my future need for service hassles. 2010 is near the peak of 16-50 failure reports.
12-03-2013, 07:59 AM   #6
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I would go to the store to resolve this. Have them pull a few out of the warehouse. Of course, they have numerous warehouses. Not sure what your options are other than praying.
12-03-2013, 08:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
If there's no mention of Ricoh on the box or paperwork the lens should be older stock. Having said that, nobody knows when 16-50s were actually revised.
I think that is a risky assumption. Manufactures don't just order a couple hundred boxes and copies of documentation at a time. They order in larger volume for savings.There's a greater chance that Pentax/Ricoh are simply using packaging and materials from old inventory. Also, throwing away the old materials would be wasteful and for the most part modern manufactures don't make waste unless absolutely necessary. On the other hand. Pentax surely didn't manufacture a three year supply of 16-50 lenses to just set in inventory as that is also very costly to manufactures to have their capital tied up doing nothing and paying taxes on inventory as well. I strongly suspect your new lens is truly a newer version. Plus.... it has to be cause if it wasn't then my new 16-50 (November 5) would also be old stock and I'd have to worry as well!!
12-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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I bought a 100mm Pentax DFA macro this time last year and it came with supplementary Ricoh documentation.

12-03-2013, 08:32 AM   #9
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I don't like to presume but I will now. Nobody is moving many DA* lenses at list price. It wouldn't surprise me if some dealers are sitting on old inventory.

QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
I think that is a risky assumption. Manufactures don't just order a couple hundred boxes and copies of documentation at a time. They order in larger volume for savings.There's a greater chance that Pentax/Ricoh are simply using packaging and materials from old inventory. Also, throwing away the old materials would be wasteful and for the most part modern manufactures don't make waste unless absolutely necessary. On the other hand. Pentax surely didn't manufacture a three year supply of 16-50 lenses to just set in inventory as that is also very costly to manufactures to have their capital tied up doing nothing and paying taxes on inventory as well. I strongly suspect your new lens is truly a newer version. Plus.... it has to be cause if it wasn't then my new 16-50 (November 5) would also be old stock and I'd have to worry as well!!
12-03-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
I think that is a risky assumption. Manufactures don't just order a couple hundred boxes and copies of documentation at a time. They order in larger volume for savings.There's a greater chance that Pentax/Ricoh are simply using packaging and materials from old inventory. Also, throwing away the old materials would be wasteful and for the most part modern manufactures don't make waste unless absolutely necessary. On the other hand. Pentax surely didn't manufacture a three year supply of 16-50 lenses to just set in inventory as that is also very costly to manufactures to have their capital tied up doing nothing and paying taxes on inventory as well. I strongly suspect your new lens is truly a newer version. Plus.... it has to be cause if it wasn't then my new 16-50 (November 5) would also be old stock and I'd have to worry as well!!
I agree that manuals and boxes are printed way ahead of time. Old paperwork does not prove a lens is old, but new paperwork would be strong evidence of a new lens.

The strongest evidence that my lens is a little old is the serial number starting with "90457...". The next higher and lower serial numbers at SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Serial Numbers - Pentax Serial Number Database - PentaxForums.com were sold by B&H just about one year ago. Those lenses could have been manufactured much earlier.

There's a fair chance my new lens doesn't include the SDM redesign mentioned in Pentax Engineer on SDM Failure and Pentax DC - Photokina 2012 - PentaxForums.com. I'm tempted to err on the side of caution and return this lens for a higher serial number if I can't confirm when it was manufactured. I don't want to stick B&H with a needless return, though, because that drives up costs for everyone.
12-03-2013, 09:58 AM   #11
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The 16-50 I bought from B&H this time last year is older than I expected (based ons erial number). So far so good. Focus is actually pretty snappy on my copy.
12-03-2013, 10:19 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
I don't like to presume but I will now. Nobody is moving many DA* lenses at list price. It wouldn't surprise me if some dealers are sitting on old inventory.
I suspect you're right on that point but Adam mentioned earlier this Fall that last November on Black Friday B&H sold a bunch of DA 16-50 lenses. I figured that a year later (late October) I was safe in ordering the 16-50 during one of their price drops. This is my first modern Pentax lens and if it fails then I'll simply switch to Sigma for all future lens for my K3. I've gotten to an age in life that I don't waste my time with a manufacture if they screw me. I just move on. However I love my new K3 and the 16-50 is working fine. I'd love to buy the DA 50-135 and almost did last weekend but I'm going to wait and see how my new 16-50 works out.... PLUS..... I'm also waiting to see if Ricoh gives us a new 1.4 teleconvertor lens.
12-03-2013, 10:30 AM   #13
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I ordered my 16-50 last December when they were letting them go for less than $900 if you called.
12-03-2013, 10:31 AM   #14
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Here's hoping my lens (should arrive today) isn't old stock. I also figured by now the old HOYA stock would have been sold.
12-03-2013, 10:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
I ordered my 16-50 last December when they were letting them go for less than $900 if you called.
Its good to hear that your 16-50 is performing well...
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