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01-16-2014, 05:14 PM   #1
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SDM issues

I am thinking of buying a DA* 55mm 1.4, But i'am worried about the SDM issues I've read about.
Does this problem have been fix ?

01-16-2014, 05:55 PM   #2
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To begin with, Pentax never officially announced that there were problems with the SDM.

But based on user reviews, SDM lenses produced at late 2012 or later are less likely to fail.

I believe this SDM problem is way over saturated. Lots and lots of people use their SDM lenses very happily without any issues.
01-16-2014, 06:41 PM   #3
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Ive had the DA* 50-135 since december 2010. Never had any issues with it.
01-16-2014, 07:51 PM   #4
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I've got three SDM lenses 55mm, 16-50mm and 50-135mm and I've never had a problem with them.

My impression from reading the posts of SDM failures are that they are more prevalent in the 16-50mm lens, and much more uncommon in the 60-250mm, 200mm, 300mm and 55mm.

I'd say you should be fine with a 55mm SD lens.

Regards

Chris

01-16-2014, 09:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventhdr Quote
I've got three SDM lenses 55mm, 16-50mm and 50-135mm and I've never had a problem with them.

My impression from reading the posts of SDM failures are that they are more prevalent in the 16-50mm lens, and much more uncommon in the 60-250mm, 200mm, 300mm and 55mm.

I'd say you should be fine with a 55mm SD lens.

Regards

Chris
I think the only reason it seems more common in the 16-50 is because it's probably the most frequently bought of the SDM-equipped lenses. I bought my 16-50 this black friday knowing about SDM issues and that it might be updated soon -- but I got a good copy for a great price so no regrets.

Considering the DA*55 is very highly regarded and isn't expected to be updated too soon -- I say OP should go for it.
01-16-2014, 10:05 PM   #6
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You might be able to buy an extended warranty for peace of mind. I still don't like the idea that it might die after that, though.

There is a thread somewhere here to change SDM lenses to screw drive. And you can always buy a K100D (or earlier model) that does not support SDM
01-17-2014, 03:20 AM   #7
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Thank you, I think I'll ordered it today.
01-17-2014, 04:36 AM   #8
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As has been pointed out already, the DA* 55/1.4 is not know for a high SDM failure rate.

It isn't "SDM" per se that is the problem in some lenses, but apparently how the motor interacts with the gearing and/or the load. The two DA* zooms (16-50/2.8 & 50-135/2.8) are the most infamous offenders, but most other SDM lens models seem to be fine.

However, pay attention to the optical quality. Forum member robgo2 went through five (5) copies of the DA* 55/1.4 and could not fine one he was happy with.

01-17-2014, 04:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
However, pay attention to the optical quality. Forum member robgo2 went through five (5) copies of the DA* 55/1.4 and could not fine one he was happy with.
There really isn't anything wrong with a lens if it BF/FF, it just needs AF adjustments.
01-17-2014, 05:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
There is a thread somewhere here to change SDM lenses to screw drive. And you can always buy a K100D (or earlier model) that does not support SDM
Neither of these strategies are of any use for the DA*55, which has no screw drive mechanism built into it.

The first DA*55 I bought had a dead SDM out of the box. Its replacement has been going strong for two years.

I have owned two DA*16-50's, and both have failed. One I had repaired free of charge despite being out of warrantee, the other I converted to screw drive. I sold the repaired one and kept the converted one.

My DA*50-135 and DA*300 have had no problems at all.
01-17-2014, 05:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
There really isn't anything wrong with a lens if it BF/FF, it just needs AF adjustments.
It depends what the post meant by consistency. Correctable amounts (which isn't much, without debug mode - maybe more adjustability in bodies would be a good idea) of BF/FF is ok, but some lenses may, for example, BF/FF only at certain distances, and that isn't something that can be corrected by adjustments that I know of. Having said that, my old MF 50/f1.4 got relatively little use at 1.4, and even then a good percentage of my MF efforts (on better 35 split image screens) were just slightly oof. It spent a lot more time at f2 or 2.8.
01-17-2014, 05:25 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info everyone, I have order the lens today, from Pentax to make sure I get one of the latest build possible. Looking forward to it, that will be my first DA*.
01-18-2014, 01:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
There really isn't anything wrong with a lens if it BF/FF, it just needs AF adjustments.
I agree that a bit of consistent BF/FF can be compensated for but Robgo2 struggled with much more than just a bit of consistent BF/FF.
01-18-2014, 05:49 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I agree that a bit of consistent BF/FF can be compensated for but Robgo2 struggled with much more than just a bit of consistent BF/FF.
I'll keep that in mind in case I decide to get one
03-10-2014, 05:24 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone, I bought the lens and it have absolutely no problem. Verdict...other than the price, I love it
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