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05-11-2014, 12:29 PM   #1
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How to buy DA * 16-50 used?

How would I buy a used DA*16-50 and have it be a "good one"? What should I look for? I also ready similar threads to this one and they didn't sufficiently answer my questions.

05-11-2014, 12:32 PM   #2
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You can never know for sure if a lens won't give you trouble later down the road, but 16-50mm's produced after mid-2012 should be free of the SDM defect so I would ask sellers for the original date of purchase.

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05-11-2014, 12:56 PM   #3
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In the event that you do purchase a dud, there's also a screwdrive conversion option as well. (Seems to result in faster focusing, with a tad more hunting)
05-11-2014, 02:02 PM   #4
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If the motor fails, it is not the end of the world.

In case of a failure, a defective motor can always be changed with the new, failure free motor.

05-11-2014, 02:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
If the motor fails, it is not the end of the world.

In case of a failure, a defective motor can always be changed with the new, failure free motor.
Expensive, surely ... after twelve months, not the original owner, etc ...
05-11-2014, 04:22 PM   #6
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I'm actually not that afraid of an SDM failure, as I just had one on my DA 17-70 repaired by CRIS and the experience was not that bad. The potential aspect I'm more fearing is "optical misalignment", which one reads about from time to time on the DA 16-50. I have wondered if it is misalignment that is the reason that some 16-50's are just so-so optically, while other (most?) 16-50's appear to be nothing short of brilliant. I want one of the optically brilliant copies. So a person can check for focus adjustment and probably can tell if the SDM is functioning correctly. But what else can be wrong, and how can I know? Thanks, Glenn
05-11-2014, 05:48 PM   #7
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buy from a reputable source, if there's a problem you can return it. KEH is pretty good with returns....I'm sure there are many others like Adorama, etc...Good Luck!
05-11-2014, 07:21 PM   #8
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I buy used lenses at a price point that if a repair is needed, it won't end up costing me more than what a new lens would have been. Since the reputation of the DA 16-50 isn't too good in regards to being trouble free, I wouldn't touch one if it wasn't at least $300 or more under the lowest new price. With the exception of a lens I had repaired by Eric for about $60, the cheapest repair of any of my gear has been $180 plus shipping costs and the highest was around $250. More than that, I won't bother. I have had good luck with Pentax gear with few problems but I have avoided buying SDM lenses so far but I would be more inclined to buy one new with a warranty if I was to unless it was really cheap.

05-11-2014, 07:42 PM   #9
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Thanks, all. The replies are much appreciated and help me plan the path forward.

Regards,

Glenn
05-11-2014, 08:13 PM   #10
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If purchasing used, you may be able to vet the lens by checking the serial number database here on the forums. Prior to purchasing mine from another forum member, I was able to determine that my copy suffered SDM failure but was repaired by KEH in late 2013. That gave me confidence that the SDM would not be failing anytime soon, so I went ahead and pulled the trigger. It has performed well with no problems.
05-12-2014, 10:01 AM   #11
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I know I've said this before, but purchasing a used lens from Henrys of Canada also affords you a free 90 day warranty. Case in point, I purchased a used DA*16-50 from Henrys on fleabay for $601. The SDM started acting flaky so I sent it back to them under warrant and they sent it off to Canada Pentax for repair and alignment. So in effect I have a better than brand new lens for $601. I say better than brand new because they aligned and cleaned it up.
05-12-2014, 02:51 PM   #12
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Note there's no solid proof that Pentax ever improved the 16-50 SDM design. All we have is the word of a Pentax employee/contractor in Germany. I think Pentax ignores requests for more information.

Also note that, as of January 2014 when I searched and asked, no PF users report receiving a Ricoh-branded 16-50. Not even a sticky label on the outside of the box. The brand new lenses being sold might still be old Hoya stock.
05-12-2014, 05:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote

Also note that, as of January 2014 when I searched and asked, no PF users report receiving a Ricoh-branded 16-50. Not even a sticky label on the outside of the box. The brand new lenses being sold might still be old Hoya stock.
Good point, John, reminding us date of purchase is not date of manufacture.
05-12-2014, 05:40 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote

Also note that, as of January 2014 when I searched and asked, no PF users report receiving a Ricoh-branded 16-50. Not even a sticky label on the outside of the box. The brand new lenses being sold might still be old Hoya stock.
Not true... got a brand new 50-135/f2.8 in Shinjuku last December 2013. The box outside with label "Pentax - A Ricoh company Pentax Ricoh Imaging Co. Ltd" assembled in Vietnam.

---------- Post added 05-12-2014 at 08:42 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I know I've said this before, but purchasing a used lens from Henrys of Canada also affords you a free 90 day warranty. Case in point, I purchased a used DA*16-50 from Henrys on fleabay for $601. The SDM started acting flaky so I sent it back to them under warrant and they sent it off to Canada Pentax for repair and alignment. So in effect I have a better than brand new lens for $601. I say better than brand new because they aligned and cleaned it up.
I agree that this would be a good way to get a 'used' DA* lens without having to worry about SDM issues and do it within the warranty period offered by the vendor.
05-12-2014, 06:08 PM   #15
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Thanks again. Lots of good information and tips. A general theme I run into is to buy from a place that will allow returns.
Glenn
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