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10-10-2014, 12:25 PM   #1
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If SDM fails once... how likely to happen again?

I have my 50-135 lens in for repair. The dreaded SDM failure that seems to be quite common. so my question is, how likely is it that it will fail again once it is repaired? It's not cheap to repair it! I'm hoping it's just once and done!

10-10-2014, 12:38 PM   #2
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Back a few years ago there were many reports of lenses being repaired multiple times. However, supposedly after sometime in 2012 the components were changed and the number of repair posts on newer lenses has dropped off to nearly nothing. I would assume that repairs done now would use the updated parts, but really only Ricoh knows for sure.
10-10-2014, 12:41 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
I have my 50-135 lens in for repair. The dreaded SDM failure that seems to be quite common. so my question is, how likely is it that it will fail again once it is repaired? It's not cheap to repair it! I'm hoping it's just once and done!
so what does it cost these days to repair the sdm...just in case i need to have it done
10-10-2014, 12:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
so what does it cost these days to repair the sdm...just in case i need to have it done
My quote is for $306. However, I'm trying to get in touch with them via telephone to pay for the repair and the phone just rings and rings and rings. It's making me mad! I sent my lens in way back in August. I've missed most all of H.S. football season and I want it back!

10-10-2014, 12:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
My quote is for $306. However, I'm trying to get in touch with them via telephone to pay for the repair and the phone just rings and rings and rings. It's making me mad! I sent my lens in way back in August. I've missed most all of H.S. football season and I want it back!
wow it's bad enough over the cost but they won't return your calls...have you tried converting it to non sdm..i know others have and seem happy with it...i'm sure there is a link on how to do it...of course you have to have your lens back...sorry!!!
10-10-2014, 12:55 PM   #6
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You need to move to Australia where you get good service and you can actually go in and chat to an intelligent person.
10-10-2014, 01:06 PM   #7
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You need to move to Australia where you get good service and you can actually go in and chat to an intelligent person.
Australia sounds good Mate (The only place in the world, besides Alaska, I'd actually like to visit)

I was considering getting a Tamron 70 - 200 f 2.8 lens to replace the 50 - 135. Not sure anyone would want to buy it used though if the motor has already failed on it once. I'd love the extra range, especially when shooting sports. Heard good things about the Canon version, but may see about renting it once for my camera just to see if it's worth it to switch.

I need to read up more on converting to Non SDM, although it is a bit late now. I'm really clueless on what that means. Is it still AF then?
10-10-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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It's still AF, and I think mine actually focused faster non-SDM than it does now that I've and it repaired. And that's on a K5 - k3 has a faster AF motor, so presumably it'd be better still, there. Louder, of course, but it's not like it's *loud* -- just not silent.

The repair issues might partially be because Pentax has apparently changed their preferred repair partner in the US? I don't know details on that, just saw it mentioned in a few posts. I had mine done at CRIS, and anytime I updated the repair ticket, they usually responded within a day to tell me yet again that they had no idea when Pentax would send them the pats they needed.

They only charged me an extra ... I think like $120 for the SDM repair since they had the lens open and in pieces to repair the other damage anyway.

10-10-2014, 01:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
My quote is for $306. However, I'm trying to get in touch with them via telephone to pay for the repair and the phone just rings and rings and rings. It's making me mad! I sent my lens in way back in August. I've missed most all of H.S. football season and I want it back!
Where did you send the lens: CRIS (the former Ricoh repair subcontractor), Precision (the new sub), or someone else?
10-10-2014, 02:23 PM   #10
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My 50-135 SDM died a second time after being "repaired" by CRIS at the cost of a couple of hundred dollars. Wish I had known about the SDM hack at that time, as I would have just done that. I recently disabled the SDM on my 50-135, and it is great having the 50-135 back as a screwdrive lens.
10-10-2014, 03:08 PM   #11
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Precision in CT?

If so please listen to someone who just had a camera in for repair. Expect ZERO communications. Expect no warning - item will suddenly be on the way back.
Let the phone RING and RING for 10 minutes or more. Eventually it will be answered but it may stop and ring again before someone human takes the call.

DO NOT take it out on the person answering. They appear to be sincerely overwhelmed and they were able to help get mine rolling again when it was in limbo.
10-10-2014, 03:19 PM   #12
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You might want to read this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/16-pentax-news-rumors/269090-repairs.html for background on what is happening with US repairs.

Short version is Ricoh changed repair companies from CRIS to Precision. The change over has not gone exactly the way we might wish and so far most comments on Precision are that you will not be able to get in touch with them, and that seems to be the way they do business and always have.
10-10-2014, 04:53 PM   #13
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My advise would be to buy a Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8, and then sell the 50-135mm if/when you get it back.

The Sigma has a little more reach, faster AF (good for sports), and the HSM seems to be pretty reliable. In terms of image quality, it's probably too close to call. Great contrast and bokeh, and I think my 50-150mm is sharper at f/2.8 than the 50-135mm, but you will find opinions going both ways.

And if it ever does need service, it's just a short trip to Sigma USA headquarters in NY, and their service seems to consistently be quick and reasonably priced with excellent communication. (Based on my own experience and what I've heard from others on here). I've dealt with them a few times since almost all my lenses are Sigma, and they generally complete service work in a day or two once they get the lens.

Of course, the 70-200mm would be a good option with a little extra reach, but you're talking about lugging around a much larger and heavier lens. I'd probably go with the 50-150mm, and crop a little bit more if necessary. And having 50mm on the wide end (vs 70mm) gives you some extra versatility when you're closer to the action.

Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 10-10-2014 at 05:02 PM.
10-16-2014, 04:12 AM   #14
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Sorry haven't been around in a while. First, thanks for all the advice. I sent the lens to Precision camera. I finally got ahold of someone to pay for the lens. I seriously, had to let the phone ring for close to 6 minutes. I'm hoping to have no more issues once I get it back (Obviously) But am going to look into that Sigma 50-150. Especially after reading the comments regarding how fast they do repairs and that they have head quarters in NY.

I was told when I paid that the lens would be repaired and on it's way back to me in 7 - 10 days. I sure hope that is an accurate estimate. I really miss this lens. I'll post when I get it back.
10-16-2014, 05:56 AM   #15
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I dont see it mentioned above, If it does break again disabling SDM is worth looking at especially since you seem to still own the K10D. It will probably focus faster too.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/208353-how-...m-f-2-8-a.html

Hopefully you get your lens back soon
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