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01-17-2015, 05:46 PM   #1
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SDM lenses- are they totally quiet?

I have a new Pentax 16-50 2.8 SDM lens. The SDM lenses have a bad history of quality problems. While my new lens focuses fine it does make a slight noise as the glass aligns into focus. So those of you with SDM lenses, is yours totally quite? I can send it back to Adaroma but don't rally want the hassle unless it is necessary. So how quite is quite!

01-17-2015, 06:27 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by gosman Quote
I have a new Pentax 16-50 2.8 SDM lens. The SDM lenses have a bad history of quality problems. While my new lens focuses fine it does make a slight noise as the glass aligns into focus. So those of you with SDM lenses, is yours totally quite? I can send it back to Adaroma but don't rally want the hassle unless it is necessary. So how quite is quite!
This sounds normal. DC is a little quieter but both systems are hard to hear unless you're really close to the lens.

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01-17-2015, 06:41 PM   #3
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My Da* 300 has a slight squeak to it. According to photozone it depends on the copy.
01-17-2015, 07:06 PM   #4
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SDM lenses are absolutely dead quiet....









Because most of the time they don't work! Bazinga!

Jk, there is certainly some mechanical noise. Things are moving remember.

01-17-2015, 08:19 PM   #5
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Both my 16-50 and 50-135 are very quiet. No squeak. No noise.
01-17-2015, 10:00 PM   #6
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You seem to be the only one with a dead quite SDM lens Driline. Please everyone check theirs and join in on the survey.
01-18-2015, 12:01 AM   #7
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My DA*300 had the same sqeaking sound and i send it back to stock.
They had to replace something, because now it is quiet while focusing.
01-18-2015, 12:06 AM   #8
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Exnito- how quite is quite? When you focus, can you hear the glass moving?

01-18-2015, 12:11 AM   #9
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50-135 in a dead silent room, I can barely hear it move. 17-70, silent.
01-18-2015, 12:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gosman Quote
Exnito- how quite is quite? When you focus, can you hear the glass moving?
Don't worry. You will hear a silent voice of glass moving.
But my first experience with this lens was that it was very loud. The squeak was so loud my wife had hear it from 2m away.
But after the service it's o.k.

---------- Post added 01-18-15 at 10:05 AM ----------

Vocaroo | Voice message

This was the sound when I send it to service. Now it's much more quieter
01-18-2015, 01:17 AM   #11
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There's a high frequency but low volume sound from my 16-50. I only hear it in quiet surroundings.
01-18-2015, 02:48 AM   #12
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My DA*300 is quite whisper quiet. Has never disturbed any animals within its focusing range.
01-18-2015, 03:06 AM   #13
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Of course there's noise. Something is moving!

How loud is subjective.

Don't forget you're holding the camera/lens combo to your face. That being the case it'll be much louder to you than to an observer some feet/yards away.

The SDM lenses DO NOT have a history of 'quality problems' . Some early versions of the 50-135 and 16-50 had SDM failures. Other marques also had SDM-equivalent failures so this was/is not Pentax specific, and is not a QC issue. It was a design issue, however.

I have an early 50-135 which continues to perform flawlessly. Either I'm very lucky and/or it's due to my fortnightly habit of 'exercising' all my kit whether or not it's been used in the intervening period.

One relatively common comment amongst those reporting SDM failures was it happened after a period of non-use.

Looking at the issue logically, anything that is as mechanically complex as a SDM lens is likely to suffer problems over time if not used as lubricants in gear chains, etc, will thicken, so when they are used extra strain is put on the motor as it has to overcome ' stiction'.

As is said about a variety of things, 'use it, or lose it'.

Last edited by JohnX; 01-18-2015 at 04:18 AM.
01-18-2015, 04:20 AM   #14
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My DA 17-70 f/4 SDM is near silent. Not totally silent, there is a slight very slight low volume high frequency sound when the lens turns into focus. It is hardly noticeable. And I have had no quality problems with this lens. I'm happy with my copy. Good colours, nice feel, although a bit large and heavy on a small body... but images are nice.
01-18-2015, 07:12 AM   #15
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Whenever one of my SDM focuses, there is a faint sound like "your technique isn't up to my standards."
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