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04-28-2018, 01:18 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyrr Quote
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

I share the OP's concerns not only as to whether this lens is reliable (as the first and currently only Pentax PLM lens, we don't have that much to go on) but also as to how Pentax will respond if an issue does arise.

My longest lens is currently the 18 - 135 WR, which is not quite enough in some circumstances. (Birds. I can "zoom with my feet", but I can't fly... ) The 55 - 300 PLM with its small size, quicker focus, decent image quality and affordable price seems like a very good fit. I want to thank and reward Pentax for creating a lens like this and offering the firmware update that makes it possible to use it on my K50 and the way to do that is by buying one.

My camera is the K50, and it is now out of warranty. So far, I haven't had any aperture block problems myself, but I'm certainly aware of the issue. One of the reasons for choosing the PLM vs a now very affordable earlier versions of the 55 - 300 is that in the event that that issue occurred, I'd still be able to use the PLM lens. But the very fact that reason exists is what gives me pause. I was and am disappointed by Pentax's handling of the aperture block issue, both in terms of continuing to produce and ship cameras with the defect long after it became a known issue and the lack of support for people whose cameras experienced this out of warranty. What if this lens is susceptible to some yet unknown issue, and it shows up after the warranty expires?

I know I can buy an extended warranty, but that adds significantly to the cost, (and there's 13% sales tax on top of that...)

I'm also planning to get one, but I'm still not 100% sure.
Since the PLM is a KAF 4 lens, even if you get the aperture block issue, it will still work since it is electronically controlled by the lens electronics. Your manual lenses also will continue to work if the worst happens. Have you had issues with your K-50 previously? If not, why get too worried about what might happen in the future? You should go for the PLM though, it is very quick and easy to use due to its great handling and autofocus speed.

04-28-2018, 01:19 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyrr Quote
Pentax's response to the unknown ( - defined as a defective component - ) is not at all difficult to anticipate.
If ambivalent about the 55-300 PLM based on perceived quality and post-sales support problems with the brand, it might be good to not purchase given that the PLM might not prove reliable should your K-50's aperture block fail leaving you with neither working camera nor working lens.


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04-28-2018, 01:25 PM   #18
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I was interested in that.
04-28-2018, 04:11 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
If ambivalent about the 55-300 PLM based on perceived quality and post-sales support problems with the brand, it might be good to not purchase given that the PLM might not prove reliable should your K-50's aperture block fail leaving you with neither working camera nor working lens.


Steve
Or I could just wait and see a while longer. It's not urgent. This lens is the current model. It's not going away anytime soon. I likely will get one at some point. I'd just be less hesitant if it had a longer record or I had more faith that Pentax would promptly and properly address a widespread failure due to a defect should such occur.

---------- Post added Apr 28th, 2018 at 07:43 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
Since the PLM is a KAF 4 lens, even if you get the aperture block issue, it will still work since it is electronically controlled by the lens electronics. Your manual lenses also will continue to work if the worst happens. Have you had issues with your K-50 previously? If not, why get too worried about what might happen in the future? You should go for the PLM though, it is very quick and easy to use due to its great handling and autofocus speed.
I've had a couple of scares, but I think they were likely the result of user error. As of a few minutes ago, the K50 seems fine. I think I likely will get the PLM at some point, but given that it's still a fairly new product, and that Pentax's support for defective products hasn't been confidence inspiring, it just seems prudent to wait a bit longer. These things cost more in Canada, and the price comes down less over time, so worst case scenario - it fails out of warranty and Pentax won't fix it, it's an expensive paperweight.

04-29-2018, 07:49 AM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I've had my 55-300 Pentax lens since June 2008...that's about 10 years. It was the first iteration of this lens...out on the market.

I've taken it on trips to many places, used it in cold weather...-25 to -30 C. I haven't had any problems with it so far...touch wood.
I also have a 35-105 A Macro zoom, since 1984...no problems with that either and many trips, many uses.

The old 35-105 appears to be built like a German tank with the precision of a Swiss watch...my 55-300 not so much. But I do take care of both of them, carry them in padded cases, put them..and camera body...down gently and this seems to work as far as keeping them going.

My experience...is that take care of your equipment and your equipment will last.
I just replaced my washing machine. An avocado green Maytag from 1972. That's 45+ years of stellar service. I was told by numerous sales people and repair people when looking for the replacement that the lifespan of a modern washing machine is roughly 10 years, even with the greatest care. A new fridge apparently can't be expected to last more than 12.

Your post reminded me of that. This new iteration of the lens might have a different working lifespan expectation. It's not a rhetorical question, I honestly wonder. Does anybody know how long a PLM lens can be expected to last?
04-29-2018, 09:48 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyrr Quote
I just replaced my washing machine. An avocado green Maytag from 1972. That's 45+ years of stellar service. I was told by numerous sales people and repair people when looking for the replacement that the lifespan of a modern washing machine is roughly 10 years, even with the greatest care. A new fridge apparently can't be expected to last more than 12.

Your post reminded me of that. This new iteration of the lens might have a different working lifespan expectation. It's not a rhetorical question, I honestly wonder. Does anybody know how long a PLM lens can be expected to last?
From what I have read on the forum regarding potential issues with the 55-300 PLM it seems the one weak point is the retract release button. Some users have reported that the button mechanism gets weak and loses the hard stop at the 55mm point when it is in the operation/zoom operation. I have not seen any complaints of other zoom or autofocus issues.
That is what I have seen from others, now my own experience:
I bought the lens when it just came out and Pentax released firmware for the K-3, so I have had it for about 2 and a half years. My copy is very solid after my years of use. The autofocus is fast and reliable, the lens is tight with no wobble or looseness in the barrel and the retract/enable works just fine. My impression is the build quality is excellent for a plastic construction lens and I have no worries about it breaking down even after many more years of normal use and care.
04-29-2018, 10:37 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyrr Quote
I just replaced my washing machine. An avocado green Maytag from 1972. That's 45+ years of stellar service. I was told by numerous sales people and repair people when looking for the replacement that the lifespan of a modern washing machine is roughly 10 years, even with the greatest care. A new fridge apparently can't be expected to last more than 12.

Your post reminded me of that. This new iteration of the lens might have a different working lifespan expectation. It's not a rhetorical question, I honestly wonder. Does anybody know how long a PLM lens can be expected to last?
I know what you mean. We have a Maytag dryer, we bought new in 1983. It's still working..touch wood. We know that we won't be able to get this quality next time around...and simplicity and robustness of design and build.

I still have my 1968 Pentax S1a, bought new in that year. It's simple, mechanical, no meter, no electronic gizmos of any sort and it still works. But I also have my Pentax ES ll, which was an early electronics camera , I bought new in '74. It still works.

But I do know that modern cars are said to be 'better' than cars of decades ago...durability wise. The engine's mechanicals for example will generally last well beyond 200,000 miles...where back in the '60's...a lot of times engine work was required before 100,000 miles...my experience.

But one modern issue that modern vehicles have is they have...that differs from cars, decades ago...is they have a lot of electronics aboard...which can be subject to heat, cold, vibration and harshness that a modern car experiences as it goes through life. As a result, nowadays with a modern vehicle, I'm more concerned about the durability of it's electronic componentry than I am with it's mechanicals.

I dunno...in these modern times and back in the old days....I did my research....then to paraphrase Charles Dickens, at least I think it was him...I could be wrong..." You makes your choice and you pays your money.."

To which I would add, then you hope fervently that you made the right decision.
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