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02-12-2019, 05:05 PM   #16
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That is my number 1 concern before I got my lens. Hopefully, my lens doesn't have that problem. It seems like a common issue for this lens which I blame Pentax. SO… After not using it in a while, try to help it wake up by manually turn the focus ring a bit then try autofocus. After it wake up, it should continue to work well throughout your shooting day.
I would return the lens if:
1. It take too loooong to wake up. Let’s say more than 3-5 second even with the help of manual focus.
2. the problem repeatedly comes back during a shooting day after it wake up.

Keep in mind that the lens is a known slow auto focus lens. A millisecond of time lack can be expected when you hit autofocus button. And make sure your auto/manual switch on the lens is not at manual. I accidently switch it to manual all the time.


Last edited by tokyoscape; 02-12-2019 at 09:16 PM.
02-12-2019, 05:42 PM   #17
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I own one, and love it. Keeping an eye out for DA*55 related posts in these forums, I don't find much evidence of SDM failure. That seems to be more the province of the 16-50 and 50-135, but both of those can be converted to screwdrive if it comes to that. With Canon or Nikon you just have to buy a new motor.
02-12-2019, 06:41 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I own one, and love it. Keeping an eye out for DA*55 related posts in these forums, I don't find much evidence of SDM failure. That seems to be more the province of the 16-50 and 50-135, but both of those can be converted to screwdrive if it comes to that. With Canon or Nikon you just have to buy a new motor.
Mine has failed...
Probably will pick up another copy rather than send this one in for repair. Sell this one as a manual only.
02-12-2019, 07:51 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Mine has failed...
Probably will pick up another copy rather than send this one in for repair. Sell this one as a manual only.
That's a shame Ö all lens motors are liable to fail, though. I was talking to a repair guy, he agreed those first Pentax star f2.8 zooms had too much glass to move for the little SDM in them, but that he had to replace Nikon lens motors all the time. And the guy in the desk across from me as I type this has a Canon lens in his drawer that's now only manual only.

I picked my DA*55 up second hand, thought it would have some use on my K-30, then actually on the K-1 it's come to life as something superior to the FA50 f1.4 Ö it's a Jun Hirakawa designed beauty. Since I can't afford the DFA*50 yet, I probably would buy it again like you.

02-12-2019, 08:29 PM - 1 Like   #20
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There is a great explanation of autofocus types and differences in the tutorials section of this website:
The 5 Lens Autofocus Drive Types Explained
Pentax AF technologoy overview and comparison
By beholder3 in Articles and Tips on Aug 19, 201

Read more at: The 5 Lens Autofocus Drive Types Explained - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com

I have 3 lenses with the old type micro SDM: DA 17-70, DA* 200 and DA* 300 and to some extent they all become less responsive when they sit unused, ranging from the DA*300 which may have only a second or so before it completely wakes up, the older DA*200 may take a couple of seconds of latency on the first picture, then its fine. The DA17-70, after years of the same wake up needs as others have observed, finally gave up for good. I also have the DA 16-85 and the DA 55-300 PLM which have different autofocus motors and do not hesitate at all no matter how long they sit. If you have an original SDM type lens the key to keeping it going is simply to use it; or lose it!
02-12-2019, 11:04 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I own one, and love it. Keeping an eye out for DA*55 related posts in these forums, I don't find much evidence of SDM failure. That seems to be more the province of the 16-50 and 50-135, but both of those can be converted to screwdrive if it comes to that. With Canon or Nikon you just have to buy a new motor.
I have also had issues with the DA55, though so far no out-right failure.
02-12-2019, 11:20 PM - 2 Likes   #22
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I have 3 of the older SDM lenses also. The DA17-70, which has never faltered regardless how long it sits; the DA*200 which has also never given me a problem; and the DA*50-135 which needs waking up before use. With my 50-135, I’ve noticed that manually focusing the lens doesn’t help to wake it, I just have to work with the auto focus button a few seconds before it will respond. I bought the lens second hand here knowing this a couple of years ago, and it hasn’t changed.
02-12-2019, 11:27 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by leekil Quote
I have also had issues with the DA55, though so far no out-right failure.

Yeah, no problems with mine, and I'm a second owner. No problems with a DA17-70 either. I don't have to wake either up, and they don't get used for weeks at a time.

My DA*50-135 I bought second hand cheap and was a different story, I converted it to screw drive within a month. I couldn't sell it unless I fell on hard times, it takes beautiful pictures.

02-13-2019, 12:23 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I own one, and love it. Keeping an eye out for DA*55 related posts in these forums, I don't find much evidence of SDM failure. That seems to be more the province of the 16-50 and 50-135, but both of those can be converted to screwdrive if it comes to that. With Canon or Nikon you just have to buy a new motor.
Iím on my 3rd 50-135. Iíve yet (fingers crossed) to have SDM failure. I used my first for about 9 years until I dropped it, even manual focus wouldnít work after that. My second was horribly soft so I RMAíd it. The RMA Lens has so far been why people love this lens. Iíd use it as a manual focus if it came to that, IMO itís that good optically.
Still, Iíve dissected the old broke lens and am astonished at how cheaply it is constructed. SDM failure aside, Iím surprised these lenses donít just fall apart if theyíre looked at wrong.
02-13-2019, 02:21 AM - 2 Likes   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by simple1 Quote
Iím on my 3rd 50-135. Iíve yet (fingers crossed) to have SDM failure. I used my first for about 9 years until I dropped it, even manual focus wouldnít work after that. My second was horribly soft so I RMAíd it. The RMA Lens has so far been why people love this lens. Iíd use it as a manual focus if it came to that, IMO itís that good optically.

Still, Iíve dissected the old broke lens and am astonished at how cheaply it is constructed. SDM failure aside, Iím surprised these lenses donít just fall apart if theyíre looked at wrong.
Yeah, I think only us owners really understand the beautiful pictures it produces and put up with everything else about it.

02-13-2019, 06:22 AM   #26
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I have the 7 original SDM lenses, all bought used, all parked on K-01s, all fired up weekly and focus given a turn or two, I also use them to take photographs of course, and to date no SDM or any other form of failure.

I have no idea why they keep working, but they always fail to disappoint.

Maybe some day one of them will fail, and if it does, I'll be sure to post the news here.

R.
02-13-2019, 06:52 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
No problems with a DA17-70 either. I don't have to wake either up, and they don't get used for weeks at a time.
QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
The DA17-70, which has never faltered regardless how long it sits;
Hello to both! How old are your DA 17-70's? I bought mine new back in 2009 when the lens was originally launched. What I am trying to determine is, if I get mine repaired will I get an improved motor or will it be the exact same type as the one that failed. If replacement SDM motors nowadays are improved from the original ones from 10 years ago, I would get it fixed. If however the replacement motor is same exact one as the old one, with the same risk of failure, then I would hesitate getting it fixed. I really like my reliable 16-85, but I wouldn't mind having a fixed f4.0 zoom lens as well.
02-13-2019, 08:23 AM   #28
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Thank you for all the responses you have given!
It looks like the waking up has happened to some people but does not make any more bigger trouble?
Because I have periods for when I cannot use the camera regular. So sometimes it will stay with no use for maybe 3 weeks.

One question still is there: Can I find out date of manufacture with serial number?
02-13-2019, 11:42 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
Hello to both! How old are your DA 17-70's?
Mine was bought new on special just a couple of years ago but who knows how long it was sitting in a warehouse.



02-13-2019, 11:43 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by solatana Quote

One question still is there: Can I find out date of manufacture with serial number?
The manufacturer would know, your retailer probably not.



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