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01-20-2009, 05:37 AM   #1
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DA* 50-135mm failures?

How bad are the AF failures for the DA* 50-135? Is it prevalent like the problems with the initial batch of the DA* 16-50? I was thinking of ordering the 50-135 in a week or so but reading some of the recent failures has me thinking twice. I am using a DS so it wouldn't be using the SDM but I'm looking into upgrading to the K20D in the near future and I wouldn't want it to fail on me later on down the road. Maybe I should opt for the Tamron 70-200 for now?

01-20-2009, 07:03 AM   #2
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The 50-135mm a cracking lens. I've had mine for 18 months, no problems, including down in the Antarctic on small boats (cold and damp). I haven't seen the reports of failures you refer to, but would suggest that: as the Tamron is a more recently released lens, the reports of durability aren't in yet; and you are more likely to see complaints about Pentax lenses on a Pentax forum than about third party lenses. That's not to denigrate the Tamron - I've never handled one - but as I said, the Pentax is a cracker.
01-20-2009, 09:18 AM   #3
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I would buy a 50-135* with no hesitation. The only other lens I can say that about is a 77ltd. Everything else has caveats imho. Not the 50-135*.
01-20-2009, 09:19 AM   #4
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Hi.

DA* 50-135mm is a wonderful lens. Obviously there are not so many failure reports as the DA* 16-50 but sadly some people have reported many problems, on this forum and on others.. just make a search on google and you will find them.

I have been using it for some time now and I think that my lens needs to visit de technical service since it has some focusing issues when wide open...

It is sad but true... anyway, I would recommend this lens to every pentax user.

Greetings.

01-20-2009, 10:40 AM   #5
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Mine has been working without problem for nearly a year. And I think everybody should own one.
01-20-2009, 10:49 AM   #6
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I had one in my hands (the 50-135mm), it won't focus in the 90-135mm range ...
a crippled lens. Had to send it back to the retailer ...

Ended up with the new Sigma 70-200mm HSM, at least Sigma has more experience
with the new HSM technology. Do miss the weatherseal on 50-135 though. Besides,
Sigma offers 4-yr warranty, as far as I know.

Go over to dpreview and see the 50-135 posts.

HTH.
01-20-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by fsdogwood Quote

Go over to dpreview and see the 50-135 posts.

HTH.
Why? I would think that any rampant faults would show up here...the 16-50* ones sure did. I find the dp site to have a significant contingent of pixel peeping idiots and people who don't actually own the gear they claim.

Seems there have been a *very* small number of problems with the 50-135* lenses. From posts here, maybe could count on one hand the number of issues. And as always with the interwebs, you never know the circumstances around the failure. While I am sure that some are legit, I'm willing to bet that others are user error of some kind. I've seen this first-hand on other web forums for other stuff.

The bottom line is that *any* device can and will fail at some point. Just depends on when and under what circumstances.
01-20-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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16-50 != 50-135

There is no comparison between the two - the 16-50 has (had?) a relatively high failure rate, the 50-135 doesn't.

Every single lens line manufactured is going to have a few lemons, however, so that's probably what you're hearing about.

The Tamron 70-200 2.8, while exceptional, has it's share of QC issues too - I had to send one back because of AF problems myself.

Overall, the best guarantee, IMO, of exceptional IQ in currently-made K-mount s the DA* 50-135, DA 12-24, FA/DA 35's, DA 70ltd, DA 40ltd, FA 77ltd, FA 31ltd, and FA 43ltd.

Now, for the obligatory shot:



(he looks worried, but it's not about the 50-135 - he's worried about dying.)




.

01-20-2009, 12:43 PM   #9
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Thats an awesome picture of your son!

QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
There is no comparison between the two - the 16-50 has (had?) a relatively high failure rate, the 50-135 doesn't.

Every single lens line manufactured is going to have a few lemons, however, so that's probably what you're hearing about.

The Tamron 70-200 2.8, while exceptional, has it's share of QC issues too - I had to send one back because of AF problems myself.

Overall, the best guarantee, IMO, of exceptional IQ in currently-made K-mount s the DA* 50-135, DA 12-24, FA/DA 35's, DA 70ltd, DA 40ltd, FA 77ltd, FA 31ltd, and FA 43ltd.

Now, for the obligatory shot:



(he looks worried, but it's not about the 50-135 - he's worried about dying.)




.
01-20-2009, 12:56 PM   #10
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Toshi,
Please, do yourself a favor - order 50-135!

Just my $0.02
01-20-2009, 07:24 PM   #11
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Original Poster
I guess I shouldn't worry too much. Everytime I see sample photos from the lens, I know I just have to have it . Plus I was able to pick up a brand new 1.4 Tamron TC last week so I could mount it to the 50-135 and roughly get the same focal range as the Tamron. Sample photos from this combo looked great and I think I can manage losing 1 stop for now.
01-20-2009, 07:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Toshi Quote
How bad are the AF failures for the DA* 50-135? Is it prevalent like the problems with the initial batch of the DA* 16-50? I was thinking of ordering the 50-135 in a week or so but reading some of the recent failures has me thinking twice. I am using a DS so it wouldn't be using the SDM but I'm looking into upgrading to the K20D in the near future and I wouldn't want it to fail on me later on down the road. Maybe I should opt for the Tamron 70-200 for now?
I have the 50-135, and the AF failures with my lens can be directly fixed by cleaning all the contacts very thoroughly. Some of the lenses seem to be just a tiny bit fussier than others about the contact cleanliness. Sometimes removing and replacing the lens is enough, at other times I have to use a micro fibre cloth and alcohol. It's worth the effort to have this superb lens in my arsenal.

[Edit] Here's an indoor shot - 1/125 @ f/4, ISO 1600 - multi point AF. My daughter's indoor soccer team, Les Gauloises, in the blue uniforms.
Attached Images
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PENTAX K10D  Photo 

Last edited by Canada_Rockies; 01-20-2009 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Added Picture
01-20-2009, 07:58 PM   #13
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no, no, no.........This is next on the LBA list!
01-20-2009, 11:59 PM   #14
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Bring back MSN Cashback through eBay BIN!!!!
01-21-2009, 02:03 AM   #15
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This post may be of interest to some:

Re: Just tested my new DA* 16-50 and boy does it stink: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

QuoteQuote:
My personal opinion is that these lenses are optical-wise extremly fine designed and are able to deliver excellent pictures (I know what Iīm talking about because I earn my living with lens-design and have all the necessary equippment available to test lenses!).

But besides QC problems there seem to be mechanical flaws too (I really donīt want to bash Pentax, the grass isnīt greener elsewhere). E.g. my DA* 50-135 (which is a replacement from the 2nd batch, the 1st was a absolut lemon!) produced excellent results for the first 1000 shots and starts to deteriorate than continously. Because I was thick waiting another couple of month for a replacement I took it apart and figured out that the plastic pinch rollers which control the movement of focussing-lens inside the lens barrel are already worn out by 6/100mm. The resulting "play" of the otherwise backlash free focussing mechanism was absolutly intolerable, generating random focussing results.

I replaced the worn out "plastic" pinch rollers by new oneīs which were made from higher grade plastics with tighter tolerances and smoothed the roller guidance inside the lens barrel. After that all focussing problems were gone! Even in "cold" environment (-5°C) the SDM-motor focusses properly (what wasnīt the case before).

Posted by Ralf Mayer
Read also the follow ups ...

QuoteQuote:
The main reason for this wear-out is a not good enough surface finish of the guidance grooves in the anodized aluminium barrel. They are just to rough and wear the roller (which is actually not "roller" but a "slider") out by grinding of material. There is nothing wrong with the roller material iself which is made of a plastic called POM what is commonly (in most lenses) used for that purpose. This fast wear maybe specific for my lens and than it is clearly a QC issue with this lens!
So far my lens is flawless. I have it over a year now.
The results are fantastic.
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