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02-26-2009, 10:09 AM   #1
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What are the odds?

I am a very careful person with my gear. Ask any of the nearly 20 people who have bought from me here and nearly 100 on eBay and all will tell you I really keep my gear like new. I have never dropped or abused any of my equipment. I always keep it clean and dry. And with all this I must ask; what are the odds...

Both my DA* 16-50 and 50-135 had the SDM fail within two weeks of each other. Here I am now nearly three weeks later and I still do not have a replacement. I won't even get into the fun with service I had nearly three weeks ago.

I read about a fair amount of trouble with the SDM lenses and asked Pentax about this. I was told by the phone rep this was the first time he heard of this issue. Now you must understand that I find this quite hard to believe considering I have read of a number of SDM lenses with the same isssue which leads me to my next questiom.....

Are the SDM lenses reliable? I am a working pro and as such really need the lenses to last a bit longer than three months. I made the switch from Canon due to the quality and size of the Pentax system and optics as well as a PRO program being created. While the PRO program is not quite what CPS is, it's good enough to serve my needs. Still though, I get it all the time from other photographers that I would not have this kind of issue with the big two. I don't agree with them as I've had my share of trouble with Canon, but nothing like this.

Should I reconsider my investment in Pentax DA* lenses? I have looked into Tamron glass, but nothing to replace my DA*300 which at least is perfect so far. I would be fine with a dead SDM as long as I could use the in-body motor, but that's not an option. I really don't want to make the switch to another brand as I'm quite happy with the rest of my gear and what Pentax offers.

Does anyone here have a real answer since Pentax is unaware of any issues with the SDM motors?

02-26-2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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Pentax is very aware...
02-26-2009, 01:36 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your problems, and I don't really have an answer. However, I'd be interested in hearing about your experience with the Pentax Pro service. My understanding was that you wouldn't be without a suitable lens for as long as you have.

Not that I'm a pro. I'm just curious.
02-26-2009, 01:49 PM   #4
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The pro service is fine. They respond quickly and are very helpful. It's just that there seems to be some communication issues with the pro service reps and the rest of Pentax.

The repair time is much faster than the normal service, but can still be a bit too slow for the working pro. They do offer loaners, but nothing that a pro would not have in his bag anyway unless you just wanted to try one of the Limiteds (DA only, no FA loaners).

I could have asked for DA* loaners while mine were tended to, but I did not expect things to take as long as they have so I did not request them. I ended up buying the DA 18-55 and 50-200 to use for now. I guess it's a good idea to have some backup lenses anyway since they don't cost much.

I only wish I had a Pentax dealer in Miami that could take care of me. I miss the old-world camera shops like in Tokyo. All that's left in Miami is Best Buy, Wolf Camera, and Pitman (which is great, but no Pentax). Glad I had my issues before my trip to Japan in a month.

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