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View Poll Results: Do you have, are about to have an SDM/HSM lens and how is it functioning?
I have, so far so good (with SDM camera). 9347.45%
I have, notable problems (Glitches, sometimes not working ,Slower or worse AF , had to service). 3718.88%
Don't have, but would buy someday / are about to buy (or no SDM camera). 2211.22%
Don't have and try to avoid. 3919.90%
Other (explain in thread). 52.55%
Voters: 196. You may not vote on this poll

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01-13-2010, 12:22 AM   #46
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QuoteQuote:
Ash;879980
But I am yet to try their 70 macro...

just a word of caution, don't expect too much from it's AF. it's quite a turtle but sometimes fast. although the IQ is to die for.

01-13-2010, 01:55 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
just a word of caution, don't expect too much from it's AF. it's quite a turtle but sometimes fast. although the IQ is to die for.
Much to be expected in macro lenses, given their long focus throws.
The FA 100/2.8 is a sweet set of glass IMO, but it too has that near 270 degree focus throw - can't expect that to go as fast as something like a 16-45...
01-13-2010, 02:05 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Much to be expected in macro lenses, given their long focus throws.
The FA 100/2.8 is a sweet set of glass IMO, but it too has that near 270 degree focus throw - can't expect that to go as fast as something like a 16-45...
since I own both lenses, I can say that the FA100 has a better or faster autofocus than the Sigma 70. both lenses have focus limiters to help with the lens focusing faster. but the Sigma is still quite slouchy though. you are right about these 2 macros though, they are slow compared to other lenses. I dunno about the the new WR100 though. is it fast?
01-13-2010, 02:25 AM   #49
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I have the DA*300 for about 18 months and the DA* 50-135 for 6 months, i have taken the 80% of my pictures with the 300 and so far the lens gives me the feeling that it will last for many years, in the other hand the 50-135 although it is a fine lens and has no problems so far it doesn't gives the same impression. But is just a feeling and nothing more.

01-13-2010, 02:36 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oggy Quote
Ash - for goodness sake don't mention about them going super critical and taking the whole neighbourhood out.
Sshh! If bin Ladin hear about this he will start shopping Pentax gear for his people and have them take it as hand luggage
Will work much better than explosive shoes or underwear.

Seriously, the important number here is the frequence of people that have had a problem, which when I write this is 15/(15+57)=20%. That is too much, even if 1:5 is better than the 1:3 the OP considered critical. Pentax should be worried, and I'm sure they are, and probably they work on something new. But from there to admit that they have a general problem, I don't think they will. As for QC I don't think it is a QC problem. It appears that it happens gradually, and that most lenses work for a start, which makes it impossible to sort out with more controle in the production. It sounds more as a weekness in the design. With this frquent problem it is awfully important for them to be very humble to costumers that comes to them with need for help with a malfunctioning SDM lens. But that may of course differ from one local representant to another.

Non the less, I have been lucky so far and is considering buying the DA*200 and take the risk again.

As for Canon, their USM is clearly one of their strongest cards, but something they invested massive amounts of research money in. To repeat it will cost, and there are probably patents in the way so that you can't just take a Canon lens appart and then copy the design.

Does anyone know what are the difference between Canon and Nikon lenses in performance and design?
01-13-2010, 12:02 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Sshh! If bin Ladin hear about this he will start shopping Pentax gear for his people and have them take it as hand luggage
Will work much better than explosive shoes or underwear.

Seriously, the important number here is the frequence of people that have had a problem, which when I write this is 15/(15+57)=20%. That is too much, even if 1:5 is better than the 1:3 the OP considered critical. Pentax should be worried, and I'm sure they are, and probably they work on something new. But from there to admit that they have a general problem, I don't think they will. As for QC I don't think it is a QC problem. It appears that it happens gradually, and that most lenses work for a start, which makes it impossible to sort out with more controle in the production. It sounds more as a weekness in the design. With this frquent problem it is awfully important for them to be very humble to costumers that comes to them with need for help with a malfunctioning SDM lens. But that may of course differ from one local representant to another.

Non the less, I have been lucky so far and is considering buying the DA*200 and take the risk again.

As for Canon, their USM is clearly one of their strongest cards, but something they invested massive amounts of research money in. To repeat it will cost, and there are probably patents in the way so that you can't just take a Canon lens appart and then copy the design.

Does anyone know what are the difference between Canon and Nikon lenses in performance and design?
an admission would result to seppuku. I goes nobody from upstairs wants to die.
01-13-2010, 12:28 PM   #52
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My main issue with SDM is that it's not faster. Canon's USM is silent and fast, Pentax's SDM is not-silent and relatively slow. Granted, while not silent, it's still a lot quieter than screwdrive AF, so there's a palpable upgrade there, but AF is just as fast (or slow) as with screwdrive lenses. Do I want to pay more money for a lens that simply focuses more quietly? Not really.

Lucklily for me, I am not interested in any of the current lenses that feature SDM, so I don't have to worry about these issues. However, I want Pentax to perform well in the market, and a good quality SDM is crucial for that, especially as most (if not all) lenses in the future will be SDM only. C'mon Pentax, get it right!

.
01-13-2010, 12:31 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
My main issue with SDM is that it's not faster. Canon's USM is silent and fast, Pentax's SDM is not-silent and relatively slow. Granted, while not silent, it's still a lot quieter than screwdrive AF, so there's a palpable upgrade there, but AF is just as fast (or slow) as with screwdrive lenses. Do I want to pay more money for a lens that simply focuses more quietly? Not really.

Lucklily for me, I am not interested in any of the current lenses that feature SDM, so I don't have to worry about these issues. However, I want Pentax to perform well in the market, and a good quality SDM is crucial for that, especially as most (if not all) lenses in the future will be SDM only. C'mon Pentax, get it right!

.
My FA 50 1.4 focuses quicker than my DA* 50-135. Honestly I think Pentax stuck us with SDM purely as a marketing move.

I guess the only saving grace is that I can flash the firmware back to 1.1 on my K10D and use the screw drive


Also, I wonder if some of the failures could be caused by turning the focus ring while the SDM motor is operating? I can see the additional strain on the little motor killing it.

01-13-2010, 12:35 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
My main issue with SDM is that it's not faster. Canon's USM is silent and fast, Pentax's SDM is not-silent and relatively slow. Granted, while not silent, it's still a lot quieter than screwdrive AF, so there's a palpable upgrade there, but AF is just as fast (or slow) as with screwdrive lenses. Do I want to pay more money for a lens that simply focuses more quietly? Not really.

Lucklily for me, I am not interested in any of the current lenses that feature SDM, so I don't have to worry about these issues. However, I want Pentax to perform well in the market, and a good quality SDM is crucial for that, especially as most (if not all) lenses in the future will be SDM only. C'mon Pentax, get it right!

.
HSM is louder than a properly functioning SDM. SDM shouldn't squeak by design. You should only hear slight clicks. As far as speed goes, a 2008 Pentax brochure I'm holding right now promises "silent, accurate auto focus." There is no mention of speed.

Anyone who thinks silent AF is unimportant hasn't handled the awful dentist drills like DA 55-300 or longer zooms or primes. Sure, if you don't shoot wildlife, it makes no difference.
01-13-2010, 12:37 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
Honestly I think Pentax stuck us with SDM purely as a marketing move.
It's more likely that they were catching up to Canon's 80s technology. I guess putting AF in there is also a marketing move...a rational marketing move.
01-13-2010, 12:40 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
My FA 50 1.4 focuses quicker than my DA* 50-135. Honestly I think Pentax stuck us with SDM purely as a marketing move.
Perhaps a little unfair in the comparison but I get your point.
SDM to me is not just a sales stunt - it's valuable technology that when done right would bring a vast number of photogs to Pentax.
QuoteQuote:

Also, I wonder if some of the failures could be caused by turning the focus ring while the SDM motor is operating? I can see the additional strain on the little motor killing it.
Why would anyone want to do that?
Wait for it to focus, beep, and *then* quick shift.
Moving the focus ring while AF is engaging is just asking for unnecessary trouble.
01-13-2010, 12:46 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
My FA 50 1.4 focuses quicker than my DA* 50-135. ... I guess the only saving grace is that I can flash the firmware back to 1.1 on my K10D and use the screw drive
Do it. Also replace DA* 50-135 with DA 55-300 and compare focusing speed to FA 50 1.4.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Perhaps a little unfair in the comparison but I get your point.
No doubt it's unfair.
01-13-2010, 01:16 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
- it's valuable technology that when done right would bring a vast number of photogs to Pentax.
I would like nothing more than to bring a vast number of photogs to Pentax. In this one example though, I don't think an SDM technology done right would necessarily bring many new photogs to Pentax. Canon has been doing it since 87, and Nikon, not too long after that, so it is really nothing new. I think SDM done right would keep a vast number of photogs from switching away from Pentax.
01-13-2010, 02:11 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
I would like nothing more than to bring a vast number of photogs to Pentax. In this one example though, I don't think an SDM technology done right would necessarily bring many new photogs to Pentax. Canon has been doing it since 87, and Nikon, not too long after that, so it is really nothing new. I think SDM done right would keep a vast number of photogs from switching away from Pentax.
I take your point - my spin on it is that if SDM was done right - faster, more reliable and robust, the other advantages Pentax systems have over its rivals would start to become a lot more attractive to the consumer base.

There are lots of Nikon and Canon switchers to Pentax for some of these reasons, and the SDM bone of contention rectified may well see more such potential switchers come in for the system that now 'has it all' for them.
01-17-2010, 09:31 PM   #60
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Forgive me if I'm totally off-base, but wasn't the SDM problem confirmed to be rooted from specific, poorly designed gear-ring in the gear assembly? I specifically remember reading through a thread (or webpage?) where someone disassembled a DA* (50-135mm I believe it was) and replaced the suspect gear with one engineered by his friend, made with tougher composite. I remember it to be extremely informative and detailed, I just wished I saved the link.

Does anyone know the source to this?
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