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09-22-2009, 07:48 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote

It seems the early dual-shaft zooms, are the ones with most havoc.
Now that Pentax are creating SDM only lenses, it should leave room for more powerful motors.
Primes are generally more robust than zooms, so after some contemplating; Im leaning towards some DA* offerings that Ive been considering some time. I'm happy we've had the discussion, as it narrowed down a closer look at the issues.
I do expect well see updated versions of the DA* zooms, at some point.
I'm still not confident enough to take the leap. It could be that the 16-50 and 50-135 have been out longer which is why they are failing more. This is a problem that seems to occur over time.

09-22-2009, 12:27 PM   #32
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well this is not the greatest thread to read when I just shell money out on a DA* 16-50. I'm crossing my finger as i'm typing this that it doesn't come to me limping
09-22-2009, 01:07 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by afroed Quote
well this is not the greatest thread to read when I just shell money out on a DA* 16-50. I'm crossing my finger as i'm typing this that it doesn't come to me limping
If you use it a lot, and its going to fail, it will do so inside the warranty period.

Indications are its due to poor assembly, so a repaired lens with a new motor should be fine.
09-22-2009, 01:33 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by afroed Quote
well this is not the greatest thread to read when I just shell money out on a DA* 16-50. I'm crossing my finger as i'm typing this that it doesn't come to me limping
I'll repeat what Ikeep saying about fears about this lens:
If you're concerned, buy new and be prepared to send it back should you find a problem with it. Use it often to run it in and find any failings within the warranty period - as already said (I'm just reinforcing the notion).

09-22-2009, 02:47 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I'll repeat what Ikeep saying about fears about this lens:
If you're concerned, buy new and be prepared to send it back should you find a problem with it. Use it often to run it in and find any failings within the warranty period - as already said (I'm just reinforcing the notion).
Exactly what I'm doing with my DA*300.

So far all perfect
09-22-2009, 02:58 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
I'm still not confident enough to take the leap. It could be that the 16-50 and 50-135 have been out longer which is why they are failing more. This is a problem that seems to occur over time.
Actually that is not clear at all. In fact many users who have reported problems after a long time have said they seldom used it or it was in the bag for weeks.

I use mine a lot (read all the time) and I have had all of them for more than a year. So far no failures on three lenses. If the fault is a misalignment of the motor housing during assembly, then it would be usage that caused failure. If it does not fail under heavy use chances are you got a good one, if it does, hopefully its under warranty. Leaving it in the bag could just delay the onset of the problem.
09-22-2009, 07:51 PM   #37
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I have to say that I had signs that the 16-50 was going to give out for a week or two before it did. I used it a lot as a walk around and it would just sometimes struggle to focus, but then it would seem to do better.

I also have a 50-135 which is a year old. It seems to be going strong. I guess I'm not too worried. I have an extended Mack warranty on the 16-50, so it should carry me through a few years (although I would certainly rather have the lens hold up without breaking than constantly be sending it in for service).
09-22-2009, 08:14 PM   #38
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Hmm, mine hiccuped the other night (DA 18-55). I've got 5 days to send it back, and now I'm thinking I should before the lens bricks completely on me.

09-22-2009, 08:51 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I'll repeat what Ikeep saying about fears about this lens:
If you're concerned, buy new and be prepared to send it back should you find a problem with it. Use it often to run it in and find any failings within the warranty period - as already said (I'm just reinforcing the notion).
Thanks for the advice Ash. I will be putting it thru the test the day that I get it and it will most likely stay on my camera for every shoot. I'm sure there's a thread here that talk about how to diagnose it for problem. So i'll look for that when I have time.
09-23-2009, 12:46 AM   #40
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Pentax is too busy making camera bodies in 20 different colours to focus (no pun intended) on building a quality SDM system for the lenses.

Old Pentax lenses are still going strong after 20 years and while they aren't as technical as the new lenses, they should be expected to work for 10+ years. 2 year warranties are a joke on expensive lenses. Doesn't say much about how Pentax feels about their product.

As everything is becoming electronic and digital, quality is going down the crapper. Technology now is more disposable than ever.

If Pentax once again started crafting masterpieces of photographic tools rather than pumping out fruity coloured camera bodies, they'd gain much more respect from professional photographers who are otherwise shooting Canikons. The more pros who shoot a particular brand, the more amateurs will look at that as a sign of quality. Just look at how many people are waving Canon Digital Rebels around.

For me an $800 lens is a very large investment. For others it is not. Will I take a chance on an $800 lens failing a few months after the patheticly short warranty? Nope. And it's a shame because I really wanted a DA* in my kit.
09-23-2009, 04:26 AM   #41
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The biggest issue is that people are technology hungry. I remember when power windows first became an option on automobiles. I was pretty much against them -- just one more thing to break and my arm worked just fine to roll up and down my windows. Well, I guess I was right. I have, over time, paid to have a couple of motors replaced for my car's windows. At the same time, every car out there has power windows now.

There is no way for me to go to a car company and say -- this feature isn't important, please leave it off. Once the new technology caught hold, everyone had to have it -- whether or not it was really better. Maybe a bad example, but people want SDM, just SDM that works and doesn't break at a phenomenally high rate.

I am glad that Pentax continues to make screw driven lenses, but I hope that they will get their issues sorted out with regard to SDM. The lenses may not last for thirty years, but they should be able to last for ten or fifteen years. Hey, I'll sell mine as a "manual focus" zoom on e bay when it burns out and someone who isn't interested in electronics will scoop it up.
09-23-2009, 05:54 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
Pentax is too busy making camera bodies in 20 different colours to focus (no pun intended) on building a quality SDM system for the lenses.

Old Pentax lenses are still going strong after 20 years and while they aren't as technical as the new lenses, they should be expected to work for 10+ years. 2 year warranties are a joke on expensive lenses. Doesn't say much about how Pentax feels about their product.

As everything is becoming electronic and digital, quality is going down the crapper. Technology now is more disposable than ever.

If Pentax once again started crafting masterpieces of photographic tools rather than pumping out fruity coloured camera bodies, they'd gain much more respect from professional photographers who are otherwise shooting Canikons. The more pros who shoot a particular brand, the more amateurs will look at that as a sign of quality. Just look at how many people are waving Canon Digital Rebels around.

For me an $800 lens is a very large investment. For others it is not. Will I take a chance on an $800 lens failing a few months after the patheticly short warranty? Nope. And it's a shame because I really wanted a DA* in my kit.
There is no evidence so far that recent SDM lenses have the same issue, so your assessment is based on what? Pentax have no choice but to review the design in the light of all the issues. The warrranty costs will be hurting them badly but that is probably only just now coming to light.

And where did you get the idea that Pentax (or anyone else) always made perfect cameras or equipment? I have owned a number of FA lenses which were frankly as cheap and plasticky as a christmas cracker toy (read most of the FA zooms from 1990 onwards). For build quality you were more or less forced to buy LTD or FA* lenses and they were always very expensive (even compared to the competition).

Worse, a lot of the issues with these lenses (wobbly optics, detached lens barrels etc) could not be repaired.

The DA* issue is real and will have to be dealt with one way or the other, but I have three functional lenses and I dont regret the 10,700 pictures I could not have taken without them. If I have an issue I will take my case up with Pentax UK once they are out of their (2 year) warranty.

At least I have other lenses. My friend 5Dmk2 is being serviced for the 3rd time, this time because the mirror became detached. They have had to change the whole mirror box, and the focus screen. Lucky he had an extended warranty.

Caveat Emptor.
09-23-2009, 06:50 AM   #43
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For the record, i've had no issues with my 17-70mm SDM and it gets a lot of use, plus it's a well travelled lens. There has been the odd autofocus lock problem at 17mm, but it's a rare occurence. Low light lock has also been good.
09-23-2009, 07:06 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
At least I have other lenses. My friend 5Dmk2 is being serviced for the 3rd time, this time because the mirror became detached. They have had to change the whole mirror box, and the focus screen.
One things that's bothering me about the SDM woes that I'm reading about, is that it is opening the channel for Pentax bashing, including you-know-who. If you look on the web, there are plenty of complaints about early 5D Mk2 problems, USM issues on Canon lenses, SWM failures on Nikkor lenses and requiring the motor to be replaced, Sigma's HSM issues, not to mention things like magenta tinges on Canons and the recall of the brand new Nikon D5000s.

My point is that problems and infancy failures happen to all manufacturers, and I hope all DSLR manufacturers get their QC and build quality sorted out.

Last edited by Big G; 09-23-2009 at 07:13 AM.
09-23-2009, 07:53 AM   #45
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My DA* 50-135mm is still going strong after a year of moderate use. I'm not convinced there's a widespread problem with SDM lenses. If the SDM motor on a 50-135mm fails, the lens can still be used on K10d using the screw drive, or manual focus on all Pentax mound DSLR's. So why aren't we seeing lenses with fried SDM motors popping up on Ebay or Pentax Forums at a discounted price? I have never seen a single lens for sale with a bad motor, and surely they have some value.

Sorry if you have a lens that failed prematurely, but the only evidence of a widespread problem is anecdotal. The "surveys" that I've seen are not derived from a random sample, do not rely on the scientific method, so are meaningless. The only thing they show is that out of the tens of thousands of SDM lenses out there a handful have bad motors.
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