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10-03-2009, 12:56 AM   #1
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SDM DA* failure rate as of October 2009?

Hey guys,

I saw another thread kind of related to this on the first page of the board but I didnt want to hijack the other guys thread so hopefully this isn't too redundant. I really want my next purchases to be the 16-50 and 50-135 SDM lenses but I am put off by the seemingly huge failure rate of the SDM lenses (especially the 16-50).

However, most of the complaints and reviews of these lenses are from 2007 and 2008 and I was wondering if anything has changed since then? Has Pentax finally sorted out the issues with these lenses or is there still a pretty big chance of getting a bad copy? Also, I am using a K10D with the 1.3 firmware, maybe some of the focusing issues I've read about were from before this firmware update?

10-03-2009, 01:23 AM   #2
emr
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I don't think anybody really knows the situation today - or on the whole for a longer period. JohnC of Pentax has posted on dpr that they're looking into it (with the semi-arrogant undertone that the whole thing is mainly just an internet rumour).

I think that whether there's any truth in the SDM failure rate or not, Pentax should do something to regain customers' trust because the situation today is clearly effecting sales. Longer warranty for SDM problems for new and older lenses would do it.
10-03-2009, 06:54 AM   #3
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Who knows what the actual rate of SDM failures is? Pentax probably has information for each lens that they have made with it, any one else would just be speculating. I think that they are doing better with more recent lenses -- don't here about the DA 60-250 or 17-70 having major issues with it, mainly the 50-135 and 16-50.

I own both and I figured that if they broke, it would be in the warranty period and hopefully they would fix them so that they wouldn't break again. My 16-50 is with CRIS right now getting repaired, while my 50-135 is over a year old and going strong (and used a lot). I think the big thing if you get one of these lenses is to shoot with it a lot. If it has a problem, you want to find out about it in the warranty period and get it repaired.
10-03-2009, 08:11 AM   #4
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Boulanger myth debunked

QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
I don't think anybody really knows the situation today - or on the whole for a longer period. JohnC of Pentax has posted on dpr that they're looking into it (with the semi-arrogant undertone that the whole thing is mainly just an internet rumour).

I think that whether there's any truth in the SDM failure rate or not, Pentax should do something to regain customers' trust because the situation today is clearly effecting sales. Longer warranty for SDM problems for new and older lenses would do it.
Of course the Boulanger guy he responded to suddenly vanished after JC made a series of claims that imply the guy could of spoke a little less than the truth such as:

- the authorized service centers for SDM lenses are very few in the US and fairly new.
- service technicians never speak directly to customers let alone launching into affirmation such as "a 25 cents part caused this".
- the guy latter on claimed the lenses were his wife's not his and of course she had another last name.
- he refused to say where and when he send the lenses although he claimed he had a quote for repairs.
- he never posted again after being questioned although in my book he made some serious allegations without any proof and it could be in his best interest to work with Pentax in resolving his alleged issues. Instead he chose to fake surprise that the evil Pentax had the balls of looking into his claims instead of rolling over and die in shame.

All in all even from the start it seemed a bit "unlucky" to have 3 lenses stop working in the same time but now after the guy failed to support with the slightest evidence his claims I am pretty sure he just made the whole thing up.

Radu

10-03-2009, 09:13 AM   #5
RaduA
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Who knows what the actual rate of SDM failures is? Pentax probably has information for each lens that they have made with it, any one else would just be speculating. I think that they are doing better with more recent lenses -- don't here about the DA 60-250 or 17-70 having major issues with it, mainly the 50-135 and 16-50.

I own both and I figured that if they broke, it would be in the warranty period and hopefully they would fix them so that they wouldn't break again. My 16-50 is with CRIS right now getting repaired, while my 50-135 is over a year old and going strong (and used a lot). I think the big thing if you get one of these lenses is to shoot with it a lot. If it has a problem, you want to find out about it in the warranty period and get it repaired.
Hi, Rondec!

I said this several times before and I still think it would be the best resolution for the sdm problems. Hoya needs to address this issue by effectively replacing the 2 initial zooms with new designs which IMO must have:

- a unique AF method via powerful and fast ring motors. There is no reason with virtually all recent Pentax cameras (K10D, K100D Super, K20D, K200D, K-m, K-7, K-x) being able to focus SDM lenses to keep the dual AF mechanism. Losing the shaft AF and micromotor plus all the gears inside could simplify the internals of the lens to offset the cost of a better ring motor. Also the faster motor could help updating the general AF performance of the new Pentax cameras (especially in AF.C and movie mode) which have quicker AF systems on board.
- updated zooming mechanism (like the DA* 60-250) for better optical performance across the whole range;
- all the optical improvements possible considering the new higher price levels.

They could sell the current DA* 16-50 and 50-135 at older prices (599/699 Euro) until they deplete stock and keep the new models @ 899/1049 Euro.

My 2 eurocents,
Radu
10-13-2009, 03:05 PM   #6
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I'm a little frustrated right now. My DA *16-50 has been at CRIS for nearly a month. Unfortunately, I called them today and they tell me it will be "awhile" before they can get it fixed. Apparently parts are on back order from Pentax.

Thing is that I'm going to be going on vacation next week and my next widest lens is my DA 35. Seems like if CRIS is doing these repairs for Pentax they need to keep them in stock with enough SDM motors to take care of them in reasonable time. Anyway, I'm done venting. Life goes on and I'm sure I'll come back with different photos due to shooting more with primes....
10-13-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear.
To avoid disappointment, how about getting a kit lens to tie you in?
10-13-2009, 04:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I'm a little frustrated right now. My DA *16-50 has been at CRIS for nearly a month. Unfortunately, I called them today and they tell me it will be "awhile" before they can get it fixed. Apparently parts are on back order from Pentax.

Thing is that I'm going to be going on vacation next week and my next widest lens is my DA 35. Seems like if CRIS is doing these repairs for Pentax they need to keep them in stock with enough SDM motors to take care of them in reasonable time. Anyway, I'm done venting. Life goes on and I'm sure I'll come back with different photos due to shooting more with primes....
I have only dealt with C.R.I.S. once for a Sigma repair and they were pretty honest. It really does come down to Pentax providing timely parts when stock is low. BTW, that issue is not limited to only Pentax, Sigma is the same way...they get parts to the repair center when they do...kinda stinks because of your situation. Hopefully they will get it done...I can say once they had the parts for my lens, it was done and back to me in under 5-days. They even did a calibration and what not as well. Of course all that depends on what HoyaTax has contracted CRIS to do with each service. Hope they get yours sorted out soonest!!

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