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11-14-2009, 09:40 AM   #1
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SDM Petition - Let's start a fire.

That's right... Let's start a fire, instead of complaining and whining in this forum about SDM failures like we all are doing. If we can all get hundreds and if not thousands of forum members to start submitting a request, we could stir things up and maybe have Pentax to actually do something about these SDM lenses. We know that if they can't fix the SDM, we could at least have them release a patch allowing screw-drive focusing.

EDIT: Here is the petition I have just made, thanks flippedgazelle for giving me this idea. Pentax SDM Firmware Petition


Last edited by Peter Zack; 11-25-2009 at 09:31 AM. Reason: Title edit.
11-14-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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If Pentax released such a firmware fix, they would be admiting that their SDM system is not reliable.

I expect that would cost them more in SDM lens sales then the curent SDM failure issues.

What Pentax needs to do is build user confidence. They could do this by quietly fixing the SDM design issues, and then making a big anouncement that they have increased the warrenty on DA* lenses. For example, Nikon gives a five year lens warrenty on lenses (in Canada, not sure elsewhere).

Unfortunatly, there is now a stigma with the SDM lenses. The perception for many people is that they are unreliable.
11-14-2009, 10:45 AM   #3
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Not if they release the firmware allowing the swap between SDM and screw-drive and saying that it's an added option rather than admitting that their SDM is unreliable. I think it's opposite from what you're saying, I think not admitting it is hurting their sales more. More and more people are talking about SDM failure and if they don't admit it, what they passed around to us is going to come around right back at them. Besides, there's no point of having the screw-drive on the lens when you can't even use it on the body.
11-14-2009, 01:13 PM   #4
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I have personally made a decision to never buy any SDM lenses because of all of the horror stories I've been hearing. A firmware update would probably help with my opinion of SDM lenses. Of course Pentax would probably only release updates for the k2*** and up, leaving me with my k10d and k100ds out in the cold. Oh well, I guess Sigma will get my lens money.

11-14-2009, 01:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
What Pentax needs to do is build user confidence. They could do this by quietly fixing the SDM design issues, and then making a big anouncement that they have increased the warrenty on DA* lenses. For example, Nikon gives a five year lens warrenty on lenses (in Canada, not sure elsewhere).
Explicit, extended manufacturer warranties are a great idea. They are considered a major factor in Nikon's resurgence.

Note that Pentax, Nikon and Fuji (who started it going to 3 years at one point) all extended their Canadian warranties to keep Canadian resellers happy when the $C rocket up and reached parity with the $US. It was the the best way to stop buyers from reaching across the border on price alone. That same dynamic is starting to play out again. Really, it is the US consumer who is left with inadequate protection.
11-14-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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Sounds like a good idea to me.

Dave, maybe create something at PetitionOnline.com that we could all sign? And maybe post it at DPreview.com also?
11-14-2009, 01:52 PM   #7
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Like KungPOW - I'm not certain it sends the right message about SDM lenses, especially when they're the more expensive 'pro' line of equipment.

I'd much rather see SDM technology evolve into a more reliable and robust system. And I'd but more of such gear in a heartbeat.
11-14-2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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TBH, I think the SDM failure issue has got blown out of all proportion.

I have no doubt that there have been some failures, but I suspect people who have had an expensive lens fail tend to be a lot more vociferous than the majority who have nothing but satisfaction with the DA*s, creating the impression that there is a major issue.

I have 4 SDMs and 1 HSM and have had no problems with them at all.

OTOH, Pentax would do no harm byextending the warranty on them.

It's a real shame that people are being put off them by rumours and gossip. They are missing out on some world class lenses.

11-14-2009, 03:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oggy Quote
TBH, I think the SDM failure issue has got blown out of all proportion.

I have no doubt that there have been some failures, but I suspect people who have had an expensive lens fail tend to be a lot more vociferous than the majority who have nothing but satisfaction with the DA*s, creating the impression that there is a major issue.

I have 4 SDMs and 1 HSM and have had no problems with them at all.

OTOH, Pentax would do no harm byextending the warranty on them.

It's a real shame that people are being put off them by rumours and gossip. They are missing out on some world class lenses.
I don't think so, some SDM lenses take time to wear out and die, it is usually 1-2 years period and some have even had failures within 6 months. I don't think it is blown out of proportion because it wouldn't be as big as it is today if it wasn't.

I have updated my first post by the way, the petition is there to sign for those who care.
11-14-2009, 03:59 PM   #10
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Remember the older lenses that were designed to last a lifetime?

Spend the $2 it takes per lens to beef up whatever part of the SDM system that breaks, charge an extra $10 to compensate for it and sell it with a 5 year warranty.
11-14-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote

Spend the $2 it takes per lens to beef up whatever part of the SDM system that breaks, charge an extra $10 to compensate for it and sell it with a 5 year warranty.
And what about the thousands of lenses sold so far .. do you think Pentax will recall all of them to do the modification or are they likely to ignore the people who have purchased already.
11-14-2009, 04:56 PM   #12
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The screw would need to drive not only the lens (with presumably more resistance from weather sealing), but also the idle SDM motor. Would we start burning out the motors in the camera bodies?
11-14-2009, 05:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
The screw would need to drive not only the lens (with presumably more resistance from weather sealing), but also the idle SDM motor. Would we start burning out the motors in the camera bodies?
People have been using the K10D for screw-drive on DA*'s. If there was a problem with it, people would of reported it along time ago. Now with my K-7, it's suppose to have a stronger screw-drive motor so I am not worried one bit.
11-14-2009, 05:17 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
Remember the older lenses that were designed to last a lifetime?

Spend the $2 it takes per lens to beef up whatever part of the SDM system that breaks, charge an extra $10 to compensate for it and sell it with a 5 year warranty.
This.

For those who think this issue is overblown - maybe it is. Yet even a 10% failure rate is a dreadfully high number. If 10% of automotive seatbelts failed due to a design flaw, millions of cars would be recalled immediately. In fact, years ago when Ford had the fiasco with failing tires on Explorers, fewer than 1% of those vehicles were affected - yet there was a recall.

It would be a shame if your $1k 50-135 turned into a doorstop 5 years from now, due to a defective SDM.

Dave, I've signed - #3! And thanks for spearheading this.

Heck, I don't even own an SDM-equipped lens...
11-14-2009, 05:20 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
The screw would need to drive not only the lens (with presumably more resistance from weather sealing), but also the idle SDM motor. Would we start burning out the motors in the camera bodies?
That's entirely possible, but it could be years before we see the ramifications. I don't think the WR will have much of an effect - after all, there are non-SDM WR lenses.
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