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11-26-2009, 05:07 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
how did you come up with such an assumption on statistics that most SDM lens owners don't or didn't have a problem? or only the vocal minority have SDM problems?
Generally, it is a vocal minority that speaks the loudest about any problem, perceived or real, compared with the silent majority that makes up most of a population base, who rarely give their opinion.

Unless the DA* lenses have been complete and utter flops in terms of sales, there are presumably a large number of people out there with working lenses. If you only count the number of complaintson forums about DA* ownership and SDM and extrapolate that out, then Hoya must have only sold less than a couple hundred units...

Unfortunately, the presumable majority of happy owners aren't going to all post on the forums saying how well their lens is still working, so we're stuck with all the discouragement instead.

11-26-2009, 11:57 AM   #17
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AdrianN:
>Generally, it is a vocal minority that speaks the loudest about any problem, perceived or real, compared with the silent majority that makes up most of a population base, who rarely give their opinion.

Why don't we have that "vocal minority" for
- FA lenses
- DA Limited lenses
and, even the ubiquitious
- kit lenses?

Your theory supposes (since you probably believe the rate of poorly performing lenses in each class is about the same) that the "vocal minorities" should have been larger for the above.
Where are they?

Also, why do you think the members of the "vocal minority" (like myself) say that their other lenses are just fine? (My answer: Because, they are!).

Also, why don't we have vocal minorities for problem bodies? We only hear isolated incidents (like that for all electronic equipment of any brand) and no consistent pattern emerges.

Don't you think that this amount of reported problems by people only on lenses with SDM might "as well" be a sign of something wrong "with the lenses"?
11-26-2009, 01:37 PM   #18
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Adrian, I get your point - I've suggested that many times before also, but the sheer numbers of SDM failures, leave alone other QC issues, is still concerning.

I couldn't imagine DA* sales trump DA lenses in terms of sale numbers, so there should be a proportionate number of issues between them - which we're not seeing - the DA* issues are coming through in droves.

2 points that affect this: (a) the SDM mechanism is clearly more prone to failure/dysfunction than the scredrive mechanism - a major stumbling block in itself, and (b) user expectations are that much higher given the "pro" label and much more exaggerated cost.
11-26-2009, 03:14 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by bc_the_path Quote
AdrianN:
>Generally, it is a vocal minority that speaks the loudest about any problem, perceived or real, compared with the silent majority that makes up most of a population base, who rarely give their opinion.

Why don't we have that "vocal minority" for
- FA lenses
- DA Limited lenses
and, even the ubiquitious
- kit lenses?

Your theory supposes (since you probably believe the rate of poorly performing lenses in each class is about the same) that the "vocal minorities" should have been larger for the above.
Where are they?

Also, why do you think the members of the "vocal minority" (like myself) say that their other lenses are just fine? (My answer: Because, they are!).

Also, why don't we have vocal minorities for problem bodies? We only hear isolated incidents (like that for all electronic equipment of any brand) and no consistent pattern emerges.

Don't you think that this amount of reported problems by people only on lenses with SDM might "as well" be a sign of something wrong "with the lenses"?
exactly the point. the thing is, we hear more complaints about the SDM lenses coming from the supposed vocal minorities as opposed to not hearing any significant complaints or complaints at all about the non-SDM lenses coming from the vocal minorities. I had never heard a significant complaint regarding the DA LTDs nor the FA LTDs except for the fact that they are not cheap but significantly much cheaper than the DA*s. I can get 2-3 LTDs for the price of one SDM zoom lens which has a failure tendency.

11-28-2009, 06:54 AM   #20
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something else which I see is that Pentax users, the long time users, expect their Pentax lenses to last that lifetime. And that is because the company's reputation for quality has been established over four decades or more. I expect more than a few of those who are vocal about failures in their SDM lense(s) is also because they feel betrayed and taken advantage of considering that enough info is out there that even sending a lense in for repair might not ensure that lifetime of service they have come to expect from a Pentax lense.

I know from personal experience, these things happen because later this past July I bought a 50-135 and was JAZZED with the way it worked and inside of just 14 days it began to show all the symptoms of looming failure. This led me to further research the 50-135mm more than I had previously. The result was I was still in my full refund window so I did return it as defective for that full refund. Since then with the big price increase, I am not even going to go near an SDM lense anytime soon. No way I am dropping a grand+ on a lense only to have it potentially fail multiple times, or even worse, right after month 12.

If HoyaTax wants to call the SDM line a "Pro" line of lenses, they damn well need to live up to that level of quality and reliability.

Personally, I just think Pentax had almost no experience with these in lense micro-motor or USM/HSM type drive systems and just did a bad job. I am not sure when SDM lenses first came out, I got the sense it was about 3-yrs ago, in 2006? That should have been more than enough time to rework the design given the number of failed lenses. But maybe with the ownership change and moving production to Vietnam took priority. My hope is there will be new lenses by the time PMA 2010 rolls around or heck maybe even CES in Las Vegas in January.

But, count me in as another who would have bought at least two and probably three DA* lenses...but not now. Sticking to primes and a brand I have had nothing but exceptional experience with, Sigma yeah I have has one lense have an HSM failure, a 10-20mm but that was it. Plus I don't worry because I stick to their EX builds and the associated 4yr warranty in the US.
11-28-2009, 08:20 AM   #21
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Interestingly, there are 51 reviews of the 50-135 on B&H and a quick look shows none of them complaining about SDM failure. Maybe I missed some, but the rating is a solid 5 star.
I need one for PJ at home and documentary at work; buying next week finally.
I agree, the most vocal typically are those with prob's, especially on the 'net. But I'm also very concerned with what seems to be a drastic incerease in Pentax SDM failures and QC in general with the DA* line. My 16-50 is over a year old and has been fine, but now I think I see a slight softness on the right side. I hope I'm wrong, but what's most irritating is that I have to worry about it at all. These are primo lenses and should be prob free.

regards
11-28-2009, 09:28 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by StevenVH Quote
Interestingly, there are 51 reviews of the 50-135 on B&H and a quick look shows none of them complaining about SDM failure.

I agree, the most vocal typically are those with prob's, especially on the 'net.
As your B&H example shows?

Thank you
Russell
11-28-2009, 09:48 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by StevenVH Quote
Interestingly, there are 51 reviews of the 50-135 on B&H and a quick look shows none of them complaining about SDM failure. Maybe I missed some, but the rating is a solid 5 star.
I need one for PJ at home and documentary at work; buying next week finally.
I agree, the most vocal typically are those with prob's, especially on the 'net. But I'm also very concerned with what seems to be a drastic incerease in Pentax SDM failures and QC in general with the DA* line. My 16-50 is over a year old and has been fine, but now I think I see a slight softness on the right side. I hope I'm wrong, but what's most irritating is that I have to worry about it at all. These are primo lenses and should be prob free.

regards
QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
As your B&H example shows?

Thank you
Russell
It just shows that most folks are encouraged to post a review right away after buying an item. Few will return to register disappointment, probably because they think it harms the seller/retailer. And also, even though I had a bad copy right out of the chute, it seems logical that the vast majority are just fine w/o problems.

I wish a company like LensRentals.com carried Pentax lenses for rent. They folks there are very honest about more problematic lenses and post real data about failure rates and such on their site. Who better than a rental company to provide real world info about reliability, durability, etc than a rental company. If a lens or other gear can survive the abuse people who rent gear put it through, then it must be good...or not as the case may be.

The only place I know of that rents Pentax gear, Camera Lens Rentals, online does not seem to post such detailed information. Too bad they don't.

11-28-2009, 09:57 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by StevenVH Quote
Interestingly, there are 51 reviews of the 50-135 on B&H and a quick look shows none of them complaining about SDM failure. Maybe I missed some, but the rating is a solid 5 star.
I need one for PJ at home and documentary at work; buying next week finally.
I agree, the most vocal typically are those with prob's, especially on the 'net. But I'm also very concerned with what seems to be a drastic incerease in Pentax SDM failures and QC in general with the DA* line. My 16-50 is over a year old and has been fine, but now I think I see a slight softness on the right side. I hope I'm wrong, but what's most irritating is that I have to worry about it at all. These are primo lenses and should be prob free.

regards
B&H doesn't always post reviews for some reason (although we can speculate). I know this for a fact because I bought almost all my lenses there, and did a review of the DA*. It was never posted. It appears that B&H filters the reviews.
11-28-2009, 10:15 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
B&H doesn't always post reviews for some reason (although we can speculate). I know this for a fact because I bought almost all my lenses there, and did a review of the DA*. It was never posted. It appears that B&H filters the reviews.
Well, I was a little suspect of this and not surprised really, but disappointed. At Amazon there are quite a few complaining, but most or maybe all are satisfied in the end.
There were quite a few complaints on the 'net already when I got the 16-50 and I'm planning to go ahead with the 50-135 and hope my luck continues.

cheers
11-28-2009, 10:24 AM   #26
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maybe because PentaxForums is the proper place to exercise one's rant. Hey Pentax, we need better sensor, we need Full-Frame, We need cheap prices, We need reliable SDM lenses, and the lists goes on and on.
03-03-2010, 06:49 AM   #27
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Bonjour,

I confirm, 250 EUR for the repair of the SDM of a 50-135 mm lens.

03-03-2010, 09:41 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by rei_vilo Quote
Bonjour,

I confirm, 250 EUR for the repair of the SDM of a 50-135 mm lens.

Richard Day posted a vendor in the UK that will replace the failed SDM for 65

Top quality Pentax repairs in the UK, including SDM lenses: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

QuoteQuote:
Just spoken with Asahi Photo who have been doing Pentax repairs for many years. Both Steve Jacob and I have used them for lens repairs, cleaning and repolacing parts etc., and their work is first class and very reasonable.
Pentax Camera Repair
They cannot do "all" repairs on the digital SLR's, as some of the test jigs are very expensive and they cannot justify the cost, but they will certainly help if they can.
They have now done some SDM lenses and can do out of warranty SDM repairs including replacing the SDM motor for around 65, which is reasonable if you do have problems.
Hope it helps.

Thank you
Russell
09-26-2010, 08:15 AM   #29
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I've a failure SDM motor too. I emailed the company that does the Pentax repairs in Sweden yesterday just to see what it might cost to replace the SDM motor on my DA* 50-135 that started to fail after about 14 month.

The lens work fine on my K10D with hacked firmware, but I'm planning to upgrade the camera. It's a shame that means that I can't use my best lens if I do.
09-26-2010, 01:08 PM   #30
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Slightly off topic.

The reason Pentax may not be doing anything about the SDM issues is because it might not actually be that large of a problem statistically speaking. The failure rate known to them may not be that high a percentage compared to how many have been sold, and thus deemed to be within tolerable rates. You could probably survey thousands of people in the U.S. on CE products or brands, and you would find a smaller amount of people who have sworn off using that item for various reasons than people who love it. You would be led to believe that anything from that company is garbage if you went online in many cases.

The best example I can think of is cars. I could find 1000 people who hate or will never buy a BMW because of many different issues they have experienced, even with multiple cars. I could also find 1000 people who have not experienced the slightest issue. The people with the issues are the ones going online or spreading word amongst friends and family not to buy them because theirs blew up, which is completely understandable. The happy people usually only recommend them or even talk about them when they are asked about it. That leaves the people who don't say anything either way and simply move on. They are an even smaller group typically.

One can't really offer a black or white conclusion (not speaking to personal decisions) on SDM failure when the amount of examples used to come to such an absolute conclusion don't represent the whole picture.
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