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11-24-2009, 09:09 PM   #1
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SDM repair costs and secondary failure rates

Hello,
I am new to Pentax DSLRs and am contemplating some lenses with SDM. Quite apprehensive at the moment given the failure reports, but still interested given the high quality glass and the belief that the problem is (will be) addressed on lenses.

What are the repair costs with dead SDM lenses (Pentax USA / Cris)?

Of those with repaired SDM lenses (due to faulty SDM) have there been any secondary failures?

Thanks.

Yuri

11-25-2009, 12:18 AM   #2
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A sad question!

I do not know the US prices and I doubt if you can find the secondary failure rate.

Still, I hope that the nature of your ironic, sad question is appreciated by those who are responsible for this state of affairs:
- Someone wants to buy a Pentax lens.
- He realizes that it may fail (un)expectedly.
- He is prepared to pay extra (even before buying the lens) to get it fixed.
- He wonders how long the fixed lens will go on working...

Only the insiders can damage a brand name this much.
How very unfortunate.
11-25-2009, 02:43 AM   #3
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It is sad indeed.

It's even sadder that noone says your question is unreasonable.
11-25-2009, 02:55 AM   #4
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yurihuta-My 16-50 mm is at CRIS now for SDM failure repair. Naturally the lense was out of warranty by about 3 months. Their estimate to me for repair was $187 plus shipping bringing it to $199 for repairs. Also, if it makes any difference, time is an issue. The lense has been there for about 2.5 weeks, just heard from them two days ago. The estimate is another 5 weeks. So, for me, its aout a 2month turnover for the repair. Hope this anwers your question. Eds

11-25-2009, 05:38 AM   #5
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I had a 16-50 repaired a couple of months ago. Seems to be working fine at this point. I guess this is one situation where I would get a lens with an extended warranty. I know Mack offers them for six years -- I got mine on a purchase from Prodigital. Optically these lenses are great, but I know uncertainty is holding a lot of folks off from buying them.

It took 6 weeks for CRIS to repair my lens -- they apparently were waiting on parts from Japan. Once they started repairing it, it took four or five days to complete it.
11-25-2009, 08:07 AM   #6
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Stepping back it does seem a little absurd I suppose - I know there might be a problem with the lenses; I am prepared to incorporate the cost of the repair (and lens down time) into my decision making; yet I am still willing to look into this further.

The K10D (picked up used here earlier last week) has me sold though. The in body stabilization works really well. I have already used my Pentax 645 lenses on it and am hooked. Now I want a couple of SDM lenses to start rounding out this kit.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with the SDM repairs Eds and Rondec.
11-25-2009, 12:08 PM   #7
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The price (for Europe, in my case) is 223 Euros plus shipping.
Roughly, 300 Euros in total.

An experienced local technician remembers at least three units serviced for SDM failure.
He says one of them developed the same problem within "a couple of months".
In fact, he advised selling the lens without having it repaired.
I did not listen to him because, I like the optics (DA* 50-135mm f/2.8).

My earlier comment has been directed to Pentax, by the way.
I do understand you.
11-25-2009, 04:40 PM   #8
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I'm looking at the 16-50 also, and thinking about the Sagemax warranty sold through B&H - anybody have any experience with them?

11-25-2009, 11:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by yurihuta Quote
The K10D (picked up used here earlier last week) has me sold though. The in body stabilization works really well. I have already used my Pentax 645 lenses on it and am hooked. Now I want a couple of SDM lenses to start rounding out this kit.
The one nice thing about owning a K10D is that the firmware up to 1.20 didn't support SDM. Only 1.30 has SDM support. If SDM were to fail, you could roll back the 1.30 firmware to the hacked 1.10 firmware and then update again to 1.20 firmware to use the lens with the screw driven AF on the dual drive lenses, all SDM lenses except the 17-70mm and 55mm. Having a couple of small SD cards with the firmware is all that would be required.

For some people this isn't really an interesting option. They want a SDM lens for the SDM. I personally only have one SDM lens, so one more screw driven lens isn't going to matter, especially considering the repair times being posted.

Thank you
Russell
11-26-2009, 02:43 AM   #10
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Keep in mind that the people who complain about their SDM problems seem to be a vocal minority. I would hazard a guess that most SDM lens owners don't have problems, so don't go online to post about not having a problem.
11-26-2009, 02:52 AM   #11
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I had mine repaired over a year ago. Cost nothing 'cause it's still under warranty. The lens had to be sent to Japan 'cause here in Singapore they couldn't replace the SDM motor. It took about 3 weeks total for the repair. But that damn thing stop working again about 5 months back, right after the warranty expired My friend has the lens now (using it MF only), and I'm on a new (second hand) DA1770, let's see how it goes.
11-26-2009, 03:37 AM   #12
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This is a pretty sad thread. Iíve been seriously looking at the DA* 16~50 lens but these QC issues are giving me pause. I would hate to lay out the serious coin being asked for this lens and later have to send it back for repairs at significant cost and inconvenience.

I never had issues such as this with any of my old manual focus lenses and some of them are over 30 years old. I guess that is just part of the price of technological advance. However, every time you add additional motorized moving parts you can expect mechanical failure at some point. That point should be quite a bit further down the line than appears to be the case with the DA* 16~50. Seems to me when paying a premium price for Pentax lens we should expect better reliability than seems to be the case here.

Iíll be holding off buying this lens or be looking at alternatives until this gets sorted out.

Tom G
11-26-2009, 03:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdrianN Quote
Keep in mind that the people who complain about their SDM problems seem to be a vocal minority. I would hazard a guess that most SDM lens owners don't have problems, so don't go online to post about not having a problem.
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?

btw, I don't have an SDM lens but I did had several unsuccessful deals (5 to be exact) with previous owners of such SDM lens. all of them were saying in perfect condition and only was used for a few months. tried them and some experienced severe BF/FF issues, 2 of them were sleepers (SDM occasionally pausing or failed) and owners said that it was working perfectly fine before that and the last one has only a minor BF issue. that is 4.25 out of 5 record. even one forum member here from Vancouver had her SDM lens failing and complicated matters for both her and the seller.

if you want, you can also backtrack some of the posts of the vocal minority on how many times they had to buy or replace such lens inorder to secure a really reliable copy? don't tell me that the same vocal minority have moles up in their assess that they kept on getting bad copies.

it's not only a matter of how many people got a bad SDM lens but how many times those people got bad SDM lenses. that particular statistic is the major concern here and enough to scare or give people some second-thoughts.

surely I would love to have a DA* zoom lenses, but the thought of losing or wasting 850 bucks + potential repair and transport charges for a scary lens gives you enough reason to invest on the more reliable LTDs or screw-drive lenses.

this is by no means trying to diminish Pentax but rather to inform them of the paying customers concerns and issue regarding the unreliable SDM lenses so that something should be done about it. it is not a matter of opinion but rather customer complaints. I'm sure there is nothing wrong with that.
11-26-2009, 03:42 AM   #14
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I am also on the fence with the 16-50... I already have the 50-135 which I love but am a bit concerned about potential SDM and lens alignment issues (no issues yet with the 50-135).
To add to my concerns I would likely buy in US (Adorama/B&H) so.... if something does go wrong I have the added pain of not having a European Guarentee, shipping to US etc....

What would ease my... and I am sure others decision making... 5 Year Global Warrenty for DA* lenses... with this I would be safe in the knowledge that should something go wrong I could have it fixed locally... and 5 yrs I expect is not unreasonable for a premium product.
11-26-2009, 04:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulelescoces Quote
I am also on the fence with the 16-50... I already have the 50-135 which I love but am a bit concerned about potential SDM and lens alignment issues (no issues yet with the 50-135).
To add to my concerns I would likely buy in US (Adorama/B&H) so.... if something does go wrong I have the added pain of not having a European Guarentee, shipping to US etc....

What would ease my... and I am sure others decision making... 5 Year Global Warrenty for DA* lenses... with this I would be safe in the knowledge that should something go wrong I could have it fixed locally... and 5 yrs I expect is not unreasonable for a premium product.
with no extra charge and free shipping. let Pentax pay the transport fee (back and forth). 5 years? why not make it 10 years? the older lens had survived without any problems for 40 decades and the newer one for more than half a decade. atleast by that 10 year period, I'm sure that 850 bucks premium for the lens is well worth it.
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