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01-09-2010, 03:04 PM   #16
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I have often wondered what rate of failure other companies have with in lens motors. Is sigma's HSM better? How about Canon and Nikon? There just are no numbers to tell us. My 16-50 failed after about 7 months of usage and seems to be doing well after repair. On the other hand, my 50-135 has been heavily used for the last year and a half and continues to work well. At the same time, threads like these weigh on my mind and make me wonder if both of these lenses will bite the dust in the future.

I know the in lens motors aren't good forever, but how long should they last?

Overall, autofocus speed will not improve until there are faster motors in the lenses, that is certain.

01-09-2010, 03:13 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I have often wondered what rate of failure other companies have with in lens motors.
I was thinking of starting a poll *only* for those whose motors have failed, asking "How long did it take SDM to fail?" It's useless when people vote in the SDM failure poll, only after owning the lens for a week or two. But I don't like starting threads and apparently this is "the last thread" on the topic.
01-09-2010, 03:23 PM   #18
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With this thread and many others I am beginning to wonder if I didn't pull the trigger too quickly when I decided to purchase Pentax this time round (K-7).

The 18-55mm WR I purchased at the same time as the Body had what I thought was a lot of movement in the barrel laterally. At least .010” in any direction.

None of my old lenses from my film cameras had these issues except for a highly used wonderful Yashika TL Electro. It was used constantly and subjected to severe abuse.

ALL of my lenses were manual focused for all of my cameras until the purchase of the K-7.

Adorama immediately exchanged the lens but the replacement isn't much better than the original with respect to the barrel slack.

Conversations with Pentax directly suggested and convinced me that the barrel play or lateral excursions are quite normal on AF lenses.
I still find that very hard to believe but coming from 35 years of shooting MF glass I had no room to argue. Also when handling several Nikon and Canon current models they seemed to have the same slop in the barrel.

My decision toward Pentax was influenced in part by my collection of glass for Pentax as well as performance to dollar ratio of the K-7 or K-20 compared to the competition.

The DA 16-50mm was one of the lenses that I was going to purchase but held off due to posts and threads similar to this thread.

I still require an ultra wide and am looking at the DA 12-24mm from Pentax but am very hesitant at this point due to service issues that many Pentax users are cackling about here and abroad.

My primary income is not derived directly through the use of my photographic equipment but does supplement it.

The thought that maybe I should have held off a little longer has been buzzing around my head for the last month...sure hope the buzz goes away….

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01-09-2010, 03:28 PM   #19
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The 12-24 is a very different beast to the 16-50 - they more or less complement each other than replace each other.
As Peter says, there's no substitute to the 16-50 even if for WR (no, the 18-55 WR cannot come into the discussion here)...
The conundrum worsens with Pentax's head in the sand approach to SDM issues.
One can only hope...

01-09-2010, 03:28 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProAudio Quote
With this thread and many others I am beginning to wonder if I didn't pull the trigger too quickly when I decided to purchase Pentax this time round (K-7).
The only happy Pentaxians are prime heads.

In any case, the Pentax bodies add around a full stop worth of image stabilization (for free) to a bunch of good Pentax, Sigma and Tamron lenses.
01-09-2010, 03:29 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProAudio Quote
With this thread and many others I am beginning to wonder if I didn't pull the trigger too quickly when I decided to purchase Pentax this time round (K-7).
How long ago did you purchase, Pro? Adorama has a great return for credit policy.
01-09-2010, 04:21 PM   #22
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I clearly understand that the specific problem(s) of the 16-50mm has nothing to do with the question I posed to Pentax about my 18-55 WR.

However the bigger question to me is why they have not fixed an on going and well documented problem. It sounds like they are just sticking their head in the sand so to speak on the 16-50mm.

The problem will go away...(when all of the loyal patrons go away to C K or O).

Perhaps it is the same over at Nikon and Canon or even worse. ??

I suppose that I am just turning into an old horse that remembers how very important customer service and customer satisfaction used to be.

The K-7 is still the correct camera for me. In the mean-time I am going to give them a run for the money!

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01-09-2010, 04:38 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I'm sorry if this thread is coming off as just about my needs.
Nope, I hear ya. Your frustration is with a single piece of kit which is brilliant but fatally flawed.

Why can't Pentax just fix it with a new design? They've gotta be most of the way there. Sounds like a fair question to me.

01-09-2010, 04:50 PM   #24
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After reading this, I pulled out my 16-50 on a K-7 to try in my office, lit by nothing more than a 25 watt bulb and a computer screen. Slowest focus was about 1 sec. Moving about the office, trying low and high contrast subjects, the focus was pretty consistent, from almost instantaneous to about 1 sec. with some zit-zit-zit as it hunted for focus on the really darkly lit, low contrast, black chair. I probably have something in the neighbourhood of 2,000 shots on it. Luv this lens.

On the other hand, my 50-135 ended up back for warranty repairs after the auto-focus went south with about 100 shots under its belt. It was a subtle decline to total failure.

The 16-45 I had and sold. Couldn't stand the excessive CA and distortion that software couldn't completely handle.

If I was still doing weddings, I'd take a serious look at the 17-70 f4 + 55 D* when the fast aperture and bokeh is needed.

Since most of my subjects these days don't move, I've taken to collecting SMC-A prime lenses and today I scored a virtually brand new 200mm f2.8 A* from the local shop. It was an estate sale and the lens had arrived still in the original plastic wrap. It still has a mint condition JCI sticker on it. Am I pumped.

Last edited by Rusty Rat; 01-09-2010 at 08:02 PM.
01-09-2010, 06:35 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rusty Rat Quote
On the other had, my 50-135 ended up back for warranty repairs after the auto-focus went south with about 100 shots under its belt. It was a subtle decline to total failure.
I'll bet if you are honest with yourself, you can't help but wonder in the back of your mind, if this is what will eventually happen with your 16-50.
01-09-2010, 06:48 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
I'll bet if you are honest with yourself, you can't help but wonder in the back of your mind, if this is what will eventually happen with your 16-50.
Things electronic tend to die quick or live long lives. Few expire in middle age. My 50-135 has behaved itself ever since and the 16-50 shows no sign of silicon dementia . . . yet.

Still the thought has occurred and the collection of SMC-A lenses continues.
01-09-2010, 07:19 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rusty Rat Quote
Things electronic tend to die quick or live long lives. Few expire in middle age. My 50-135 has behaved itself ever since and the 16-50 shows no sign of silicon dementia . . . yet.

Still the thought has occurred and the collection of SMC-A lenses continues.
True, but we are not talking about an "electronic problem." We are talking about a mechanical problem. SDM is a mechanical device, as is the focus mechanism to which it connects. The only part that is "electrical" are the conductors to the motor.

I also want to point out that we are not talking about just a few random internet troublemakers here that are complaining about this problem. This thread was started by a respected professional photographer, and moderator. The "DA* 16-50 Serial Number Database" was also started by a mod. etc. Just because people test thier 16-50's and they personally don't have a problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

I have never had swine flu, but that doesn't mean I don't believe others have, and I don't blame it on something they did.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 01-09-2010 at 07:25 PM.
01-09-2010, 07:33 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rusty Rat Quote
Things electronic tend to die quick or live long lives. Few expire in middle age. My 50-135 has behaved itself ever since and the 16-50 shows no sign of silicon dementia . . . yet.

Still the thought has occurred and the collection of SMC-A lenses continues.
QuoteOriginally posted by Rusty Rat Quote
After reading this, I pulled out my 16-50 on a K-7 to try in my office, lit by nothing more than a 25 watt bulb and a computer screen. Slowest focus was about 1 sec. Moving about the office, trying low and high contrast subjects, the focus was pretty consistent, from almost instantaneous to about 1 sec. with some zit-zit-zit as it hunted for focus on the really darkly lit, low contrast, black chair. I probably have something in the neighbourhood of 2,000 shots on it. Luv this lens.

On the other had, my 50-135 ended up back for warranty repairs after the auto-focus went south with about 100 shots under its belt. It was a subtle decline to total failure.

The 16-45 I had and sold. Couldn't stand the excessive CA and distortion that software couldn't completely handle.

If I was still doing weddings, I'd take a serious look at the 17-70 f4 + 55 D* when the fast aperture and bokeh is needed.

Since most of my subjects these days don't move, I've taken to collecting SMC-A prime lenses and today I scored a virtually brand new 200mm f2.8 A* from the local shop. It was an estate sale and the lens had arrived still in the original plastic wrap. It still has a mint condition JCI sticker on it. Am I pumped.
Good attitude, and valid points made.
I too can attest that my 16-50 doesn't suffer with awfully slow AF in modest lighting but can be troublesome at infinity focus even in bright conditions. Don't know why that is, but I do know it's not a pre-terminal condition.

I still love the lens...
01-09-2010, 07:35 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProAudio Quote
However the bigger question to me is why they have not fixed an on going and well documented problem. It sounds like they are just sticking their head in the sand so to speak on the 16-50mm.
One cannot fix what one doesn't acknowledge is a problem...
01-09-2010, 07:52 PM   #30
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Super Direct-drive Motors don't have a lot of moving parts, they're mainly electronic, so who knows what part failed. I'm no camera tech, so I can't assume to know. Those that do aren't telling. All I know is that my 16-50 has been rock solid so far . . . touch wood. Can't say the same for the 50-135 or my first K-7 that failed to last two weeks.
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