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01-11-2010, 08:21 PM   #76
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All Pentax needs to do is to issue a statement that they have decided to extend the warranties on SDM issues on these lenses (say to 4 years). If they can't safely do that from a corporate stand point, then they need to create lenses that they can stand behind. I don't care what anyone says, when you pay nearly a thousand dollars for a lens, the company should stand behind it for longer than a year.

01-11-2010, 08:29 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
All Pentax needs to do is to issue a statement that they have decided to extend the warranties on SDM issues on these lenses (say to 4 years). If they can't safely do that from a corporate stand point, then they need to create lenses that they can stand behind. I don't care what anyone says, when you pay nearly a thousand dollars for a lens, the company should stand behind it for longer than a year.
I don't give a xxxx about warranty if I knew it would break because of either wide spread poor QC or design flaw. I just stay away from it. Our VW Golf went to the shop for warranty repair countless times. A decade later, the problem never went away. The warranty is good for xxxx.
01-11-2010, 08:56 PM   #78
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To make it short, if the 16-50mm/f2.8 had reasonable QC on SDM, I would buy and keep the lens and never look back for substitutes. For the reason of having no substitute for a top-of-the-line lens in this range and angle of view, I have many a times considered jumping to another brand.

I fear everyday for my 50-135mm/f2.8 showing symptoms of SDM failure (knocks on wood) and I hate having this mental restriction that I may end up with a dud $800 paperweight randomly taking candids one day.

Worst of all is that Pentax is AWARE of the issue, and has showed no means of supporting their (many a times, most loyal) customers. On top of that, with the evident lens price hikes it's too easy for the new generation to wonder why to even bother with Pentax.
01-11-2010, 08:56 PM   #79
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The extended warranty would only be a short-term plan for boosting customer confidence.
Still essential IMO.
Long term customer confidence only comes with quality goods.
Pentax's silence can only be bad as the more seasoned photogs will just go elsewhere rather than just put up with substandard gear.
Pentax could be reading this, but so what? They've read it many times before in more formal complaints from quite a number of us.


01-11-2010, 11:15 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
I suggest that someone more skilled in letter writing than I draft a letter which we can all sign that formally complains about the quality of the product and the absolute shit service many Pentax service centers provide.
I believe I'm quite skilled in that area. here is my sample:

DEAR PENTAX,

your DA*zooms suck !

LOVE,

Pentaxor
-other listed names
-other listed names
-other listed names
01-12-2010, 12:41 AM   #81
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What find most strange around these threads is that the failures do not seem randomly distributed... i.e. there must be some special cause behind why some members are getting repeatadly bad lenses...

We have cases of some users who seem to get a continuous stream of bad lenses (original is bad... replacement also... and the next one...) ... while other groups (including myself 50-135) dont have any issues.

Maybe the repairs are badly done... so that if they repair your dud... it will turn into a dud again... or if they give you a reconditioned unit (what was badly repaired).
Is there any geographical correlation... I mean do certain regions have a higher % of certain lens batches... and hence have a higher failure ratio.
Are there some usage habits which cause the issue?

I do feel for those who have issues... and I hope that I never do, but there must be a specific cause behind why some have repeated failures. I hope that Pentax has a good understanding of the above so that the problems that some are having can be solved.

Also note... in this thread also, a few people have issues... the majority, including me are living in fear of issues based on tales of the "issue" group.
01-12-2010, 12:56 AM   #82
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Wow, Peter. I am really shocked to read what I am reading. I can only hope Pentax cares enough about this that they would give you for free another Lens. You have been a huge supporter of them and have defended them with passion....To read D700 come out of your fingers is shocking to me. As you know though, you have to do what you have to do.
01-12-2010, 01:43 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulelescoces Quote
What find most strange around these threads is that the failures do not seem randomly distributed... i.e. there must be some special cause behind why some members are getting repeatadly bad lenses...

We have cases of some users who seem to get a continuous stream of bad lenses (original is bad... replacement also... and the next one...) ... while other groups (including myself 50-135) dont have any issues.

Maybe the repairs are badly done... so that if they repair your dud... it will turn into a dud again... or if they give you a reconditioned unit (what was badly repaired).
Is there any geographical correlation... I mean do certain regions have a higher % of certain lens batches... and hence have a higher failure ratio.
Are there some usage habits which cause the issue?

I do feel for those who have issues... and I hope that I never do, but there must be a specific cause behind why some have repeated failures. I hope that Pentax has a good understanding of the above so that the problems that some are having can be solved.

Also note... in this thread also, a few people have issues... the majority, including me are living in fear of issues based on tales of the "issue" group.
I wondered this myself for some time, but there is no correlation in my case that I can see. I have read of several posters having multiple problems with SDM, and some with only one problem. One of the reasons Peter's thread was the last straw for me is that even after all these problems I had, and read about here and other forums, I still questioned myself. When just about the biggest Pentax fan around, and a pro photographer to boot, starts complaining about similar problems, I felt more confident in my conclusion.

Here are a few points that convince me that it is not something I did, nor is it a specific supplier:

-The problems I had spanned both my K20d and my K-7. It was not a body issue.

-It is not a problem with a defective battery. I always buy two sets of batteries for my cameras and swap them. There was no correlation with one battery or another.

-Yes the contacts were clean. Squeaky clean. (People, stop speculating this is a dirty contacts issue. And no, taping the contacts wont activate screw drive!)

-I bought lenses from both B&H as well as Amazon, so there wasn't a problem with one supplier "restocking" bad lenses.

-I am convinced that the lenses I got back from Pentax were indeed new to the best of my ability to determine. They certainly had different serial numbers, and were spotless and "smelled" new.

-There are few people more careful with their gear than I. When not in use, my lenses are in their pouches, inside a cabinet in a clean, dry, cool, environment (my air-conditioned house). I am not some ham-fisted knucklehead that is accident prone, or breaks things. I have a great respect for mechanical devices (they are my professional life) so I know it is not handling. My cameras are always in protective pouches when not in use, and are kept clean. I am not a pro photographer with deadlines, so the use rate of my gear is not as high, and my photography is more deliberate and slow-paced.

-I am one of those kind of people that read the product manual cover to cover because I enjoy it. I am also not a novice, so I know that I wasn't using the lenses incorrectly.

-I have said many times that I have had many, many Pentax (and some 3rd party) lenses over the years. I have never, not once, not even a single time, had any type of problem whatsoever, with any other lens. Until DA*. No optical problems, no mechanical problems, no QC issues, no damage in mailing, no scratches, no fungus, no Ricoh pin, nothing. Pentax lenses to me meant quality. Until DA*.

In my experiences with SDM issues on both DA*'s I only noticed one common denominator: The problems would seem to appear after the lens had not been in use. First after sitting for several days/week(s). Then after progressively shorter periods of time. The problem would slowly get worse until failing completely. The first sign is taking the camera out of the bag, turning it on, and pushing the shutter button and...nothing...Then you turn the focus knob back and forth, maybe remove/reinstall the lens, etc. and it starts jerkily moving. Then the problem goes away...for a bit.

The only thing I am still kicking myself about, is that I didn't take video of SDM disease so I could share it with people here. I don't have any SDM lenses left so that won't be possible. I see other people taking video of their cameras focusing and testing against another, and I realize I could have easily done that during some of my SDM episodes to show people. If anyone reading this does experience the problem in the future, please youtube it and post it for us!


Last edited by PentaxPoke; 01-12-2010 at 02:05 AM.
01-12-2010, 02:08 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I don't give a xxxx about warranty if I knew it would break because of either wide spread poor QC or design flaw. I just stay away from it. Our VW Golf went to the shop for warranty repair countless times. A decade later, the problem never went away. The warranty is good for xxxx.
Totally agree. There's only 1 service center in Europe, so warranty repair means: sending in your lens and waiting 2-3 months to get something (hopefully a fully functioning lens) back.

I really hope my 17-70 won't have any issues with SDM (knock on wood), but if that ever happens then I'll just throw it out the window and buy a Sigma 17-70 HSM lens. If I'll have enough time for shooting wildlife, guess what lens I'll buy... sure not anything with SDM.
01-12-2010, 02:53 AM   #85
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Increasing warranty would bring 2 distinct advantages...

the most obvious is that this would mean we avoid paying for issues which are covered by the warranty... can never be a bad thing.

secondly... it will directly help to solve the root cause of the issues, pentax hesitation to give longer guarentees will likely bue due to the increased cost of doing so (they pick up the repair costs)... if this were the case we can all bet they would be far quicker than they are today at improving quality to avoid these incremental costs.... again, I personally have not been hit with any of their quality issues as of yet.

I am all for a waranty extension... I can admit, being without the lens for extended periods would be a pain... and for any Pros likely completely unacceptable... but is a good step in the right direction.

I dont believe pentax will ever come and admit an issue exists... too much liability ($)... I could envisage that they would internally try and solve the issues and increase the warrantys to gain increased consumer confidence... they would then market the increased warranty as a positive advance.... I also cannot believe its an inherent design flaw, many lenses (the majority I believe) seem to operate correctly, it however seems that some are hit with the variability in their quality.
01-12-2010, 03:29 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
...Pentax produces high-end paperweights.
I think exaggerations like this take away credibility from reasonable concerns some people have.

At least if things go wrong within the warranty period, Pentax responds nicely (albeit in this incident, an unpleasant experience preceded the good move).

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
That Pentax (who I know visits the site) ...
Really? But they surely don't track all of the forum?
One of the things about JCPentax that I found annoying was that he didn't even answer the simple question whether anyone from Pentax was following the "Dear Pentax" thread. He could have answered "I don't know" but he never replied (and I think I asked twice).

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
From all of these I've yet to hear a peep.
If you told them that you were representing part of this forum's community and they didn't react, that would be plain stupid of them. Sorry, but I wouldn't be able to get it into my head that they don't respond. I understand that they cannot reply to every single private enquiry but they should listen to the weight of this forum's community.

QuoteOriginally posted by systemA Quote
On top of that, with the evident lens price hikes it's too easy for the new generation to wonder why to even bother with Pentax.
+1
That's the argument that has been made in the thread that deplores that the cheap, entry-level prime fix, aka FA 50/1.4, is no longer available for a very good price.
Sony has body-based shake reduction as well and seems to take conquering the DSLR market very seriously. Pentax needs to closely watch what Sony is doing.

Still have a lot of love for my first choice of photography equipment manufacturer, but if they develop into company whose (lens) prices are no longer worthwhile recommending and have QC and (body) performance issues on top of that, what's to attract new customers to them (I'm not talking about customers who will be contend with a K-x + double kit lens combo)?
01-12-2010, 09:13 AM   #87
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I think Pentaxforums.com has been hacked. This is obviously RiceHigh using Peter Zack's name.
01-12-2010, 09:16 AM   #88
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Hey Peter , Have you tried to PM forum member dorianb, She is a Pentax rep and has at least tried to help some of us in the past.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 02-25-2010 at 07:30 AM.
01-12-2010, 09:23 AM   #89
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PentaxPoke's descriptions in his posts #80 and #96 mirror what I experience with my 50-135. When I mount it on my K200D, I have a 50/50 shot that when I depress the shutter button, something, anything, will happen. 50% of the time, it just sits there, dead in the water. This only happens with my 50-135, not one other lens in my siggy below. DA limiteds--no. Tamron zooms--nope. Why should I have to "wake up" my $800 pro-style 50-135.

I bought this lens used fairly early in its run, and it is clearly out of warranty, if I ever had any coverage buying it used. But this lens has only been out a couple of years now, and for what it sells for, and for what it exemplifies in the Pentax lens series, as one of the best of the best, I should be able to send it in to Pentax, no questions asked, and get back one that works (though it sounds from PentaxPoke that this SDM problem is likely so systemic and inherent in the design, that even if I got a new one, that would likely fail as well). This is a real black eye for Pentax, and I can't believe they still have never offered to do anything about this.

So as it stands, I still try to use my 50-135 from time to time, because its IQ is so darn good. But imagine my frustration, with a 5-year old and a 1-year old, when I get opportunities for great shots, and my pro-style lens just sits there and won't focus. So I usually just reach for a different lens in the first place--again a frustrating fact. But I simply know that my Tamron 28-75, or DA 70, will get the shot.
01-12-2010, 09:38 AM   #90
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Peter

I am not in exactly the same situation as you but it is quite similar. I earn 90% of my income through photography (about 50% from weddings) and although I absolutely love my Pentax gear and I have not personally had the issues most discussed with these lenses... I have a good friend who is a artist (painter) and wants to buy her first dslr camera and I find myself hesitant to recommend Pentax. I would feel so bad if she bought this expensive high-end lens and then in 13 months had it fail.

To put it bluntly this (SDM zoom problems) is the first legitimate complaint I have read of Pentax gear that makes me fear for the future of the company. All the other stuff over the years about people wanting faster AF, more fps, ISO 999,999 etc is just normal banter. After all people are buying 300HP minivans these days over the lust for bigger/faster/better.

I anxiously await a response from Pentax
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