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02-21-2010, 11:37 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The pro whose 16-50/2.8 goes down due to SDM failure is more than likely going to be using a kit lens for a while.
I'd never mock the 18 - 55mm kit lens. This, along with several more wedding shots were taken with it.

Although I chose to shoot a Sigma system my old K100D was always a trusty backup.

02-22-2010, 12:10 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
I'd never mock the 18 - 55mm kit lens. This, along with several more wedding shots were taken with it.
No mocking intended, but it isn't an f/2.8 lens and it isn't going to cut it in a lot of situations.
Given the vagaries of Pentax auto focus and the general difficulty of manually focusing with what passes for viewfinders these days, I have a feeling that an f/5.6 lens is going to fare quite poorly with studio modeling lights, for example.
02-22-2010, 01:17 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Don't count on it.
I think this attitude come from people who don't have a clue about the realities of professional photography.
Contrary to popular belief, pro photographers don't exist in a world of unlimited wealth.
They often live in a world of fairly hand to mouth existence just like everyone else.
They might have back up camera bodies, but rarely will have the veritable bags of equipment that a lot of people seem to think they have.
The pro whose 16-50/2.8 goes down due to SDM failure is more than likely going to be using a kit lens for a while, and is going to be looking hard at whether what is in the shop is really cutting it for what he needs it for.
Pro gear, first and foremost, has to work, and it has to work reliably.
In this, Pentax has dropped the ball and is well and truly on their way to making themselves a laughing stock.
SDM is making a name for itself as being crap technology that can't be relied on to work.
No professional is going to buy into this.

My 60-250 is in the shop after 8 months of mostly sitting in a camera bag because Pentax is putting junk technology into very expensive packages.
My 55/1.4 gave a little hiccup today, so we'll see where it is going.

One thing I know for sure is that I have bought my last SDM lenses.
Even Stigma is starting to look good.

You make excellent points Wheat. I guess my thinking is that those of us who are amateurs rely on our DSLR's reliability, and our backup is in most cases, a low-cost P&S camera. Maybe we don't think as much about reliability as pros do, until we suffer a failure and are shooting with that Powershot A20 until our camera comes back from service in a month or two.
02-22-2010, 01:31 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Given the vagaries of Pentax auto focus and the general difficulty of manually focusing with what passes for viewfinders these days, I have a feeling that an f/5.6 lens is going to fare quite poorly with studio modeling lights, for example.
Although I didn't use the kit lens for a lot of studio shoots I never had any problem focusing with my old K100 under the model lights.
Although my lighting set is old, so the hot lamps might be brighter than todays setups.

02-22-2010, 06:26 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
You make excellent points Wheat. I guess my thinking is that those of us who are amateurs rely on our DSLR's reliability, and our backup is in most cases, a low-cost P&S camera. Maybe we don't think as much about reliability as pros do, until we suffer a failure and are shooting with that Powershot A20 until our camera comes back from service in a month or two.
Most amateurs have more disposable income for equipment than pros do. I'ts just that the pro treats back up equipment as an absolute necessity, whereas the amateur tries to justify, and often resents, having to buy a back up camera.
One of the beauty's of digital is that by now almost everyone has a back up body kicking around.
Back up lenses are something else though. Good glass is very expensive, and very few of the pros that I know have a lot of lenses for back up.
This is why the SDM thing is such a disappointment. Up to now, lenses have been reliable unless abused. You put it on your camera and you take pictures.
The new lens paradigm for Pentax seems to be some hinky game of Russian Roulette. One doesn't know how many bullets are in the chamber, but one gets to play it every time they mount their lens.
02-22-2010, 06:34 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oggy Quote
Sorry poke, but I do get a little bored with the sanctimonious "burn the witch" drivel which this forum descends into at the mere mention of SDM. Still it must be of some comfort to you to know that I must be dead because I have had four for a year and at least one of them must have killed me by now when it blew up.
Oggy,
4 SDM lenses about 1 year old? I wish you all the best of luck.
My 50-135 was 13 - 14 months old when it first started to show SDM problems. Most of that time, it was safely stowed away in a good camera bag. Now it's about 2 months later and the only further use it has had is testing to see if the SDM has failed completely. It does appear to be getting worse as I'm very patiently waiting (praying) for Pentax to offer a repair deal.

Over 40 years shooting Pentax and now I'm wondering.
02-22-2010, 06:49 AM   #37
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I can't bloody believe it!!!!

from a similar thread:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I thought I was one of those very few unlucky guys that had a defective SDM on a 50-135mm... Guess what? I had my first one replaced by Pentax Canada back in August last year. SDM would wake-up only after 5-10 minutes... I posted this issue back then (in this thread).

Now my SECOND COPY is acting the SAME, but now on my K-7!!!!! (as well as my older K20D). Was working OK since August, yesterday I was outside for a shoot, was (only) 0 degree C, and it started to do the same thing! I am so P****D right now! Tried it last night, this morning (inddor), no diff!

Bottom line: on my experience, life expectancy of the SDM on a 50-135mm is about 6 months, used on a regular basis (at lest every week-ends...).

Seriously, I can't just blame this on bad luck anymore...

I'll have a drive at Pentax Canada tomorrow (I work around the corner) and I will have a chat with Stephen Ho. enough is enough!

xGene
02-22-2010, 07:08 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
It's a basic logistics principle that unless you have SPARES you don't actually have anything you can relly on.

ANY professional worth his salt, when shooting a can't-miss event such as a wedding, MUST have backups. Body backups and lens backups. Even photographer backups in case you break a leg and can't cover the event yourself.

Not having backups and complaining when gear fails is simply plain lack of responsibility and a pathetic attempt to shift blame to the manufacturer.

Faults happen with any equipment. Nikon, Canon, Leica, there's no such thing as bulletproof equipment. The only coping strategy is to have spares.
While many people have disagreed with this statement, I agree. The OP said he has a huge event to cover, he sounds like he's a working photographer, and therefore he should really have backup lenses, or in this case be prepared to shoot manual focus rather than complaining.

No company can ensure perfect quality control over it's products, and there will be a number of units that brake due to manufacture faults. You can't control this, but you should know it happens, and all professional/semi pro photographers should be prepared for this.


Of course, this shouldn't excuse Pentax from poor QC, they should really get on it.



QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Back-up or not, professional or not, having a sudden failure of a lens is different than dropping of a lens. What you're stating is as if SDM failure is user fault.
What the hell are you on about? Did you even read what you put before you posted? *sighs*


Last edited by Cosmo; 02-22-2010 at 07:14 AM.
02-22-2010, 07:14 AM   #39
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Cosmo,

The OP stated he is working on a college student budget. Pelase explain how he should be "expected" to have back up.
02-22-2010, 07:27 AM   #40
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My bad, I over looked that part.

Most colleges/universities offer lens borrowing services, if i was in his position I'd shoot manual focus, borrow a lens from college or from someone else from college.
02-22-2010, 07:48 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by blind-bat Quote
Cosmo,

The OP stated he is working on a college student budget. Pelase explain how he should be "expected" to have back up.
SDM is a huge problem. I also thought it was a big problem that there was a database of bad copies of DA*16-50 lenses even before the SDM problem. Pentax has a serious problem with professional photographers.

On the other hand, I don't understand why giving advice to a young aspiring photographer which consists of something other that "blame Pentax; Pentax very, very bad" is telling a rape victim she should not have worn high heels. People drop equipment. It fails. In this case, the equipment in question has notoriety about failing. If there is not a backup to this or any equipment, it is a problem. Honestly, if you don't have the means to do a job in a way that is reliable, then perhaps you shouldn't accept the responsibility.

My clients (not in photography) expect me to carry out my responsibilities and produce results. I have to have backup strategies. If something goes wrong, my clients do not want to hear the name of the company (or employee) whose fault it is--they want the name of my insurance carrier. So, yes, we can take this thread as yet another opportunity to heap richly deserved castigation for a bad product, or we can talk about things that photographers can do to protect themselves. It is OK to do the former, but doing the latter is not illegitimate or hard-hearted.
02-22-2010, 08:05 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
or we can talk about things that photographers can do to protect themselves. It is OK to do the former, but doing the latter is not illegitimate or hard-hearted.
Unfortunately, the best thing that professional photographers can do to protect themselves is to buy either Canon or Nikon.
Pentax is really just upgrading from shooting themselves in the foot to falling on their collective swords with the SDM fiasco.
02-22-2010, 08:18 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Unfortunately, the best thing that professional photographers can do to protect themselves is to buy either Canon or Nikon.
Pentax is really just upgrading from shooting themselves in the foot to falling on their collective swords with the SDM fiasco.
May be, but he probably can't do that between now and his shoot.
02-22-2010, 08:28 AM   #44
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From a personal point of view, this touches on the difficulties with the responsibility of a photographer. I've mentioned this in another thread. This weekend, I came across the negatives from my wedding in 1980. They were taken with a lousy, 35mm point and shoot camera by a guest. I made scans that took ten minutes per frame while the scanner (and later PS) used all its powers, like the undertaker in the Godfather, to make a "masacred" scene look good.

Ironically, the two frames that seem to have come out reasonably well were of my former brother in law working on a nice 35mm SLR (used by my former sister in law in her profession as a newspaper photographer in Germany) to unjam the shutter. We had no good backup. My former wife passed away, and these are what is left of the wedding. I really don't care who made the camera.

When we undertake to preserve someone's memories, we have quite a responsibility. It is why I won't shoot a wedding as a favor, and it is why I will not be the semi-official photographer at any other event without lots of backup.
02-22-2010, 03:41 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
So now it is not enough for us to spend $1,000 on DA* lenses. Now we are supposed to buy backups for those lenses?

Who knew buying into Pentax would be so expensive.
I've seen pros shooting weddings in pairs with two bodies hanging off each, for a total of four bodies and at least four lenses, and a shoulder bag which presumably would have at least two other lenses for a total of eight lenses.

That's PRO-level service.

And, I'm yet to see anyone shoot a wedding with a lens that isn't a kit lens, basic zoom, or at most a basic prime for set-up portraits. And a huge flash. Guess what? It's better to have four cheap zooms for the price of the 50-135. If it breaks you won't care and will have another ready to go. And the average customer won't know the difference. You get more consistent results wiith a slow lens and flash than a fast lens and no flash. And consistency is the name of the game when you can't ask the couple to exchange rings again because your camera didn't focus right.

If you think spending $1,000 on lenses makes you a pro you're so, so mistaken. It may make you another sort of pro, but definitely not a pro wedding protographer.

Now you complain that your lens failed. But how would you handle the following situations:

- someone spills wine all over your equipment
- some kid thinks it's funny to make you trip and you twist your ankle
- while backing off for a shot you fall, drop the camera and break a lens

Huh? Would spending $1,000 on lenses have you covered?

Last edited by kristoffon; 02-22-2010 at 03:51 PM.
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