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03-15-2010, 08:58 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I think the SDM problem is over exaggerated. Here in Singapore many Pentax users have been using SDM lenses, very few had SDM problem so far, even among those who bought the 1650/50135 on the first day of launch here.
That's an excellent random guess!

Since Pentax will likely never release figures that show the ratio of failed SDM motors to sales of specific models, I guess we'll never really know for sure.

03-15-2010, 09:20 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
That's an excellent random guess!

Since Pentax will likely never release figures that show the ratio of failed SDM motors to sales of specific models, I guess we'll never really know for sure.
Yeah, I hope Pentax would give us some words on the SDM problem since it's probably the most happened problem among Pentax lenses so far.

I'm on my second DA*1650, the first one passed to a good friend who needed it more than I did back than. I bought the current copy second hand from a local shop, no warranty. Let's see how it goes.
03-15-2010, 09:59 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
That's an excellent random guess!
Not a random guess...
FYI frank is one of the most respected authority on things Pentax related here in Singapore. We have a large community of Pentax shooters here (see out latest gathering) and we know most of the users if not by name, then by sight. We even know the people representing Pentax and the local service dept on first name basis, and so far as I can tell, the SDM issue isn't as bad as described on the threads here. I'm picking up an SDM lens pretty soon myself. Am I worried? Not a bit because I've never had any issues with SDM lenses, so I think the issue's been overblown and plus we have the backing of an excellent local service dept.
03-15-2010, 10:20 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
I'm picking up an SDM lens pretty soon myself. Am I worried? Not a bit because I've never had any issues with SDM lenses, so I think the issue's been overblown and plus we have the backing of an excellent local service dept.
That's nice.

I tried to tell myself the issue was overblown back when I was trying to decide whether or not to get the DA* 50-135mm. It really is optically excellent, it's the perfect focal range for my needs, it's weather-sealed... everything about it was perfect, even the price. But the rampant complaints over SDM made me second-guess myself more than once. I frequently wavered between alternatives, based solely on the whole SDM thing. In the end, I decided that SDM couldn't possibly be as bad as it's made out to be on this forum and I bought a brand new one from Beach Camera.

When I received it, I put it on my camera and it refused to focus. It was completely dead. The focus mechanism refused to budge on its own. I tried putting on the kit lens, it worked fine, and then switched back to the DA* 50-135mm... still nothing. Dead as a doorknob. I sat there, dumbfounded... thinking of the money I just sank into this lens and all the hassle I'd have to go through to get it exchanged.

Then I stubbornly tried it again. The focus mechanism just barely started creeping forward, and finally the lens achieved a focus lock. Subsequent uses seemed to "wake it up", and eventually it go to the point where it was focusing as quickly as my kit lens. I sat back and breathed a sigh of relief.

3 weeks later, the same thing happened. I hadn't used the lens for a couple of days and I put it on the camera, and it refused to focus. The dread took over me again. Eventually it "woke up" and started working as expected.

So essentially, I gave Pentax $800 of our hard-earned money for the privilege of waiting for my top-class lens to fail. My DA* ownership experience so far involves being gripped with fear that it will inevitably stop functioning. I really don't give a damn about the anecdotal evidence you've been able to gather in Singapore, SDM has already lived down to my worst fears, no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that those fears were unfounded. I should've listened to Damn Brit when he told me not to buy one.

03-15-2010, 10:20 PM   #35
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I don't have any SDM lenses, but have you guys tried covering the SDM contacts on the lenses in hope of getting screw drive AF to work?
03-15-2010, 10:24 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by zorobabel Quote
I don't have any SDM lenses, but have you guys tried covering the SDM contacts on the lenses in hope of getting screw drive AF to work?
yes (the 10 character minimum for replies sucks, my "yes" was perfectly satisfactory)
03-15-2010, 10:25 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by zorobabel Quote
I don't have any SDM lenses, but have you guys tried covering the SDM contacts on the lenses in hope of getting screw drive AF to work?
No, it won't work.
03-15-2010, 10:29 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
That's nice.

I tried to tell myself the issue was overblown back when I was trying to decide whether or not to get the DA* 50-135mm. It really is optically excellent, it's the perfect focal range for my needs, it's weather-sealed... everything about it was perfect, even the price. But the rampant complaints over SDM made me second-guess myself more than once. I frequently wavered between alternatives, based solely on the whole SDM thing. In the end, I decided that SDM couldn't possibly be as bad as it's made out to be on this forum and I bought a brand new one from Beach Camera.

When I received it, I put it on my camera and it refused to focus. It was completely dead. The focus mechanism refused to budge on its own. I tried putting on the kit lens, it worked fine, and then switched back to the DA* 50-135mm... still nothing. Dead as a doorknob. I sat there, dumbfounded... thinking of the money I just sank into this lens and all the hassle I'd have to go through to get it exchanged.

Then I stubbornly tried it again. The focus mechanism just barely started creeping forward, and finally the lens achieved a focus lock. Subsequent uses seemed to "wake it up", and eventually it go to the point where it was focusing as quickly as my kit lens. I sat back and breathed a sigh of relief.

3 weeks later, the same thing happened. I hadn't used the lens for a couple of days and I put it on the camera, and it refused to focus. The dread took over me again. Eventually it "woke up" and started working as expected.

So essentially, I gave Pentax $800 of our hard-earned money for the privilege of waiting for my top-class lens to fail. My DA* ownership experience so far involves being gripped with fear that it will inevitably stop functioning. I really don't give a damn about the anecdotal evidence you've been able to gather in Singapore, SDM has already lived down to my worst fears, no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that those fears were unfounded. I should've listened to Damn Brit when he told me not to buy one.
Sorry about your bad experience w/ the lens. I might have different opinion about this if it happens on my lens. But I still feel it's just bad luck.

Funny thing is, we seldom hear SDM problem on the biggest China Photography Forum (xitek.com). Yeah, I'm a regular there too.

03-15-2010, 10:31 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Sorry about your bad experience w/ the lens. I might have different opinion about this if it happens on my lens. But I still feel it's just bad luck.
I'd probably have the exact same sentiment if my lens had been flawless right from the start.
03-15-2010, 10:44 PM   #40
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Oh man

Bad luck...??? Bad luck that the perfect lens for my shooting has a history of failing the same way over and over again. That it often fails soon after the warranty runs out.

Bad Luck that there really is no weather sealed 3rd party option!

Bad Luck that I bought into a pentax system, that seemingly cares not one bit for its long time customers. If there is no problem, why dont they extend the damn warranty for 3 years? I would jump at that!

Sorry Frank, it bugs the crap out of me that this forum has seemingly become Mabo-ized, with pentax talking points of user error / internet naysayers and now 'bad luck' explaining away the problem!

I am happy for you... you got a good one! I just cant gamble that kind of money away.

Last edited by Igilligan; 03-15-2010 at 10:52 PM.
03-15-2010, 11:01 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
Bad Luck that there really is no weather sealed 3rd party option!
No kidding... if the Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 was weather-sealed, I definitely would've bought that one instead. Imagine the number of sales they could make by weather-sealing it and selling it for $150 more. I'd sell my DA* 50-135mm in a heartbeat for that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
Bad Luck that I bought into a pentax system, that seemingly cares not one bit for its long time customers. If there is no problem, why dont they extend the damn warranty for 3 years? I would jump at that!
To be fair, even Canon and Nikon only offer a 1 year warranty on their products. It seems to be an industry standard. The 3rd party lens manufacturers offer proper multi-year warranties because that's one of the ways they feel they can compete with the big guys.

Regardless, 1 year warranty on a failure-prone system bugs the crap out of me too.

QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
I am happy for you... you got a good one! I just cant gamble that kind of money away.
There seem to be 2 groups of people in this issue:

group #1: has experienced a failure or knows someone who has, and resents it. Feels the need to warn everyone about it (this is me). Considers people in group #2 as "apologists"

group #2: has not experienced a failure and feels a need to defend their choice of purchase. Considers people in group #1 as "extremists". (this could've been me)

Then there's a 3rd group, with no opinion either way because they were smart enough to buy something else.
03-15-2010, 11:06 PM   #42
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Sorry gus. I shouldn't use 'bad luck' to explain the problem.

As I said above, I also think Pentax should give some explaination and solution about the high failure ratio of SDM lenses. At least they should give us an option to use screw drive AF if SDM fails (well, this only works for lenses w/ dual driven modes).

But I still think there are a lot more happy SDM lens owners than unhappy ones.
03-15-2010, 11:08 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I think the SDM problem is over exaggerated. Here in Singapore many Pentax users have been using SDM lenses, very few had SDM problem so far, even among those who bought the 1650/50135 on the first day of launch here.
I'm curious. How many people do you really know that shoot Pentax so that you can make a statement like that? In all the years I have been shooting Pentax, I have only seen a couple of other people shooting Pentax DSLR's.

What is your definition of "many" and what is your definition of "very few?"
03-15-2010, 11:11 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
But I still think there are a lot more happy SDM lens owners than unhappy ones.
That's what I'd love to learn from Pentax. And that's exactly what we'll probably never know.

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
I'm curious. How many people do you really know that shoot Pentax so that you can make a statement like that? In all the years I have been shooting Pentax, I have only seen a couple of other people shooting Pentax DSLR's.

What is your definition of "many" and what is your definition of "very few?"
I think his credentials have been well defined and vouched for. I don't see a need to doubt his opinion or his knowledge on the matter. There's a lot of people in Singapore and Pentax is a lot more popular there than in the US. So it stands to reason you wouldn't come across as many Pentax shooters in Oklahoma.
03-15-2010, 11:31 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Sorry gus. I shouldn't use 'bad luck' to explain the problem.

As I said above, I also think Pentax should give some explaination and solution about the high failure ratio of SDM lenses. At least they should give us an option to use screw drive AF if SDM fails (well, this only works for lenses w/ dual driven modes).

But I still think there are a lot more happy SDM lens owners than unhappy ones.

That could be... I wonder how many are like me.... sitting on the sideline not buying the lens because of the perceived issue. When Ned came out and said he was going to look into it... I was hopeful there would be something....... but that was back in Sept I think. NADA...

How many Happy owners
How many happy owners on their second or third copy
How many unhappy owners
How many like me who want the lens, but will not buy it until we hear something from pentax?
How many who gave up, and just bought the Tamron or Sigma variations?

We will never know!~ But I bet there are a lot like me, still bitterly holding out some hope. But at this point I believe we will see a redesigned version, and hoya will never address the DA * zooms SDM issues.

Sorry Frank, just today I could have used the 50-135 at my daughters school! So it was on my mind!

I was using the tam 28-75 and it was not long enough. All I could think was damn I wish I had the 50-135.

Last edited by Igilligan; 03-15-2010 at 11:36 PM.
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