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03-14-2010, 02:21 PM   #1
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Is SDM getting more reliable?

I've read about the problems with SDM.
As I understand it, Pentax has done nothing to fix the problem.... Or do you think SDM has gotten more reliable since the first SDM lenses emerged?
I don't expect anyone to have an exact answer to this, but experienced users thoughts would be much appreciated.

03-14-2010, 03:15 PM   #2
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the sample size probably isn't big enough to determine this statistically
03-14-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoso Quote
the sample size probably isn't big enough to determine this statistically

Agreed.
Thats why I asked for thoughts....
03-14-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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While it's impossible for us to say, it seems the majority of problems seemed to be with the first two lenses. the 16-50 and 50-135 which both seem, I could be mistaken of course, to have become more reliable. It's certainly possible that pentax have silently fixed the problem, not willing to publicly aknowledge that it's there. At the same time though, those two lenses are also the most popular of the DA* lenses, and are therefore also bound to be the ones most people find problems with. I can't recal hearing any SDM complaints about newer lenses such as the DA* 60-250 and the DA* 55 though. So maybe the problem has been corrected. Who knows.

03-14-2010, 06:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by alehel Quote
I can't recall hearing any SDM complaints about newer lenses such as the DA* 60-250 and the DA* 55 though. So maybe the problem has been corrected. Who knows.

My 60-250 went into the shop a couple of months ago with an SDM failure.
My 55 may be in the early stages of failure. The other day it was making strange noises and not focusing, today it was making no noises at all and not focusing, though it did eventually start to work.
03-14-2010, 11:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
My 55 may be in the early stages of failure. The other day it was making strange noises and not focusing, today it was making no noises at all and not focusing, though it did eventually start to work.
I would say that it is beyond the early stage of failure

So sad to see such good optics to to waste due to the junk they used in the focus system.
03-15-2010, 01:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
My 60-250 went into the shop a couple of months ago with an SDM failure.
My 55 may be in the early stages of failure. The other day it was making strange noises and not focusing, today it was making no noises at all and not focusing, though it did eventually start to work.
Well, thats all I needed to know really. Sadly no 50-135 for a while then. Even tough I really do want the optics. But I just don't can afford to spend that kind of money on what will be a MF lens rather soon.
I guess Sigma's 50-150 is a good option, but I would really like the Pentax weather sealing.
03-15-2010, 01:53 AM   #8
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Can the lens still work even if there is sdm failure?

03-15-2010, 02:14 AM   #9
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An expensive MF lens is what a failed SDM leads to.
Wheatfield, sad to hear about your 55 - is this the first report on this forum of a 55 playing up/failing?
03-15-2010, 02:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
Can the lens still work even if there is sdm failure?
The lens optics works, but no AF.
03-15-2010, 02:28 AM   #11
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Quite possible improvements might have be made quietly but not announced publicly, that's my impression after seeing some Pentax parts manuals of other cameras/lenses. Still, I would stay away from SDM in the foreseeable future because people keep reporting SDM failures even now. Someone tried the 645D already pointed out the SDM was slow which cannot be a good sign by any mean.
03-15-2010, 03:39 AM   #12
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There seems to be no alternative from the 50-135. the 70-200 is not wide enough and heavy almost twice the DA*.
03-15-2010, 04:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
There seems to be no alternative from the 50-135. the 70-200 is not wide enough and heavy almost twice the DA*.
For me, it's a weight issue, the DA*60-250 is just to big, even though I wold like the reach. Wheras for the Sigma 50-150 it's the lack of WR. Optically I've understodd that the Sigma 50-150 is almost as good as the da*
03-15-2010, 05:35 AM   #14
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I bought a DA* 50-135mm with the following plan:

- use it as much as possible this summer until SDM fails
- get it fixed under warranty
- use it twice as much as before until it fails again
- get it fixed under warranty again
- sell it at 95% of retail price
- buy something more reliable

My hope is that by the time I sell it, Pentax will have released a replacement that uses its recently-patented ring-motor focusing drive.
03-15-2010, 05:57 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
I bought a DA* 50-135mm with the following plan:

- use it as much as possible this summer until SDM fails
- get it fixed under warranty
- use it twice as much as before until it fails again
- get it fixed under warranty again
- sell it at 95% of retail price
- buy something more reliable

My hope is that by the time I sell it, Pentax will have released a replacement that uses its recently-patented ring-motor focusing drive.
sounds like a great plan, and a sound investment...
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