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01-14-2013, 02:52 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
New parts won't solve the design problems. Four years worth of reliability issues now and pentax has been robbing people for 3-400 USD/EUR a repair.
If you're implying a motor design issue, it's invalid, and 90% of copies are still working fine. 10% failure was just too large for "Acceptable rate of failure" to cover. Look for Canon USM failure rates, they're probably around 1-3%.

01-14-2013, 02:55 AM   #17
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Again thanks everyone.
01-14-2013, 03:03 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
If you're implying a motor design issue, it's invalid, and 90% of copies are still working fine. 10% failure was just too large for "Acceptable rate of failure" to cover. Look for Canon USM failure rates, they're probably around 1-3%.
You actually don't have exact numbers. Unless Pentax releases the official numbers, which would open them to consumer action in at the least Europe for pretty much all they are worth out here, you're using numbers that aren't grounded in realiity. There's a register, sure, but it's not going to encompass the majority of buyers, unless you believe the majority of buyers are on this and other pentax forums?

The international forums aren't so nice about the SDM failures, particularly the French and German ones, but the EU actually has strong consumer protection laws that Pentax has been trying to not get involved with. People on the German forums are reporting their fourth repairs in their megathreads. Each repair is about 300 Euros and the supposedly new parts are used and they are still failing in six months to a year, with Pentax not honoring repair warranties.

I don't know what you're reaching for, but even Pentax has said, which I'm sure resulted in a reprimand, that there is a design issue. What is implied, directly from that person is even if the parts were redesigned, no amount of improvements to them will make up for the design problems. Also, ever year we hear they've fixed the problems and the same issue every year- the lenses are failing in high numbers.
01-14-2013, 03:04 AM   #19
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The DA*50-135 is an undisputed classic. Optically it is the best zoom I have ever used. If the AF were quicker it would be perfect.
The DA*16-50 is greatly maligned for its SDM unreliability, but it is incredibly versatile and optically very good. Mine suffered an SDM failure, but it was repaired free of charge despite being bought second hand from another country. If you are willing to believe Pentax, the SDM issues are now fixed.
I have owned the Sigma 17-50 and it performed admirably, but I prefer the Pentax. The WR feature of the DA* lenses is very reassuring in the field.

Having said all that, don't even *think* about selling your DA15. It is one of the true jewels.

01-14-2013, 04:21 AM   #20
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The 50-135 is a great lens. Good optics, a little slow focusing. The 16-50 has ended up being my go to lens for walk around situations. It has nice colors and contrast and in addition, it is weather sealed. I went out yesterday and took photos for an hour in the rain. Not a problem for my gear. If you don't need weather sealing, then the Tamron is a good option.
01-14-2013, 04:41 AM   #21
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Hi Skipper,
Going down the path of Canon will cost you more - in money and weight.
The Canon L lenses are big and heavy. Many people switch to a smaller and compact system because excessive weight can be a problem to their health. My aging knees certainly can't afford to cart a FF system and massive L zoom climbing up the Sydney Harbour Bridge or walking for hours around Seoul to take photos.

The two Pentax zooms that you have mentioned are good but not cheap. Keep an eye on this forum and you may spot good deal for these lenses from stores like bhphoto.

All the best!
01-14-2013, 04:55 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
I must say, I've heard of one failure on a new copy, rather low rates compared to the olden days. New parts doesn't mean not a single copy will break, they just fixed the issue in regard to the failure rate being 2-3 times that of the other manufacturers.
2 or 3 times.., would love to see some data to back up your claim. when I look at lensrental chart, you will see that all the fast zoom lenses have a reliability problem.
01-14-2013, 10:50 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
2 or 3 times.., would love to see some data to back up your claim. when I look at lensrental chart, you will see that all the fast zoom lenses have a reliability problem.
Don't actually have any charts for that one, sadly, just going off of my knowledge of the business world. 1-3% failure rate is considered "The Norm" for electronics. Sure, premium brands are supposed to be lower, but in the end, they usually just offer better warranty services. And indeed, it is true that fast lenses are prone to issues - Probably has something to do with the fact that they're trying to fit so many components into so little space.

01-14-2013, 12:01 PM   #24
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But lenses aren't electronics, different market.

LensRentals.com - Lensrentals Repair Data: January – July 2012

QuoteQuote:
I think the other trend that’s very obvious is that large, f/2.8 zoom lenses are likely to have issues. Sony, Canon, and Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lenses all made the list. The Canon 100-400 is there, too, while the Nikon 80-400 and Canon 28-300 barely missed (and usually make the list). The Sigma 50-500 OS and 120-300 OS are on it, too, with the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 OS barely missing (in a small sample size of 20 copies).

Each seems to have its own issues. The Canon 70-200 IS II has problems with the nylon reverse gears in the zoom ring and its IS unit. The 100-400 with its outer focusing barrel and notorious smooth-tighten ring. The Sigmas have HSM motor problems, OS issues, and barrel/cam issues. The plate for Nikon’s tripod foot is too thin and bends frequently, and the AF system is a bit finicky. The takeaway message is these are among the most complex lenses made today and the complexity shows in higher repair rates.
The grass is not greener like some make it appear.


lalala 10% camera repair rate....
QuoteQuote:
A Word About Cameras

This go around, the Nikon D700 is the only camera to really make the list. That was simply because of peeling grip problems, similar to what the Canon 60D had last year. But almost every camera body from every manufacturer barely missed — all had repair rates of right around 10%.

More notable, to me at least, is that we’ve already had almost 10% of our Canon 5D III and Nikon D800s repaired, despite having them in stock only a few months. I said we usually don’t put things on the list that we’ve had less than 6 months, but this is so noticeable it deserves mention. Once again, early adopters seem to be doing some beta testing.
01-14-2013, 12:22 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
If you are willing to believe Pentax, the SDM issues are now fixed.
What about the people that believed them for the last three years, when they repeatedly seeded forums and the customer base with the rumor that they were fixed?

It's gotten so bad that my pentax dealer in Germany did everything short of refuse to sell and SDM lens to me. They counseled me for a long time about the issues and said they've had tremendous problems with them and they will no longer offer expedited service and other perks for inevitable SDM repairs, plus they've been burned on so many off-warranty claims for shipping and other service time they've put in, that there is an up-front charge for service and shipping for off-warranty processing and a processing charge for warranty to encourage people to simply do it themselves and not shaft them with a refusal when they hear the off-warranty quote or when Pentax doesn't believe it's a warranty (ie: they claim something else was at fault or a repair failed).

And this is a Pentax premium dealer.
01-14-2013, 12:26 PM   #26
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I have the DA* 16-50 mm and the DA* 50-135 mm and love them both. Really nice lenses that are sharp and very solid.
01-14-2013, 12:27 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
What about the people that believed them for the last three years, when they repeatedly seeded forums and the customer base with the rumor that they were fixed?

It's gotten so bad that my pentax dealer in Germany did everything short of refuse to sell and SDM lens to me. They counseled me for a long time about the issues and said they've had tremendous problems with them and they will no longer offer expedited service and other perks for inevitable SDM repairs, plus they've been burned on so many off-warranty claims for shipping and other service time they've put in, that there is an up-front charge for service and shipping for off-warranty processing and a processing charge for warranty to encourage people to simply do it themselves and not shaft them with a refusal when they hear the off-warranty quote or when Pentax doesn't believe it's a warranty (ie: they claim something else was at fault or a repair failed).

And this is a Pentax premium dealer.
I don't think it is clear and everything out there is "anecdotal" evidence at its best. Personally, I had my 16-50 repaired after about six months of use and have used it for four plus years since that time without any problems.

The biggest issue with SDM at this point isn't its reliability, it is its lack of speed.


No one knows the rate of failure on these lenses, but as evidenced by lens rental data listed above, it is probably a lot higher than we would expect, based on the prices that people pay for these lenses.
01-14-2013, 12:30 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I don't think it is clear and everything out there is "anecdotal" evidence at its best. Personally, I had my 16-50 repaired after about six months of use and have used it for four plus years since that time without any problems.

The biggest issue with SDM at this point isn't its reliability, it is its lack of speed.


No one knows the rate of failure on these lenses, but as evidenced by lens rental data listed above, it is probably a lot higher than we would expect, based on the prices that people pay for these lenses.
There is an in between area between anecdotal and non-anecdotal (ie: common sense).

We're clearly beyond anecdotal. It would be a case of severe denial of facts, testimony (both from customers and Pentax), and multiple desperate hacks (from such things as people messing with the focus ring, pointing the lens down, spending twenty minutes hitting the AF to revive it, turning a screw after opening the lens, now a firmware hack) if you remained at the default of "anecdotal" at this point, years into the problems.

Last edited by snake; 01-14-2013 at 12:36 PM.
01-15-2013, 02:29 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
If you're not using it, I'd sell it. Either way, even with the negativity surrounding the 16-50(I personally think the copy tested was a "D" copy, barely passing inspection), I've never complained about my copy once. It does, however, have a lot more distortion at 16mm than your 15mm will have(the 15mm will also be slightly sharper, and a bit more true to life in regard to color).

Never heard a real complaint about the 50-135 though, other than it's not long enough(Which I say isn't an issue, as it's meant to emulate, when accompanied by the 16-50, a 24-70, and a 70-200 full frame setup).
Agreed. I've found the 15mm Limited to be much sharper edge-to-edge and exhibit significantly less distortion than the DA* 16-50 at the wide end. That being said, I would say the two lenses are different enough from each other to consider owning both.

The DA* 16-50 is more versatile being a weather-sealed zoom, but I would agree with Adam that there may be better alternatives for the price. I've been fairly happy with it (zero issues with SDM), but overall I like the DA* 50-135 much better.

Last edited by polachekphotography; 01-15-2013 at 04:16 PM.
01-15-2013, 02:31 PM   #30
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I have the DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135 combo. It's all I ever use! I cannot put any other lens on it besides these two. They work beautifully together. Good luck on your decision, cheers!
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