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08-25-2014, 09:01 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
No, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic never have any problems. It is only Pentax that at the end get such a garbage. [/sarcasm]
QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
roflmao!
Same here, Sandy. Check out Nikon's oily sensors, for example. Make sure you check out how long it took Nikon to admit this while you're at it. And check out the Canon body troubles, too.

08-25-2014, 10:28 AM   #17
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Quality and Obsolescence

QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
My DA* 16-50 was purchased in 2007, and has not failed. I think the true failure rate is about 5%, which is higher than most brands, but not as catastrophic as the posts would indicate.
I bought my Pentax DA* 16~50/2.8 in 2009 as I recall. Knock on wood I have had no problems what-so-ever with the lens. I do admit , due to the high number of SDM failures reported in this forum, that it is probably just a matter of time. On the other hand, as Albert suggets, perhaps the failure rate of this model is just a little higher than average and not as "catastrophic" as some may think. I hope this is the case as this is an expensive lens and should last a good long time without issues.

The DA* 16~50/2.8 is a complex optic with a lot of moving parts and at some point there will be a failure with the autofocus. The same is true of any device with moving parts be it a car or a human body. What is a reasonable amout of time for an autofocus lens to operate problem free? I don't know. The manufacturer's warranty suggests one or two years with extended warranties up to six years. It would seem Pentax thinks their design, construction and assembly is good enough that they won't lose much money offering such a guarantee. After that point failure is just a matter of time depending on how much use the lens gets. Nothing lasts for ever.

How times have changed. Our old Takumar, K and M series lenses lasted forever as there was very little which could go wrong with them. There was little more complex in these lenses than an aperture ring and screw thread to focus the lens. All or mainly metal, precision instruments these optics were made to last. Unless one dropped it you could reasonably expect the lens to last a lifetime or maybe two. That's why so many are still in use fifty or more years after they were introduced. For me this was the "Golden Age" of camera equipment.

Today's cameras and lenses are consumer electronics. The cameras are obsolete before they hit the market. The lenses will have a higher half life than the cameras but they have moving parts and due to normal wear we can expect that life will be far shorter than their manual focus predecessors. I'm sure they could be made more robust but would the market be willing to pay the price for this sort of quality.? Would it make any sense to build to such a high level when the camera/lenses will be obsolete in a relatively short period of time?

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-25-2014 at 02:24 PM. Reason: typo
08-25-2014, 12:51 PM   #18
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Actually, Tom, I did have an SDM failure with my DA* 50-135. In a snit I swapped it off, and regret doing so, but AF is more useful with the mid-range zooms than with other lenses. If the AF quits on my 16-50, I will have a very nice Manual Focus zoom. I won't even bother to butcher it to make the screw drive work. I use it half the time MF anyway. That's the nature of an almost ultra wide to very short telephoto lens.
08-25-2014, 02:29 PM   #19
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Hey Albert,

Good to know if/when the AF crashes on mine I will still have a working lens.

Too bad about the DA* 50~135/2.8. That lens is on my "buy" list in the near future.

I understand the SDM issues are a thing of the past with the newer releases of this lens. I certainly hope so.

Tom G

08-25-2014, 09:18 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Hey Albert,

Good to know if/when the AF crashes on mine I will still have a working lens.

Too bad about the DA* 50~135/2.8. That lens is on my "buy" list in the near future.

I understand the SDM issues are a thing of the past with the newer releases of this lens. I certainly hope so.

Tom G
Yes, Tom, you can see how your 16-50 is simply by moving the switch on the lens to MF and using it like that for a while. In that focal length range, AF is (to me, an opinionated curmudgeon, of course) redundant.
08-25-2014, 11:18 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerard_Dirks Quote
If Pentax was as VW, BMW or GM their would be a world wide callback and repair for this item.
In a case like this it would indeed be a great show of goodwill if Ricoh repaired it free of, or with minimal charge. I do agree with you on that.
But car manufacturers only offer callbacks on life-threatening issues. There are enough flaws that no one covers. At least one of those car companies used "drainage pipes" for their sunroofs that clog up easily... and the water then collects in a compartment with expensive control electronics. Very smart design.
Could tell you half a dozen such break points on one model alone, because of poor design or being cheap in production.

At least in EU, companies have to offer two year warranties and extensions can sometimes be added.
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