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11-08-2015, 02:41 PM   #1
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Pentax DA* 16-50 and DA*50-135mm Autofocus Problems

Hello,

I purchased my Pentax DA*16-50mm and DA*50-135mm in November of 2013. I haven't really taken them out too much since but yesterday I was supposed to take pictures at my friend's wedding and the two lenses I took which were the 16-50mm and 50-135mm did not autofocus at all. I heard the high pitch sound on my 16-50mm lens but nothing was happening. Also the 50-135mm lens made no sound or even attempt to autofocus on my K5ii.

After taking the camera and lens home I thought it could be my k5ii so I put it on my k200D and still the same results.

Did I just have the dreaded SDM motor failure on both of my lenses on the same day?

I put in a quote request at the Ricoh repair website and it said $200 to inspect it. So I'm assuming $400 for both plus whatever they find out after inspecting it. Also does Ricoh honor any type of warranty repair even though it's been over 1 year?

I liked Pentax for their quality but it seems this SDM motor failure hasn't been completely fixed yet. Any thoughts from others experiencing the same thing?

11-08-2015, 03:03 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by shaolin panda Quote
Hello,

I purchased my Pentax DA*16-50mm and DA*50-135mm in November of 2013. I haven't really taken them out too much since but yesterday I was supposed to take pictures at my friend's wedding and the two lenses I took which were the 16-50mm and 50-135mm did not autofocus at all. I heard the high pitch sound on my 16-50mm lens but nothing was happening. Also the 50-135mm lens made no sound or even attempt to autofocus on my K5ii.

After taking the camera and lens home I thought it could be my k5ii so I put it on my k200D and still the same results.

Did I just have the dreaded SDM motor failure on both of my lenses on the same day?

I put in a quote request at the Ricoh repair website and it said $200 to inspect it. So I'm assuming $400 for both plus whatever they find out after inspecting it. Also does Ricoh honor any type of warranty repair even though it's been over 1 year?

I liked Pentax for their quality but it seems this SDM motor failure hasn't been completely fixed yet. Any thoughts from others experiencing the same thing?
The warranty is only good for a year, so you may be out of luck. The SDM motors tend to fail after prolonged periods of no use, so once you get the lenses repaired I'd recommend taking them out for a spin every once in a while. Ricoh claims that a design issue with the SDM has been addressed in newer production models and in replacement parts, but I'd still take the aforementioned precaution.

Adam
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11-08-2015, 03:03 PM   #3
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This is a common problem with both of these lenses, being that you haven't used them in a long time I would suggest you try running the focus ring back and forth until you see the distance scale start to move fully, it turns out that a lot of sed failed SDM motors is just a stuck quick shift clutch.
There is a thread on this very subject on this forum.
11-08-2015, 03:05 PM - 3 Likes   #4
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KEH will fix them for $195 each plus shipping.

https://www.keh.com/page/repair-pricing

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/300802-keh-sdm-repair.html

11-08-2015, 04:34 PM   #5
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Also they are easy to convert to screwdrive with a K100D and not all that noisy.
11-08-2015, 04:48 PM   #6
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I bought mine from Woot's "refurbished" sale. If I don't use them for a little while, they take a bit to "warm up".
11-08-2015, 04:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BCtoad Quote
This is a common problem with both of these lenses, being that you haven't used them in a long time I would suggest you try running the focus ring back and forth until you see the distance scale start to move fully, it turns out that a lot of sed failed SDM motors is just a stuck quick shift clutch.
There is a thread on this very subject on this forum.
DO THIS FIRST!

It is likely not dead.. just taking a break..
11-08-2015, 04:55 PM   #8
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Yes there is a capacitor that doesnt stay charged, let it sit on charged body and it comes back to life. If it doesnt come back to life in 5ish minutes, then u might have a stuck clutch or dead sdm

---------- Post added 11-08-15 at 06:56 PM ----------

I leave mine on a k5 body to keep it charged...

11-09-2015, 08:55 AM   #9
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I had a similar issue with mine and it gave me quite a scare on a shoot. I manually rotated the focusing ring several rotations to the right, then several rotations to the left. I repeated this while trying to get the camera to auto focus. After only about a min, it came back to life...

As others have said before it suffers from 3 main issues.

1. Stuck clutch >> Fix by moving focus ring back and forth several times
2. Capacitor decharged >> Fix by leaving attached to dslr to recharge capacitor
3. Failed motor >> Send to Ricoh and spend some cash


If you have issues with #3. I suggest you convert to Screw drive and just enjoy it. If you truly need the motors fixed, just save your money and get the new 24-70 f2.8 in the future.
11-09-2015, 10:17 AM   #10
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Original Poster
Hello everybody. Thank you all for your kind advice.

My 16-50mm kind of came back to life with a high squeaky sound. It works on and off. I guess I have to re-break it in or something.

On my 50-135mm I rotated the focus ring back and for for hours but no movement inside whatsoever. I put it on my k5ii which was fully charged and let it stay on for 10 minutes but still nothing.

I'll keep hoping it is a capacitor issue and leave it on for a couple days.

I guess after that it's going back to Ricoh for inspection and repair unless I use it on screw drive.

It was a relief to see how much everybody cared and posted their information. I will look in the forums for the screw drive conversion. Is the conversion for the body or the lens? Since I don't use it for video I don't see how it matters much to me.

Thank you everybody!
11-09-2015, 10:33 AM   #11
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The conversion is something you do to the lens.

The squeaky sound may indicate impending doom. If they are out of warranty, many people have found KEH's repair center to be worthwhile.
11-09-2015, 10:47 AM   #12
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I have just sent my 16-50 in for it's 3rd repair. The first was under warranty, the next was 13 months ago and now I received another $350.00 + shipping repair quote.

The funny thing is there no longer seems to be any Pentax (Ricoh) Canada. Their listed number is not in service. The US 800 number works and they have no idea other than they have been getting some calls from Canada lately.

I was told to use the web contact but so far no reply.

Sun Cameras in Ontario does the repairs and was the only suggestion London Drugs ( great store ) but they offer no support other than pay the bill.

Doesn't seem like they have solved the repair issue yet nor do they seem seem to stand behind the repairs.

I did use the lens a fair amount over the last 13 months.
11-10-2015, 10:41 AM   #13
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Put "sdm repair" into the forum search, if you are good at taking things apart AND reassembling them successfully, then you could save yourself a lot of money. I've had my 16-50 apart twice, the second time to drill holes so that the motor could be reached without taking the bloody thing apart a third time. It seems to get better with age, although I do regularly run the focus motor to stop it from sticking.
11-10-2015, 11:11 AM   #14
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Save some money and follow the instructions on this site on how to revert the lens to screw drive. Not to noisy and it is supposed to be faster focusing as well

Randy
11-18-2015, 10:51 AM   #15
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Well, I have to give credit where credit is due.
I found a Ricoh Canada phone number and the person I spoke to asked that I send an email about my situation so they could forward it to the right department.
I sent the email and one day later I got a very pleasant phone call thanking me for being a Pentax customer and I was told that they would look after the repair costs and to please be patient while they got the parts in.
It was turned into a very positive experience.

Last edited by Mark K5; 11-18-2015 at 11:14 AM. Reason: typo
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