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12-25-2015, 04:06 PM   #1
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Pentax Da* SDM failure

Hi, i own a DA* 16-50, I've been aware of the sdm problems of the first models. Ive not been using it in a while and now the sdm seems to have completely stopped working. I own a K5 and a Mac, on other treads they say to use PKteather to make the camera use its screwdrive focusing system instead, however PKteather is not compatible with mac. I don't have any money to send it off to repairs, what should i do? how can i access debug mode on a K5 using a mac? or if there is another way of switching of the sdm, let me know.

12-25-2015, 04:22 PM   #2
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This is somewhat off topic, but if you don't use a lens for a while, its SDM is more likely to fail. Good luck with the SDM deactivation! Here are the manual debug mode activation instructions:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/208353-how-...ml#post2203064

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12-25-2015, 04:37 PM   #3
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Adam might have a point so I say this as well: If its you're first failure you have to be brave and write to your Pentax office - not the service outfit that repairs Pentax products - a nice little "love" letter asking that they give you a deal on the repair (you will have to pay for labour only), adding all the background on this problem that you can find on this forum, just to make sure they see you are aware and not joking... I say this because I had a nasty exchange a few monts ago that lasted 4 months or so and finally had them (the Canadian Pentax office) repair my 16-50, under warranty, after 3 failures not counting the failure on my 50-135 so I had a lot of back-up. I got pretty nasty and it worked. The SDM seems to work now (...?) with the new system that Pentax took a long while to modify...
Be aware that it may be something else that failed - not the SDM - so go cautiously at first as you may want to have a diagnosis done anyway...?
The next solution is to disconnect the SDM, but that requires a bit of mechanical expertise so you might want to do some research to find someone who is willing to help you - Pentax don't do that...? I did find someone in Toronto that I knew but I then got the free repair - just in time...!
So now you have it. Be firm and hold your ground. Besides we know that Pentax has a servicing problem on top of that, at least in Canada, so keep that in mind too.
Good luck

Last edited by Rnovo; 12-25-2015 at 04:44 PM.
12-25-2015, 06:09 PM   #4
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Are you sure it has failed permanently? These stop working temporarily if not used for some time.. mount the lens on your camera, ensure the switch on the lens is set to AF/MF, and the body to AF-S or AF-C and press the shutter release button half way multiple times... it might take awhile. But there have been many people who have brought them 'back' this way.

Some have also moved the focus ring back and forth and brought it back too...

12-25-2015, 07:10 PM   #5
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This might help https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/309581-da-1...fix-check.html
12-25-2015, 07:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
This is somewhat off topic, but if you don't use a lens for a while, its SDM is more likely to fail.
Is that just the 16-50 or all SDM lenses? How often is "for a while"?
12-25-2015, 08:23 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by r0ckstarr Quote
Is that just the 16-50 or all SDM lenses? How often is "for a while"?
As far as I understand, this applies to SDM zooms (i.e. also the 50-135mm and 60-250mm). My 60-250mm failed twice, and in both cases it was on the shelf for several months prior to the failure.

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12-25-2015, 10:36 PM   #8
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As I like my SDM 17-70 I let the SDM motor to be changed in the authorized service.
Tree years after the lens is working fine.

12-26-2015, 08:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Are you sure it has failed permanently? These stop working temporarily if not used for some time.. mount the lens on your camera, ensure the switch on the lens is set to AF/MF, and the body to AF-S or AF-C and press the shutter release button half way multiple times... it might take awhile. But there have been many people who have brought them 'back' this way.

Some have also moved the focus ring back and forth and brought it back too...
This technique has brought my DA 17 - 70 back from the SDM dead numerous times. The longer it sits unused the longer it takes to "wake Up" One thing that works for me is to shoot a few pictures on autofocus single mode and use the quick shift to manually focus near and distance near and far with the shutter pressed halfway. After a couple of manual focus tries, I notice the SDM wakes up and starts working.

---------- Post added 12-26-15 at 10:46 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
As far as I understand, this applies to SDM zooms (i.e. also the 50-135mm and 60-250mm). My 60-250mm failed twice, and in both cases it was on the shelf for several months prior to the failure.
I agree and have this exact issue with my SDM DA 17-70 and to a much lesser extent my DA* 200. My question: is this specific to SDM or does it apply to the DC lenses as well? I am considering the 16-85 at sometime but if it is prone to the same wake up issues as the DA 17-70 then I will just stay with screwdrive. So far I have kept my two SDM lenses functioning without needing repairs for years with this wake-up techniques, but I could see where this would be a real pain with multiple SDM or DC lenses.
12-26-2015, 09:58 AM   #10
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DC based lenses are fine... just slightly nosier than SDM.
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